Most of us have transitioned to using mobile wallets on our smartphones, like Google Wallet or Apple Pay. However, there is still a need for carrying physical cards such as driver’s licenses, health insurance cards, office employee badges, and various other types of cards. In essence, we haven’t been able to completely get rid of our physical cards, but we’re on our way there.
Recognizing this need, the American mobile accessories company, vena, has come up with an innovative solution. While they offer covers for a wide range of smartphones from Samsung, Apple, and Google, their vCommute model offers a unique combination of features. It provides storage space for physical cards and a desktop stand, without adding bulk to your device. Unlike traditional book cover designs, I found the vCommute to be sleek and modern. I tested the model on a Galaxy S23 Plus, but it’s also available for other models like the new Galaxy S24 series, the various iPhone 14 and 15 models, and the Google Pixel devices.
vCommute – Offering Crash Protection
The vCommute cover is designed with a two-layer polycarbonate structure which is hard and scratch-resistant. It also includes TPU, a flexible material that offers protection against shocks. The cover features a technology called CornerGuard that protects the corners of the smartphone, which are often the most vulnerable areas in the event of a drop. It meets the military drop test standard – 810G-516.6, which assures that it can survive 26 drops from a height of 1.22 meters.
In terms of usability, the cover is comfortable to hold, and it does not hinder the press of the physical buttons on the side of the smartphone. The cover does add some weight and thickness to the device, so it’s something to consider. Despite its thickness, the cover is compatible with wireless charging pads and magnetic mounts in the car, thanks to the magnet on the back of the cover.
vCommute – Storing Your Physical Cards
The back of the vCommute cover has a hidden slot that can store up to three physical cards. To access these cards, you simply open the back part, which is built like a book cover. This part is magnetized to the back of the cover, and it includes a storage area for the cards. During my test, I found that it did not interfere with the Google Pay Tap to Pay feature, and I was also able to use my physical employee card by touching the office doors, without having to remove it from the cover.
Another feature of the vena cover is the built-in stand for watching movies on your smartphone. The cover that protects the physical cards also doubles as a fold-out stand that can be positioned at several angles, providing a hands-free experience for watching content. The price of the vCommute cover ranges from NIS 110 to 185 (30 to 50 dollars, depending on the model) and can be purchased through the company’s website.
In conclusion, the vCommute cover offers a solution that allows you to finally get rid of the physical wallet while also providing a stand for your smartphone. It offers robust protection for your device, but it does add some weight and thickness to your phone.
OutCross – A Slimmer, Lighter Option
If you’re looking for a cover that’s lighter and thinner, vena offers the OutCross for a variety of Samsung and Google smartphones. While it doesn’t include the card storage and stand features, it offers similar shock and drop protection as the vCommute model. It also includes elevated edges for better lens and screen protection. However, the graphite-gray case I tested on the Galaxy S23 Plus started to lose its color in different areas after a few weeks. Regardless, this cover also had no issues with Google Pay. The price of the OutCross ranges from 55 to 110 shekels (15 to 30 dollars, depending on the model and the sale) and can be purchased through the company’s website.