If you carry a wallet and you carry a phone, it’s a pretty smart choice to combine the two. There are a bunch of wallet cases on the market at this point, and I’ve been using the Vena Pixel 5 vCommute wallet case for the last several weeks. It’s pretty okay.
There are a bunch of different styles of wallet cases out there. Some cover the entire phone, and you put your cards in the front part. Others have little slits in the back. Some have a small hatch on the back where you can discreetly hide cards. The vCommute Wallet Case from Vena has a sliding cover on the back that hides your cards and works as a kickstand. It’s a smart design, but it has a few drawbacks.
The case itself is polycarbonate and thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU)—which is pretty standard for phone cases. Vena likes to throw words like “Military Grade Drop Protection” around in the product listing, which is fun jargon that doesn’t actually mean anything. It sure sounds good though, right?
Anyway, that’s not a knock on the case itself, as it seems protective enough. It’s not going to keep your phone from getting broken if it, I don’t know, falls out of a moving car or something, but if you miss your pocket and it hits the concrete, there’s a good chance it’ll be a-okay.
The case is relatively thick, but that thickness also creates a nice little lip around the screen, which is important for display protection. Unless you drop the phone directly face down on a rock or other sharp object, this case should do a pretty decent job of keeping the display from getting cracked.
But when I say it’s “relatively thick,” I mean it. This is as chonky a case as I’ve used in recent years, as it nearly doubles the thickness of my Pixel 5a. But it can hold three cards, so the thickness is at least somewhat warranted—many other wallet cases I’ve used only hold two cards.
The case’s back has a flap that covers the card slot, and magnets hold it closed. They’re strong enough to keep the back closed even if you drop your phone, but not so tight that it’s hard to open and grab a card quickly. As a bonus, this flap doubles as a kickstand, so you’re getting a two for one here—a place to store your cards and a way to prop your phone up and watch Squid Game or whatever trendy crap people are into at the time.
With the added thickness, you might be asking yourself, “Hmmm, I wonder if it works with wireless charging?” Well, I have good news and bad news: The good news is that Vena advertises this case as compatible with wireless chargers—the company even says it tested this! I find that surprising because the bad news is that your Pixel 5a doesn’t have wireless charging. So while the case may be compatible (???), your phone is not.
But I digress. I mostly use wallet cases when I’m on the bike because it’s an easy way for me to carry my ID in case some teenage idiot who can’t stop looking at his phone mows me over … and also my debit card in case I find myself 40 miles out and realize I have no more water or food. Both are good things to have—in fact, I should probably throw my health insurance card in there, too. Better safe than sorry!
And for that, the Vena case has been solid. It’s a thick boi in my jersey pocket (or pants pocket, for that matter), which I don’t love, but I wouldn’t call it a dealbreaker. The added protection is a nice peace of mind because while I might break my collarbone if I go down, my phone should be good. Bones heal; broken phones don’t!
All that said, I feel like it’s a bit overpriced at $50 (MSRP). You can currently get it for $35 on Amazon, which I think is a much better value. If you’re looking for something cheaper and thinner, though, I highly recommend the Teelevo Wallet Case for the Pixel 5a—I had one of these for my Pixel 5 and loved it. If you don’t mind the added bulk and really want that kickstand, though, the Vena case is a solid choice.
Here’s What We Like
- Holds 3 cards
- The card cover doubles as a kickstand
- Feels pretty protective and robust
And What We Don't
- Boy's a thick one lol
- Retail price is too high, Amazon is slightly better
- Advertised as "working with wireless charging" on a phone that doesn't have wireless charging