We’ve entered an era of minimalism these days. People now prefer usability and convenience over bells-and-whistles and plus size. This change is most noticeable in everyday carry (EDC) items like bags, pens, key rings, and – most notably - wallets. Regular bifold and trifold wallets take up a lot of room, they are tough to carry, and give you a backache if you sit on them. That’s why they’re giving way to small, bare-bones, and no-frill wallets, which are super easy to carry and use.
The FOCX Everyday Wallet is a very promising minimalist wallet from a German maker. At first glance, it’s compact, good-looking, and contains a nifty pull-tab feature. While the wallet isn’t officially released as yet, they’re running a (successful) Kickstarter campaign for it. By backing it now, you can early order one at a reduced price. Is it worth your time and hard-earned money, though? Let’s find out!
The FOCX Everyday Wallet Overview
Timber cattle leather body, elastic pull-tab money strap
Fits in the palm of your hand
Black and brown
What can you expect from a minimalist wallet?
Before we get into the nitty-gritty of things, let’s determine what you expect from a minimalist wallet first, so we know if the FOCX meets the standard or falls short. A good minimalist wallet needs to be small – you should be able to slide it into a small front pocket with your keys, phone, and other items.
It needs to be sturdy, something you can use every day without having to baby it too much. It needs to provide a reasonable amount of protection for your cards, cash, and other knickknacks. You want it to be capable of holding at least half a dozen cards and some notes. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, it needs to be easily accessible. Good looks are always appreciated too.
Is the FOCX an ideal minimalist wallet?
The FOCX wallet, judging from the photos and trial videos, gets a lot right. It’s small and easy to use. We really like the pull-tab feature – it’s reminiscent of the one found on popular wallets from brands like Bellroy. There’s a futuristic NFC feature that lets you store useful data on it, which we’ll explain in depth later. It’s well-made and should last you a while too.
Let’s take a look at the various defining features of the wallet and see if it makes for a good EDC:
If you’re a die-hard minimalist, you’ll love how small the FOCX wallet is. It’s compact enough to fit even the most cramped pocket, without being uncomfortable. When you load it to capacity, it doesn’t get bulky, so there are no ungainly bulges to worry about. While we don’t have the official measurements yet, it’s only slightly bigger than a regular credit card when it comes to height and length.
When full, it’s about as thick as a modern smartphone. All of this makes it easy to handle and carry. For those of you used to bifolds and trifolds, it’s about half the size of those
They’ve used glossy cattle hide leather for the body and the semi-wraparound strap is elastic. It’s one of the highest quality leathers available in Europe (Germany, to be specific), so you’ll be getting your money’s worth here. The leather has a nice sheen to it, thanks to the wax finish, and will retain its looks long-term. It’s not the type of leather that creases or crimps easily.
We expect the wallet to hold shape too, especially if you keep it full (that helps). We ordinarily don’t like wallets with elastic bands – elastic loosens over time – but we’ll make an exception just this once. The FOCX wallet’s elastic band is seriously sturdy and stretchy – made from 85% polyester and 15% elastane – and we think it will stand the test of time. The yarn or the stitching thread used is made in Germany, measures size 40, and is exceptionally sturdy.
You don’t really buy a minimalist wallet for its carrying capacity. The FOCX wallet won’t let you carry all your cards with you – only about half a dozen at the most. There’s room in the wallet for approximately 10 folded notes, a few coins, perhaps a key, and paper receipts or stubs in addition to the cards.
You can slide the cards into the wallet on top of the pull-tab elastic strap. The elastic strap also doubles as the money clip. If you want to store notes, you fold them up and slide them under it. There’s little risk of your notes falling off or your cards getting dislodged – the design is sound and everything fits together snugly.
If you’re someone who regularly carries – or needs to carry – a dozen cards, many bills, stubs, and coins with you, you’re better off with getting a conventional wallet. Every wallet goes through a rigorous quality check process, so you’re unlikely to be hit by a manufacturing defect.
The FOCX wallet gets top marks when it comes to usability. It may take you a while to get used to the patent-pending SUMO design, but the learning curve is worth it, in our opinion. Once you grasp how to organize your cards, cash, coins, and other small items, the wallet is a breeze to use. It fits snugly in one hand and you can use the other to pull on the tab/strap to get your favorite cards to pop out.
The RFID blocker works on one side of the wallet, but not the other. This is intentional – if you have a card that you regularly need to scan, like a traveling card for a train, you can keep it facing outwards and scan it without having to remove it from the wallet. Sliding money in and out from the wallet also doesn’t take time.
The wallet is small, so it doesn’t need a lot of room, and you should be able to take it with you everywhere. Minimalist wallets are easy to organize, by nature, and the FOCX is no exception.
The FOCX wallet looks smooth, streamlined, and classy. The wallet isn’t the cheapest around and you expect it to look better than average – and it does! It’s been crafted with a great deal of care and attention to detail.
The stitching is uniform and there are no frayed ropes poking out anywhere. There’s a geometric “fox” carved into the front body of the wallet, which is the brand logo – we think it looks pretty good. The name of the wallet is visible in a small plastic loop on the side.
The FOCX wallets are available in two colors at the moment: black and brown. You’ll probably get more options later when the wallet is officially launched – not that you’ll be disappointed with the colors that are available at the moment. Every FOCX wallet is shipped with a ‘Protecting Card’ inside, which gives the wallet form and contributes to its looks.
The handy NFC special feature
Yes, you heard that right: the FOCX wallet comes with an NFC tag! Why on earth would someone put an NFC tag into a wallet? It’s actually a pretty smart move, in our opinion. NFC tags can hold a great deal of data – about 500 bytes in the case of the FOCX wallet. You can keep your contact details, your work details, or address on the NFC tag. If you want to share your number with someone, just ask them to scan it and it’s done. It doubles as a business card too.
Seeing as there’s no room in the wallet for business cards, you can use the integrated chip instead. The chip can be rewritten over a million times, so it’s not going to give out anytime soon.
There are multiple applications of the NFC tag, some of which could come in very handy:
Sharing your contact details with someone on-the- fly
Enter driving mode automatically
Triggering sleep on your mode
Creating a Wi-Fi hotspot or sharing your password with someone
Checking your bank account or electric wallet balance
Keeping your data safe with RFID protection
An RFID blocker is essential if you own an RFID-enabled bank or ID card. RFID blockers prevent hackers from getting important details about you from your card remotely. If you don’t own an RFID-enabled card(s), this feature won’t be of use to you. The RFID-protection is top-grade and works close to scanners.
The RFID blocking is enabled only for the front of the wallet. Any cards you put at the back can be scanned remotely. That’s a good thing – it allows you to have your card scanned without the tediousness of retrieving it from the wallet and sliding it back in. If you’re in a hurry, you can simply hold the wallet against the reader and you’re done.
The FOCX Wallet:
About the founders
The FOCX wallet is the result of countless hours of research, hard work, and planning. It all started when the maker – Serkan, a graphics designer with 15 years of experience – was gifted a starter crafting kit by his wife. Serkan, with support from his wife and experts, spend over a year coming up with a unique wallet design and refining it.
The founder is a well-known figure in the field of education and publishing. He owns a publishing company, has published several magazines in the past, and has helped countless people secure employment via counseling. Serkan’s expertise and passion are clear to see with the love he’s poured into his pet project.
The Kickstarter campaign
The Kickstarter campaign was launched fairly recently (at the time of this writing) and is expected to finish on 21st November 2017. So far, it’s been a great success – the founders have already overshot the minimum mark, with over two weeks to go. Hundreds of backers from around the world have pledged their monetary support for the wallet. They also have good things to say about it. Usually, products that have successful Kickstarter campaigns manage to do well in market after the official launch.
If you want to support the campaign – and put in an early order for the wallet while you’re at it – you can pledge €24. In return, you get a basic wallet in the color of your choice, though it won’t come with the NFC tag. If you want a wallet with an NFC tag, you need to pledge €29. You can place an order for multiple wallets at once – or even support the founders without getting anything in return.
Does it make a good purchase?
We have seen and used many wallets in our time and we found the FOCX wallet to be standout in terms of both quality and usability. The pull-tab feature isn’t exactly unique – it’s present in plenty of wallets these days – but they’ve implemented it really well in the FOCX. We don’t like wallets with elastic straps, usually, but we think the elastic used in the FOCX is much better than average.
What we really love about this wallet is the NFC feature – it’s about time someone combined technology with a wallet in a practical way, while still keeping it affordable. While the FOCX wallet isn’t the cheapest around, especially considering the fact it’s a minimalist wallet, we still believe we’re getting our money’s worth in the long run. The wallet is sturdy, well-made, looks good, and should last for a very long time. Check it out on Kickstarter.