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Smartphone Experts SafeGuard Holster for Treo 750, 700p, 700w|wx, 680, 650, 600

Thu Mar 1, 2007 - 10:43 AM EST - By Jay Gross

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Would you recommend Smartphone Experts SafeGuard Holster for Treo 750, 700p, 700w|wx, 680, 650, 600?
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In a movie, a cell phone will ring thirty times before the beset heroine finds and answers it, dangling there on the side of that cliff. Not so, out here in the real world. How many ringie-dingies will you wait? More to the point, how many rings before your carrierís voice mail answers for you?

At a newspaper I worked at, the editors circulated a memo (they do that) insisting that phones be answered before the third ring. Naturally the memo didnít apply to them. I still jump when I hear a phone ringing, and I just have to answer it as soon as possible. For one thing, callers wonít wait more than a few rings any more. Itís a patience thing. Lack of it. Worse, theyíll land in the dreaded voice mail never to be heard from again. So I like holsters, to keep my Treo at the ready, answerable on the second ring or even sooner.

Smartphone Expertsí SafeGuard Holster consists of a one-piece back made of flexible, rubber-like material and reinforced with a plastic plate. The thick rubber lining doesnít have a lot of give, but it bends enough to make the catch on top work without springs and hinges. No moving parts, excellent. Itís not what youíd call "soft," either, but it has a light touch that doesnít seem abrasive and probably wonít scratch the Treoís finish.

The king of belt clips takes up a major chunk of the holsterís back. Itís huge, itís grippy, but itís too open, and itís not flexible like the rest of the product. It ends up not actually gripping anything, just surrounding it, and it doesnít have the locking "barb" that Seidioís entry sports. I find it comfortable and reliable when lopped over my pantsí waistband.

Then there are the detents. Like SPEís clip does a 180, not a 360 Ėyou probably donít want your Treo hanging upside down. It has detents every 15 degrees, but theyíre none to strong. In fact, I pronounce them somewhat weak, considering the jostling my Treo gets while Iím roaming around in the world. This is tolerable, but not altogether desirable. The detents ought to be stronger, so it takes much more twisting to overcome them to the next position.

A reader reports that the detents on his Seidio holster let go completely within six months, and now his Treo just swivels with the breeze. So far, Smartphone Expertsí detents have held their own with me, but Iíd much rather they started off stronger, right out of the pale green box.


Iíve previously reviewed Seidioís Spring Clip Swivel Holster for Treo 700p, 700w|wx, 650, 600 one of the companyís several entries in this field. The Seidio unit occasionally causes the Treoís SD card to eject Ė notwithstanding the manufacturerís claims to the contrary. Fortunately, I have not had that problem with Smartphone Expertsí SafeGuard. Its top catch is much narrower, and offset to the side opposite the Treoís antenna (except antenna-less models 750 and 680), so the cardís less likely to be touched when removing the phone from the holster, or returning it to the holsterís protective clutches, a much wiser arrangement. Cool.


One thing you give up with holsters is the extra protection you get from surrounding the whole Treo with soft stuff -- leather, foam, cloth, or whathaveyou. Smartphone Expertsí SafeGuard Holster is no exception. Like Seidioís Spring Clip Swivel model, it protects the Treoís screen, leaving the back open to whatever Nature (or the Flying Object Gremlins) dish out.

Forget water, other than a mild drizzle, and keep in mind that the back of the Treo stays exposed, including the camera lens. The recessed touch screen doesnít touch anything, and it faces inward, so itíll be fine.

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