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FlipCase for Treo 680, 750, 755p

Thu Nov 1, 2007 - 10:15 AM EDT - By Jay Gross

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Would you recommend Smartphone Experts FlipCase for Treo 755p, 750, 680?
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Product Info


Overview

For my (crimson!) Treo 680, the choices for a fitted leather case are plentiful. Sadly, Iím going to have to look further than the Smartphone Experts FlipCase, however, as I need access to the SD Card slot without resorting to high explosives.

Made of leather with a black leather or tan suede lining, depending on the model you choose, the fitted FlipCase comes in a nice box. Thatís a welcome benefit if itís your favorite Treo ownerís birthday, or maybe a gift is in order for some other reason. Aside from being impenetrable most of the time, those horrid plastic bubbles that are in vogue for retail packaging offer a total lack of gift wrap friendliness. Well, we shouldnít judge a product by its packaging, so nuff said about that.


Inside the nice box comes a nice little bag and a plastic-bagged kit that includes a small, screw-in button and a plastic belt clip. The case provides a tapped fitting on the back to accommodate the button. That means you can choose not to use it if you donít like it. And I donít. Reason: the resulting belt/strap clip offers no detents. It just flops around untended, and I prefer some kind of limit on its motion, not as much for safety as for my comfort.

The case weighs in at just under two ounces (54 grams or 1.9 ounces, to be more precise), including the clip and the metal button. It comes in two models: Black with black leather lining, and brown leather with tan suede lining. My review unit is the brown model.

Overall, the fit and finish come in quite impressive. Neatly stitched at the edges, the textured leather has a good feel. Itís not the soft ďNappaĒ leathers some companies tout, but it still has the great feel of a new pair of leather shoes.


The protective flap of the FlipCase ďflipsĒ open when you need to use the Treo. It ďsnapsĒ into place with a magnetic catch, so itís easy to operate with one hand. A small flap offers a convenient stashing place for a spare SD Card. The suede flap on my model matches the surrounding material. I put one of my cards in the space for the picture, but itíll end up sitting there, daring me to get it into the Treo, a problem with this case.



Usability

The Treo slips into the FlipCase from the top. Good luck! Itís a very tight fit. I canít think of any good reason for the thing to be this tight. The case has a leather snap flap built into its design, so thereís little danger of the 680 going flying. It took a LOT of wiggling and pulling to get my 680 nestled into the case. I didnít flip, so to speak, but it had some frustrating moments.

Once inside, the Treoís controls peek out through cutouts in the leather. The camera and primping mirror have a squarish cutout on the back, and the side buttons fit cozily into another opening. An oval-ish window accommodates the earpiece speaker, and thereís a scoop that exposes the LED. A cutout on the bottom provides access to the charge and HotSync connector, as well as the earphone jack. Another scoop makes retrieving and replacing the stylus simple while the case is on.

The only thing that isnít accessible is the Treoís SD Card slot. Youíd have to remove the case to get to it, and thatís no easy task Ė although to my surprise I found it a little easier than getting the Treo inside in the first place. Removing the case was definitely a two handed operation that greatly depleted the batteries in my Profanity Filtration Device. Remembering those snazzy tight leather shoes that get looser and more wearable after a little wear, I put the case on and off the Treo a couple of times. While the process got a little easier after the first time, it never achieved the simplicity that another few millimeters of size would impart.



Conclusion

After a struggle to get the FlipCase onto your Treo, you can look forward to great protection and the convenience of a flip top that provides instant access to the phone, including all the basic ports, plus a place to stash a spare SD Card. Unfortunately, the SD Card door on the Treo stays covered, tightly. The fit on this case Ė at least for my (crimson!) Treo 680 Ė is so tight that I can only recommend it for Treo owners who donít plan to use the SD Card slot. Itís just too difficult to get the case on and off the device.

The Smartphone Experts FormFit case comes in looking good, while offering great protection of the treasure you entrust to it. However, itís too tight to slip on and off easily to get to the SD Card. Even so, people who donít use the SD Card slot will find it a delight, and the Treo definitely wonít fall out. Iíll have to pass.





Criteria 

Rating

Design 4
Usability 2
Protection 3
Cost/Benefit 2
Overall
(not an average)
Pros
  • Great feel and a nice finish
  • Nicely boxed for gift giving
  • Tiny removable stud for belt clip
  • Extra SD Card storage in cover
  • Cons
  • Belt clip has no detents
  • The fit is extremely tight
  • No provision for access to Treo SD Card slot


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