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CellKeeper Original Black

Mon Oct 20, 2008 - 10:02 AM EDT - By Jay Gross

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Product Info


Overview

The Original model CellKeeper comes in black leather with silver plated hardware accents. I’ve previously reviewed its cousin, the herringbone tweed Classic version. This CellKeeper also takes the everything-in-the-bag approach to cell phone cases, which appeals to me. Storage is like blueberry muffins. There’s no such thing as enough.

Aside from holding plenty of stuff, the CellKeeper Original lets you choose how to keep it with you. Or on you. The case comes with a leather strap, complete with matching silver-plated hardware, that swashes across your shoulder or wraps around your waist. You can also snap the convenient, detachable rotating key clip on a belt or waistband, or just drop the whole thing in your pocket, book bag, or purse. I favor the over-shoulder strap, as my pockets are already stuffed with other essentials of life.

CellKeeper has room to keep just about everything, plus a spring-loaded silver-plated hook for some keys. There’s a pocket for cash, of course, plus a zippered pocket for enough coins to keep a hungry parking meter happy for an hour or two. There’s even a loop to hold a pen – the company says that doubles as a lip gloss holder – and three pockets for credit cards, licenses, store coupons, or whatever else. And of course your phone.

The CellKeeper’s front pocket is a perfect fit for my big ol’ Treo 650. The handy latch strap holds it securely, but adding a magnetic catch would reduce the occasional fiddling to get it snapped. Without the flap, the Treo could go flying. Of course, you could stuff your Centro in your pocket and appropriate the CellKeeper for your iPod, your headset, your digital camera, or other Essentials of Life. “Portable electronics,” says the company, advisedly. I found the phone pocket, I’ll call it, to be quite roomy for my Treo 680, and very roomy for my Centro. At three ounces – and that’s empty, minus the strap – it might be a little overkill for a Centro, since the device’s main selling points are small size and light weight. Still, a Centro doesn’t hold coins, cash, pens, charge cards, and the other Essentials of Life.

The CellKeeper’s elasticized side panels expand to accommodate most any size cell phone, iPod, Blackberry or smaller digital camera. If you’ve opted for one of the extended batteries for either your Treo or your Centro, this case will handily accommodate the extra back humps that the beefier batteries entail.


Usability

Almost totally surrounded by the case, your treasure stays pretty well protected in the CellKeeper. It’s still susceptible to splashing (or major rain), however, and the larger phones might be a little more at risk of a splash because they fill up the phone pocket. Even so, the protection that the case provides is excellent, although its soft inside surface could stand to be a little softer for my druthers.


Conclusion

The big drawback of all-in-one-place cell phone carrying is that if you lose the case, you’ve lost a great deal more than just your phone. CellKeeper Original is no exception, but at least it offers the over-shoulder and waist-wrapper strap to hold your stuff close to your anatomy. Attractive and functional, and well made of quality materials, this case also comes in at a reasonable price. The Cellkeeper Original is available in black for $29.99 from this link.





Criteria 

Rating

Cost/Benefit 5
Protection 4
Usability 4
Design 4
Overall
(not an average)
Pros
  • Plenty of pockets for charge cards, money, and paraphernalia
  • Securely zippered pocket
  • Good feel and a nice look, complete with silver-plated hardware
  • Stretchy closures accommodate a variety of phone models or other devices
  • Spring-catch key holder
  • Larger Treos fit the pocket perfectly, latched in by the snap
  • Cons
  • Over-shoulder strap needs a better way to attach
  • Key holder is not removable
  • Inside of phone pocket could be softer
  • Snap strap could use a magnet


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