The Sena Magnet Flipper case will be the second of its type Ive tested in a week. The first was the Monaco flip lid case which I loved. After that, it is likely that nothing else will live up to my expectations. The Sena case has a few tricks of its own to differentiate itself and make an argument for purchase.
Like all of the Sena cases, the stitching is of the same hue as the case itself. Even the mesh covering the rear speaker matches the color of the case. The review unit, a lovely brown, looks great on your belt or on the desk. The case comes in shades of black, tan and red with or without clip for the same price.
The Sena case, unlike most flip lid cases, flips open at the bottom. This creates an old fashioned flip phone style device. The leather is not designed to be folded back on itself. Id strongly suggest you dont even try it because it may compromise the magnetic closure on the front. The lid flips up to the top and is held in place only by two magnets. I reviewed a version of the case for the 650 and found that with regular use the magnets were not strong enough under all circumstances.
The Sena clip case I'm reviewing has a non-removable rivet on the back. It is bolted to the case like an anchor and wont snap off or come loose. Also on the back are cut-outs for the camera/mirror combo and the aforementioned mesh grill covering the speaker. The Sena case comes with a free carry bag.
The Treo slides down into the case, and like the Sena skin cases Ive reviewed, this is a very, very snug fit. A flap loops over the back and snaps firmly to hold the Treo in place. With the flip lid open, the screen, keyboard speaker and status light are exposed. When closed, you only have access to the ringer switch and side buttons. Like its skin case cousin there is a cross bar of leather between the up and down of the rocker, but not between the rocker and the side select button, a design decision I find odd.
The Sena Case sports a credit card slot and two spots for SD or miniSD cards. In practice, these features, to be blunt, are useless. Read on.
The two SD/MiniSD card holders are a great feature of the case, until you try to use them. Because the card slot has migrated to the side of the 680/750, the slot is covered while the Treo is encased. The Sena is such a snug fit that is very difficult to pry the Treo completely out of the case to change cards. Changing cards, or pressing the reset switch is not something I would want to do on a regular basis. It is nice to have the Treo securely in a case, it is another thing to create a situation where it is potentially dangerous to the case (by being stretched out of shape) or Treo (by being dropped) because such force is necessary for extraction. If youll never need access to the card slot and rarely need to reset, then this problem won't be a burden for you.
I also found that using an SD card in that space created an unsightly bulge on the front of the case. The miniSD card did not have that issue.
The credit card holder is a holder only in theory. It is too tight to fit a regular sized card without a lot of pushing and twisting. Right now I have a phone card to call abroad and it is thinner than a credit card. If you need a case that doubles as a credit card holder, there are some great choices out there. This isnt one of them.
To continue on my rampage-rant, the magnetic flipper really annoys me. Clipped to my belt, I can brush against something and it will flop down. Not only are the magnets not secure enough, having the flip face down creates a situation where accidental disengagement is aided by mother nature's gravitational pull.
Finally, when charging the Treo, the Sena has to be flipped open, taking up valuable desk space and creating an environment conducive to accidental tugging and falling. It's just another in the long list of problems with this case.
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