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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


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 carrier’s 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 didn’t 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 won’t wait more than a few rings any more. It’s a patience thing. Lack of it. Worse, they’ll 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 Experts’ SafeGuard Holster consists of a one-piece back made of flexible, rubber-like material and reinforced with a plastic plate. The thick rubber lining doesn’t have a lot of give, but it bends enough to make the catch on top work without springs and hinges. No moving parts, excellent. It’s not what you’d call "soft," either, but it has a light touch that doesn’t seem abrasive and probably won’t scratch the Treo’s finish.

The king of belt clips takes up a major chunk of the holster’s back. It’s huge, it’s grippy, but it’s too open, and it’s not flexible like the rest of the product. It ends up not actually gripping anything, just surrounding it, and it doesn’t have the locking "barb" that Seidio’s entry sports. I find it comfortable and reliable when lopped over my pants’ waistband.

Then there are the detents. Like SPE’s clip does a 180, not a 360 –you probably don’t want your Treo hanging upside down. It has detents every 15 degrees, but they’re none to strong. In fact, I pronounce them somewhat weak, considering the jostling my Treo gets while I’m 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 Experts’ detents have held their own with me, but I’d much rather they started off stronger, right out of the pale green box.


I’ve previously reviewed Seidio’s Spring Clip Swivel Holster for Treo 700p, 700w|wx, 650, 600 one of the company’s several entries in this field. The Seidio unit occasionally causes the Treo’s SD card to eject – notwithstanding the manufacturer’s claims to the contrary. Fortunately, I have not had that problem with Smartphone Experts’ SafeGuard. Its top catch is much narrower, and offset to the side opposite the Treo’s antenna (except antenna-less models 750 and 680), so the card’s less likely to be touched when removing the phone from the holster, or returning it to the holster’s 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 Experts’ SafeGuard Holster is no exception. Like Seidio’s Spring Clip Swivel model, it protects the Treo’s 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 doesn’t touch anything, and it faces inward, so it’ll be fine.

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