Palm sure has that immediate access thing covered. If you prefer your Treo handy to the max, the luxurious, well crafted Leather Holster will do the trick in style. Its permanent, rotating clip attaches a pliable pouch of soft Nappa leather to your belt. It works fine on waistband or bookbag strap, too.
The products craftsmanship is outstanding - neat black stitching, tight to the edge, and excellent quality materials throughout. The plastic clips a little bulky, however, mounting the pouch well off the attaching surface. It rotates through 360 degrees with strong detents every 30 degrees, so you can put the pouch in any position. I dont recommend using it upside down, lest you tempt the Gravity Gremlins, but itll go there if you insist.
The clip could use some more grip. It depends on mounting over a rather thick strap or belt or the waistband of your pants and a thinner strap doesnt fill it up enough to make it grip. On the other hand, filling it up too far keeps its tip from engaging, and itll be more likely to fall off. Ive had it lose its grip only a couple of times, but Im not sure whether to blame myself for not securing it correctly, or the clip for letting go. Be forewarned.
Its probably possible to break the thick plastic clip, but with the considerable hard use Ive dished out, it hasnt even loosened up. Fitting it over a flexible cloth strap often requires two hands one to pry the clips jaws apart slightly, and the other to slide the clip over. A clever barb on the clips tip decreases the chance itll slide off accidentally, but only if what it attaches to isnt overly thick. In my use, the clip completely surrounds the strap, so the barb works only as a trap.
On a wider strap, Id be concerned about it sliding through the clip (and off, and bounce on unpleasant-to-consider surfaces like concrete). Thankfully, attaching the holster to belt or waistband is a one-hand operation, easy as pudding (pie?).
The bulky, non-removable clip makes the Leather Holster none too desirable for pocket carrying, but in capacious pockets itll work fine. I sometimes slip it into my pockets - if Im in too big a hurry or have my hands full of stuff to carry and no extra appendage to perform the attach-to-strap operation. Its a one-handed breeze to attach it to my favorite camera bags straps, because those are thick, stiff leather. Maybe I should just wear the camera bag all the time, eh?
Palms Leather Holster keeps your Treo at the ready, but you have to remove the phone to do anything with it. Even so, cutouts in the bottom of the holster allow access to the earphone jack. Nice. If your earphones connector doesnt make a right turn, youll be able to remove the phone from the holster without disconnecting.
The holsters flat on the back, a shape suggesting that the Treo should ride facing inward. This is an excellent choice for extra protection of its touch screen. It will work the other way, however at least this is the case with my Treo 650, 700p, and 700w.
With the Treo 680, the fit front to back is a little too loose for my comfort. The 680 doesnt rattle around, though, since the holster fits its width snugly, but theres so much room around it on front and back that theres not enough grip, in my book, to keep it from flying out. Therefore, I dont consider this holster a good choice for the unadorned Treo 680, especially for the extra safety minded - notwithstanding Palms promotional copy otherwise. I particularly would not recommend using the holster upside down with the 680. That gravity thing, you know.
Now the good part. If youre using Seidios 2400 mAh Extended Battery in your Treo 680, as I am (review coming soon to a TreoCentral near you), then the Palm holster fits a little snug, but it does fit. With the bigger-battery hump, its not as easy as it ought to be to retrieve the 680 from the holster, and the insert-remove operation usually as opposed to occasionally with the other Treos wakes the device up. Dont look for this holster to work with other Treos using extra capacity batteries, however. Theyre thicker than the 680, and they fit the holster snugly before you add the battery hump.
The top of the Treo sticks out of Palms leather holster, so it stays totally unprotected. In a drop (ack!), the Treos antenna stays out there, and its bottom corners remain available to take a bump. Ive dropped my Treos, but lucked out and had no damage or scrapes, but dont try this at home. Or anywhere else.
Otherwise, the holster affords quite good protection from flying objects, bumps, and scrapes. Itd be useless in a downpour, even upside down, so plan on covering it with your hand. Or tote a large, heavy umbrella and improve your chances that it wont rain.
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