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Helix Holster II for Treo 755p, 750, 680

Thu Dec 13, 2007 - 10:36 AM EST - By Jay Gross


A holster keeps your Treo ready at the flick of a finger while offering minimalist protection, exactly none for the outside finish on the phone’s back. For many people, the tradeoff is fine. This new entry from Helix, their Holster II for Treo 755p, 750, and 680, does the same old thing you’d expect in holsterville, but it adds a couple of new wrinkles.

The Holster II is made of some manmade “high impact plastic” material that the company calls Sheer Strength Technology. Sounds like marketing hype, frankly, but the material does feel substantial. It has just a little bit of give to it, so it flexes slightly where it needs to. The nice part is its one-piece construction. There’s no spring to hold the latch, as latching the Treo into place depends on the flexiblity of the Sheer Strength Technology. This plan works admirably. The result is no worry at all about the spring loosening up – there’s no spring!

The replacement worry, of course, is breakage. Fortunately, many plastics, and particularly fiberglass composites, don’t have the same “fatigue” problems that metals exhibit, so the latch won’t break from repeated flexure. Like everything else, including granite, it will break. However, I haven’t been able to even crack it with my mean old fingers. If I set out to break it, I probably could, but I pronounce it functional in “normal” use. There’s no such thing as “unbreakable.”

Another nice thing about the Helix’s one-piece construction is that the button for the product’s two interchangeable clips is also cast in stone – or in whatever Sheer Strength Technology actually is. Integral to the back of the holster, it fits tight and flush to the back panel. That makes the Holster II ride close to your clothing, belt loop, or book bag strap. Engineering types can work out the resulting reduction in fling-off-ability, but common sense tells the non-mathematical among us it’s a help. I like the fact that the holster fits close, too. Comfy.


Like other holsters, Helix’s Holster II leaves most everything on the Treo accessible while the phone is in its care. Sadly, that also means that everything is accessible to dust, dirt, and flying objects - but such is life in the holster realm. With my (crimson!) Treo 680 in the holster’s clutches, I can still charge and HotSync on my Seidio case-accommodating cradle. Sure, it takes nearly no time to snatch the Treo out of the holster, but I do like being able to recharge with the holster still on it.

The Treo fits into the holster facing inward, offering considerable protection for the screen. Oddly, the holster’s back plate has a cutout for the keyboard. I can’t see how this would be of any use, since you wouldn’t be able to see what you’re typing, so maybe it’s a weight control thing, instead of an accessibility thing. The side rails prevent opening the 680’s SD card access door, but that’s really not much of an issue, since it’s nearly instantaneous to remove the Treo from the holster.

The side buttons remain usable, too. If you configure the side button to operate the camera, you can take pictures. Big deal. Nothing else receives any protection, unless you count the sliver of Treo real estate that lands under the clasp.

The whole holster bears a felt-like coating that Helix calls “Soft Touch.” More marketing hype. I could wish for it to be a little softer, particularly where the holster contacts the Treo, like at the edges of the clasp. When new, it’s probably fine, but with much wear and tear there’s no such thing as a “coating” that doesn’t wear thin. Or off.

Belt Clips

Thoughtfully, Helix includes two clips with the Holster II. One is an open-ended over-the-waistband (or whatever) slide type clip that rotates a full 360 degrees with detents every 90 degrees. The detents make it easy to use the holster vertically or horizontally, upside down or not. This clip simply slips over the button built into the holster, becoming trapped there by a spring mechanism internal to the clip itself. Push the release lever to make it let go.

The other included clip is much larger, billed as the “alligator” type. I suppose that moniker alludes to the clip’s big mouth with a strong grip. Indeed, alligators I’ve seen would be proud. I like this one because it does not easily let go, like its namesake the alligator. It attaches to the holster with a serious mechanism, too. This one is not spring loaded. You’ll have to un-alligator the whole shebang to move it, though you can simply slip the Treo out of the holster to answer the phone.

After you open its jaw with a flat-bladed screwdriver, slip the clip over the button and close its jaw, and it’s not going anywhere without your approval. You don’t need the screwdriver to close it, but once it snaps shut it stays closed till you drag out the screwdriver (or whatever else) to remove it.

Clips can be broken, and these are probably no exception. Yet, the Gremlins in Charge of Breaking Things might at least work up a sweat.


With two clips and slim, one-piece construction, the soft-coated Helix Holster II keeps your Treo 680, 750, or 755p facing away from danger, and readily retrievable at a moment’s notice.

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Design 4
Usability 3
Protection 3
Cost/Benefit 4
(not an average)
  • Thin, light weight, and simple
  • Clip attachment button molded into holster back
  • Non-skid, non abrasive coating throughout
  • Two included clips with detents
  • Treo stays quickly usable, and is chargeable while in holster
  • Cons
  • SD card slot inaccessible
  • No protection for back of Treo while in the holster
  • Inside of top latch should be softer

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