I've never used a holster before, so it took me a while to understand that the Treo is supposed to face inwards to protect the screen and keyboard. The Smartphone Experts Safe Guard holster and skin case bundle offers an excellent value. For only 5 bucks more than the regular holster, you also get a skin case. Or, another way to look at it is that you get the holster for an additional ten bucks if youre buying a skin case. Either way you arrive at $29.95, an excellent value as long as this particular combination suits.
Let's talk about the Smartphone Experts skin case first. You should know that I reviewed it a little while back and you can read that review here That product received a solid 4 out of five stars. Just so you don't have to zap over to that page, I'll sum up that review.
The skin case is a thin plastic membrane that slips over the unit protecting the case, primarily the back and sides of the unit, from very minor mishaps protecting. Some also like the slightly different grip it affords to the unit. (I do). The skin case does not impede operation at all. It keeps keyboard and screen exposed while snugly and precisely encasing the rest of the unit. I marred the surface of my Treo, near the speaker, and I wish I hadnt. The skin case prevents just this sort of problem.
The skin case comes in translucent frosted, pink, gray and blue. I dont like skin cases on their own, but enjoy them combined with other solutions. I recently took a look at the SPE Side Pouch for a skinned Treo and loved the combo. I should also note that is easy to rip a skin case getting it on or off, especially at the thinner parts. Generally you wont need to take it on or off unless you change the battery. Once on though, these things are difficult to damage.
Here, the Experts are pairing the skin case with a holster. A holster is a very inelegant piece of plastic with a large clip on top and a well to hold the Treo at the bottom. On the back is a large, very very large, well simply the biggest clip I have ever seen. It ratchets 270 degrees, pops open to fit on the belt of the Gawains giant Green Knight. There is also a big plastic clip that slips over the top of your Treo.
Well, the holster modestly protects the unit. The screen faces the slab of hard plastic against your hip. It would be very difficult to damage the screen in this position. You could even take the whole kebang off your belt and lay the thing on the table without worrying about screen damage.
The back of the unit is exposed with the skin case doing all of the protecting, but that seems fine. What is nice about the unit is that you can get to all ports and rocker switches. The bottom well allows access to all ports and the sides are exposed.
If youre going to get a holster anyway, this is a no brainer. For five bucks more you get a skin case. If youre in the other scenario, ready to pull the trigger on a skin case, it is a full ten bucks more to add the holster. Admittedly this combo isnt for everyone. I much prefer a leather case, especially one that can handle a skinned Treo. That said, this is an excellent combo which offers solid protection and very flexible use.