The Centros biggest advantage over the Treo is its smallness. It fits elegantly in the users front pocket. But not everyone wants their phone tucked away. Digging for it can be a pain, especially when sitting down. Belt clips arent the most fashionable way to wear a smartphone, but theyre still the best way to answer incoming calls at a moments notice.
Most of the clips available for Treos, and especially Centros, are molded precisely to fit the phones contours, leaving no room for a case or skin. Cases often come with belt clips, but the clips cant be used by themselves.
The Seidio Spring Clip Holster for Skinned Palm Centros is designed to accommodate the extra thickness of a typical case. Depending on how you orient it, you can even use the holster without a case. Lets take a closer look.
Design and Usability
As with all Seidio cases, this holster is solidly built. The polycarbonate shell is 2mm thick on average, and less brittle than many budget holsters out there. At nearly $30, its not cheap, but single-digit alternatives typically feel as cheap as they are.
The spring loaded clip secures the Centro from the top. The inner side of the clip contains a 2mm wide rubber strip for additional traction where the clip makes contact with the Centros skin. Theres no play in the fit, and no rattling when you shake the clip with the Centro mounted. It looks and feels completely secure. The clip should be lifted manually before inserting the Centro. Pushing the phone in for the clip to lift on its own is possible, but avoid doing this, since it scuffs the skin.
The rear has a locking swivel belt clip that settles into seven rotating angles over 180 degreesnot 360 degrees as described by some resellers. Ive never understood why many swivel clips are designed to rotate beyond 90 degrees in either direction, so Seidios clip seems more logical.
The back plates inner surface is lined with velvet to protect it from rubbing against the screen. Unlike the case I used for testing, the rubber skin that Seidio intends the holster to be used with has no screen protector, so they make a good match.
Lately Ive received more than a couple of accessories for review that, despite their for Palm Centro billing, turned out to be little more than repurposed Treo products that their companies assume would work equally well for the Centro. Several Centro cases that were candidates for review had way too much slack in them, but just happened to fit the Treo 650 or 755p perfectly. Fortunately, thats not the case (no pun intended) here. This holster is obviously molded for the Centro.
By design, its supposed to work exclusively with a skinned Centro. Ideally, you have one of Seidios separately sold rubberized cases. In some places, the holster is listed as Skinned for Palm Centro instead of for Skinned Palm Centro, making it possible for someone to inadvertently order it without realizing that a skin (case) is required. Ill discuss that requirement shortly, but in the meantime, if you dont have Seidios case or an equivalent, the company is now selling the case/holster combo.
I was one of those someones who ordered the holster without realizing the need for the case (yeah, Im just that smart). Fortunately, this wasnt a problem for two reasons.
First, I had my terrific Body Glove Scuba Case (reviewed here). Despite being slightly thicker than the Seidio skin, the clip fits perfectly.
More importantly, the holster also works without the skin. Seidio will tell you differently: Note: This holster is ONLY for Skinned Centro (one with a case on), warns the companys website. I therefore submit Exhibit A as photographic evidence to the contrary.
There is one caveat: the holster was designed for mounting the Centro faced inward. The bottom has an audio jack cutout on the right side only. Since the Centros jack is on the left side, you wont be able to use it if the phone is face-out. The holster will only accommodate the Centro in two mutually exclusive ways: with skin, face-in; without skin, face-out.
Thats a little disappointing, since I much prefer an outward facing orientation with or without a case. Sure, its easier to bump the screen against whatever happens to be at waist level, but many grown-ups are known to watch where theyre going. Its way more convenient to look down at the screen to identify an incoming call before deciding to answer it when the phone is faced out. Despite Seidios one-hand operation usage description, my fingers got in the way when trying to pull the phone out just enough to view the screen, so I wound up using two hands each time the phone rang. Those who dont need to screen their calls first can lift the clip with the bottom of their palms while pulling the phone outward with their fingers, so one-hand operation is actually possible.
Since switching from the 755p to the Centro, Ive usually avoided wearing my phone on my belt, but the Seidio Spring Clip Holster reminded me how much convenience Ive been missing out on. I only wish it had an additional audio jack cutout so that the Centro could be faced inward or outward with no loss in audio functionality. Since Seidio specifically designed the holster for use with a skin, its not really the companys fault that it doesnt work both ways. Seidio accomplished exactly what they set out to do, and is an ideal holster for its intended purpose.
Velvet lining protects screen and keyboard
Cutout for audio jack
Accommodates outward facing Centro without skin
|Does not accommodate outward facing Centro with skin
Audio jack only accessible when Centro faces inward