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Monaco Flip Type Leather Case for Centro

Wed Jul 9, 2008 - 9:54 AM EDT - By Mike Guccione


When shopping for a flip case, there are several key points to look for – design, usability and durability. If you are a fan of flip-type phone cases, (admittedly I am more of a “naked” phone man myself) the Monaco leather flip should definitely be on your short list.

Design & Usability

Let’s get one thing out of the way right now - if you are searching for a flip-type case you must know that the high level of protection that this type of case can provide does somewhat impede on the usability of your phone while in the case. That being said, Monaco has done an admirable job of combining both worlds for you.

When you take the case out of the packaging, one of the first things that you will notice is how amazingly soft the leather is. No kidding, they really did a nice job with the leather selection. If you like the feel of lambskin coats, you are akin to the feel of this case.

In reading the packaging, I had to laugh. In the product description you’ll see the run-of-the-mill descriptors and specifications touting the quality of the product – “Top Grade Cowhide Leather,” “Reinforced Stitching,” and of course “Genuine Padding.” The last one is what got me, and make no mistake – it’s a darn good thing that they don’t use that fake padding…

When you first slide the Centro into the case, you’ll have to use a bit of force to get it seated correctly. This is a good thing – you don’t want your phone flopping out onto the parking lot when you are loading your groceries into the car. Since the Centro is such a small phone and the buttons are all very close together, Monaco does a fine job making sure that all of them are accessible. Only a few times did the phone unseat itself a bit and the ‘Up’ on the 5 Way button became difficult to use. This was fixed simply with a little push down on the top of the phone.

If you are out and about and get a phone call, I recommend just slipping the phone out of the case. Neglecting to do so leaves you looking a bit like a dog with one freakishly long ear that stands straight up in the air, so much so that my 5-year-old daughter commented on it. With the flip secured, the face of the phone is completely protected. You will not be able to charge the Centro when it is in the case, however, you will still have access to the earphone plug, the infrared port (do we still have one of those?), the volume buttons and the assignable key. And if you really wanted, you could still have your beloved charm lanyard on the end. Gotta have that bling, ya know? Um...yeah, moving on. [Editor's Note: LOL, I do believe that's directed at me Mike! ;-) ]

My only big complaint (but in all fairness, this is my complaint of most cases, not just this one) – if you want to use the camera (which I did a fair amount of while reviewing the Monaco case) you will constantly be taking the phone out of the case and then putting it back in – there is no way to use the camera while the phone is in the case. Also, I am not a huge fan of the white stitching on black leather, but this is merely my opinion. As they say, YMMV.

If I had to pick one area of the design of the Monaco flip case to change, it would have to be that they decided to make the ‘nub’ that secures it onto the belt clip a screw on piece. I’m fairly confident that they did this so that those users (ahem, ladies) that oft not carry the phone on their belts can have a sleeker, more svelte case that fits better in a bag or pocket (...is that a Moncao Flip Case in your pocket?) My big concern is if that if nub comes unscrewed, you may very well be...well, I think you get the idea. The phone will just fall off of your belt and if you don’t feel it do so in the process, I sure hope that you have insurance on your phone. You’ll be needing a new one (and a new case, too.) A periodic check should eliminate the risk, just remember to check from time-to-time.


The Monaco case could not have come at a better time. On the weekend that this case got put into use, I was one seriously busy weekend warrior. To say that I put it through the paces would be an understatement – in one weekend it went through a Carnival (it performed admirably on the Cobra, the Twister and the Swings,) a BBQing, water-ballooning, trampoline-jumping play date and lastly (but certainly not least) a Baseball stadium, crowd-fighting, get-the-players-autographs event to wind down the weekend. I’m here to tell you that not once did the phone come out of the case and not once did the clip come off of my belt. There were occasions that the flip unlatched from the face (it’s held in place by a magnet clasp) but the phone never came out. Now that’s not to say that it could never come out, but under the circumstances (especially with the rides at the carnival) I’d say it performed it’s job well.


Given the torture that I was able to impart on the Monaco flip type leather case, I’d have to say that it really performed well. I don’t normally keep my phone in a case (and this still hasn’t persuaded me to clothe my Centro all of the time) but in the situations where case duty is called for; this is one that I will be putting into service again.

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Design 5
Usability 4
Protection 4
Cost/Benefit 5
(not an average)
  • Provides great protection for the phone
  • Made with high-quality, soft leather
  • Secures tightly in the belt clip
  • Cons
  • Talking with the phone in the case can be cumbersome
  • Magnetic clasp sometimes comes unfastened
  • The clip portion can come unscrewed
  • Cannot use the camera while phone is in the case

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