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Prima Vertical Jacket

Thu Jul 17, 2008 - 11:04 AM EDT - By Jay Gross


When the weather is a mess, as it often is, you put on a jacket before braving the elements. Prima Cases has a new one for your Centro. Protect it from flying objects and keep its finish out of harm’s way while leaving the device ready at a moment’s notice to make or take a call. The jacket is a good idea, skillfully executed in Italian leather. Black.

Prima’s low-profile Centro Vertical Jacket attaches to your belt, clothing, or book bag strap with a plastic clip. I’m happy to report that the clip is both rotatable and removable. Moreover, when it’s removed, only a thin button remains, so it’s not too obtrusive in a pocket or purse. The button is permanent, to say the least. It’s embedded and stitched, blazing a trail in immovable. Nice and secure.

The vertical jacket’s back is strong, firm, barely bendable, and padded on the outside with leather. The product, which once came in either red or chocolate, is now sold only in black. My review unit is a little deeper shade of red than my (red!) Centro. The inside padding is covered in a black felt-like material. I’m including pictures provided by the manufacturer, since the red model is no longer available.

On the outside, the neatly stitched leather covering, complete with elastic bands on the sides, offers good protection to the Centro.

Neither TreoCentral nor CentroDepot carries this particular item, but you can get it for $24.95 directly from the company. TreoCentral does carry Prima’s Nicole Miller Buckle Case for Centro, and that one’s a much sweeter looking case, anyway. It’s $29.95, and comes in “grey suede.” A brown model is imminent, too.

The Vertical Jacket, unlike the Nicole Miller case, has no top flap. It remains open to the air. Yet, the Centro is unlikely to fall out, since the bands of elastic on the sides hold it in rather snugly. Indeed, the fit is so snug it can be a little challenging to extract the phone in a hurry – like when the phone’s ringing – while juggling a large decaf and half a blueberry muffin. I tried. Makes me wish for a convent extraction handle like a lanyard or a little nubby antenna like Palm’s original Treos. Okay, antennas are passé.

Usability and protection

While in the vertical jacket, the Centro’s ports and controls stay pretty much inaccessible. You could put it into the case upside down to preserve chargeability and still be able to attach a wired headset – I’m sure I just heard someone muttering “Bluetooth” – but the screen, buttons, and controls remain out of reach till you remove the phone from the case’s clutches. There’s a benefit to the cover, however, and that’s the potential for resistance to a light rain. No way on a dunk or even a major splash, but a quick run through an errant lawn sprinkler might be okay.

As for a drop (You’re on your own for all drop testing), the backing plate should take the brunt of most endwise or flat-on-back falls. Unfortunately, that’s not the only way the Centro could hit the ground, and you know what’s said about the jelly side of hurtling toast. I’ll spare you the gory details and simply proclaim that dropping your Centro is unwise, jacket or not.


Attached to your person (or not) by a removable clip that rotates, the Prima Cases Vertical Jacket for Centro surrounds your treasure with soft, neatly stitched leather. The product has a luxurious feel, excellent workmanship, and great looks, besides offering good protection from knocks and flying objects.

Treo accessory store



Design 4
Usability 4
Protection 4
Cost/Benefit 4
(not an average)
  • Quality workmanship and materials
  • Soft felt lining
  • Removable, rotating belt clip
  • Cons
  • Needs a scooped shape on sides to add grip when removing Centro from jacket
  • Belt clip needs longer grip for better leverage.

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