Next, Protect the Treo’s Body and Impact-Proof the Touchscreen

Shopping for a case for your new Treo is not easy. Doing it online, where you can’t touch them all and slip your Treo 650 in them for a “test fitting” is annoying.

I’ve been through SEVERAL cases before finding my own Treo case nirvana. Before I tell you what I like best, let me tell you a little about some of the other options I’ve tried.

I can tell you to not use the soft leather case with the clear plastic that covers your keys. First of all, it’s annoying to type on the thumboard with that thing on — and it makes you miss keys. Second, it’s not really protecting anything. And, for those who are interested in aesthetics, it’s what my teenage son would call “butt ugly.”

The side-sliding models are a bit better, from a looks standpoint, and they don’t interfere with your use of the keyboard because the Treo has to come completely out of the holster before you can use it. That’s what bothers me about it. I used that for awhile with my Treo 600, and I found that the little thing was completely unprotected when it needed protection the most — when I was using it. It was a hassle to get it in and out of the slide case and I’d have calls go to voicemail by the time I could stop, dig in my purse, pull out the Treo, unsnap the strap, pull out the phone and view the screen to see who was calling. It had a simple covered metal clip on the side that made me nervous. I was afraid I’d lose it from my belt, so I kept it in a purse.

There are silicone rubber cases available. I’m sure these help with the dash-board sliding problem, if you toss your Treo up there. Personally, I don’t. And besides, I just couldn’t bear to wiggle what I considered to be a condom on my smartphone. Maybe you feel differently, but that stuff (based on observations with similar silicone products) tends to have a sticky feel and attracts dirt. Sherbet colors or not, I’ll pass.

Although I’ve not tried the hard metal cases, I’ve shopped for them a lot. Every model I’ve seen leaves me with the impression that I’d have a hard time accessing my Treo quickly. And quick access is essential for me. I like the idea of rubberized shock-absorbing material between my Treo and a rough tumble, but I don’t want to have to open it up and figure out what to do with the hinged metal flap while I use it. It just seems to me that those cases take a great, slender product that’s easy to use and is the optimum size, and they bulk it up and make it less convenient. Again, I’ll pass.

When I got my Treos (both of them) I salivated fairly profusely over the Vaja cases VajaCases.com, but the $100+ model, although beautiful, leaves the screen open and vulnerable. They did have another model with a flip front to protect the screen, but that particular model was even more. At that point the cost of the case was nearly half as much as the Treo (especially if you get the personalization options including monagram and custom color combinations and the belt clip thingee). But, my GOODNESS they look really nice!

After much searching (mostly soul searching and staring with bloodshot eyes at my budget), I decided to try the Piel Frama Case leather case. It’s handcrafted and feels simply divine. I researched them on the web and then found a new one on ebay.com for a few dollars less than retail.

Presentation on the Piel Frama model is really nice, nice box, tissue paper, etc. It exudes quality. It flips over and covers the whole front of the Treo, keeping my screen AND keyboard safe from scratches and marks. The magnetic closure makes it much quicker to open to use than the snap-type ever could. It’s open on the bottom for hooking to a Hotsync cable and/or charger. and all the buttons are easily accessible. It keeps the camera eye protected, but it’s hinged enough that a slight downward tug in the back gives you quick access to use the camera without slipping it out of the case or “inching it up” like many cases of this type require.

The flap on the front and the panel on the back are stiffened leather and keeps the Treo protected from scratches, wear and tear and keeps it from slipping from your hand while in use.

The downside is that the “credit card pocket” described in the product literature won’t hold a credit card. Mine is just slightly too small to fit one in. This also means I can’t carry an extra business card there. And here I was trying to eliminate a purse altogether! Drat!

The case has a mesh cutout for the speaker, so that’s not muffled. It has a button (which is removable with the special tool included with the case) for using a solid belt clip (also included).

Mine is quite “broken in” now and I like it more today than I did the day I unwrapped it.

A word of caution: although this case (and several other leather models) have a place to slip a couple expansion cards, I’d advise against it. The SD cards are great, and they are tiny enough to slip in anywhere, but they won’t take much flexing and a hard case is a much better option if you must carry extra cards.

With all that said, I highly recommend the Piel Frama Case. I feel strongly enough about it that I wrote a glowing feedback about this product on Amazon this week. [PLEASE NOTE COMMENT BELOW ADDED LATER].

Although I’ve not used the Covertec Case for the Treo, I did purchase on for my son’s Tungsten C. The model he has is quite nice and is comparable to the Piel Frama Case, IMHO. Again, I’ve not used or tried this on the Treo 600 or the Treo 650, but it may be something you want to investigate.

Note: (August 2005)

One warning on the Piel Frama case – if you are a heavy user, you
should check the “fit” on the Treo as leather will naturally “give” and
“stretch.”

Having learned the hard way that sometimes a broken-in case allows some
play — which may result in an unexpected spill from your case onto the
floor or pavement — I’m now looking into another model with a snap
closure at the top to keep my Treo IN the case, even with natural
stretching.

Perhaps my problem is unique, but if you have this case, or you buy the
Piel Frama — be sure to check the fit on a regular basis and replace
the case if the fit becomes loose.

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