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PDA Case Reviews: Cases for the Samsung i700 Pocket PC Phone Edition: Piel Frama, E&B Cases and Covertec

Piel Frama Crocodile Leather Case

Piel Frama makes some of my favorite cases, and the i700 case in cowskin and crocodile is no exception. It's elegant, functional and protective. The crocodile finish really adds a touch of class and makes the case stand apart from more basic leather models.

The case has rigid inserts in the flap and back panel to increase protection, and supple leather wraps around the sides and bottom of the i700. The upper left side has openings for the SD card slot, and another for the volume up/down, record button, headset jack and camera knob. The right side leather covers the unit while providing access to the power and backlight buttons. There's a cut out for the stylus and another for the sync port. You can sync and charge via cable but not cradle when the unit is in the case. The squared-off antenna cut out could be a tad deeper: I had to pull up on the cover when opening the case to ensure that it cleared the antenna.

One thing I really like about the Piel Frama case is that the front face is completely open so the case doesn't get in the way of using the unit. The leather wraps around the front edge just enough to hold the i700 snuggly without interfering with the 4 application buttons. It does not block the mic port, and the top leather band stops well before the speaker and camera assembly.

The case uses a single magnetic closure on a leather tongue which is silent (no velcro screech) and secure. It self-locates well yet is easy to open. The inside cover has two SD card slots and three business/credit card slots. There's a large square cut out with a mesh cover for the rear speaker and a sturdy belt clip and metal clip mount. There is no reset hole so you'll have to slip the i700 out of the case to do a soft reset.

If you're looking for a touch of class and unique good looks in a well-made, protective case, do consider the Piel Frama. If you prefer leather, check out their leather cases, and if Ostrich is your thing, they offer that too! And if you're a gamer, you love the unhindered front button access.

www.pielframa.com ~ $110 US


Piel Frama case
Piel Frama Samsung i700 case

Piel Frama i700 case

Covertec Case

I love Covertec cases for their clean design and good looks. Their i700 case has the traditional Covertec look and design, with simple, elegant lines, a very classy looking contrasting inner lining and open access to the upper half of the PDA. Covertec cases have a pouch or "diaper" into which you'll slide the PDA. Thus it's held securely at the bottom and remains open at the top.

This reasonably priced case is available in black, red or brown leather with contrasting white stitching. It uses a magnetic loop closure that's secure and easy to operate. The front cover and back panel have a rigid insert for added protection and the front cover has a bit of padding. The side leather, which is attached to the back panel via elastic, is thicker than the Piel Frama and E&B case though it doesn't add significant bulk.

That thicker leather combined with a wrap-around design that comes very close to the front application buttons means that the buttons are a bit hard to press unfortunately. The leather sticks up above the buttons and is close to them, so you'll need to work harder to press the calendar and contacts buttons. Not a big problem unless you're a gamer. The leather also covers the front mic, though no one complained that I sounded muffled when using this case.

The case has an attractive and ergonomic curved cutout for the antenna. The front flap never gets hung up on the antenna when opening and closing the case, yet the leather extends far enough to protect the unit well. Inside the flip cover there are two SD card slots and two credit card/business card slots. It uses Covertec's "Wips System" belt clip which is very strong, yet can be totally removed (no metal post sticking out and poking you when in your pocket).

If you're looking for a well made leather case that has a clean design at a very reasonable price, do check out Covertec.

www.covertec.com $39.95 US

 

Covertec leather case

Covertec case

Covertec i700 case

 

E&B Company Slipper i700 Case

The E&B Slipper i700 case works with both the standard and extended batteries. You might think that the case would be tight with the extended battery or too loose with the standard battery, but somehow E&B has made the side leather so supple and designed the case so well that it works well with either battery installed. Though the Slipper i700 is the most basic looking case in this roundup, it's become my favorite thanks its versatile and ergonomic design. It's available in black, brown and burgundy.

Since the i700 isn't just a PDA but a phone as well, you need a case that can open quickly and easily to take incoming calls, and close just as easily so you can pay attention to more important things, such as the road if you're driving. The Slipper case, like E&B's other slipper designs, uses no wrap around leather tongue, no snaps or clips. Instead, there are magnets under the cover's edge that mate with magnets under the leather that surrounds the front of the PDA. This makes it ever so quick and easy to open and close the case. Perfect for a device that doubles as a phone!

As with our other cases, the front cover and rear panel have rigid inserts for protection, and there's a bit of padding on the front cover. The bottom edge of the front cover has a pleasing curve, and the leather attaching the front cover to the case is very soft, making the case easy to open and close. You'll find two deep slots inside the cover suitable for business and SD cards (credit cards might not be a good idea due to the magnets). There's a larger slot where you can store cash or other papers.

The i700 is well encased in leather, and it's sides are completely covered with cut outs for all buttons and ports. The cut outs are no larger than necessary, so this makes a great case if you want maximum protection from scratches and dirt. The sync connector cut out allows you to sync via cable but not cradle while the unit is in the case. The rear speaker is easy to hear thanks to the circle of small holes (see photo, right), though the Piel Frama case wins with it's thin fabric mesh grill. The leather surround covers the front edges of the i700, but doesn't obscure the application buttons too much thanks to the beveled leather design which gets thinner close to the buttons. There's a small cut out for the front mic.

If you're looking for a single case that can accommodate the i700 with either the standard or extended battery, the E&B Slipper i700 is your top choice. It's by far the fastest and easiest to open, which is important for a phone case.

www.ebcases.com $44.95, $47.95 US with belt clip

 

 

E&B Case for Samsung i700
E&B case

 

E&B case

 

 

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