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