I have been fortunate enough to have been given the opportunity to test drive two of RhinoSkin’s new cases: the Treo 700 leather case and the Treo 700 aluminum hard case.
Both cases provide good protection for your smartphone in an attractive and affordable package.
RhinoSkin Leather Case
The cardboard insert in the RhinoSkin leather case package states that it has been designed for the Treo 700w, but don’t let that fool you. My Treo 700p fit snuggly in the case without any trouble.
As with previous cases from this company, the newest leather case has cutouts that provide easy access to all the ports and buttons on the Treo 700p, including the camera, HotSync connector and the volume controls.
When you open the case, the front cover flips down to expose two SD card and three credit card holders. I found it easy to insert and remove SD, credit and business cards into and out of the two types of cardholders. One nice touch of the leather case is that the SD card slots have small notches in the leather pocket that easily allows you to pop the card out.
On the front of the case there are cutouts for the speaker and status LED. Along the left side of the leather case there is an opening that allows you access to the Voice Recorder and volume control buttons. On the bottom you will find a cutout for the HotSync connector and 2.5 mm headset port.
If you are going to be using a cradle with your Treo, you will have to remove it from the case before inserting it. If you are sticking with the Palm provided HotSync cable, you will be able to leave the Treo in the case.
On the back of the RhinoSkin leather case are the cut outs for the Treo’s digital camera and the speakerphone speaker. Centered in the back of the case is the re-enforced screw in post hole for attaching the case to a standard belt clip.
There are two things that I wish RhinoSkin had done differently on the leather case.
First of all, the leather flap that protects the face of the Treo is slightly larger than the rest of the case. While I can appreciate that the front flap is larger to provide extra protection for the Treo’s screen, the case becomes awkward to hold when the flap is folded back. When using the leather case, I found myself using my Bluetooth headset more often because I didn’t want to risk dropping the Treo when I was taking a call.
The other thing that I found a little bit troublesome was the width of the fastening strap that comes over the top of the Treo, blocking access to the silencer switch on the top edge of the phone.
RhinoSkin Aluminum Hard Case
The second case that I received from RhinoSkin was the new Treo 700 series aluminum hard case. The new hard case looks very similar to the previous Treo 650 and Treo 600 hard cases.
The aluminum hard case has a nice large cut-out for the 5-way navigation pad and hardware buttons on the front of the device. There is also an opening along the left side of the case for the volume control and voice recorder buttons. Both the left side and front button cutouts are roomy enough to allow me to get my big thumbs in the holes and get at the buttons.
On the bottom of the case is the opening for the 2.5 mm headset port and the HotSync cable bundled with the Treo. Again, if you are using a cradle, you will need to remove the smartphone from the case before seating it in the cradle.
On the back of the case there are openings for the speakerphone speaker, the stylus, and the digital camera. About a third of the way down the back of the case is the post screw hole for attaching the hard case to a standard belt clip.
In terms of protection, this case is strong. I spent several minutes pressing on and trying to squeeze the case (without the Treo in it) to see if there where any weak spots. I wasn’t able to find any.
I really like are the rubberized grips along the sides. They do a very good job of giving you something to grasp when holding the phone up to your head when you are taking a call. Without them, the risk of dropping your Treo would definitely go up.
The top of the RhinoSkin hard case also gives you complete and total access to the controls on the top of the device. Unlike the leather case there is nothing to get in your way when you reach down to toggle the silencer switch or when you need to remove or insert an expansion card.
The only thing that found a little bit bothersome with this accessory was the squeaky hinge along the right side of the case. After a trip to the local hardware store for a small can of oil, that problem was resolved.
Both of RhinoSkin’s new Treo 700-series cases provide great protection for your smartphone in an attractive package.
The leather case comes in five colors (red, pink, black, tan and white). The aluminum hard case comes in an attractive silver or pink. Both cases also come with removable posts for use with the included belt clips.
The RhinoSkin leather and aluminum hard case are available now for $34.95 and can be purchased directly from RhinoSkin on its online store or your local Palm retailer.