I recently had the opportunity to take two of Fortte’s new Treo 700p cases out for a test drive. Both cases are stylish and functional. Both leather cases look great and feel even better when you are holding them in your hand and they aim to please. The only question I had after reviewing them was which case to purchase for myself.
Fortte Treo 700p Open Face Case with Swivel Clip
The first case that I tested out was the new Treo 700p Open Face Case with Swivel Clip. While this style of case has been offered before by Fortte for other Treos, this particular version has been resized to fit the contours of the new Treo 700p.
The open face case offers this smartphone protection while at the same time staying out of your way — unlike cases that have a plastic screen that covers the display and keyboard. When designing this case, it becomes obvious that the designers wanted to make a great looking case that is equally functional. As the name implies, there is nothing blocking the Treo screen, hardware buttons, or keyboard. (You’ll still want to use the keyguard feature with this case to avoid accidentally turning on the phone and dialing a phone number.) All of the buttons are exposed and easily accessible. Fortte has embedded a metal bar that helps protect the Treo’s crystal clear screen. Having used previous Treo smartphones, I think that the 700p’s display is the best one yet, and it is good to know that there is that little extra insurance guarding it.
Fortte also makes sure that you have access to all of the Treo’s buttons, ports, and camera so that nothing is obstructed by the case. That means you will be able to charge and HotSync the Treo using the supplied HotSync and charging cable without having to remove the device from the case. (You will have to remove it if you use a cradle, though.) The volume buttons, IR window, speakers (front and back) and ringer switch are all accessible while the case is on the Treo. I really like this attention to detail.
Inside, the case is lined with a felt-like material which helps keep the sides and back of this smartphone from getting scratched or otherwise worn while in the case. The device itself and the memory card slot are held in place by a half width, over-the-top strap with a magnetic locking snap. The stitching holding the case together is sturdy and seems like it will hold up well over the life of the Treo.
While I do like the design and craftsmanship of this case, there are two things that bother me. The first is how snug the case is. While the Treo slides into and out of the case easily enough, I had to really push down on the top of the Treo to get the flap to cross over the top and secure it with the magnetic snap. This smartphone is an expensive piece of equipment, and I don’t like having to really mash it down into the case to get the case to close properly. Secondly, I’m not a big fan of these swivel style cases. You know the ones that I’m talking about; the ones where the belt clip clips on to a metal or plastic peg and then you clip the case on to your belt. While the belt clip held the Treo firm and secure on my belt, the case freely spun around on the metal stud that connects the case to the belt clip. More often than not, when I reached down to unclip my Treo, I noticed that the Treo was upside down so that then antenna was pointing at the ground. I found this really aggravating. One, because I had to spin the phone around while I was pulling it off my belt, and, two, because if I somehow managed to pop open the case, the Treo will go crashing into the floor head first. If you decide to get this case, you might want to use a third party belt clip that provides a little bit more support or simply order the version without the belt clip.
The Fortte Treo 700p Open Face Case sells for $32.99.
Fortte Treo 700p STiL Vertical Pouch
The second Treo 700p case that I was able to try out is the new StiL Vertical Pouch. Of the two review units I tested, I like this one the best. This is a smart looking case that provides more coverage than the open face case does. When the Treo is in this case, the only things that are fully exposed are the speaker on the back, the ringer switch, and the antenna.
Unlike the open face case, this case has a fixed belt clip and non-magnetic snap. The fixed belt clip is nice feature because of the leather covered metal strip that is bent in such as was as to hug the belt to reduce the chances that the case will pop off if it gets knocked by an chair arm rest or while you are getting in and of the car for example. From looking at pictures of this case, you might get the impression that the strap holding the Treo in the case is flimsy, but it’s not. The snap connects securely and there isn’t the need to mash the Treo into the case to get the strap to come over the top and snap securely on the front of the case.
As with the swivel case, the vertical loading pouch is lined with a felt-like material that keeps the Treo from getting scratched up. This is good news especially if you aren’t one of those folks who use screen protectors on your smartphone. However, even after about two weeks of use, the Treo still felt snug in the case which required that I grab hold of it from the sides and try to pull it out from the case. While I didn’t drop my Treo, there were two near misses. I finally learned to push the Treo up first from the openings at the bottom of the case before trying to just pull the Treo out of the case.
Another thing that I didn’t like about the vertical case is that when pulling the Treo out, I usually ended up grabbing it by the up volume button. This usually resulting in louder than expected ringer settings when a call was received.
One difference that I did like over the open face case is that I felt comfortable wearing this case on my belt or carrying it in my hands because the vertical case adds less bulk to the Treo in general. For the corporate executive or business professional who is searching for a smart looking case that makes your Treo look like the important business tool it is, the choice is clear, the STiL vertical leather pouch is the way to go.
It sells for $32.99.
All Fortte’s cases are functional and attractive. When ordering from the Fortte online store, you are able to choose how you wish to personalize your case by choosing from the many colors options (solids and two tones) and one of the three belt clip options (fixed clip, swivel clip, and none). These cases can be had at reasonable prices and their style alone speaks towards their high quality.