I’m a big fan of Smartphone Experts’ cases. I’ve always found them to be well made, stylish, and reasonably priced. While Smartphone Experts offers a standard side pouch to fit the AT&T Fuze/HTC Touch Pro they also offer the Smartphone Experts P7 pouch ($19.95). While similar to the standard side pouch, the P7 does stand out a bit. To see how and if the P7 falls in line with SPE’s reputation for delivering quality cases, read on after the break.
Out of the Box
Modestly packaged in black bock, the P7 comes wrapped in a black, cloth bag. The first aspect of the case that jumps out at you when you first remove the case from the packaging is the sharp contrast between the black exterior leather and the white interior leather. I’m not too sure about the color contrast but it definitely gives the P7 a distinctive look.
Stitching is solid throughout the case with no loose or frayed stitching noticeable. The phone is held in place by a large flap that is held nicely in a recessed area by magnets. The P7 has a slightly wider, firm belt clip that is leather wrapped and holds the case securely to your belt. The wider clip is a welcomed sight and reduces the amount of waggle on the belt a narrower clip may have.
The AT&T Fuze fit nicely in the case with just enough wiggle room to accommodate headphones. Removing and placing the phone in the case was uneventful in that the bottom cut-out in the case is large enough to press up on the phone but not too large. One concern about the bottom cut-out is that it may expose the PTT button too much. I generally carry my phone facing inwards and if I position the Fuze with the volume and PTT keys down, the PTT is exposed in the cut-out. With the Fuze in “sleep” mode, the PTT can be pushed all day long but should you accidentally wake up the Fuze while in the case this may be an issue.
The case rode well on my hip, not protruding too far from the belt and actually had a low-profile feel to it. I didn’t experience any problems with the case snagging on corners, seat belt or chair arms and not once did I feel the case was about to pop off the belt. In using the P7 for a few days, I couldn’t help but compare it to the standard side pouch that Smartphone Experts offers. General construct was similar with the standard pouch using “stretchy fabric” on the side seams of the case. The flap on the P7 fit into a recess where the standard case lacked the recess. Both flaps were large and held the phone in place nicely but the recess seemed to add a little to the secure hold of the flap.
The standard pouch uses a felt-like cloth liner where the P7 has a leather liner. The leather is somewhat rigid (as is the case with most new leather cases) and I’m not sure if a softer lining would be better. There was still something that felt different about the P7 that I couldn’t quit put my finger on. While I was comparing the liners, the light bulb went off. Where the standard pouch has thin padding between the liner and leather exterior, the P7 has no padding whatsoever. The lack of padding does give the P7 a sleeker feel to it but also minimizes any protection it may offer from bumps and bruises.
I liked the Smartphone Experts P7 ($19.95) and would recommend this case to someone looking for a bare-boned, stylish leather case for their phone. The sharp contrast between the white and black leather takes a little getting used to but it eventually grows on you. I would have preferred to have seen SPE use a dark suede liner but the interior leather is soft enough that it shouldn’t wear against the phone. The lack of padding is a slight concern and if you live a more rugged or active lifestyle where dropping your phone is a more likely occurrence, you may want to consider the standard side pouch ($24.95).
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