The Case-Mate The Hipster for iPhone 3G is available and can be purchased in the iMore Store for $34.95. If you are looking for a leather hip-case for your iPhone, this might just be it! Let’s see how it measures up after the break!
The Case-Mate Hipster is constructed of hard plastic both on the back of the case and the molded over the front. The case is fitted with leather all around it, including the back and belt clip. The inside of the case has a soft, felt-like material. This is a nice touch knowing your iPhone 3G won't receive any nasty scratches from within the case. The cover is held in place by a magnetic button.
You also receive (as a bonus) a cleaning cloth and screen protector as part of your purchase (both are included from Case-Mate). This is a first, and a nice welcome; I have reviewed other Case-Mate purchases, and this is a first to have these included in the box.
My current daily-driver case is a soft leather case with a similar design, but without the plastic reinforcement. Needless to say, I was excited to look at what I would call an "upgrade" to what I currently used. So, the first time I tried to place my iPhone in the hipster, I was dumbfounded... it wouldn't fit! I said to myself, "This can't be right."
So with extra attention, I realized that this essentially a plastic form-fitted case with felt on the inside and leather on the outside; the iPhone was a very tight squeeze to fit. This initially made me apprehensive. However, I began to realize that there would be no harm done to my iPhone and that the "tight" nature of the case meant that the iPhone 3G was not going to easily fall out.
The latch made me a little worrisome at first as well. You seem I am used to a Velcro closure on my current case. It closes, and it takes a little effort to open. This case has a simple button closure that stays closed by a magnet, built into the button. The two issues I have with the magnetic button are: A) the fact that it is magnetic means it is not as secure as the velcro that I am used to and B) when I close the outside flap, it has to match up exactly with the button on the case to close properly.
So, I have listed my initial concerns with this case. How does it fair after a few weeks of use?
Perfectly. For the most part.
The tightness I experienced with the iPhone 3G fitting into the case eventually gave way to a more "glove" fit. I liken my experience to that of blue jeans: at first, they might be tight, but they eventually "fit". This was a welcome relief. My other concern wasn't as clearly addressed over time. The button eventually homed in and clasped properly. However, I still have concerns whether it will stay closed if the case were to drop. The only consolation I have is that the iPhone is held very securely still, even after using it a while.
Oh, and I almost forgot, the belt clip works just fine... it clips on your belt. I wish there was more to say about that, but there isn't :-)
I like this case, and it has a high probability of replacing my current daily-driver once it completely breaks down. The only real markdown it has is that pesky magnet button. If Case-Mate would just make it Velcro... we would have a 5-star on our hands! This is a great option if you are looking for a hipster case, and honestly, the button may not bother you as much as it did me. It works, I just like Velcro better for my cases.