Looking for a new case for your iPhone? Do you like leather cases? Than look no further than the Belkin Eco-Conscious Formed Leather Case for iPhone 3G! This case is available for $29.95 from the Phone Different Store. This case is not only stylish, but allows easy accessibility to your iPhone 3G!

Design

I have never used a leather case before on any of my previous phones. Needless to say I was excited to see what this Belkin product had to offer. The case is very snug against the iPhone and is held in place by a strong velcro flap that flips over the top of the case. I think "formed" is a bit of a misnomer; the leather is simply folded over then stitched together with what I can only describe as ski boot insulation-like material. This is not to distract from the product in anyway, but when I think of "formed", I think of almost a molded-like attachment to the body of the phone, which this case does not have. 

There are cut-away openings in the top (to allow for headphones and sleep button), side (silent switch and volume controls) and the bottom (to allow for a cable for syncing and charging). On the front of the case, there is a cut away area at the top to allow for the speaker and sensors. The screen is also cut to allow full view as well. The home button is covered, but has a carved overlay of the home button. So, how did this case fair during daily use?

Daily Use

This case does not add any excessive bulk to the iPhone. It is snug and there is little play inside of the case. I could accomplish all of my daily tasks with relative ease. I am impressed buy the rigidity of the leather, having used primarily plastic cases in the past, I am quite pleased with the performance of this product from a durability perspective. 

However, what durability has giveth, some compromises are made. An example that comes to mind is accessing the lower portion of the touch screen while the iPhone is in the case. Many iPhone applications have buttons located on the very bottom edge of the touch screen; such as Safari. I found that I had a difficult time touching the buttons due to the thickness of the leather directly below the bottom of the screen. Or, when typing on the keyboard, I would tap "B" instead of the Space button. Over time, I was able to get used to it; I simply learned to adjust my fingers differently. However, this does take some getting used to.

While the case does have rather exact openings cut into the case to allow for the necessary ports, I found that the bottom volume control was slightly obscured but the case; the hole simply is not big enough. To be honest, this is really more of an aesthetic anomaly; it really had no impact on the external volume controls, but it is worth noting. 

Conclusion

All-in-all, I liked this case. It is not perfect, hence not a perfect rating. But, if you are looking for a solid leather case for your iPhone 3G, I recommend the Belkin case. There are not many leather cases that have openings to access all of the buttons, so in this category, the Belkin case is a solid contender. Besides, I dig the brown leather :-)

Pros

  • Nice leather finish
  • Good accessibility to external buttons
  • No plastic; eco-friendly
  • Durable
  • iPhone 3G can be easily removed from case if needed
  • Velcro strap is secure

Cons

  • Difficult to use the Space bar while typing (case edge can get in the way)
  • No screen protection
  • Cannot place in 3G dock when inside case
  • No clip for a belt, etc. 

TiPb Rating:

Rating