Review: Eco-Conscious Formed Leather Case for iPhone 3G

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  

       

Chad Garrett

Software trainer, blogger and mobile technology enthusiast living in the suburban Midwest.

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There are 26 comments. Add yours.

Steve says:

It's like having a wood-paneled Ferrari. Then again, nobody would steal it. :)

Lazlow says:

That case looks ridiculously ugly! And judging by the picture of the dock connector, it looks like it doubles the thickness of the phone...

Michael says:

This is a joke.
THE ugliest, tackiest case(?) I have ever seen for the Iphone.
Goodluck trying to sell that Belkin.
HaHaHa it is a joke, right!!?

AppBeacon says:

I have an old leather shoe with holes in the sole. I bet it will protect an iPhone really well. Wow! What a great product concept! I'll scavenge shoes the donations shops refused and start converting them now. That's pretty eco-conscious, isn't it?
I'll call it ShoePhone.com

daniel says:

It must be a joke..... four stars out of five too!!!

NeilM says:

Good god that thing is butt-ugly! And ill-fitting too. Look how the aperture around the connector port gapes open. If the iPhone needs a case at all, something I'm not at all convinced of, it should be of the thinest, finest glove leather in order to add the absolute minimum of bulk.

umesh says:

Jeez that's fugly!!!! Why would anyone in their right mind put this pos on an iPhone???? IMHO the casemate premium signature is the best leather case around.

Sean Peters says:

So who decided that a leather case is more "eco-friendly" than plastic? Yes, plastic is made from oil, and is not very biodegradable... But then again, cows emit an enormous amount of greenhouse gases. I'm not saying that using leather makes you evil - I have a leather iPhone case myself (no, not this ugly one). But which case is the most eco-friendly is a tricky question.

daniel says:

i wonder if they'll actually sell any?

LOL Lawrence says says:

How much did belkin PAY you to hype this? Omg I am NEVER trusting your reviews AGAIN. YOU'RE just in it for the money. Some poor innoccent soul will dump money the worst case I have ever seen. So ugly, I know your review is a fake, and that belkin got dooped internally. LOL.

Chad Garrett says:

@LOL Lawrence
I mention in my review I am not a big fan of these types of cases, however it is a functional case and does protect your iPhone. I have a friend that absolutely loves this case because it is not the "typical" case and like leather. Remember, if we all liked the same things, the world would be a very boring place!
BTW, Belkin did not pay me. However, if you know someone there that can cut me a check, that would be great :-)

Kevin O'Neill says:

I bought this case after I read this review, and couldn't be happier. The Trend-head, Metro, Hipster crowd may hate the look, but the case does a great job of protecting phone while maintaining a little of the much-preached individuality amongst all the "different" cases on the market.
The quality of the leather is suprisingly good. I have had mine for several months and, like a good leather product should, it has formed to the phone nicely.
The only negative I can offer is that the "siding" could have been made to fit a little tighter as it loosens up a bit over time.
Did Belkin miss the market? Absolutely...and I couldn't be happier.

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Balbo says:

When I originally commented I clicked the ?Notify me when new comments are added? checkbox and now each time a comment is added I get four emails with the same comment. Is there any way it is possible to remove me from that service? Thanks

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Jonathan O. says:

Oh come on , a leather case for a 21st century phone , they seem from different time periods , they don't belong together

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