by Douglas Morse
The Incipio Executive OVRMLD case for the iPhone ($29.95, store link) isn't exactly a case of style over substance, though you could make that argument. Certainly my review unit's smooth red leather offset with tan stitching makes a very attractive enclosure for the iPhone. My wife, who has yet to succumb to iPhone fever, remarked that I should keep this case around should she ever change her mind.
Oddly, the Incipico ships in two halves – a clamshell design. You put one half behind, the other on top and snap the halves together. I must say I was more than a bit concerned with this design. I was suspicious that the four small claws that held the halves together wouldn't cut it. My suspicious were unfounded; in fact, they never even got loose. The advantage to this unique design is that the corners of the device are fully covered. With most leather case designs, there are gaps at some of the corners due to necessity of manufacturing and design.
There is a seam where the two halves join, but for some reason, like the bold tan stitching on the Red case, the seam works well with the look of the piece and even helps add a bit of grip to the side. The double layer of stitching sandwiches the seam while another layer encircles the screen.
The case has all of the appropriate cut outs. The leather dips in a scoop to reveal the home button while the sensor and speaker are taken care of in one large oval cut out instead of two separate cuts. The designers use the same modus operandi for the side as both the ringer switch and volume rocker are revealed with one cut out. The back of the case has a simple circular opening for the camera lens. This is also a clip case and the irremovable rivet for the belt clip is firmly implanted in the back of the case.
The belt clip itself is a simple black affair, but reasonably slim line in both width and depth. The combo also features eight point three sixty degree ratcheting with an audible click at each turn. A simple press of the top of the clip releases the iPhone from the belt clip.
Let's review. The case is stylish, has a solid belt clip that rotates 360 degrees and is really well constructed. The leather is stretched over a solid plastic frame offering solid protection with a good looks. Here's the issue: the rocker switch and ringer switch are simply hard to get to. For the ringer switch it may not matter as that is the sort of thing that is rarely used and a little extra effort isn't a problem. However I found the volume/ringer rocker a bit more annoying. I want to be able to easily adjust with one hand on the fly. Although it can be done, and I have average sized male thumbs, it is uncomfortable. I really need to hold the device with two hands to get at the little sucker.
The Incipico Executive comes in six different color stitching combinations and I have to say this is one of the first times that I've found all of the color options attractive. Perhaps it is that the iPhone has the excellent sense to only have the screen exposed. There isn't any keyboard or odd color speakers that have to match. So the options are the Black with gray stitching, Burnt Orange with Olive Green stitching, Camo (for camouflage I suspect) with Dark Orange stitching, Pink and white stitching and Brown with tan stitching. I'm testing the Red and it does look really good.
As for protection, the case is really quite solid with the plastic frame under the leather, but as designed won't do diddly for your screen. Wearing it on your belt also offers risk as do all these sorts of cases. Still, what protection it does offer is excellent; the ratcheting belt clip is also well designed, though the nub is irremovable.
- Attractive colors and stitching
- Excellent Leather over plastic design
- Clamshell design leaves no corner uncovered
- Slim solid belt clip
- Hard to get to volume rocker switch
- Belt Clip nub non-removable