The Smartphone Experts (SPE) Book Case for iPhone 3G is available from The iPhone Blog Store for $29.95. If you are looking for a case that folds closed and can store the basics such as a license and credit card, then this case might be for you. Let's see how it measures up after the break!
The SPE Book Case for iPhone 3G allows you to carry your iPhone in a convenient flip-open design that not only is practical but also protects your iPhone. The bottom of the case unsnaps exposing the 30-pin connector. This allows you to plug in a cable for syncing/charging, or you can place the iPhone 3G on its charging dock. If you like variety, this case also comes in variety of colors from red and black to beige.
The first thing you need to know is that this is not a "pocketable" case. It is meant to be carried or placed in a purse. Though technically you could place this in your jeans pocket, the size is prohibitive. Having said this, for a case if this type, it is really quite good!
I typically keep my case/iPhone in my pocket when I am not using it. Needless to say, it took some adjustment not keeping it in my pocket. I was able to carry the bare essentials in the case; my license and credit card (I am not a cash type of guy, so that part was not a big deal). This was somewhat liberating since I then did not have to carry all of my wallet possessions with me; I could take only what I need.
The case is sturdy and the leather feels good. The inside of the case where the iPhone lives is not leather, but a soft felt. The buttons at the bottom were very easy to remove but where not so tough as to think I would break them and the iPhone was definitely secure inside of the case.
There are openings around the case to access headphone jack, sleep button and camera. I found with the case that I was using these fields were well placed, but I would have issues with the camera; the hole opening was just a little off. Not a huge deal to resolve, I just nudged the iPhone a little and it would no longer be obscured. My bet is that this is not an issue with every case, just mine. The volume controls are not accessible since they are obscured by the flip-open cover; I did not find this to be horrible troublesome.
Overall, I had no real issues with this case other then having to use it outside of my comfort zone. I think there is a specific target market that will find this case useful, especially due to the excellent protection and sleeves for cards. However, if you are a big gamer, I think you will find that the flip-open design is not the best to allow maximum game playability.
- Nice leather finish
- Protects the the iPhone front and back
- Convenient flip-open storage of credit cards or license
- Multiple colors are available
- Not very pocketable
- Some leather cut outs are not aligned flush with the iPhone 3G
- Can get in the way of playing games