Today we will be looking at the first of two cases sent to us by Sena who are known for their leather cases for mobile devices such as Palms, Blackberries and of course iPhones. After reviewing a slew of plastic and silicon cases it is nice to wrap my iPhone in a quality leather case.
First up for review is the Apple iPhone 3G/3GS Leatherskin Case. It is designed to be form fitting while protecting the iPhone from scratches. Composed of European Napa leather it will last for a long time while keeping its appearance.
The Apple iPhone 3G/3GS Leatherskin Case comes in a burgundy red box with the Sena logo. Inside the package we find the Leatherskin case in a nice cloth satchel with the Sena logo on the outside accompanied by a belt clip, case rivet setup, instruction card for setting up the case rivet and a leather care instruction card.
The Leatherskin case comes in fourteen colors/variations. They offer three “croc” style offers in black, red and tan. We received the Croco Tan style.
Immediately the quality of the Sena case is apparent. It is composed of European Napa leather which is rigid yet light. The Croco variation is a snakeskin style with quality stitching done in the same color as the case.
The standard openings to access all the iPhone features are found on the case including holes for the earphone, speakers, power switch, proximity sensory, camera, volume and mute buttons.
Over the top of the case is a snap closure to keep the iPhone secure within the case. Looking at the back of the Leatherskin we find an elevated rectangular base plate for attaching the rivet for the belt clip. The Sena logo is found at the bottom on the back of the case.
On the inside of the Leatherskin the Sena website address along with the word Genuine Leather embossed in the leather material are found. The sides have a soft velvet lining.
The belt clip is composed of black plastic with a release button found on the top. It is designed with an integrated spring-loaded release button for easy access.
Sena provides an Allen wrench to attach the rivet to the case using one of two provided screws. According to Sena once the rivet is attached to the case it should remain there permanently.
-Finest European Napa leather
-Light and rigid protective layer
-Ratchet belt clip with removable tab
-iPhone earphone and speaker holes
-Proximity sensor opening
-Charging port opening
LeatherSkin: This form-fitting case is comprised of ultra-thin premium leather providing a soft layer of "skin" to gently protect devices from scratches. The fine, slender design offers a tight fit enhancing the curves of the device. Perfected for many of today’s most popular devices.
If you wish to use the Leatherskin with the belt clip then it is recommended to attach it with the iPhone outside of the case. The case can be used either way, but I prefer using it in conjunction with the belt clip. Here is the case with and without the belt clip attached. The rivet protruded approximately one centimeter off the case. This does not seem to add too much bulk to the case at all.
Sliding the iPhone into the case is straightforward, while removing it does take a little more effort as it has to be pushed out from the dock connector opening to get a hand hold of the iPhone for final removal.
So how does the Leatherskin perform?
The first thing I observed is the belt clip keeps the case and iPhone securely attached to the users belt. Supposedly the belt clip is designed for one-handed release. Apparently the clip keeps such a tight lock on the rivet that you will need to pinch the top and bottom of the clip to provide enough pressure to release the case. From prior experience with such clips the Sena one should loosen over time.
During my workout at the gym, I noticed that the Leatherskin when clipped to my gym shorts would dig into my sides. Although the clip is smooth, the edges are not rounded making the clip uncomfortable when pressing directly against one’s skin. The clip allows the iPhone to swivel in the clip when positioned in the center and locking it into a fixed position when lowered all the way down into the clip.
Other than the clip issues everything else with the Leatherskin functioned as expected. The iPhone was accessible via all the openings that Sena provides. Working with the case around the iPhone was simple. In terms of protection, the Leatherskin protects the body of the iPhone but as with most iPhone cases it leaves the screen area exposed.
The croc design is interesting but is a little too garish for my wife’s tastes; she described it as looking like something from the eighties. I personally think the regular leather style would have been the better way to go for this case. This is a matter of personal preference as the Leatherskin is well designed and built from quality materials.
Since my last clip case broke I have been looking for an iPhone 3G case that is protective and secure on my hip; it appears Sena has done the job. With my iPhone resting within the Leatherskin I feel comfortable that my iPhone 3G is safe and secure. I do have a few issues with the belt clip but it certainly is secure. If you are looking for a quality iPhone 3G/3GS case, I recommend checking out the Sena Leatherskin
+Quality build and materials
+Numerous color offerings
+Quality belt clip system
-Clip digs into skin
-Belt clip lock works too well