gadg-et-oid [gaj-it-oid]


1. having the characteristics or form of a gadget;
resembling a mechanical contrivance or device.

Piel Frama HTC Touch Pro Case

Piel Frama have really pulled out the stops with their leather HTC Touch Pro Case. Which is a shame, because after playing with the Touch Pro itself I am massively underwhelmed and utterly unable to get excited about it. But that’s a whole different story.

If you’ve picked up the HTC Touch Pro and are enjoying its generous specifications, and sexy screen, but are decidedly disappointed with the godawful case it comes bundled with then the Piel Frama HTC Touch Pro case is probably what you’re looking for. It completely blows away the Piel Frama iPhone 3g Case I reviewed recently in terms of fit, finish and functionality and is, without a shadow of a doubt, exceptionally well made.

Like the iPhone 3g case it comes in a neat little match-box-like box complete with detachable belt clip and boasts the same clipping arrangement, which can be unscrewed and covered over if you never intend to attach it to your belt.

Unlike the iPhone 3g case, Piel Frama sent me the black version and it doesn’t take a second glance to realise that black leather beats tan leather hands down and looks far more… well… professional I suppose.

The finish is astounding. I originally thought the Piel Frama iPhone 3g case was well finished above the competition. It boasted even, consistent stitching and camera cut-outs that don’t reveal the cardboard inside the leather. But the HTC Touch Pro case goes one step better. The camera and speaker cut outs seal off the 2-3mm back of the case beautifully smoothly and don’t look the least bit like they were haphazardly drilled and then left as-is (Krusell, I’m looking at you!). They are, in fact, cleaner and smoother than any other case I’ve seen yet, but I don’t want to get too excited about a hole in a piece of leather. The same consistent stitching as in the iPhone 3g case is, of course, present and makes it very difficult to believe that these cases are hand-made.

Perhaps the most effective feature of the HTC Touch Pro case is that you don’t have to remove the phone to use any of its functionality. The inside of the case boasts a smaller slip case with a transparent plastic front window that lets you see and use the HTC Touch Pro keyboard right through it. This keeps the keyboard free of finger grease and grime, and means you can do pretty much anything with the phone without the nuisance of freeing it from its case.

The clear plastic window does catch a tiny bit on the screen of the HTC Touch Pro when you try and close it, but it’s not a deal breaker. The top leather flap is flexible enough to fold back behind the case so it’s out of the way when you make or answer calls, but it still adds a little extra to an already bulky phone and that may be a problem for some.

The back of the case is quite thick, decidedly ridged and ensures good protection of the phone, the front flap is less robust but more than adequate to protect the screen, it’s got a soft, padded feel and an inside pocket which you’re probably not going to put anything in- a micro SD card would most likely fall out! The edges of the phone are less protected but this is a small sacrifice to make for being able to use it easily without first removing it from the case.

Overall the Piel Frama HTC Touch Pro case is a testament to the skill of Piel Frama, that they produced it with such a perfect fit an finish in such a short amount of time is incredible and you will certainly not be disappointed with it.

Thursday, October 16th, 2008, Windows Mobile.