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


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

Krusell Orbit Flex iPhone 3g Case Review

Of all the iPhone cases that I have looked at lately, including offerings from Piel Frama and Sena, the Krusell Orbit Flex case for the iPhone 3g is clearly the most flexible and functional. It’s all in the name!

That doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the best case in every situation, however, the wealth of features offered by the Krusell case come at the cost of a fair amount of added bulk and an extremely limited selection of styles.

If you dig black and red and don’t mind that extra bulk, however, then it’s an all-round cracking good case with only a few minor problems that I will cover later.

First off, the Krusell Orbit Flex will stand your iPhone upright both horizontally and vertically. The fetching red slots on the front flap of the case serve as grooves for the stand. When standing your iPhone vertically, you can adjust the angle of your phone between these three steps and not have to worry about it slipping over backwards. Neat! Unfortunately this handy-dandy feature to show off your iPhone accounts for most of the Orbit Flex’s bulk, making the front and back covers quite considerably thicker than any of the competition.

Of course, for the front cover, thicker could probably be considered better.

Unlike the Sena magnet flipper case there’s nothing solid (no little flap and popper) to hold the iPhone in the Krusell Orbit Flex when the front flap is open. The fit is pretty damned tight though and it takes a good amount of forceful shaking to even slightly dislodge the iPhone. This is comforting as I sent my iPhone sailing out of the Piel Frama case and crashing, naked, to the forest floor on one occasion with nothing but a simple and careless swing of my arm. The Krusell Orbit Flex certainly scores big points for fit.

Whilst we’re on the topic of the front flap, the entire thing can be detached from the main body of the case, slimming it down so that you get unobstructed access to your iPhone 3g. This will naturally mean that it’s less protected in your pocket, so it is a feature best used when you know you’re going to be using your iPhone for a while and don’t want the flap making a nuisance of itself. The flap slides off to the right and It’s quick and easy to detach and slip into your pocket. It’s only marginally less easy to slide it back on again and audibly clicks back into place.

Finally, to keep dust and lint at bay from your precious, and somewhat poorly designed I might add, Microphone and Speaker ports on the bottom of the iPhone 3g a fine-ish mesh is stitched into the holes at the bottom of the flap, nice!

Not everything is this well finished on the Krusell Orbit Flex, however, the bottom edge of the case and bottom corners of the flap show some rough and nasty joins between the different colours of leather. These unsightly design hiccups are only really noticeable when you go looking for them but the same problem plagues the very visible cut-out for the camera which has been punched out of the back of the case with no attention paid to achieving a nice finish. Then again, what can you really expect from such a feature packaged leather case when it retails for only £25.

Rounding off the features on the Orbit Flex is a robust plastic “multidopt” (at least it reads “multidopt” and not “multidapt” from what I can tell) clip which includes an attachment for a lanyard, which is not included; and a rotating, ratcheting belt clip, which is.

I’ve never really liked belt clips or belt clip attachments. I had a brief period of clipping the case that came with my HTC Kaiser (Or MDA Vario 3 in my case) to my belt and found the whole thing to be an uncomfortable pain in the behind, particularly as I never tuck in my shirt.

Belt clips are for shirt-tucking overwhelmingly business types and if the plastic “multidopt” didn’t work with windscreen mounts too I would count it against the Orbit Flex.

I wish more case manufacturers would offer belt-clip free versions of their cases and I would plumb for a “naked” iPhone dash mount instead.

Overall, and for its fairly low (for premium leather cases, anyway) £25 price the Krusell Orbit Flex is a pretty fine option with a good compliment of features that I don’t believe any of the competition match.

Sadly the limited style choices, bulk, non-removable belt-clip mount and slightly flaky finish, all to be expected at this price point, may count against the Krusell Orbit Flex for many more discerning buyers. However, if you’re just looking for a feature packed, cheap and attractive leather case then it may be the best choice for you.

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2008, iPhone.