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


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

Oberon Design Leather iPhone Sleeve Review

As I lay in bed, conquered by a virulent cold. I can think of nothing better to do than to, for once, update Gadgetoid. It’s been neglected as of late with life doing as it does and getting in the way. Writing, it seems, requires very little brain engagement and is forgiving of my currently somewhat diminished and uncoordinated motor skills, so here we go!

I’d like to talk about the Oberon Design Leather iPhone Sleeve. My photos only show one of their wide variety of designs, but you can visit OberonDesign for an overview of the various patterns.

Now, let me get this out of the way. This is, in fact, not just an iPhone sleeve, but rather a generic mobile phone (or cell phone if you’re intent on using curiously over adopted technical terminology) sleeve which will fit everything from the iPhone to the HTC Touch HD2. I titled this post “iPhone Sleeve” simply for keyword stuffing and because, well, the iPhone 4 is my current phone of choice. As a result of this generic design, the Oberon sleeves are not particularly snug on the iPhone 4 and are, in fact, rather a lot wider than it. Fortunately, there’s a good reason for the latter, and the former is solved with an elegant, pewter detailed magnetic fastener which will hold your iPhone securely during all but the most vigorous of shakings.

What good reason, you might ask, would there be for such an over-sized, single-size breed of slip case? Well, Oberon have not been secretive about their trials and tribulations in designing and manufacturing mobile phone covers. In fact, they are still having no end of troubles producing a flip-style case. There’s a simple reason for this; their intricate, signature designs require a decent amount of space to really work well and a flip cover doesn’t provide this space. The wide, reasonably ridged and generously thick sleeve case, however, does.

Oberon’s mobile phone sleeve is a shining example of not only hand-made perfection, but a really, really, absurdly good value for money case. In the review notes Oberon make a point to warn us of their perceived high prices, but against the premium competition of Vaja, Sena, Piel Frama, Beyza and more the $39 Oberon phone sleeve is a steal. For example – versus the basic, minimalist (but none the less wonderful) Sena Ultraslim slip case, which clocks in at $29, a $10 premium for your choice of an intricate, unparalleled embossed design is pocket change.

Indeed, the Oberon case represents good value for money and, if you know the tastes of your spouse of friend well enough to choose a case for them, is a really rather exceptional gift.

Now, what about the quality of the case? Being as I am, I opted for the dragon motif to match the Oberon Design iPad case which I reviewed and absolutely adored not too long ago. I still use the iPad case, and it would take a very, very impressive alternative to convince me not to. As for colour, I chose red. Oberon’s idea of red is tonal perfection, and exactly what I mean when I say “I like the colour red.” It’s dark, rich, and has a certain antique quality about it.

The red is perfectly offset by the near-black of the embossed design. This serves to distinguish the intricate pattern from the rest of the case, and both looks and feels great. The clasp at the top is held on with beautifully cast pewter. Pewter! How many cases can boast that? Whilst the pewter of the iPhone sleeve doesn’t quite rival the patterned pewter clasp of Oberon’s iPad/Kindle/Journal covers, its simple, antiqued/polished embossing, embellished with only the words “Oberon Design”, is enough to add interest and distinction to the case.

Overall, this is aesthetically my single favourite iPhone case by far. It offers a fair amount of protection, too, with thick, ridged leather protecting the edges of the phone. If you’re after a distinct, unique, conversation piece to set your commodity phone aside from everyone else’s, then there really is no better deal. Aside from the elaborate, sparingly Swarovski detailed, in-the-region-of $200, premium iPhone cases from Vaja, you’re not going to find anything more distinguished.

Friday, December 31st, 2010, Featured, iPhone, Mobile Phones.