Smartphone Experts ClearCase Review

Smartphone Experts ClearCase Review

November 16, 2006

By: Jeff Velten

3.0 of 5


Id like to preface this review by stating that if destroying cases were a federal crime I would top the FBIs Most Wanted list, and my Treo has the battle scars to prove it. I am incredibly rough on cases; my Treo has more scars than a David Allan Coe roadie.

I share this with you not to highlight my dropsy tendencies but to remind you that if you love your Treo, you no doubt want to keep it safe. And with countless cases on the market theres one for every preference: leather, pleather, plastic, cloth, ones that show off your Treo, and ones that keep it safely tucked behind ample protection. Below Ill be talking about the ClearCase a shell-type case for the Treo 700p, 700wx, 700w, and 650 made by Smartphone Experts, manufacturers of many after-market accessories.

Treo ClearCase

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How It Works

As its name suggests, the ClearCase is in fact, clear: crystally, sparkly clear as to aptly show off the beauty of your Treo. It comprises a two-piece plastic shell that snaps together around the Treo, and cutouts provide access to the speaker, camera, keyboard, and other necessary buttons. However, due to the design of the Palm Hotsync cradle, the ClearCase is not compatible with the cradle so the Treo must be removed from the case in order to charge.

The ClearCase also has an optional belt clip. A metal stud for the belt clip screws into an embedded metal receptacle on the rear of the case. When worn on the belt, the Treos screen faces out, but the case also offers a hinged protective cover for the screen.

Treo Crystal Case

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A Case for the ClearCase

In my opinion, a few design issues for this case need to be addressed. First, the weakest aspect of this case is its clip. While the attachments for the clip are metal, the clip itself is plastic and by design, the clip allows the Treo to swivel freely. If I were giving The Smartphone Experts pointers Id suggest that the clip be made from a more durable material.

Treo ClearCase clip sideview

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Second, the clasps holding the two halves of the case together need to be made stronger. “Case” in point: Two days into my review period for the ClearCase, while getting out of a friends car, a corner of the case snagged on a seatbelt. The snap of the clip sounded like a cracking whip and my cased Treo hit the ground with the two halves of the case, my Treo, stylus, and battery cover, all flying in different directions. Luckily, my Treo survived with only a few additional scuff marks.

Also, a raised lip on the sides of the keyboard cutout can restrict access to the keys on the far left and right of the keyboard. So my suggestion would be that the beveling on the sides of the keyboard cutouts need to be improved.

Smartphone Experts ClearCase back

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The overall design of the fairly well-designed ClearCase is promising. And its true that when my Treo fell to the ground it did suffer only a few scuff marks. But with improvements, I could wear and recommend this case with much more assurance. The case is certainly an attractive way to display your Treo, and if you prefer a case thats less cumbersome than others that provide more heft and protection ( and youre a little less abusive to your Treo than I am), this may be the case for you.

The Smartphone Experts ClearCase is available in Clear, Smoke, and Pink in the store, and retails for $24.95.

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