iVolution T66 for Treo 650 Review

Review: Vaja iVolution T66 for Treo 650

Ratings: 3 of 5
By: Christopher Meinck

As someone who owns two Vaja cases (iPod and Treo 600), I was anxious to review the Vaja T66 case for the Treo 650. Vaja, for those who don’t know, is a leather case manufacturer based in Buenos Aires, Argentina. They make leather cases for cell phones, smart phones, MP3 players such as the iPod and more recently the Sony PSP.


The Vaja T-66 is the latest in a line of Treo smart phone cases. They are only available through Vaja (as of this review) and all T66 cases are custom built. They take 20 days to manufacture and you must allow for a fair bit of time for shipping since they are coming from Argentina. In terms of choices, Vaja offers you basically 5 choices – times 56! Yes, you can definitely spend quite a bit of time choosing your custom case. If you’re like Henry Ford, then a you’ll choose the standard option and the color black. But, if you’re someone who is looking for that super personal case, then you’ve come to the right place. Those of you familiar with design will revel at the opportunity to pick your case based upon Pantone colors. Pop-up windows will allow you to browse the cases. Vaja has a very nice site, but this process can get awfully tiring. They should consider contracting someone to build a flash application that allows you to “customize the color of your case”. The current process is a bit cumbersome and too many choices can leave you in limbo. I do applaud them for the abundance of choices. After, choice is good especially when selecting the perfect color for your smart phone case. More importantly, there are a number of feminine colors. Up until know, women looking for pink or pastel Treo cases would have a tough time finding such a case.


Not much has changed since my last Vaja case. The T65 comes in a glossy black box with the insignia Vaja Leather Products on the front. The box is very sturdy and it’s got a second layer to it. So, basically it’s like 2 boxes. My guess is that with all the time and effort in to building your case, the folks at Vaja don’t want any damage to occur during shipping. Opening the case reveals a sleeve that says Custom Vaja. Looking at the packaging, you would think the Vaja box was used to package the Treo smartphone and not simply a case. Included was a small pamplet on the proper use of my case, a thick cardboard credit card that detailed the quality of Vaja products and a Vaja product catalog. Marketing is important and presentation can go a long way. However, at the end of the day, the product has to deliver.


The Vaja has a solid feel to it – with and without the Treo inside. I’m not sure what is under the leather, but something gives it a “shell” and this makes it feel durable. The leather has a subtle, soft feel to it. Looking inside the case, the inner part of the front is lined with leather. The opposite side (where the back of the Treo would sit) is lined with a soft fabric that has vaja logos. They are raised black on black – barely noticeable and done very tastefully. The T65 is shaped to align with your Treo and allow access to your ports. The following are accessible:

  • Volume
  • Camera
  • SD Card
  • Ringer Adjustment
  • Stylus
  • Headphone jack

The speaker areas are covered by metal mesh. Flipping the top front cover exposes access to allow you to HotSync via a cable. I don’t believe you’d be able to charge using the new Inno-Dock with this case, since you’d have to bend the top back too far. There is a piece of plastic where your wireless indicator is on the Treo. I wasn’t sure how they Treo’s indicator would shine through, but it did just fine. It looks as if the case has the light. The case adds a bit of bulk to the Treo 650. Being a smart phone, the Treo is not the smallest of phones and the T66 adds to the size. Vaja offers the option of a belt clip. With a belt clip, you probably wouldn’t notice the added size since you’d be carrying it on your belt. The Treo with T66 is definitely not a combination that will allow you to carry your Treo in your front pants pocket. I put the Vaja T66 through a month of use for this review and it did get a little dirty. A soft cloth with warm water removed the dryed on coffee from Starbuck’s. Vaja recommends weekly cleaning or polishing.

Protect My Treo

The Treo 650 feels snug in the Vaja T66 and a perfect fit. Not too tight and a good spill wouldn’t jar your Treo from the case. The front portion of the case is built just a touch further from the volume keys. I’m figuring that if dropped your Treo volume keys down, that this ever so slight extension would cause the case to handle the impact. The only real portion of the Treo that is exposed with the Vaja is the stylus/camera corner. The case allows for camera access and thus makes this corner vulnerable. Still, all things being considered, it’d be pretty tough to drop it and have it land perfectly on that corner. The bottom has the added protection of the case and a portion of the front flap that extends to the back of the case. Luckily, I was test driving the Vaja when my Treo took a 5 foot drop onto the concrete. Not only was my Treo 650 safe, but the case didn’t suffer any major damage in the fall.

Using the Treo with the T66

Up until now, I’ve been using a HotSync cable, so I was able to keep my Treo in the T66 while conducting my daily hot syncs. I found the headphone jack to be more accessible than with my previous Vaja case. Using a Bluetooth headset 99% of the time, while reassuring that I could access the headset jack, it wasn’t a issue for me. If you use your Treo with stereo headphones, then the Seidio adapter might be more suitable with the T-66 then the palmOne Headphone Adapter which has a fatter head. The flip case has a spot for your SD card – this is good for a spare. Matter of fact, it might make sense to make use of this all of time until you need to access your SD card. Like many cases, the Vaja T66 does not cover your SD card. Trust me, I’ve lost (and luckily found my SD card) a few months back. It’s not that hard to do. With the flip top on the T66, what you get in added protection to your screen; you lose in usability. The beauty of the Treo 650 lies in the screen. With the cover closed, you might miss SMS alerts, Alarms, Voicemail waiting and more. There are ways around this with such tools as Butler that allow you to adjust the LED for particular alerts. Still, I’d much rather have the “in your face” alerts in addition to the LED’s. I found myself opening the cover to see if I missed anything. I had similar problems with calls. A call comes in, I scramble to put on my Bluetooth headset and never got a chance to see who was calling. For me, it’s too much to flip the cover, screen the call and put on the headset. Chances are with the T66, you’ll be using a Bluetooth headset rather than speaking directly into the phone. If you find yourself speaking directly into your Treo, then you might find the cover to be a bit annoying. With the flap open, speaking on the Treo 650 inside the T66 made me feel like I was using one of those old cellphones you see on Miami Vice re-runs.


Vaja has a history of making high quality leather products and the T66 for the Treo 650 is no exception. If you’re looking for a highly customizable leather case with a cover that fully encloses your Treo 650, then look no further than the Vaja T66. With hundreds of color options, Vaja offers custom options suitable for both male and female Treo owners. It’s designed for the Treo 650, fits it like a glove and features solid overall protection. Those who need quick access to the Treo 650’s screen for alerts, caller screening, might find the flip cover cumbersome. The is expensive at $120, but itâ??s price is justified when looking at the quality and build.

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