Case review: Piel Frama iMagnum for Motorola Droid

prometheus

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Jan 5, 2010
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Mods: I didn't know where to post this. Please move this thread if it would work better elsewhere. There was a thread in the Moto Droid forum where a member asked for advice on buying a leather case. I also saw a Seidio case review in the Moto Droid forum. So... without a place for accessories or model specific accessories.. I thought here was as good as anywhere else.

I've been using my Piel Frama iMagnum case for a few days now. I paid $87 for product, tax, and shipping from cases.com. I have the tan one. It comes in black, red, blue and green also. I didn't know about any discounts or promos when I ordered it. After doing more research, I realize it CAN be purchased cheaper. So, I would suggest doing some research before plunking down that much cash.

Manufacturer:Motorola Droid cases PIEL FRAMA

ordered from: Piel Frama iMagnum Tan Leather Case for Motorola Droid

My opinion in mixed on this... no denying it's very well made and has quality materials. My issue is with the design. There are just a few design issues:

1. The hole for the headphone jack is basically useless for actual use. The case can't be opened while the headphones are plugged in. It's decent for listening to music, while on a walk, or workout. But, tedious if you need to use the screen while using headphones.

2. The removable belt clip is silly. I've seen the whole removable clip thing done with considerably less bulk. There's usually a little plug that comes in and out from the inside. With this design, even when not using the belt clip, I have a little metal tab sitting there all of the time. Also, it's a huge bump for something I'll never use. Come on, for $87 they couldn't have given me the option for no clip and kept it clean and bump-free, with no silly wrench and metal plugs?

3. Rather bulky - I know there's a trade off: protection / bulk. My issue is the overall fit. If you slim millimeters here and there, you get a MUCH slimmer case. I can fit 3 credit cards between the screen and the screen cover. Why is there so much room there? Add to that, the silly and pointless belt clip bump and I have an extra 5-6 mm. If there was going to be that much room why not allow storage of ID's or credit cards there instead of just empty space? I wanted a slim case and this just has gaps where there should be none.

4. I find it difficult to type in landscape mode with this case. With the cover open and flopping, it's in the way. With the cover folded all of the way over and behind and it's too thick to hold. I'm sure I'll adjust to it eventually. But having it open and flip sideways rather than longways would have COMPLETELY eliminated this design flaw (and solve the headphone jack isssue and the USB hole issue - issue #5)

5. The area above the USB port is needlessly left exposed. I know I'm whining about the bulk and adding that corner would be even MORE bulk. But, I want complete protection and this is a big missing corner. I think the USB port hole could have been cut out a little smaller rather than leaving that whole edge exposed.

6. I think my belt clip is broken. I don't plan on ever using it. But, I gave it a test drive. It spins around and around when attached to my belt. Shouldn't it click into a fixed position? If I used a belt clip and paid big bucks, I'd expect a better ratcheting system. This one sort of spins and flops everywhere. I don't know if this is a design flaw or a damaged product. I don't use it, So, it's not a big deal for me. However, this needs major consideration if you're a belt clip kinda' guy.

7. Speaker holes: They don't muffle the sound much. The sound is decent. My issue is that I use the speaker when on phone calls. The case covers the microphone completely. So, the issue isn't speaker sound - it's muffled mic. This is a drawback based on the phone. I don't see how the case could expose the speaker AND the mic and still offer any protection. So, this is not really a case issue - it's just an issue. I just flip it open when using the speakerphone - It would have been nice to use the speakerphone with the case closed is all I'm saying. However, having the screen cover flap open sideways would have allowed a cut out or hole for the mic a little easier.

I DO like the case. It's well made. The snap is strong and I don't think it'll ever wear out. The stitching it tight and clean with no looseness. The phone fits in snug and safe and is very well protected (albeit, a little sloppiness in the front cover looseness). It feels great and the bulk is probably not much more than a good body glove, otterbox, or silicon type case.

I give it a grade of B- to C+.

Pros: quality leather, classy looking, tough - will wear well for LONG time.

Cons: some design flaws and a bit of extra bulk

Major CON: Price. It's just rididulous. WAY overpriced. This is a $30 case at best. I bought it on a whim and I'm sure it'll grow on me. But, for the price, No one should be able to list multiple design flaw issues.

Before anyone flames... this is a review, it's my OPINION. That's why it's called a review. If you disagree, fine - that doesn't make me wrong or you right. So, save your breath - I don't care if you disagree.

some pictures... thumbnails are numbered left to right

#1: the back, notice the bump where the belt clip think attaches

#2: shows the snap closure closed

#3: shows how it hugs and cradles the bottom

#4: with keyboard open, picture taken from underneath

#5: close up of the snap closure and the speaker holes
 
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prometheus

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You're only allowed 5 thumbnails per post. So, here are a few more pictures (numbered from left to right)

#1: side view, camera button and volume rocker

#2: the other side, USB port

#3: open

#4: the key to remove the belt clip hardware

#5: the belt clip hardware
 

prometheus

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only allowed 5 attachments.... sorry for the multiple posts

#1 open

#2 another shot of it open

#3 the money shot... this is why it's almost worth the $$. That cover is sweeeeet.
 

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