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REVIEW: Covertec Leather Case for HTC Himalaya, O2 xda II, i-Mate Phone Edition
Posted by Arne Hess - on Tuesday, 03.02.04 - 15:36:35 CET under 08 - Reviews - Viewed 10147x
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While most Pocket PCs and Smartphones are delivered with a case, these original cases are mostly pretty basic - made of artificial leather or plastic and also the functions of these cases are basic.
So it might be a good idea to watch around for an alternative case for your Pocket PC Phone Edition - either because you want something nicer which better fits to your style or you want something more usable.

After I reviewed Piel Framas HTC Himalaya leather case, today I received Covertec's new leather case for the O2 xda II, T-Mobile MDA II, i-Mate Phone Edition or Qtek 2020.

Covertec's founder decided in 1994 (after he got his first PDA) to bring the worlds of traditional leatherwork and high technology together. His first models of leather cases appeared in 1995.
Today, Covertec is present in the US, in the major European and Asian countries and on more than 28.000 Web pages.

The Covertec leather case for the Himalaya is delivered in a nice wrapping, which makes it a nice gift also. It includes the leather case itself, the knob which can be used to wear the case on your belt with the included belt clip and a screwdriver to fix the knob to the case.

The overall impression of the case is - as expected after the previous reviews of other Covertec cases (see here for the Smartphone case review and here for the iPAQ H2200 case review) - a good one. Like most available leather cases also this one looks like genuine leather, feels like genuine leather and smells like genuine leather because it is made of genuine leather. Also the quality is a great one as it is solid sewed with the natural beige overstitching.

If you put your device into the case the first time, you will notice how perfect it was designed to hold the Himalaya. It holds it strong enough but not to tough.

However it goes a slightly different way than other available leather cases or the original one because it covers the lower part of the device only and leaves the upper part free. But the part which holds the device is so solid I'm sure you will feel comfortable with this way to enclose the device too:

Therefore you can easily access all buttons like the buttons on the side (for camera or the volume slider) or the main buttons on the front side of the device. Also it gives you direct access for the serial pot on the bottom.

Unlike the original xda II case also the Covertec case cover opens to the top (like most PDA cases do):


While the Covertec case cover offers a more solid touch screen protection it also provides you more possibilities to store SD cards, credit cards or name cards. Unlike the original xda II case, which includes 2 SD card slots and a money pocket only, the Covertec case includes 2 SD card slots (which completely hides standard SD cards and therefore prevents from scratching the screen) and 2 Credit Card slots (top row the original xda II case, below the Covertec Himalaya case):

Even if the original xda II case was designed for the Himalaya, the Covertec case fits nicer and is much sleeker and not that bulky. Also the Covertec case looks and feels more stable (well, might be an advantage of genuine leather) and as said before - the cover isn't that soft which gives me the feeling that it protects the screen much better if you wear it in a pocket or carry it in your luggage (left/bottom the Covertec case, right/top the original case):

Like the original case, also the Covertec case has a ring around the camera hole on the backside of the case. However, the overall impression of Covertec's backside is sleeker (left the original case, right the Covertec case) too:

Below the camera hole you can see (on the left picture) the mechanism for the belt clip on the original case. The original belt clip doesn't looks that stable but is an all in one solution - either you use it with or without a belt clip and you don't have to remove anything.
A different way Covertec is going. Here you can decide if you want to use it with or without the belt clip option.
If you decide to go without a belt clip, because you mostly wear your device in your pocket, the shipping solution without the attached knob is perfect.

In case you prefer to carry your device on your belt, you have to add the knob which fits than into the belt clip:

The result on your belt:

Covertec also uses a magnetic loop closure system with its case which is pretty handy for fast opening/closing the cover:

However, really unique is the fact that you don't have to remove your device from the case if you want to synchronize it through the cradle because even with the case your Himalaya fits into it:

I haven't seen this with any other xda II case before (even not with the original case) and this alone makes it worth to buy - especially if you remove and put your Phone Edition often during the day!

In my usage the Covertec case I found one weakness only and this is because the cover opens to the top instead of the bottom. If you open the cover - to watch the screen, it covers the camera on the backside, unlike the original case. This might be a disappointment if you regularly use the xda II camera function; if you only use it from time to time, like for MMS, it's not that problem because you can hold the cover away from the camera optic.

Final Conclusion

The Covertec Himalaya case is a great piece of craftsmanship and they definitely know how to create and manufacture high quality leather cases for reasonable prices - something which is important also! Like the most PDA cases also the original Himalaya case looks cheap and doesn't feels that nice. It does a good job to protect your new Pocket PC Phone Edition but if you want to carry it around in a nicer dress, the Covertec xda II case is definitely something you should think about. Because of the quality it will stay alive longer then the original case and looks much better while it is also easier to use.

Beside the features itself - with more storage options for Credit Cards, nice SD card integration also tastes are different and while I prefer to have black cases for my devices, others might prefer different color sets. Covertec offers 3 different colors with black, tan and red.

Covertec already received PPCW.Net's Editor's Choice Q3-2003 for it's Tanager and iPAQ H2200 leather case because of the great look and feel and the value for money and the same apply to it's xda II case. It simply feels better and looks greater then the original case.

The biggest plus for me is the fact that the device still fits into the cradle without removing the case! As far as I've seen it it's unique for all available Himalaya cases!

The only downside might be - like for other 3rd party Himalaya cases - the fact, that it covers the camera optic because the cover opens to the top. However, I for myself prefer this way to open case covers because it's more useful in the daily use because the cover isn't hanging around.

Covertec cases are - compared with competitor products - much cheaper while providing the same level of quality and exclusive design. The standard case for the xda II is available for 44,90 Euro while competitor products costs up to 60,00 Euro or even more. So the value for money is given and you won't regret your decision to take a Covertec leather case for your new Pocket PC Phone Edition.

Cheers ~ Arne

Related Links : [More information] [Buy Here]


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Posted by cheekymonkey on 05.02.04 - 02:03:42

I dock my xdaII with the cradle whilst it is in the original case. Look at its design... the lower portion is cut away to enable this, I think it must be a learning from complaints about the xdaI.

Posted by Arne Hess on 05.02.04 - 12:15:38

LOL... You are right! :oops: I never tried to flap the cover to the backside for putting the device into the cradle but always thought how it should work with the closed/only 90° opened cover... ;-)

Posted by Arne Hess on 05.02.04 - 14:28:23

I guess with the O2 original case, you assume that it won't work because of the odd flip cover... It's sometimes nice to know what a little stetching further can bring you.



Posted by Nick Pope on 04.03.04 - 15:20:00

Hi Arne,

I recently placed an order for a case with Covertec.  I sent emails to them requesting a ship date, I took over a week to respond and they did not answer any of the other question in my email (I suspect the sender has troubles with English).

I now need to change the shipping address and have sent emails to them requesting this and a reply, but I have had no response from them.

Do you have an email address for someone higher up in the chain?  I would really like to communicate with someone that can resolve my issues.


Nick Pope

Posted by Jeff R on 21.03.05 - 21:05:08

[4] Good luck! I've sent a few emails asking who to contact to be able to sell their products in my store and no answer as well! There is no phone # either, which really bugs me.

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