By Claire Pieterek
The PDA Skins PDA Pro Phone case promises a lot, but it doesn't quite deliver on all counts. The manufacturer, PDA Skins (at http://www.pdaskins.com), says you can put your Palm handheld and cell phone in it, clip it on your belt or wear it over your shoulder, use it as a wallet, and operate it one-handed, but you might not want to consider doing all of those things once you see it in the field.
The PDA Skins PDA Pro Phone case is pictured in Figure A.FIGURE A
You can carry your Palm handheld, cell phone, and wallet in the PDA Pro Phone case. (click for larger image)
Carrying the case
For the most part, the PDA Pro Phone case is nicely made, with the major exception being the shoulder strap. The shoulder strap is cheap, with frail, pot metal clips that don't look up to holding anything for the long run. The strap is pictured in Figure B.FIGURE B
The strap didn't look sturdy enough to me. (click for larger image)
Suffice it to say, I would not trust my Palm handheld, let alone my Palm handheld, cell phone, and wallet contents to this shoulder strap. I think I'm qualified to judge shoulder straps, based on the sheer number of purses, briefcases, and backpacks I've lugged over the years. This is the weakest one I've seen in a long time. On the other hand, the D-rings on the PDA Pro Phone case are sturdy looking and are affixed to the case pretty well.
My big problem here is-what if you use this case as intended, and the strap breaks? You have just lost your entire life! Your PDA, your phone, and the contents of your wallet are gone. In this day and age of identity theft, that is a major blow. Needless to say, I consider this a real design flaw.
I have a friend who would kill for a product like this. She was enviously eying the PDA Pro Phone case until she saw the shoulder strap. The shoulder strap's fragility really blew the deal for her. She'd also like this case to be a little larger, but, unfortunately, this product doesn't really seem to be targeted toward women PDA users. The clips on the shoulder strap and the strap itself are not very sturdy. I don't think a woman had any say in this particular decision.
On the other hand, the belt clip, shown in Figure C, is rather nice.FIGURE C
Thought went into the belt clip design. (click for larger image)
It's obvious that a lot of thought went into the belt clip design. It has a good grip and a hinge, unlike the holster designs that seem to have become popular lately. It's sewn in well and reinforced. It's obvious that much more thought was put into the belt clip than the shoulder strap.
The belt clip is sturdy and reinforced for the long run. The only problem here will be if the fashionistas declare wide belts back in style.