As we’ve noted many times over the past year, we find it impossible to get excited about flip-style leather PDA cases for iPods and iPhones. The design, repeated over and over again with only minor variations in features, is tiresome and outdated, with a face-covering lid that prevents you from using the screen or controls unless you open it up — an inconvenience that’s less sufferable on Apple’s video-friendly devices than their music-only predecessors. For that reason, and as much as we generally like Marware’s cases, we’re not enthusiastic about the new C.E.O. Flip Vue ($30) or C.E.O. Cover Vue ($30) for iPhone, though we were slightly more pleased by the C.E.O.
Slim Fold for iPod nano ($25), and then again by the lid-less C.E.O. Slim for iPod nano ($20).
Flip Vue and Cover Vue for iPhone are almost identical flip-style cases, with one twist a piece. Flip Vue has a visually stylized but otherwise plain magnetic-clasped front lid with a wave-style groove in its leather front, which exposes the suede surface that’s used on its interior. Cover Vue’s main lid also uses magnets, but mounts them on the outside, connecting to a bottom lid that’s supposed to fold open to serve as a vertical display stand. For those keeping score, a vertical stand would not be useful for videos, but rather to present the iPhone’s main menus and other features.
Both of these cases come with a plastic detachable belt clip and nub, and can be had in brown or black versions. The brown versions have brown suede inside, while the black versions have gray suede instead.
The nicest thing we can say about both of these cases is that they look fine and do a better than average job of protecting the iPhone. Marware covers virtually all of the iPhone’s sides, except for the ringer switch, leaving only the two top corners open in both cases; the headphone port and camera are also exposed. Flip Vue has an open Dock Connector with mesh vents for the iPhone’s speaker and microphone, while Cover Vue covers the same three components with the aforementioned mini bottom lid. Flip Vue’s better if you’re an iPhone speakerphone user; Cover Vue better if you want full-time bottom-of-iPhone protection for pocketing.
Unfortunately, there are other considerations here.