Nearly two months after the iPhone 3G’s release, new cases continue to appear at a brisk pace, so we’re doing quick reviews today of a collection of options that vary dramatically in looks and features. This review covers Marware’s C.E.O. Flip Vue for iPhone 3G ($30). [Editor’s Note: On October 1, Marware released a virtually identical version of this case for the second-generation iPod touch, which is shown in the last photograph here and receives the identical rating.]
Last year, Marware released the original iPhone version of Flip Vue, a leather flip-style case that covered the iPhone’s entire face with a flap. Besides our general distaste for the flip-style design, which makes use of the iPhone’s touchscreen unnecessarily difficult, Flip Vue had weird wave-like front styling and boring-looking metal Marware logos on their faces.
The new Flip Vue has been redesigned. It’s now packaged with a more familiar belt clip, screen protector, and cloth, the latter parts not really necessary given the case design. More importantly, Flip Vue now has sharper front and back design elements that are common to Marware’s other leather iPhone 3G cases, including a perforated central section that runs from front to back. There are now black or white versions, each with suede interiors and Velcro to hold the lids closed. We’re still not fans of this sort of case, as the idea of holding a big lid open when trying to use a phone or the device’s other features doesn’t do anything for us, but there’s no doubt that this particular design looks nice for the price.
There’s only one obvious issue that some users may need to be concerned about. Early versions of this case had improperly cut camera holes, an issue that’s been fixed in currently shipping models. The new versions have headphone port and Dock Connector holes that will work with some accessories, including Apple’s connectors, but not large ones, and still preserve the last model’s mesh speakerphone grille covers at the bottom, though the alignment’s not quite perfect. Otherwise, these cases are actually amongst the most protective we’ve seen, with substantial side protection that leaves only small gaps around the top corners.
Overall, the new Flip Vue cases for iPhone 3G are good options if you like flip-style designs—they’re reasonably priced, more nicely designed than last year’s version, and available in iPhone 3G-matching colors. They’re worthy of our general recommendation.
Company and Price
Model: C.E.O. Flip Vue
Compatible: iPhone 3G, iPod touch 2G