As we’re now dealing with a huge influx of hundreds of cases and other accessories, we’ve opted to issue abbreviated reviews of a number of late case arrivals for the iPhone 3G — ones that are substantially similar to cases we’ve previously reviewed. This review looks at Noreve’s Tradition C ($40-50), a simple leather sleeve with abnormally nice external leather. Updated October 24, 2008: Noreve this month released Tradition C for the iPod touch 2G, an identical case that doesn’t merit a separate review; we have added photos to the bottom of this review, and preserve our rating for this model.
We generally aren’t fans of sleeve-style cases, which strike us as lazy to design and inconvenient to use, but they do have their appeal: you just toss your iPhone inside and pull it out when you need to use it, hoping that you don’t accidentally drop it on the floor during each transition. Noreve’s take is different from the pack in three ways.
First, it’s not especially slim—it feels a little thick in a nice, substantial way. That’s due in part to the leather, the second item: twelve smooth leather colors are available for $40 each, while three vintage colors such as the one shown here are sold for a premium price of $50. We continue to really like Noreve’s leather picks.
Third, it takes an odd approach to iPhone 3G bottom coverage. Unlike some sleeve-style cases, it doesn’t cover the entire bottom of the iPhone 3G, but it also doesn’t expose the speakerphone components like some other sleeves we’ve seen. Thus, the speakerphone ports are blocked, but the Dock Connector is not, so you can conceivably go home and sync or charge the iPhone without pulling it from Tradition C, but you can’t access calling functionality without using the headphone port. The case is that much less protective for these design choices, but more or less convenient under certain user-specific circumstances.
While Tradition C might not be a smart substitute for a case that provides both protection for and access to the iPhone 3G’s screen and controls—the reason it rates our limited recommendation—it’s a handsome leather sleeve, and due to the leather, one of the only cases of this sort that we’d consider using once in a while. We’d really prefer to see Noreve channel its design attention into making one really good play-through case design rather than three different, iffy Tradition variations, but for now, consider Tradition C a worthwhile option if you’re thinking of a case like this and don’t mind the bottom design compromises.
Updated: The iPod touch 2G version of Tradition C, sold in the same colors and for the same prices, is shown above.
Company and Price
Model: Tradition C iPhone, touch
Compatible: iPhone 3G, iPod touch 2G