Over the last week, we’ve been checking out seven different leather iPhone 3G cases, almost all of them highly familiar based on earlier versions we’ve seen for the original iPhone. We’re giving each only a brief review, with a short description and opinions below. This review covers Uniea’s U-Suit Premium for iPhone 3G ($35).
An Argentine company named Vaja pioneered the idea of a leather-covered iPod hardshell case with beautifully cut screen and Click Wheel holes, and began to charge significant premiums for its designs; Uniea, Case-Mate, and other companies responded by nearly duplicating the designs at lower prices, then creating similar iPhone versions. Thus, when Vaja released the ultra-expensive but slick iVolution Silver, which added silver accents to an otherwise clean leather iPhone hard case, Uniea released U-Suit Premium back in June, a less expensive clone. It wasn’t as amazing as iVolution Silver, but it did bring the cool design down to a price level that the masses could afford.
Unfortunately, something clearly went wrong in the quality control department over the past couple of months. What started as a good affordable alternative to the $280 iVolution Silver, complete with matte silver accents on the sides and around the screen, has devolved into an even cheaper imitation. One of our review samples arrived with a completely scuffed up corner, and both have rough, poor-looking silver frames for the iPhone 3G’s screen that no longer feel even slightly classy. You’re better off getting a case without the silver parts, such as Case-Mate’s similarly shaped, similarly priced Signature Leather hard cases.
The only way in which these are better than Case-Mate’s cases is in the screen protection department; Uniea includes full-face protectors, whereas Case-Mate uses weaker screen-only rectangles that we really don’t like. But otherwise, we’re really unimpressed by U-Suit Premium; it no longer seems worthy of the “premium” name. We’d call it mediocre.
Company and Price
Model: U-Suit Premium
Compatible: iPhone 3G