Last month at Macworld Expo I had the opportunity to meet the folks from Sena. After working with them for years, it was nice to finally shake their hands and put faces to the names. When I got back from Macworld, I had a whole gaggle of iPhone cases arrive from them to review. Let’s take a look…
The five Sena cases that I will be reviewing are:
LeatherSkin case – Croco Tan Clip
MagnetFlipper – Green, Orange, Croco Black
Ultraslim Pouch – Black
Elega Pouch – Pink
Dockable Case – Green
Available in 14 different colors, the LeatherSkin is made of… wait for it… Leather! Napa leather to be specific. The exterior leather is rigid, with the back portion of the case being the thickest and the interior sides lined with a thin layer of suede to protect against scratches.
I was sent the Croco Tan version of this play through case. The iPhone slides into the case from the top and is held there by a snap tab.
If you like to wear your case on your belt, there is a slightly raised base on the back to screw in the included belt clip post.
All of the cases in this review with the belt clip base come with the hardware you see above.
Here’s the iPhone housed in the LeatherSkin case. In hand, this case doesn’t add that much bulk to your phone. It’s still comfortable to hold in your hand to make / receive phone calls. The case actually helps you keep a grip on the somewhat slippery smooth iPhone.
Besides the display, the only other areas of the iPhone that are exposed while inside the LeatherSkin, are the top corners. As you can see from the image above, there is a cutout for the camera, volume button, mute switch and docking connector.
I like the LeatherSkin because it is more minimal than a lot of cases I’ve looked at. There aren’t any flaps to get in your way. Materials and workmanship are first rate.
Take the LeatherSkin case and add some screen protection and you have the MagnetFlipper case.
Also available in 14 different colors, this case adds a padded magnetic cover to the design of the LeatherSkin case.
If you fancy wearing the case on your belt, you have the option of attaching the included metal clip post to the back of the case. I don’t really like belt clips, so I appreciate the fact that not using one is also an option.
The padded cover is attached to the bottom of the case, so it hangs down when opened, instead of flipping over the back of your hand.
There is a pocket in the cover, but it’s not the easiest to access due to the fact that the leather is flat and tight.
The padded cover does add some bulk to this case.
Now let’s go minimal with the UltraSlim Pouch…
Available in 12 colors and made of soft Napa leather with a suede lining, this pouch is a simple but elegant way to transport your iPhone while it is in your pocket or gear bag.
The iPhone slides easily into this sleeve and is pretty much completely protected. As you can see the top of the pouch is open.
The UltraSlim Pouch adds very little weight and bulk to the phone. Extracting it from the pouch is just a matter of pinching the bottom of the pouch to push the phone up and partially out of the case.
I really like the soft leather and simple design of this pouch. When I’m not using the iPhone, it’s the case I leave it in.
Take the MagnetFlipper case and attach the cover to the top instead of the bottom. Add the ability to insert the iPhone into a cradle and you have the Dockable case.
This case comes in twelve colors which include Black, Tan, Black/Blue, Black/Red, Blue, Red, Baby Blue, Green, Orange, Brown, White and Pink.
Like the other cases in this review, you have the ability to use or not use the included belt-clip with this case.
Here’s what it looks like after you install the metal post on the back of the case with the included hardware.
The cover on this case isn’t as poofy as the cover on the MagnetFlipper. It’s rigid and flat. I actually prefer it to the cover on the MagnetFlipper case. This one also uses magnets to hold it closed. As you will notice, it’s attached at the top of the phone, so that it folds over the back of your hand when you’re using the phone. Again, this is preferable to me… To each his (or her) own though.
Access to the volume and mute switches is easy through the cutouts.
There are even small holes for the speakers. The bottom corners of the phone are exposed too…
This allows you to insert the iPhone into a docking cradle while still in the case. This is a nice touch and one that a lot of people will appreciate as it saves time removing the phone when you need to sync or charge with your computer.
Of all the Sena cases available, this is the one I would choose if I were in the market for a play through iPhone case with built in screen protection.
Here we have another pouch style case. This one has a spring belt clip attached to the back, that can rotate to wear the case horizontally or vertically.
The Elega has both padded and rigid protection. The design seems a bit old fashioned to me though… It reminds me of a stuffy old eyeglasses case or something ;o) It is available in 14 colors though.
Small holes at the bottom of the pouch allow you to hear calls while the iPhone is in the case.
The iPhone is held quite securely in this case. So much so, that I don’t think a person would be able to extract it using one hand while wearing it on your belt. I think the action of pulling out the phone would also pull the entire case off your belt.
I would have to say that this is my least favorite case of the group. Nothing against the materials or workmanship though. All of these Sena cases are well made as you can see from all the images. I just don’t like the style of this one as much as the others. That said, if you’re looking for the most protection in a non-play through case, this one fits that criteria.