The GiqueGEAR Smart Station is designed to act as a protective holster, a wallet replacement, and a workstation or stand for your smartphone. It claims to be “the ultimate home for your Android smartphone.” As a local company, GiqueGear (pronounced ‘geek gear’, I think) already has a special place in my heart, but the claim of ‘ultimate home’ for my Samsung Epic? That will take a pretty special case.
The SmartStation’s main claim to fame is that it is a fully protective case that also works as a portrait or landscape stand for your phone.
As a case, it offers a lot of value. The materials and workmanship are very good. It is nicely padded and lined with a soft fabric. The full double zipper is backed up by a Velcro tab which also serves as a belt strap. Being a universal case, it is a bit over-sized and clunky, but not terribly so. It features two big pockets so it can serve as a wallet as well. The case offers excellent protection from drops, smacks, impacts, etc.
The main thing that bugged me as a case is the ‘belt and suspenders’ overkill of the zipper and the Velcro tab. It made it a bit more awkward to get to the phone when it is on your belt. The phone sits rather loosely in the case, so a moment of fumbling at the belt and it could end up on the ground without any protection.
I must also admit that as much as I like the flaming head logo, I would like to see a ‘professional edition’ with either no logo or a much reduced logo available. I cannot picture myself rocking this sort of image at work, and in all honesty, the alternative Android logo is not much better.
Cases like this are thick on the ground in the cell phone world. What makes this case special is the work station element. Flip the belt strap and Velcro tab around and the case becomes an easel.
You place your phone in the front of the stand (held by a little mesh sling at the bottom) for a portrait stand, or on the back side against the ‘leg for landscape mode. Note the ‘speed bump’ on the bottom edge.
I found that in either position, it was usually a good angle, and did not interfere with my phone’s charger/sync cable (which comes out of the top). The phone stays in place well, even when you tap on the screen.
The few downsides I found, other than the case issues mentioned above, are that the Velcro tab that holds the case closed bugged me in this configuration as well- you can see it up there just sticking out. I also felt as though with a little modification, the phone could be positioned in either landscape or portrait mode on the leg.
Overall, the GiqueGear SmartStation case is a great value at $24.95. Well-made, good-looking, protective, and functional.