The new trend in SmartPhones (Windows Mobile ones, anyway) is to encase the brains of the phone in a nice, smooth and rubbery outer skin. The Blackjack, the Dash and the Black Motorola Q all have this nice feel to the outside. While it does seem to be more resistant to scratches to have this kind of outer case, your valuable investment is still prone to scratches, smudges and to breaking if dropped. With new cell phone deductibles on your ‘insurance’ policies, it makes sense to protect both the case and the screen.
Vaja has long been regarded as the ‘Premier’ leather case for everything from iPods to PDA’s (remember them) to Phones. It is not surprising then that Vaja has released new cases for the very sexy Motorola Q. These cases are for all versions of the Q with the standard battery. If you own a Q and care about preserving its ‘Sexiness’ you owe it to yourself to read on for the review. About Vaja
Vaja has long been known as one of the ‘Premier’ leather case manufacturers in the world Their cases are custom ordered – the user picks out the type of leather and the color combination and can even get it engraved They are known for using premium full grained Argentinean Cowhide which is both beautiful to look at and smell and very durable.
For this review, I will look at two of the new offerings for the Motorola Q from Vaja – the ivolution Top (sort of a ‘suit’) and the Vaja Classic case. Both are exotic and beautiful options for protecting your expensive device while adding even more class and style.
One could argue that the Q simply looks ‘too nice’ already to hide in a case or a suit – and you might be right. One can also argue that the Q is so thin, to add to its thickness would be criminal. Well, I assure you, both of these cases only make your Q look classier.
The Classic case is…well…classic looking. It adds the leas amount of bulk to the Q of the two.
The ‘Classic Case’ is a one piece case that you slip your Q into. This sounds easier than it is. It is a very tight fitting case – so tight fitting that there is no way to put it on without pushing a button or two on the Q – so I recommend putting the keyboard lock on for this procedure.
The case is open at the bottom of the front portion for access to the keyboard at all times. The back is a ‘harder’ leather than the sides and front – realizing that your Q might spend a bit of time on its back and this gives it added protection.
It is designed with a built in screen protector – a very nice feature, that is thick and protective. There are cut-outs along the sides for the jog dial and ‘back’ button and all ports and jack openings. The Microphone and speakers are covered by a nice ‘mesh’ material.
The Classic case is designed to be put on an left there. Getting it off is no easier than getting it on. While it is secure and feels great, if you do need to open the back of your Q to possibly get at the battery and reset the device (thank you Windows Mobile) you have a little project on your hands.
The Vaja Classic Case is, like most Vaja cases, a beautiful thing to behold. Every stitch is perfect. The smell is wonderful. EVery cutout is so incredibly perfect that none of the key features are hindered in any way. The screen protector is of a very high quality and is very securely attached. the leather is lined on the sides and front with fabric and on the back it is lined with slightly padded leather.
If you are looking for a thin, beautiful way to dress up your Q, offer some protection in case it falls and protect the screen – this is a very sexy way to go. My only gripe is with how tightly this case fits. That means that getting the Q in and out requires quite a bit of effort and you could scratch your device if you were not careful. Gripping the leather feels different than gripping the rubber sides of the Q – but it is very nice to hold and look at. You are sure to get compliments from passers by or other jealous Q owners.
Final Grade: A-
Pros: Beautiful, meticulously crafted. great smell and feel, cut-outs are perfect
Cons: Very tight, hard to get into the Q’s battery compartment
The Vaja Classic case retails for $60.00 and goes up if you customize it or add the various belt clip options.
Vaja ivolution Top
The Vaja ivolution series is certainly more bulky than the classic series – but not too bulky by any means. The ivolution is a softer leather with passing behind and a protective ‘hard shell’ underneath. This of the Bat suit – and that is what the ivolution case is like on your Smartphone.
The ivolution Top is brilliant in its design. It is hinged at the top with a fairly thin piece of leather and it open flip style. I think that on SmartPhones, it is usually better if the hinge is on the bottom and the top drops down for talking as opposed to flipping ‘up’ but that is largely a matter of personal taste.
The cool ting about this case is that when closed, the hard case also protects the keyboard. The opening below the screen protector, however, allows easy access to the soft keys on the Q as well as the ‘Call,’ ‘Home,’ ‘End’ and ‘Back’ keys as well as the D-pad.
Like the Classic case, the ivolution Top has a built in screen protector which is thick and durable. Even though you don’t touch the screen on the Q, it is possible to scratch it – so this is a nice feature.
My ivolution Top sample was all black, just like my Q – it was like dressing it up in a fancy suit. When the case is closed, every jack and button on both sides is accessible – so you can easily charge your Q (which you have to a lot) while in the case. Every jack is accessible except for the headphone jack on the top. For some reason, Vaja has this jack totally covered whether the top is flipped open or not. If you listen to headphones from the jack this could be a deal breaker. My guess is that since the Q supports A2DP (Bluetooth Stereo Streaming) they figured most user would listen to music without wires.
Like the Classic case, and all Vaja cases for that matter, the ivolution Top is just beautifully made. Every cut-out, every mesh grill is just perfectly placed. My only issue with this case is that When the Q is inside, it doesn’t seem to close all the way. Now, my guess is that I just have to ‘Break in’ this case like any fine leather product. The top definitely closes, but it needs some effort to ‘lock’ onto the bottom. At first I had to sort of force it closed, turning on the Q by hitting the buttons on the keyboard. With continued use, it did loosen up some.
This case just feels so nice to hold – the leather is both soft and hard (which is endemic to the ivolution line) and it seems very luxurious.
Over all Conclusions:
The Vaja ivolution Top is a beautiful case. It is really a matter of personal taste if you want your keyboard covered or not – much depends on how you use your Q. If you simply want to be able to talk on the phone and have access to the D-pad and main keys – this is perfect.
If you type a lot of emails and text messages, you will need to ‘flip open’ the case to get access to the keyboard.
Final Grade: A-
Pros: Beautiful design and construction, great feel in your hands, very protective
Cons: Fit is a little tight, no access to headphone jack when in case.
The Vaja ivolution Top is available at www.vajacases.com and can be personalized in lots of combinations at their Vaja Choice web site.
Prices start at $90.00
Written by Gary