Review: Palm Pre Leather Side Case | webOS Nation

Review: Palm Pre Leather Side Case 51

by The Keith Newman Wed, 28 Oct 2009 12:51 pm EDT

The Palm Leather Side Case is the de-facto case for many Palm Pre users, but is de-facto a little deficient? The case is made of high quality leather on the outside while soft microfiber lining is placed inside for full screen protection.  The case offers a slim design which is used to keep the original Pre concept of stream-lined in mind.  The belt clip is snug and there is a ribbon that is used to help pull the device out of the case.

Read on for the full review!


The Palm Leather Side Case looks just like any other side case.  You put the device in horizontally and voila, it's in.  No magic or science there but the protection offered is decent in terms of how slim the case is. 

The microfiber material kept my device clean for the most part, a few fibers did make their way around the screen and a few users reported to me that a screen protector and this case were not a good combination at all; apparently the fibers clung to the edges and made for a "dusty" looking mess.  The Pre is covered up almost entirely with this case except for two top and bottom corners of the device and even then it's the back side.

From here, things got pretty bad for me. This case did not break in at all; which is an oddity because every other leather case I've used has broken in at some point.  The case is just too stiff to get the phone in at times.  This isn't a big deal for some, but now getting it out is a big event!

In order to remove the Pre, you need to pull on the ribbon that is tucked under the Pre.  You need to do this with two-hands at first and you'll need a ton of practice.  The device lifts out of the pouch and you should use the other hand to catch it (once you get good you can let it fall into your palm).  So you're saying "Keith, it's not that complicated..." and my response is "Good luck getting it back in!".  What I found, and Derek did as well, that you need to make sure the ribbon hasn't fallen back into the case before you push the Pre back into it.  If it's not out and hanging over when you put it back in, it won't reseat properly for the next time you try to pull on the ribbon tab. 

The magnet clasp was another fiasco, usually not lining up correctly due to the ribbon tab placement but that got better as I got better with the case.

When you have directions like this to use a side case, it's usually not a good sign:


The R&D bucks for this case went here.  The case looks extremely stylish and professional when closed; the stitching and molding of the case is well done.



I wanted to love this case on the looks alone but the basics of a case/holster need to be ease of use.  This one doesn't have it because there is simply no way to use the case without the ribbon (i.e. tight fit with no leather break-in).


Padding is good for the slim size


Ribbon difficult to use