Review: SPE Side Pouch | webOS Nation

Review: SPE Side Pouch 6

by Derek Kessler Mon, 24 Aug 2009 11:12 am EDT

SPE Side Pouch

The Smartphone Experts Side Pouch Case for the Palm Pre is a low-profile, leather belt pouch to keep your Pre at the ready and protected. Like it’s vertical cousin the Top Pouch, the  Side Pouch is a rather standard-fare magnetic closure hip case, though in this case it is arranged in the horizontal orientation.

The Side Pouch was designed specifically for the Pre, so the fit is snug without being too tight. And like most SPE products, the Side Pouch is solidly constructed with care taken to wrap all leather edges under themselves before stitching the whole thing together.


As you would expect, the SPE Side Pouch does one thing and one thing only: holds your Pre. There aren’t any extraneous card slots or bulky rotating clips or special features: there’s a horizontal pouch with a wide magnetic closure and a leather-wrapped belt clip. It is padded just as amply as the top-loading version, but is not quite as tight and thus much easier to retrieve your Pre. Unfortunately, the ease of extraction is hampered by the lack of side cut-outs to grab (and the Pre’s rounded corners). After some practice I discovered that the best way to remove your phone is to open the top, and then poke a finger up through the center cut-out and grab the rising Pre with your thumb and pinky finger.

SPE Side Pouch

 That cut-out also gives it one advantage over the Top Pouch, if you put the Pre in right side-down you can actually open the USB port and plug it in to charge. In that same orientation you can also reach the volume buttons. But the ringer switch and headphone jack? For those you’ll have to remove the phone from the pouch.

The top flap’s wide and short design allow for a clean attractive look, but does require that you give it a slight push to get the magnets to latch rather than just letting it fall into place.

SPE Side Pouch


I got the black version of the SPE Side Pouch for review, and it’s an understated simple leather case. The stitching is straight and even and even the plain branded SPE logo has been moved around to the back of the pouch. If black isn’t your thing, the SPE Side Pouch is also available in other colors with contrasting edge piping and flip tabs. The leather-wrapped belt clip and closure tab lie flat against the case, so this isn’t a case that’s going to put your phone far out from your hip.

SPE Side Pouch


The SPE Side Pouch for Palm Pre is an straightforward hip case that will do an fine job of holding and protecting your phone. Its simple styling will be acceptable in both social and work environments, but because it is so enveloping of the phone it will limit your access to the phone’s controls while holstered. Also, as I mentioned, it takes a just bit of adjustment to learn how to remove the Pre quickly and you do have to remember to tap the flap closed. That said, it does what it does well, and that’s holding and protecting the phone.

The Smartphone Experts Side Pouch for Palm Pre is available in the Store for $24.95. It is available in black, cocoa/brandy, red brandy, saddle/brandy, and cream/brandy color combinations.

SPE Side Pouch Color


Solid construction


Awkward retrieval at first