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Home > Hardware Reviews > Mobiles

Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Piel Frama Case for BlacBerry Curve

1. Piel Frama Case for the BlackBerry Curve

The BlackBerry Curve is my new Smartphone of Choice.  I love the rubberized sides – but I worry what will happen if it drops. The Curve is also thin.  No matter what the surface looks and feels like - a thinner   phone is easier to drop and seems like it would be more likely to break. That means that protecting your investment is more important now than ever. Thankfully, there are some amazing cases out in the marketplace that not only protect your phone, but also wrap it in luxurious leathers.

One of these manufacturers is Piel Frama - a Spanish company whose cases have been reviewed quite favorably on this site before.

The BlackBerry Curve is more sturdy feeling than the Pearl, but it is thin and expensive, so, a case is a good idea. 

The Curve is all about looks and style, so a case has to be equally stylish.  How does Piel Frama's offering for the BlackBerry Curve stand up to our rigorous testing? Read on to find out.

The Story of Piel Frama from the company web site goes as follows: 

Piel Frama made its first steps in manufacturing leather covers for mobile phones in 1984, but we have been manufacturing leather goods since 1945.Nowadays, Piel Frama is seen as a very prestigious company by the entire PDAs and phones industries, offering the finest quality products that exasist in the market.

All their products are hand-made across of different elaboration processes, in all of these, each piece have a very strict quality control.

Once made, the different molds are put into hard cartons; these are used to cut by hand the different parts of the PDA leather case.

Once all necessary pieces are ready our leather craftsmen assemble it like a puzzle. Piel Frama uses a glue that is environmentally friendly. Everything  is handmade.

The thread used to sew the leather covers is made of 100 % polyester (much more durable than cotton).This thread is made by Gutermann, a leading textile company from Germany.

The kind of leather they use to make the PDAs cases is cow skin 1ª quality, this leather come from their own country Spain, therefore they have the opportunity to select the best of these. The leather   does not come from big cows but rather   from veal (These young cows has not damage or scratch in their skins. Piel Frama´s leathers is ECOLOGICAL because is tanned and finished with natural products and biodegradable organic substances, which guarantee a void impact on the natural systems.

Design:

The Piel Frama case for the BlackBerry Curve is a traditional "Flip Over" design. When closed, the case covers the entirety of the BlackBerry and is secured with a snap at the bottom. When open, the user has access to all the important features of the device.

The first thing you notice is the attention to detail and the "feel" and smell of the leather. This is a beautiful piece of work - the leather is soft to hold and very nice to look at. The stitching is impeccable and each cutout is perfect. There are cutouts on the side for the convenience keys, volume buttons, earphone jack and charging port, cutouts on the front for the speaker and LED, a cutout on the bottom for the microphone and on the back for the camera.

The front flap of the case seems to have some extra padding for security and there is a little mesh-like slot where you could put some cash or notes. The back is harder leather and attached is their patented belt clip which I have long felt is the least obtrusive and best designed in the industry.

Craftsmanship:

As I said above, this is a beautiful case – a real sense of fine leather workmanship is in this case. Stitching, cutouts, seams and craftsmanship in general are just beautiful. You can truly tell that this is a handcrafted case. There are many leathers to choose from - different styles and colors and I can only imagine that each will be of the same high quality as the cow skin version I received.

Overall Conclusions:

The case is beautiful to look at, hold and use. The real issue here is that the Curve is great to hold and so nice to look at out of the case, I was reluctant to put it in the case. Thankfully, the case really doesn't add appreciative bulk to the BlackBerry. My only issue that for a Smartphone, I much prefer the "drop down" style of a case than a flip over one. A drop down case is easier to just open and talk on and it doesn't go over the camera when opened.

While I appreciated the cutouts for the camera, when the case is opened and flipped down, it covers the lens anyway. 

That is my only complaint with this case - it is just beautiful. It protects the Curve without adding too much bulk, it is very nice to hold and luxurious to look at. The belt clip allows easy attachment and removal from your belt. Their Belt Clip adds the least bulk to the case of any clip assembly I have tried before.  Piel Frama is truly one of the "elite" when it comes to fine leather cases and their prices are very reasonable considering the quality of the product.

Final Grade: A
Pros: Beautiful leather and craftsmanship, impeccable attention to detail, good protection
Cons: It is a little tricky to use the camera when in the case
 

Piel Frama Fine leather cases for the BlackBerry Curve sell for   $69.00 at www.pielframa.com




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