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Palm Treo Hard Case Review

As regular Treonauts will undoubtedly know I am always striving to find that rarest of things: beautiful innovation.  I define this as a product (including Treo cases in our Treo Accessory Shop), software or service that has been carefully, respectfully and intelligently designed and developed to deliver some form of ‘unique’ experience – something that clearly stands out from the rest of the pack. 

Overall it is surprisingly difficult to find this and more often than not the process is akin to looking for a needle in a (very large) haystack…  Therefore, like a child with a brand new toy I inevitably get extremely happy when I am at last able to find that elusive needle.

The above pretty much describes how I felt when I received the new Palm Treo Hard Case last week and I was immediately taken by its refined all black and stainless steel look as well as the clean lines of the casing which is made out of a polycarbonate which I have not previously seen used in any other Treo case.

It’s a little difficult to describe the unique qualities of the polycarbonate material as the pictures don’t really do it justice.  All I can say is that it is probably one of the most elegant ‘plastics’ that I have come across – with a smooth and opaque surface.

Not unlike a sunglasses case, attached to your waist with what I consider to be a terrific ultra slim belt clip (below right) the Treo Hard Case pops open by pushing a small latch at the top which leaves your Treo within easy reach at about a 70 degree angle (image above).

For added protection, the inside of the Treo Hard Case is lined with two thin sheets of cushy neoprene.  Also, the belt clip can be removed to reveal a completely smooth case if you want to put it in a bag or pocket (please note that it’s not exactly easy to remove the clip and you’ll need to use something pointy to do so – I found that the Treo stylus works perfectly well for this).

Overall, I can truly rate the new Treo Hard Case as ‘superb’ as it is extremely appealing and clearly demonstrates design and innovation at its best.  My only complaint is that Palm only added one opening for the antenna at the top (presumably for design integrity) and not one at the bottom which means that I can’t listen to the Pocket Tunes music on my Treo while on the go with it…

Having said this, if you’re looking for a sturdy, elegant and extremely well designed hard side case for your Treo then I can assure you that you will not be disappointed with this one.

Treonauts are always looking for needles in big haystacks

Posted by Andrew on June 13, 2006 at 08:13 AM

Treo Accessories , Treo Case

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by Cheflionfoot | Jun 13, 2006 8:56:02 AM

But can you hear the phone when it rings in this case?

by Thought | Jun 13, 2006 10:07:12 AM

I agree with Andrew...I just got mine and it is indeed a great case! Palm is to be congratulated for coming up with this design.

Also, I must pay compliment to the Treonauts store. The shipping was super fast, the shipping rate was extremely reasonable, even for next day service (better than any other merchant I researched), and the customer service superb.

by Simon Schlauri | Jun 13, 2006 10:21:06 AM

I sometimes wonder why there has a whole case industry developed during the last years, and why in the meantime about every second article I read here on treonauts is about cases.
Who the heck needs a case at all?? Its a hassle to open, hides my Treo's keys, and - above all - makes the phone even bulkier and heavier than it already is...

by zippo | Jun 13, 2006 12:33:09 PM

are you ever going to review the 700P or is this site only for accessories now

by Fred | Jun 13, 2006 1:12:29 PM

I agree with you, Andrew - why isn't there an opening at the bottom for headphones or a hands-free? Can a hole be made without ruining the case? At least the Innopocket case designers realized that there are Treonauts who use headphones!
But the Palm case looks so classy!

by RichC | Jun 13, 2006 1:35:51 PM

What about skin for the 700p? I'll admit I'm somewhat green to the Treo world and don't do much surfing for accessories ... but a tight fitting armour rubberized skin would be pretty nice. (especially one that wouldn't pick up grit and fuzz)

So far I'm just lukewarm in switching from the Samsung Palm based i500 to the Treo 700p. I like some of the features but regret losing the small size and habits associated with the old phone. One pleasant surprise has been the inclusion of a 'functional' camera that can take an "okay" picture.

by Dave | Jun 13, 2006 2:07:41 PM

In response to Simon Schlauri, I need a hard case because otherwise I would destroy my Treo. I've dinged my Tungsten E and m505 so many times I've lost count; the aluminum hard cases are really scratched up, but the Palms themselves are pristine. Just my lifestyle, I guess. I would prefer to carry the naked Treo (lighter and easier to use) but I just know it would get beat to hell. Perhaps it's not for everyone, just those of us constantly running into doorframes. :)

by Edwin | Jun 13, 2006 2:24:27 PM

Someone over at TreoCentral drilled holes in the Palm Hard Case so he could hear the speaker when it rings and posted pictures.


Check near the end of the thread. Pages 4 & 5 I believe.

by Jim | Jun 14, 2006 5:52:06 AM

Andrew - How do you like it vs. the CrystalCase from SPE?

by Wendi Wells | Jun 14, 2006 11:25:30 AM

Does anyone know of any reviews for Speck Products Lady Case (the leather, pink, flip lid)? I would very much like to know more about it's functionality as I am considering buying one. I really like the idea of a wrist strap, and a pocket for my sd card.

I have my treo 700w in a pink aluminum hard case, and while I really like the protection it gives (I completely understand what Dave means by "running into door frames", not to mention furniture, walls, and doors as well) especially since I am prone to dropping things, I find this case pretty bulky, and the hinge is kind of loose. It also bugs me that I can't use all the buttons I need access to, use the touch screen or see the entire screen, with the door closed.

I guess cases are like the weather. We complain if it's too hot for too long, or when it rains for days. Is there a happy medium?

I have a post in the Tetris section... if anyone would mind responding to my question? Thank you very much :o)

by bigDee | Jun 14, 2006 7:15:22 PM

This case really wouldn't fit me. I would hate having to open it, take it out, then close it. That's why I like holsters better. You just take it out right there.

The Seido holster looks the best so far.


That is a picture of the holster made for skinned treos but you can get a regular one too. I'd recommend the skin though anyway because its really nice. But it'd really better to just get the combo.
That has the skin, the holster, and a battery cover. The battery cover has a hole in it so you can easily reset the treo. The skin has the hole in it too.

Even still just looking at the holster, it looks the best.
Besides, in my humble opinion, horizontal cases are feminine.

by Robert Hoppas | Jun 14, 2006 10:48:45 PM

I love this hard case. However it would occasionally come off my belt. The clip does not hold it snug enough. I noticed the end of the clip is bent outwards to make it easier to put it on your belt. So, I removed the clip from the case as shown in the instructions. Using a pair of pliers I then bent the end of the metal clip inwards so that it basically wraps around your belt. This is now the perfect case. Total protection for the Treo, you can remove it very quickly, and it will now never come off my belt. The metal is very strong so it took some time to get it bent inwards far enough to be useful, but the effort was well worth it.

by Tim | Jun 15, 2006 9:33:04 AM

This is case has grown on me in some ways but it's got it's problems. I think the design of the case is fine if you were going to wear it on your belt. Otherwise it opens sort of backwards and is awkward to take out and put in. The fact does remain that there is no elegant way to put it in or take it out without having the plastic of your treo hit the hard plastic of the case somewhere. The neoprene "padding" inside is a joke-- they should have made it at least cover the little plastic nubs that support the phone in the case.

Otherwise, the case looks awesome. It's really classy looking and the finish on the outside doesn't marr as easily as you might think it would. I will still use it, when I want a change from my Vaja T7 coming today... Yes!

by Jimmy | Jun 16, 2006 7:22:09 AM

Unfortunately, from the photos, this case is really desinged for "right Hippers", meaning if you wear your Treo on your left hip like I do, the screen is upside down when you open it up to check caller ID or so. Can the clip be reversed to the other side?

by Edwin Sneller | Jun 16, 2006 9:00:17 AM

Nope. It can't be reversed. The way it is made with the antenna cut out there's only one way to put the Treo in the case which means it is upside down for left hipsters.

by Jack | Jun 19, 2006 5:44:24 PM

Got mine last week. The clip is made of mild steel and gets bent very quickly. Mine got loose in 1 hour to the point that I dropped my 650 three times in that same hour. I have NEVER dropped my Treo in the 8 months I've had it. Don't buy this case.

by Elliot | Jun 26, 2006 8:57:08 AM

When someone makes a case that conceals the camera lens, I'll buy it. Where I work, you can't have a camera, but I like the feature and would like to make it less...noticable.

by Yanis | Jun 27, 2006 2:39:34 PM

What about Bluetooth? Any problems with headset usage?

by Edwin Sneller | Jun 28, 2006 1:22:39 PM

No problems with bluetooth headsets when using this case.

by Phil Mahoney | Nov 6, 2007 4:20:39 AM


I have a Treo 500v in the UK and I'm struggling to find any decent cases for it. Having seen your website I notice you don't sell them either. Is there a case that would be compatible with this new model?

Thank you

Phil Mahoney
Suffolk, UK

by Chris | Feb 22, 2008 5:22:35 PM

I own a Treo 755p, and this same case without the antenna hole is listed on the Palm website as a recommended accessory for the Treo 755p. However, as you can see in some of the pictures in the review, there are 8 little plastic fins/tabs inside the case that are supposed to stabilize the Treo when the case is shut. I don't know about other Treo models, but on the 755p all 8 of these tabs cut/gouge into the finish of the 755p's casing! I now have a two-day-old 755p with 8 chunks gouged out of the casing finish, and I'm not very happy about it. When I first got the case, I couldn't figure out how to put the 755p in it properly, but then I read the instructions (there's an idea!), so I definitely had the 755p in the case properly when this damage occured. This case may work fine with older Treos, but with the latest Treo it's a case to be avoided unless you just like a Treo with scratched up finish. It's a shame, too, because I really liked how sturdy and protective this case is.

FYI, Palm Customer Support didn't seem to concerned about my issue. I'm returning this case to Palm for a refund. but when I told them they need to take it off the compatible recommendations for the 755p, they defended it by saying the the 755p is identical to a couple of previous Treos, and they haven't had any reports of scratches caused by the case.

I'm probably going to go for the Case-Mate shield/holster combo now. I wish that Vaja had the same type of case for the Treo that they had for the T|C -- that was a superb (albeit expensive) case.

by cecp | Jul 9, 2008 5:47:19 PM

I own treo 500, can I send via bluetooth photos or song or some like that to another cellphone???

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