Mobility Digest Review: Proporta Aluminum Lined Leather Case
It may not be able to stop a speeding bullet but the Proporta Aluminum Lined Leather Case should stop just about anything else you throw at it. This handsomely stitched black leather flip case is form fitted specifically for the Touch Pro 2 (w/standard battery). Unfortunately I have a Tilt2, but with a little modifying the case works just fine. More on the mod at the end of the review.
The front flap is covered with leather on both sides, black on the outside and a cream color on the inside, but sandwiched between the two layers is an aluminum plate that protects the screen when closed and helps serve as a kickstand when opened. The "proporta" logo etched into the aluminum is a nice touch. Inside the case is a plastic well that is molded to accept your Touch Pro2/Tilt2. The well is secured to the inside of the case with glue and what appears to be a small screw accessible from the back. The well has cutouts for; volume up/down buttons, microphone, speaker, USB port, stylus, and camera/mute button which are open through the back of the case. There are also a couple additional cutouts to the left/right of the camera to allow some of that great sound to escape from the back of the Touch Pro2/Tilt2. With the device snapped into the case the speakers were slightly muffled, almost giving the effect of the bass being turned up a bit.
The bottom of the well is lined with a soft flock material to protect your device, although its not really necessary as once the phone is snapped in it stays put so no chance for scuffing. There are four tabs, each about .375" long, near the top and bottom corners that hold your device firmly in place. The case is designed to provide full access to the slide-out keyboard which was easy to open/close while using. While it is possible for the phone to pop out of the well on its own, like I wouldn’t hold it by the open flap and fling it around, its really unlikely during normal use. With the front flap closed, the phone is constantly being pressed into the tabs, so even some shock/vibration while traveling will not dislodge it. To remove the phone from the well, all you need to do is pull back on the side just a bit and the phone will lift out. The front flap is secured with a single magnetic catch which held tight even with some jostling in my pocket and bag.
Because the TouchPro2/Tilt2 side buttons are already a bit difficult to use, the added thickness of the well made tapping these buttons somewhat of a challenge. The stylus was also tough to access. The power button sits outside the well and was not a problem for me. But captured in the case, with the front flap folded back, the phone was very secure in my hand, unlike the slippery plastic surface of the device. The added thickness and width of the case makes it hard to navigate the device with just your thumb (think 4.3"+ screen) making this a definite two handed operation. There is no belt clip or loop on this case, so it is strictly for pockets, purses or bags.
Overall I liked the look and feel of the case, plus the added protection the front aluminum flap offered. While I often use an extended battery, I could see myself using this case when the extra power (and a belt clip) was not needed.
- Classic black leather construction
- Aluminum screen protector
- Form-fitted phone well
- Well placed cutouts (at least for a Touch Pro2)
- Side buttons/stylus are a bit difficult to access
The MOD – As mentioned at the beginning of the review, this case was specifically designed for the Touch Pro2, meaning no cutout for the PTT button on my Tilt2. While my phone was able to snap in place covering this button, its pretty essential that I have access to it. I don’t use PTT, but I do use the button to access my Task Manager and Voice Command. I don’t understand why Proporta didn’t just make the volume up/down button slot a little longer to accommodate the PTT button, expanding the user base for this case to all Touch Pro2/Tilt2 devices. But I guess that’s why I don’t work for a phone case manufacturer. Additionally, just like the stock Touch Pro2/Tilt2 battery cover, there was no cutout for the soft reset button (what a dumb move HTC). Both of these shortcoming were remedied with a Dremel and a little patience. Not perfect, but now a very usable Tilt2 case. You can check out the modification for adding a hole to your existing Touch Pro2/Tilt2 battery cover here.