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Review: Case-Mate Signature & Carbon Fiber cases

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Hey all!

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Today’s post will be a dual case review of the Case-Mate iPhone 3G Signature Series Case and Carbon Fiber Leather Case.

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Case-Mate Signature Series Case (Red)

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This first case from Case-Mate features an all leather front and back. The leather is very fine and soft and feels really good in the palm. The exposed areas of the case allow for access to the dock connector, the volume rocker/silent switch, the camera, headphone jack/SIM tray/Sleep button, and full access to the screen, including the home button and outgoing phone speaker area.

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Once the iPhone 3G is in the case, the case provides a very tight fit. In fact, it is too tight. This is my only gripe about this case; the fit is way too tight. Pulling the phone out is a chore and the only way I was able to do it was to press down on the screen and slide it out, causing the iPhone screen to glitch temporarily. However, I did have the Invisible Shield on, so maybe without it the phone would come out fine. In other words, do not use this case if you use any current screen protector film. Other than that, I like it mostly because it provides full access to the screen, which many people enjoy.

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The Signature Series Case is available on Case-Mate’s online store for $34.99

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Case-Mate Carbon Fiber Case (Black)

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The second case from Case-Mate features an all leather front and back. The leather is slightly rough for the carbon fiber feel but regardless it still feels good in the palm. The exposed areas of the case are exactly as the previous case-mate skin in that it allows access to the dock connector, the volume rocker/silent switch, the camera, headphone jack/SIM tray/Sleep button, and full access to the screen, including the home button and outgoing phone speaker area.

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Once again, when the iPhone 3G is in the case, the fit is really tight. I won’t explain why I do not like that as you just read about it above, but again it is my only gripe. However, other than that, I like this case because it is not just a plain colour; it has some nice texture to it and I think that really sets it apart from many typical leather cases.

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The Carbon Fiber Case is available on Case-Mate’s online store for $49.99

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So, now the time you have all been waiting for…THE GIVE-AWAY! I know, I know…I haven’t had a give-away in a while, but that will make this one all the sweeter. Also, for the next few weeks, I will be having a give-away spree and there will be no limit to how many times you can win, so NOW is the time to watch X1Zero’s Corner and score some nice Christmas Gifts!

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Both Case-Mate cases pictured above will be given away today and since this is the first give-away in a while, we will start easy. Simply post in the comments below with something regarding the cases reviewed today and you will be automatically entered (TIP: positive comments are more likely to win)! The contest will end on Friday October 31, 2008 at 11:59pm.

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Enjoy!

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  • D168

    I don’t think the red case looks as nice as the black… And I really like the texture on the black case… gives it a really classy look.

  • D168

    I don’t think the red case looks as nice as the black… And I really like the texture on the black case… gives it a really classy look.

  • Singh

    I like how they made the cases just like the silicon ones but out of leather! Makes you feel like your case isn’t as good as you thought haha. Im currently using a black silicon case for mine and thinking of upgrading. Anyways thanks for the giveaway have a nice weekend x1!

  • Singh

    I like how they made the cases just like the silicon ones but out of leather! Makes you feel like your case isn’t as good as you thought haha. Im currently using a black silicon case for mine and thinking of upgrading. Anyways thanks for the giveaway have a nice weekend x1!

  • m1ndgam3z

    I think the carbon fiber is an awesome idea for a case. Your case reviews are very interesting and I really love hearing points of views on cases from other iPhone users! Awesome review x1!

  • m1ndgam3z

    I think the carbon fiber is an awesome idea for a case. Your case reviews are very interesting and I really love hearing points of views on cases from other iPhone users! Awesome review x1!

  • prez34

    Cheers….(btw,im tipping my iBeer at you) and thanks for another great review!!! The cases look great and seem to protect the iphone well. If only i could get my hands on the case i would tell yah how they held up in a long- term usage review….Did somebody say carbon fiber?

  • prez34

    Cheers….(btw,im tipping my iBeer at you) and thanks for another great review!!! The cases look great and seem to protect the iphone well. If only i could get my hands on the case i would tell yah how they held up in a long- term usage review….Did somebody say carbon fiber?

  • Excellent review. I initially had the same problem with the Casemate hipster which I posted about in the forums. http://iphoneincanada.ca/forums/showthread.php?t=2606 The fit was so tight that the phone had to be placed in a specific orientation or it would stretch the case. Even the Casemate website stated that the Hipster was incompatible with as body skin such as the Invisible Shield. So I guess they are known for tight fits. Many people use a screen shield that would probably peel off when this case is used because of the tight fit. Other than that I actually like the look of both cases very much. Cheers.

  • Excellent review. I initially had the same problem with the Casemate hipster which I posted about in the forums. http://iphoneincanada.ca/forums/showthread.php?t=2606 The fit was so tight that the phone had to be placed in a specific orientation or it would stretch the case. Even the Casemate website stated that the Hipster was incompatible with as body skin such as the Invisible Shield. So I guess they are known for tight fits. Many people use a screen shield that would probably peel off when this case is used because of the tight fit. Other than that I actually like the look of both cases very much. Cheers.

  • Shadowdragon

    I’m happy to see you review this case as the carbon fibre is the one I bought when I purchased my iPhone :). The fit is snug, but for me its is not as tight as you say above. I am wondering if your invinsi shield goes all the way around. With just the screen protector its a nice fit. I too love the feel, and when people see it they comment on it favorably. If I was to say one thing that bothers me about this case is that when you want to tap right at the edge, your finger will hit the side of the case as it is raised a bit. This though is really minor. I love this case :))

  • Shadowdragon

    I’m happy to see you review this case as the carbon fibre is the one I bought when I purchased my iPhone :). The fit is snug, but for me its is not as tight as you say above. I am wondering if your invinsi shield goes all the way around. With just the screen protector its a nice fit. I too love the feel, and when people see it they comment on it favorably. If I was to say one thing that bothers me about this case is that when you want to tap right at the edge, your finger will hit the side of the case as it is raised a bit. This though is really minor. I love this case :))

  • Tony

    I absolutely love the look of the carbon fiber case, it almost looks like snake skin or alligator skin. I love anything leather so these cases would make an awesome addition for my iphone. 🙂

  • Tony

    I absolutely love the look of the carbon fiber case, it almost looks like snake skin or alligator skin. I love anything leather so these cases would make an awesome addition for my iphone. 🙂

  • Stephane Fortin

    Well, the black case definitely looks better for “professional” use of the iPhone like I want to do when I grab my iPhone 3G today… Also, winning it would be even better since 31st October is my birthday! 😉

  • Stephane Fortin

    Well, the black case definitely looks better for “professional” use of the iPhone like I want to do when I grab my iPhone 3G today… Also, winning it would be even better since 31st October is my birthday! 😉

  • ilya

    great review. The black case is awsome but I could really use either one.

  • ilya

    great review. The black case is awsome but I could really use either one.

  • Jan

    Hey X1,

    Glad to see you reviewing again. I have been waiting for more reviews, as I have not found a case yet for my phone yet. It is always good to see some options for case maker’s that I may not have heard about, even though the cases reviewed now will mostly be (understandably) for 3G models. As always, thanks for doin’ the “dirty” work lol. Btw, I am not really entering your contest, as I’m still sporting (quite happily) a first gen.

    Cheers

  • Jan

    Hey X1,

    Glad to see you reviewing again. I have been waiting for more reviews, as I have not found a case yet for my phone yet. It is always good to see some options for case maker’s that I may not have heard about, even though the cases reviewed now will mostly be (understandably) for 3G models. As always, thanks for doin’ the “dirty” work lol. Btw, I am not really entering your contest, as I’m still sporting (quite happily) a first gen.

    Cheers

  • Marco

    Awesome. I’ve been looking for a carbon fibre case for a while now.

  • Marco

    Awesome. I’ve been looking for a carbon fibre case for a while now.

  • Darren

    The black one would look stylishly great on my iPhone 3G although either would work. Glad to see you back again X1!

  • Darren

    The black one would look stylishly great on my iPhone 3G although either would work. Glad to see you back again X1!

  • Chris

    Great cases and the holder with the 360 degree clip is sweet!!!!!

  • Chris

    Great cases and the holder with the 360 degree clip is sweet!!!!!

  • Min

    .
    Just bought my first iPhone two days ago. 🙂 So this review (plus the comments from other viewers) are quite useful to me. I am using a similar case-mate leather case for my iPod Touch. Love it. So I am thinking to get one for the new iPhone. However, I am not sure about the size of screen protector. It seems to cover the touch screen area only.
    .
    Since you mentioned the case is quite tide, do you think it will scratch the back of the phone? (Not sure about how hard the plastic back of iPhone is.)
    .
    Also, do you ( or any viewer ) have chance to try the hoster?
    .
    BTW, the direct link to the product is quite thoughtful. So one click we are able to view their video demo as well. Thank you for the reviewing.
    .

  • Min

    .
    Just bought my first iPhone two days ago. 🙂 So this review (plus the comments from other viewers) are quite useful to me. I am using a similar case-mate leather case for my iPod Touch. Love it. So I am thinking to get one for the new iPhone. However, I am not sure about the size of screen protector. It seems to cover the touch screen area only.
    .
    Since you mentioned the case is quite tide, do you think it will scratch the back of the phone? (Not sure about how hard the plastic back of iPhone is.)
    .
    Also, do you ( or any viewer ) have chance to try the hoster?
    .
    BTW, the direct link to the product is quite thoughtful. So one click we are able to view their video demo as well. Thank you for the reviewing.
    .

  • Sunny

    Very nice looking case. That rare leather is a wower!

  • Sunny

    Very nice looking case. That rare leather is a wower!

  • Shadowdragon

    @Min – I have the carbon fibre case and it is very, very nice.

    The screen protector provided covers the whole face, not just the viewable screen. Having said that, its not a great quaility screen. you may still want the invisibible shield, but the nice thing is, is that it come with one.

    The inside of the case is soft so there is no issue scratching the back of your phone.

    The holter….it is a very tight fit when your phone is in the holster. To tight in fact. There will be no fear that your phone may accidently fall out, but when the phone rings, you will be pulling. The clip is sound and does rotate 360 degrees, it works best with a thin and narrow belt, a thicker/fatter one means the clip wont fully close.

  • Shadowdragon

    @Min – I have the carbon fibre case and it is very, very nice.

    The screen protector provided covers the whole face, not just the viewable screen. Having said that, its not a great quaility screen. you may still want the invisibible shield, but the nice thing is, is that it come with one.

    The inside of the case is soft so there is no issue scratching the back of your phone.

    The holter….it is a very tight fit when your phone is in the holster. To tight in fact. There will be no fear that your phone may accidently fall out, but when the phone rings, you will be pulling. The clip is sound and does rotate 360 degrees, it works best with a thin and narrow belt, a thicker/fatter one means the clip wont fully close.

  • Min

    Hi Shadowdragon,
    .
    *Thank you* for the detailed reply. You have answered all my questions. :- ) It is nice to learn that screen protector of carbon fibre case will cover the whole face. That is one of my major concerns. Also really appreciate you share your experience with the holster. I lost my old candy bar phone in the field before (because the clip was opened). So it is quite helpful to know the hostler is doing its job well.
    .
    I am new to site. It seems to be very friendly here. :- )

  • Min

    Hi Shadowdragon,
    .
    *Thank you* for the detailed reply. You have answered all my questions. :- ) It is nice to learn that screen protector of carbon fibre case will cover the whole face. That is one of my major concerns. Also really appreciate you share your experience with the holster. I lost my old candy bar phone in the field before (because the clip was opened). So it is quite helpful to know the hostler is doing its job well.
    .
    I am new to site. It seems to be very friendly here. :- )

  • lukasz

    I really like the carbon one! It would match the interior of my car!! So sick I wonder how they imprint the leather to make it look like carbon fibre that’s hot!!

  • lukasz

    I really like the carbon one! It would match the interior of my car!! So sick I wonder how they imprint the leather to make it look like carbon fibre that’s hot!!

  • SK13

    Woah the carbon Fibre case looks awesome. Please sign me up for a chance to win that. Once again fantastic blog and like I’ve always said I read this every day so keep up the good work in keeping us informed.

  • SK13

    Woah the carbon Fibre case looks awesome. Please sign me up for a chance to win that. Once again fantastic blog and like I’ve always said I read this every day so keep up the good work in keeping us informed.

  • Cameron

    One is black and one is red!

  • Cameron

    One is black and one is red!

  • bob dog

    1st, I do not want to win one. 2nd, the clips on CaseMate products are junk. They breal too easily.

  • bob dog

    1st, I do not want to win one. 2nd, the clips on CaseMate products are junk. They breal too easily.

  • Nice review on both and good to know that the red case is tight with Invisible shield on! Although I have to agree with the other commenter that the black leather case looks much better than the red one! 🙂

  • Nice review on both and good to know that the red case is tight with Invisible shield on! Although I have to agree with the other commenter that the black leather case looks much better than the red one! 🙂

  • Peacock

    Thanks X1 for the review. The carbon case does look nice. Currently, I’m using Belkin holster leather case, it works fine for my needs because I just clip it onto my pants and whip it out when I get a call. However, if I do win the case, I’ll switch and see if it’s better than my current situation.

  • Peacock

    Thanks X1 for the review. The carbon case does look nice. Currently, I’m using Belkin holster leather case, it works fine for my needs because I just clip it onto my pants and whip it out when I get a call. However, if I do win the case, I’ll switch and see if it’s better than my current situation.

  • Doobie

    Question: why would you need a case if you have invisi shield type thing anyway?

  • Doobie

    Question: why would you need a case if you have invisi shield type thing anyway?

  • X1Zero

    I use a sena case and the front of IS.
    The more protection the better I say!

  • X1Zero

    I use a sena case and the front of IS.
    The more protection the better I say!

  • X1Zero

    @Jan,

    Stick close to the blog. I got some First Gen goodies too!

  • X1Zero

    @Jan,

    Stick close to the blog. I got some First Gen goodies too!

  • X1Zero

    @Min,

    The case-mate stuff won’t scratch the iPhone. Also, I have tried the holster. A little bulky for my tastes, but it works well for what it is supposed to do.

  • X1Zero

    @Min,

    The case-mate stuff won’t scratch the iPhone. Also, I have tried the holster. A little bulky for my tastes, but it works well for what it is supposed to do.

  • Min

    Hi X1Zero,

    *Thank you* for the reply. In that case, I guess I can skip the invisible shield, although I was told that is a must. Glad you mention the size of the holster. I only looked at its functionality and totally forgot about the size. I guess there is no perfect design. :- )

  • Min

    Hi X1Zero,

    *Thank you* for the reply. In that case, I guess I can skip the invisible shield, although I was told that is a must. Glad you mention the size of the holster. I only looked at its functionality and totally forgot about the size. I guess there is no perfect design. :- )

  • Carole

    I really love the look of this case. For me I would like to try it with the holster, I think I would prefer that to sticking it in a pocket or losing it in the bottom of my purse…again!

  • Carole

    I really love the look of this case. For me I would like to try it with the holster, I think I would prefer that to sticking it in a pocket or losing it in the bottom of my purse…again!

  • Kamran

    I have the black carbon fiber case and i love it. as the reviewer mentioned, when u put the iphone in the case it’s reeeeally hard to get out using JUST ur hands. the simplest way to get it out imo is to connect the tethering cable to the iphone and push on the plug while holding the case to push the iphone out. if u do that it comes out verrry easily. the case looks great. i’ve dropped my iphone with the case on a couple of times and it does its job in protecting it. i recommend it to anyone who is looking to spend a sizeable amount of $$$ on a case.

  • Kamran

    I have the black carbon fiber case and i love it. as the reviewer mentioned, when u put the iphone in the case it’s reeeeally hard to get out using JUST ur hands. the simplest way to get it out imo is to connect the tethering cable to the iphone and push on the plug while holding the case to push the iphone out. if u do that it comes out verrry easily. the case looks great. i’ve dropped my iphone with the case on a couple of times and it does its job in protecting it. i recommend it to anyone who is looking to spend a sizeable amount of $$$ on a case.

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