Boxwave sent me three cases for me to try with my T-Mobile G1. First up is the Boxwave Armor Case. I was sent the black version, which is made of anodized aluminum and has a protective Plexiglas window over the screen. There are openings for all functions of the phone, allowing you to use the phone while it’s in the case; this makes it convenient when making or taking calls.
Inside, the case is padded with neoprene which keeps the G1 snug and safe. I have accidentally dropped my G1 while it was in this case, and the G1 suffered no ill effects. The armor case protects the G1 very well.
One thing I don’t like about this case is that you must open it up to slide out the keyboard. You can keep the G1 in the case while using the keyboard, but there’s nothing to keep the case attached to the device, in fact I accidentally dropped the case while texting.
All other functions of the case performed very well, and the Armor provides the most protection of all of the cases in this review.
It comes with a belt clip, but I never used it. I just slipped the G1 in my pocket while it was in the case, and the raised edge around the buttons kept them from activating.
The Armor Case is available from Boxwave for $27.95.
What I liked: Total protection. This is the case I would use while going into a rough environment; the only thing better is an OtterBox.
What I didn’t care for: Nothing kept the G1 locked in the case when using the keyboard.
Next up is the Designio Leather Sleeve. This case has a bottom portion which wraps around the chin of the G1, and there is a strap which slides around the left hand side of the keyboard while the LCD is open. Once the strap is on this end of the keyboard, you can slide the LCD back and forth in normal operation. This case also has a nice belt clip which kept the G1 secure while on my belt. To use the keyboard, you just open the snap and slide the keyboard out. When done, snap the keyboard back and the case snaps back together.
The Designio has no screen protection, nor does it cover all surfaces of the G1. While this is a negative, the positive of this is you can take the G1 off your belt and use it without opening the case, unless you need the keyboard.
This case is available from Boxwave for $29.95.
What I liked: Best belt clip of the Boxwave cases I have looked at.
What needs improvement: More protection on the sides.
The last case I received isn’t so much of a case as it is a cover. The FlexiSkin is a silicone cover that wraps around only the bottom portion of the G1. This skin only provides protection for the back of the device and the buttons. The screen portion is unprotected. This case is nice if you just want to make the G1 a little easier to grip. It will also help keep your device from sliding across the dashboard or console if you’re the type to put your phone loose in those places.
The FlexiSkin is available from Boxwave for $11.95.
What I liked: The grippy feeling of the case.
What needs improvement: No protection for the screen at all.