One of the treats we received at Mobius Thailand this year was a Vaja case for the HTC Hermes / Dopod 838Pro.
You would have thought it was Christmas!
John Starkweather had no sooner announced that Vaja had made custom cases for our new Windows Mobile 5 Phones, when the room erupted with “oooooooohs” and our eyes grew wide; there was a good reason for this.
Vaja has been around since 2000, and in that time they have managed to revolutionize the case making industry. No longer the new guys on the block, they are now the leather craft company that every other case-maker aspires to be. From the beginning they have created form-fitting, well made cases constructed of aromatic Argentinean leather which complemented the PDAs carried inside. But before long their innovative designers chose to not only create the highest quality cases, they also began to offer custom designs that allowed their patrons to personalize the case-making process in a way never done before. Whether the case is from their Classic line or the slightly edgier iVolution line, Vaja items all have a few thing in common – they are impeccably made, they look beautiful, and they all smell yummy!
So today we’ll take a look at the HTC Horizonal Pouch, which is made to fit Pocket PC Phones – with or without a sliding keyboard – that measure no larger than 4.45″ tall x 2.3″ wide x 0.5″ thick. This pouch is very similar to the Vaja HT41 Pouch which I previously reviewed.
The case itself measures 4.53″ long x 2.6″ wide x 1.35″ thick. It is composed of black aniline leather with a deep red aniline accent stripe. The subtle Vaja logo is the only branding evident anywhere on the pouch.
The pouch is a custom Vaja case, which allows the person ordering their choice of leathers – vitelino or aniline, as well as a choice of color combinations. Some of the further options available are the addition of a free belt loop or personalization which can add from $10 to $30 depending upon the type chosen.
The case is kept closed with two magnetic snaps; there is an option to add SD, microSD or miniSD slots for an additional $4 on the front panel in between the snaps.
The Hermes / Dopod 838Pro fits perfectly inside, where it is protected from scratches or a cracked screen when not in use. Of course, the one caveat to a pouch type case is that there is no protection when the device is not inside; so be careful when that Hermes is out of the pouch, you got that?!
The case’s interior is lined in a very soft, light brown leather. A cutout at the bottom provides a push-point for removing the PDA when it is needed.
Cutouts on either side also provide points from which the PDA can be grasped for removal.
The only real improvement I would ask would be that the side cutouts be just a little bit deeper. If they were, then the mini-USB port would be usable when the PDA was in the case. This would allow for in-case syncing and charging, as well as using the Hermes’ wired headset.
Overall, the Vaja Pouch is nearly perfect. It is built to last from quality leather, the craftsmanship is impeccable, and the branding is so subtle yet immediately recognizable. The pouch is comfortable to hold, but it can also be worn on a belt or thrown in the user’s bag or briefcase.
If you have been thinking about a protective case for your HTC Hermes, then I highly recommend the Vaja Pouch. As with all Vaja cases, it is a prime example of beautiful leatherwork and protection.
The Vaja HTC Horizonal Pouch is available directly from the Manufacturer.
MSRP: $65 + additional for custom options
What I Like: Perfect fit, sumptuous leather, yummy smell, excellent craftsmanship and subtle branding
What Needs Improvement: A slightly deeper dip in the side openings would allow the use of the wired headset while the Hermes is in the case
Added Later: I have just received word that Vaja will extend a discount to?Gear Diary Users; here is the information:
Please use the code: geardiary
Expiration date: 12/19/2006
Discount: 15% Off
Products in promotion: Classic HT41 for HTC Wizard/ Apache (aht041); Classic HTC Horizontal Pouch (age161)
Gear Diary readers have to enter the code (geardiary) on the step 2/5 of the purchase process. The discount is applicable only to the product (shipping charges are excluded).