The Vaja Motorola Q Classic MO111 Case Review

The Motorola Q is a very thin, yet wider than usual Windows Mobile 5 Smartphone which was designed to be held to the user’s face when making calls. It also sports a full QWERTY keyboard for thumb-typing and a bright 2″ wide x 1.5″ tall screen. Making a case that would keep the screen from being unnecessarily scratched, protect the majority of the device’s plastic body, and yet allow unfettered access to the keyboard and other ports was the challenge. If anyone could rise to the occasion it would be Vaja; read on to see how they did…

There are four new Motorola Q cases offered by Vaja. Of them the most device-accessible version is the Motorola Q Classic MO111, an open-faced custom handcrafted case which is available in plain vitelino or plain aniline leather. The difference between the two leathers is that aniline is a soft leather with a smooth finish. According to the Vaja site, ” no pigmented finish or topcoats are applied to correct or mask the natural beauty of the hide. This means that you will be able to see the actual surface grain and markings.” Vitelino leather, on the other hand, has a “beautiful, cracked-look surface” which is “achieved by polishing with extreme pressure by rollers made of agate, steel or glass.” Vaja uses the glass rollers, “because it allows for the best possible results.” There are fourteen different vitelino color choices, and there are eighteen different aniline color choices.

If you would like a belt-clip, there is an option of adding a plastic Ultra-Clip for $6, or the sleek rivet clip system for $20. Personalization may also be added, with embossed text costing $10 and an embossed graphic costing $30.

I was sent two Q Classic cases – an Olive Vitelino for the Q with regular battery and an Azzuro Vitelino for the Q with extended battery; let’s look at the Olive case first. The sewn-in plastic screen guard has a piece of blue protective plastic on it, and there is no device inside to push out the custom sculpted leather sides. Worth noting are that the only branding evident on the device are the two subtle pewter colored teardrops which make up the Vaja logo, and there is a repetitive embossed Vaja logo making up the interior’s back wall.

This is more like it…once the Q has been inserted in the tightly fitted case, the leather sides are filled and the case hugs the device’s body to perfection. Without a case, the Q measures exactly 4.6″ tall x 2.6″ wide x 0.46″ thick and weighs 4.2 ounces. Inside the Classic case, the Q now measures 4.6″ tall x 2.7″ wide x 0.62″ and weighs 4.8 ounces. The difference in size is negligible, but the difference in the feel of the device is immediately evident. Where the Q’s exterior was a slightly cheap looking prone-to-scratches silver plastic before, the Q is now transformed into a sumptuous leather-wrapped device with silver trim.

The back of the Q is a rigid board of reinforced leather which adds a substantial feel to the device without adding hardly any weight or bulk.

The top of the case is left open, allowing for insertion and removal of the device as well as access to the headphone jack.

The left side has cut-outs for the Infrared port, miniSD card slot…

…and the mini USB port. Notice that the case lies perfectly flat across the base of the keyboard. There is no gapping whatsoever.

The left side has cut-outs for the thumb-wheel and the Undo/Back button.

The front of the case has mesh inserts over the call speakers and the microphone. The cutout allowing access to the QWERTY keyboard is generous and does not interfere with thumb-typing in any way. The screen is covered by a sewn-in clear plastic protector which also serves to keep the case tightly wrapped around the upper portion of the handset.

This picture of the left side wall shows Vaja’s attention to detail; a black nylon reinforcement panel has been sewn into the sides and front to keep them from stretching and losing shape.

The case has openings on the back to allows the use of the camera as well as the flash.

The back also has silver mesh sewn in to allow clear sound through the main speakers.

The Vitelino Azzuro case for the Q with extended battery is essentially the same…

…but it has a hunchback to allow the extended battery’s bulk. The extended battery case measures approximately 4.6″ tall x 2.7″ wide x 0.75″ thick. Since I don’t have an extended battery, I could not get the exact weight.

The Vaja Classic MO111 is a case that perfectly complements the Motorola Q. The combination of flawlessly tanned Argentinean leather and Vaja’s custom fit transforms an otherwise plain device into an extension of its owner’s personality. If you own a Motorola Q, it is naked until it is wearing a Vaja case.

The Vaja Motorola Q Classic MO111 is available directly from the manufacturer as well as from other retailers.
MSRP: The MO111 Starts at $60 for aniline, add $6 for vitelino. If you would like a belt-clip, there is an option of adding a plastic Ultra-Clip for $6, or the sleek rivet clip system for $20. Personalization may also be added, with embossed text costing $10 and an embossed graphic costing $30.
What I Like: Beautiful case, exceptional handcrafted quality leather, perfect tight fit, adds class to an otherwise “plastic-y” Smartphone
What Needs Improvement: Nothing

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About the Author

Judie Lipsett Stanford
Judie is the co-owner and Editor-in-Chief of Gear Diary, which she founded in September 2006. She started in 1999 writing software reviews at the now-defunct; from mid-2000 through 2006, she wrote hardware reviews for and co-edited at The Gadgeteer. A recipient of the Sigma Kappa Colby Award for Technology, Judie is best known for her device-agnostic approach, deep-dive reviews, and enjoyment of exploring the latest tech, gadgets, and gear.

4 Comments on "The Vaja Motorola Q Classic MO111 Case Review"

  1. A lot of people seem to have issues with the clear screen protector bowing outwards, leaving a gap at the bottom. Was this an issue for you? Does it seem like dust or other debri could easily enter the screen area from there?

  2. Kismet, My protector does not bow at all, but that might become an issue over time with heavy usage and if the phone is kept in a linty pocket. Ha! 😉

    I have been stowing it in my bag and hadn’t noticed a problem at all. 🙂

  3. Judie, thanks for the quick reply. I’m really curious about the Q Pro when it releases and I’d much prefer a nice vaja case on it. Although, I may hold out for a more pda-like device with a touchscreen.

    And, are you implying that I have linty pockets? >_

  4. “And, are you implying that I have linty pockets?”

    I would never presume such a thing! I was speaking in general. 😉 heh heh

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