Treos are very popular Cell phone/PDA combinations. Like all electronics, Treos are very delicate and susceptible to being damaged by water, dust, dropping, or being crushed. One wrong step and your $500 investment is down the tubes. For safety reasons you always want to take your phone with you when you go hiking or to the beach, but you must be very careful because getting it wet or dropping it would ruin it forever. If you like to go hiking and camping the OtterBox 1920 Treo case may be the answer you are looking for.
- Dustproof, drop and crush protection
- Easy access to all Treo™ functionality
- Charge and sync through the case
- Optional SD POD allows for the use of an SD barcode scanner for warehouse, shipping, and asset management applications.
- Phone usable through the case
Ever since I got my Treo 650 I have always been careful to keep it as far away from water and potentially hazardous places as I could. There have even been a couple of times when one of my kids have gotten a hold of it and dropped it. If it had not been on carpet I am sure it would have been broken. Now with the OtterBox I can put the Treo inside and I don’t have to worry as much about them damaging it.
Because the OtterBox 1920 is designed for the 650 and 700 you could upgrade your Treo and not have to buy a new case.
The OtterBox has support for add-ons called pods. Pods are used for extending the size of the case so that it can increase the usefulness of the case. This case has a SD POD which is for an SD barcode scanner. There is also a Belt Clip Accessory for the case.
The design is probably the biggest source of positive and negative comments. While it is designed to handle a heavy crushing weight it is also big and bulky. The colors are actually much better than the first round of OtterBox products. They actually match the grey color of the Treo.
The OtterBox 1920 is made of thick plastic with a soft rubber coating which makes it easier to grip, especially when wet. The clips are all made of hard plastic and the plugs for the top and bottom are made of soft rubber. The top of the OtterBox 1920 and the screen cover are made of a hard, but clear plastic. The OtterBox 1920 is not waterproof, but you should be able to get a little water resistance from the case. The tight case also keeps sand and dirt off your Treo, and the clear screen membrane keeps the stylus from scratching your screen.
Getting in and out of the OtterBox 1920 is not overly difficult, but it does take some effort. The clip is tight and it takes a bit of effort to open. There is only one clip and it located on the back. The Treo must be aligned just right otherwise you may not have access to all of the buttons on the front, or the camera on the back. Because this case is designed specifically for the Treo, OtterBox made great efforts to provide access to all the features. This includes the volume buttons on the side and the camera on the back. Remember, though, that this is not intended to be a waterproof case so I would not recommend using this to make your Treo into an underwater camera. In fact the documentation says the case is only rated for heavy rain.
The front of the case is dominated by the screen and keyboard. The screen lifts up to give you access to the Treo screen. The Treo screen is used through a thin flexible membrane that helps to maintain some water resistance. The keyboard is designed to line up with the keys on the Treo, and they have replicated all the keys and symbols on the keys.
The right side of the case has only a stylus holder.
The left side of the case has the buttons for the volume and confirm buttons.
The back is where the clip is for opening the case. There is also a small circular hole for the camera lens to see through for pictures.
The bottom has a plug so you can access the port on the bottom of the phone for charging and syncing.
The top is made of a clear plastic so you could technically use the IR port through it, but the top does not come off easily so you really lose access to the mute switch and SD card slot which are on top of the phone. Because you have to undo the clip to remove the top it might be just as easy to remove the back and take the Treo out of the case when you need to get at the SD card slot or mute button.
So how do you test a case that claims to provide some water resistance and crush resistance? Well, you put it in water and you crush it. As I mentioned above OtterBox does not claim this case to be water proof so I needed to be careful about how I tested it in water. I first started out by putting it under running water without the Treo. After drying it off and looking at the inside I did not see any water, so I put the Treo in and put it back in the water. I did not submerge the case under water because it is not water proof, but if you did I would expect water could get in through the speaker holes. When I took the case out of the water and dried it off I opened it up and the Treo, thankfully, was completely dry. Even though the Treo was dry there was a little water under the OtterBox 1920 keyboard. Thankfully the keyboard kept the water from getting on the Treo.
So the next test is to crush it. Most people are probably worried about stepping on their device or dropping it and having it break from the fall. So to test those two I first tried stepping on it, I weigh about 150 lbs, the case didn’t even budge. Dropping the case with the Treo in it produced the same results. With the Treo securely inside the case, it received no damage.
Using the Treo as a phone while in the case is another story. Because it is sealed in the case the sound going into the phone and coming out is muffled and hard to understand. The use of a wireless headset is probably the best option for people in this situation.
Taking pictures with the Treo while in the case produced ok results. If you do not get it lined up exactly with the hole on the back, then the case can get in the way of the lens. Also, if the case is dirty then that will prevent you from taking a good picture.
The keypad is another nice feature of the case. You really need to make sure the Treo is in the correct position in the case or the keys will not line up. There are no guides in the case, so you will just have to use trial and error until you get it right. When you use the Treo while in the case you will notice that the keypad lights up. The translucence of the keys on the case allows the light from the Treo keys to shine through. This is really helpful when it is dark. The only downside of the OtterBox 1920 keypad is that the blue keys don’t allow light through, so you cannot see what letters are on those keys.
Warranty and Support
With a case like this you really need a good warranty. OtterBox offers an unconditional lifetime warranty on their cases. This is the kind of warranty that I would like to see on all products. More companies need to stand by their products like OtterBox does.
If you are in need of extreme protection for your Treo then this is for you. Most people probably won’t find themselves in this kind of a situation all the time, but if you go boating, swimming, camping, fishing, or hiking and you want to take your Treo then you can probably find a use for this case. People with small kids may even want to go to this extreme of protecting their Treos. With the addition of a lifetime warranty and the ability to add on pods that extend the usefulness of the case, it is easily worth the price and possible inconvenience of the size. As always compare prices before purchasing.
|JusTech'n editors' rating|