Review: Noreve Tradition leather case & metal belt clip for Nokia N900

The more I use my Nokia N900 the more I love it, which is what many others I know say as well. The N900 is much more than just a smartphone and is closer to a netbook than a phone, especially with applications and functionality like Firefox Mobile. Up until a couple of years ago I wrapped all of my mobile devices in cases, primarily those with belt clips, but have since moved on to just sliding the phone into my back pocket. Being that the N900 is more of a mobile computer than a phone, I decided to actually consider a case for the N900. The folks at Noreve sent out a press release a couple weeks back and so I decided to give their N900 Tradition leather case a try. They sent along a Sandy Vintage model for me to check out, along with their optional resistant metal belt clip with 360 degrees rotation.

Tradition leather case

As stated on the Noreve website, the characteristics of the tradition leather case include:

  • Access to basic functions (multiple openings on the leather)
  • Practical thanks to its snap closure
  • Slim and padded design
  • Protects the device in an optimal manner
  • Headset speaker with stainless steel mesh protector
  • One business or credit card slot
  • Camera lens access
  • Opening for recharge
  • Headphone access
  • Beautiful interior lining embossed with the Noreve logo
  • Completely removable plastic belt clip included (61303C)

Noreve has 22 Nokia N900 variations, different colors and leather types, to choose from to match just about everyone’s choice and desire. The Sandy Vintage is part of their Exceptional Selection series that uses leather with a special tanning process. The leather has a weathered look and textured finish, not smooth, that is achieve with special oils. The Noreve N900 cases are available now for EURO 39.99/US$56.64 each and come with an optional belt clip attachment. The additional metal belt clip accessory is available for EURO 12.50/US$17.33.

The Noreve case comes packaged in plastic that is easily separated into a front and back piece. The leather case rests in a durable box with the plastic belt clip, belt clip pin, and screwdriver inside the case.

The leather case has a soft textured feel to it and the tan/sandy color looks great. The case is designed as one that holds the N900 with a large flap that flips over the top of the device with a snap closure wrapped around the back. The main part of the case is rigid and there are no clips or anything that holds the N900 in place. You simply place the N900 into the case and the rigid frame holds it well in place. There are cutouts and openings in the rigid frame for everything, including the volume rocker, camera button, power button, stereo speakers, microUSB port, slider lock switch, 3.5mm headset jack, and stylus silo. There is black leather Noreve labeled material inside the bottom of the frame.

You will also find a large cutout on the back of the case for the camera and sliding lens cover so there are no worries accessing the N900 camera. I was worried about being able to take photos with the N900 in the case, but Noreve designed the top flap with the attachment in the center back so that it flips all the around to the other side in order to give you a completely unhindered camera angle. If you just let the flap hang down then you will find it go straight down from the back center if you have the case in a vertical position.

Looking at the top flap you will find it has a slot for a business card with a stainless steel grill over the headset speaker. The inside is lined with black leather with the Noreve stamp, just like the bottom rigid piece. A leather strap with a button is found at the end of the upper flap that wraps around to the back of the case. On the outside of the upper flap you will find that the leather is slightly padded with a Noreve metal icon located on the bottom right.

Flipping around to the back of the case, below the rigid part that holds the N900, you will find where the upper flap snaps in place. In the center you will see two rows of heavy stitches that secures the upper flap to the case. Centered on the flap on the back is a metal piece with a slot in it. You can use the included screwdriver to remove this piece and screw in the belt clip attachment.

Metal belt clip

If you want a more secure belt clip attachment for the Noreve N900 then you can purchase the resistant metal belt clip that works with various Noreve cases. Characteristics of the Noreve metal belt clip, as stated on the Noreve site, include:

  • Compact and stylish belt clip with high quality finish
  • Specially conceived to be simple and easy to use
  • Made with ultra resistant metal
  • Reinforced fixation system
  • Allows a 360° rotation
  • Easy to insert and remove with only one hand
  • Allows to comfortably position the device horizontally or vertically
  • Recommended for intensive users
  • Size : 2.75 x 1.45 x 0.51 inches

After removing the metal piece on the back of the case, you place the metal bracket into the two grooves on the Noreve case, place the metal screw in place, and secure it with the included screwdriver. You then slide the metal belt clip onto your belt in place where you want to hold the N900. One thing I really like about the metal clip is that it won’t scratch up your belt like many plastic clips have done in the past. There is an opening in the metal clip for a wide belt so it secures quite well onto your belt. The belt clip attachment on the back of your N900 slides into the metal clip in only one direction that then allows you to rotate the case through vertical and horizontal positions. If you rotate all around to the same angle you slid the case into the clip it will slide back out so make sure not to rotate it that far. I prefer to carry the N900 in a vertical position so the belt clip securely holds the N900 in the Noreve case in this position without worry.

Conclusions

The Noreve leather case is extremely well constructed with solid stitching, quality leather, and design features that enable you to fully access and use your device. It does add a bit of bulk to the device, but it is minimal and does add protection. The bottom rigid part is designed to let you slide up the display and gain full use of the QWERTY keyboard. You do have to let the top flap rotate around to the back and drop to the center so you can type without restrictions on the device. One thing I like about the N900 is the bracket on the back to prop up the N900 for watching videos, but when you have the N900 in the Noreve case you cannot use the bracket to prop up the device.

The case is a very nice accessory for the N900 and while the metal belt clip is a great piece of gear to add to the Noreve kit, I prefer to carry the N900 in the case without the belt clip most of the time.

Ratings (out of 5)

  • Design and Function: 4
  • Fit and Finish: 5
  • Aesthetics: 4.5
  • Ease of Use: 4.5
  • Performance: 4

Overall: 4.5/5

starStarStarStarStar

Pros

  • Adds good protection to the N900 with solid back and padded front
  • Attractive and well constructed case
  • Fully accessibile ports and hardware buttons
  • Good flap design for QWERTY keyboard usage

Cons

  • Quite expensive for a case
  • Can’t prop up N900 or video while in the case
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11 Comments to Review: Noreve Tradition leather case & metal belt clip for Nokia N900

speculatrix
January 30, 2010

the n900 is a state-of-the-art smsrtphone with the highest specification electronics built with space-age materials, and the best cover/case for it is made from a dead cow!!

tahirj89
January 31, 2010

i have an ivory whit noreve case. its more like cream then white. The case itself fantastic, dosent get in the way and gives the phone a classy look yea. I would also like to add that to use the usb cable/charger u will have to leave the case open thus leaving the screen unprotected. a ver small niggle imo.

Spartagek
January 31, 2010

@speculatrix

Would you rather have it cut from a living cow ?

It looks very nice, and i’m sure the cow would agree, since it is cut after its death …

Fahd
February 3, 2010

Hi, I just purchased a Noreve cover for my N900 and it has been an absolute dissapointment. First they did not have the item I ordered in stock (even though the website said they did). They then send across a different product – i wanted a black one, they send a grey-green one claiming it is charcoal. The item recieved also looked to be a used or refurbished item – worn edges are a key tell tale. After requesting a refund they asked to ship it back – the cost of which would negate any refund amount.
End result – stuck with an item that looks used, isnt the color i want and have no way of returning.

Thoroughly dissapointing experinece – my advice – never buy a product from this company – its over hyped,over priced and lousy.

on top of that upon my complaint of the quality, the customer rep ‘Cynthia’ responds;

no problem… Have a good day.

Kitkat
February 4, 2010

Nice review over there. I’m thinking of getting a leather case but N900 is just too bulky for that. It will not fit into my jean’s pocket after putting into a leather case. :(

Dilin Anand
February 5, 2010

Please ignore the comment from Fahd. i got in touch with the folks at Noreve and it seems Fahd had just ordered a vintage case from them. FYI, Vintage cases are supposed to look like used, thy aren’t actually selling you used items – it’s just how it’s supposed to be.

Dilin Anand
February 5, 2010

http://www.symbianoasis.com/2010/01/nokia-n900-leather-protection.html

That is the post where the debate is going on.

Northerner
February 9, 2010

What screen protector are you using?

n900_user
April 22, 2010

Based off the orange peel like texture, I would guess he is using the invisible shield screen protector.

dissatisfied noreve customer
July 16, 2010

These cases are ok, as long as you don’t need to use the belt clip. The metal backing on the back of the case does not have enough threading to securely hold the screw which attaches the belt clip mechanism. This caused my brand new phone to fall to the ground on the first day using the case. I received a brand new metal belt clip to see if it would make a difference. After tightening the screw as much as possible, the screw held for just a few days before it gave way as well, causing my phone to fall again. When attempting to tighten the screw once more, the threading completely gave way, making the belt chip unattachable and unuseable. The company refuses to address this issue. Please beware if you plan on using the belt clip.

urea leak
August 10, 2010

Do NOT order anything from Noreve. They are scammers.


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