The C.E.O: Premiere for iPhone

C.E.O: Premiere for iPhone
Company: Marware

Price: $29.99

I have to admit it right up front-I’m quite partial to the “folio” style iPhone cases; those that clip to your belt and hold the iPhone in a horizontal (sideways) fashion. Sure, it’s a tad harder to extract a ringing phone from the case, but most of them provide a cutaway at the bottom so you can push the phone out quickly if necessary. Obviously if you’re using a wired or Bluetooth headset, it’s not much of a consideration.

The primary reason I prefer the folio style is because in my line of work (Mac support) I am constantly crawling under desks and behind workstations to access cables and connections or move equipment around. With the iPhone constantly clipped to my belt, a case with a vertical orientation would, each time I bent over, create a permanent dent in my lower ribcage, and/or cause the iPhone to pop off my belt and crash to the floor. Clearly, not acceptable. Further, these cases cover the front of the device completely with a thick hunk of leather, so even if I inadvertently scrape it against a metal table leg or mash it into the wall trying to extricate myself from behind an equipment rack, the iPhone emerges unscathed.

So I was very excited to give Marware’s C.E.O: Premiere leather folio case a try. The first thing that struck me about this case is that it’s just so darned good-looking-jet-black Napa leather with very clean lines, a smooth off-white leather interior with a large “push the iPhone out from the bottom” hole, and side panels that allow access to the headphone and sleep/wake button. You do need to ensure that you insert the iPhone into the case with the top of the phone on the right, since only one of the side panels is cut away sufficiently to allow access to the sleep/wake switch. You can’t access the volume controls or the dock when the iPhone is in the case; it would be nice to have the volume buttons accessible, although I can’t imagine why you would need dock access with the iPhone clipped to your belt.

This is the right side of the case, showing the access to the headphone jack and sleep/wake switch. The side panel on the left side is much larger and blocks the sleep/wake switch, so you’ll need to remember to insert the phone into the case with the top pointing to the right.

The C.E.O: Premiere has a magnetic closure, which has a much superior feel and action when compared to velcro or a metal snap-type closure. I recall when the iPhone first emerged and these cases started coming out of the woodwork, there were some concerns that a magnetic closure could erase data or even damage the iPhone. Although I have not seen any official statement from Apple or any of the case manufacturers debunking this theory, the general consensus appears to be that the magnets utilized in closures of this type are nowhere near powerful enough to result in data loss. The magnetic-style closure allows the flap of the case to close completely flush with the front, giving it a lower profile and making it less likely that I’ll bash it against the door getting into my car. The tiny silver badge on the front of the case flap is a nice accent, although I could live without the “MARWARE” name stamped into it.

Thanks to the magnetic closure, the case flap is completely flush with the front of the case when closed. The little silver badge is a nice accent with the black leather, but with the name stamped into it I feel like I’m shilling for Marware.

All in all, I think the C.E.O: Premiere is a winner. It definitely has that refined, buttoned-down CEO look to it and I could definitely see this case clipped to the belt of any executive wearing a black power suit. For a folio-type case it’s about as low-profile as you can get. The belt clip is metal sheathed in leather, and based on my early testing it promises to hold up through thousands of clippings and unclipping, something I can’t say about the belt clips on a few other cases I’ve used.

As always, I do have a few “cons” to point out in the spirit of constructive criticism. First, the case is quite rigid and strong, and that would seem to be A Good Thing, but it’s really not padded in any way, and that means when I inevitably grind my C.E.O: Premiere-encased iPhone into the metal leg of someone’s computer workstation, the case absorbs less of the impact and the iPhone absorbs more. Second, why not put actual belt loops on the back of the case, as well as the belt clip, so it can be strung through one’s belt as well? This would save wear and tear on the clip and provide a much more secure connection to the wearer. And as noted above, I find that I end up placing the iPhone into the case so that the sleep/wake switch is blocked about, oh, I’d say, 50% of the time. I hope to overcome this through a program of rigorous training and self-discipline.

Since I’m the sole employee of my consulting company, I suppose I could refer to myself as the C.E.O. were I so inclined. With this case, I feel as if I certainly look the part. Rating: 4 out of 5

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