I know what you're thinking. I know that when you read "holster," you figure the word "NERD" is going to follow soon. But sometimes, holster can mean a "fashion object." It can also mean "convenient" and "reliable," and I think Trexta (http://www.trexta.com) is right on track when it comes to a solution that combines all three of those.
Trexta is a company based in Turkey, where many of their products are hand-made; it specializes in phone, camera, and laptop cases. Their offerings for the Apple market, especially the iPhone market, are extensive. I visited the Trexta booth during the recent MacWorld 2010, where I was given a look at some of these aesthetic offerings and obtained a review unit of the Ursa. The Ursa stood out to me most with its thick, attractive leather (chocolate-colored, with a smooth, bright finish), suede lining, extremely tough belt clip, and magnetic closure.
Given Valentine's Day was immediately after MacWorld, I was also presented with a prime opportunity to put the Ursa to task. Enter the Great Valentine's Day Pillow Fight. A San Francisco tradition, it's wide open to the public. What better to test the resiliency and steadfastness of a belt-clipped holster than being pummeled by a crowd of a thousand or so? If you can dodge a flash mob, you can dodge day-to-day hazards!
Throughout the ensuing mayhem (and snowy feathers), the review unit stuck to my side like a jealous lover. Holiday puns aside, the magnetic closure and snug fit ensured the phone within stayed put, while offering easy access for the occasional snapshot, or to send the occasional "can't find you in all the snow" message to friends lost in the fray. The use of a magnetic closure is a much more elegant solution than the usual velcro, as it will never turn into fly-away hairs and begin to fail after a few months' use.
Trexta appears to have paid great attention to detail, right down to the stitching that holds the holster together. The only plastic visible is applied along the edges. It matches, perfectly, the leather's finish for a seamless appearance. This is the only reason you'll know it's there; it seals the seams where leather meets leather or leather meets suede. Very fine attention to detail, indeed.
The Ursa retails for US$34.95, comes in options for both the first generation iPhone and the iPhone 3G/3GS, and can be ordered from various outlets online.
Rating: 9 out of 10
-- Antonio Malcolm