Marware is no stranger to designing good iPhone cases. They were one of the few case manufacturers that could be found in the Apple Stores at the launch of the first iPhone back in 2007. So when Geoff said he was sending me this particular case I already had high hopes for it. Now after three straight weeks of regular use Here are some thoughts on what I’ve experienced.
The Eco-Vue case is a faux leather case designed only for the iPhone 3G/3GS. Made of 100% ecologically friendly man-made materials no animals were harmed in the creation of this case all the way down to the packaging made of recycled paper. Starting with a shell made from corn starch polymers Marware has done an excellent job in recreating a look and feel very similar to leather. The texture and overall feel of the case is very comfortable in the hand. This is complimented with a green interior made of recycled polyester creating a soft lining to keep your iPhone 3G/3GS pretty much scratch free while still maintaining a very snug fit.
Completed by what Marware calls a “tuck-in belt” strap closure design at the top of the case that secures the iPhone secure; preventing it from randomly sliding out. To close the case you simply tuck the strap in between the iPhone and the back of the case. No magnets, snaps or velcro just a simple case design that creates enough pressure that holds the strap in place. This design works surprisingly well as at no time did my iPhone 3GS begin to slide out even when held upside down in the pocket or in hand. Although I wouldn’t suggest flinging the case around as centrifugal force will eventually take over with possibly unwanted and disasterous results. It did however pass my rather unprofessional and unorthodox shake test (please don’t try this at home either) which was good enough for me.
The open face design gives you full access to the entire screen and the home button. You also have unrestricted access to the camera, power button, headset jack, silent/ringer switch, volume controls, and charging port. The speaker and mic are also open but protected by mesh screen which doesn’t seem to restrict sound at all. Calls were still clear and no one had any difficulty hearing me during conversations. Music and even the alarm sounded clear and undistorted from as far as 20 feet away.
The Eco-Vue provides basic protection as this is a simple case design for normal business like activity. For the most part the iPhone is completely covered except for the top portion. This area just below the camera is left exposed on both sides of the belt strap closure and could get damaged should it hit a hard unforgiving surface. The included screen protector is pretty basic in design as it isn’t as scratch-resistant as other higher-grade offerings currently available on the market but is still a good step in protecting your investment. Mareware also saw fit to add a small and simple cleaning cloth to help keep your iPhone shiny and new.
Afyer constant use I have only two gripes with this case. My first is that the opening for the charging port needs to be a little wider as even the minimalist Apple charger is a bit to wide. But that could just be a manufacturing defect with the case I received which slipped past quality control. My other gripe as it is with most cases of this design is that the open portion for the touch screen stops to close to the edge of the screen itself. When tapping the Q, P, [shift] or  keys for example my fingers always hit the case first. Both minor annoyances that hasn’t prevented me from regulary using this case at all.
Overall, Marware designed a very good, functional and professional looking case. It does not add much bulk or weight to the iPhone and fits nicely in a standard sized pocket without issue. The included screen protector and cleaning cloth makes this a complete all-in-one package not found in many other offerings on the market. This makes it an excellent value especially for someone starting out who doesn’t want to or can’t afford purchase everything separately. So whether you are a business professional, ecologically conscious or just want a good looking yet functional case the Marware Eco-Vue is may just be what you are looking for.
SPECIAL THANKS goes out to iPhone Docked crew for having the Guest Writer Contest and sending me this case.