Review: Noreve Tradition Leather Case for Nokia E7
Continuing my run of cases for the Nokia E7 Communicator, I here review the Noreve Tradition Leather Case, a luxury design that again sees the E7 staying in situ. With some of the best-smelling(!) leather I've yet experienced, this is definitely a top end case design and beautifully crafted, with only one or two minor quibbles.
How a smartphone case is designed is definitely affected by the device's overall size. Most of the Nokia E7 cases I've had in for review have been 'in situ', i.e. the smartphone is designed to be used, even opened up, without the case being removed. The Noreve one is no different and the aim is, as usual, to provide mechanical protection from drops and knocks, to protect the exposed camera glass from scratches and... to look good!
Happily, the Noreve Tradition succeeds at every level. In closed/folded over mode, shown above, you can see the premium leather finish, immaculately stitched. In this case it's blue, but you can order the leather in many other colours, by arrangement. The top flap is bound round to the back with a flap and press-stud and the fit is excellent. The secondary (camera-covering) panel has a screw thread in and I've screwed in the optional belt clip stud for the purposes of the photo - it's only a 10 second job to remove and leave the case 'flush'.
The case itself is composed of two layers of leather, the inner one embossed very neatly with the company logo and providing a degree of extra shock protection. The E7's body is retained with no less than eight clips, of varying sizes, each of which hooks gently but firmly over the curved edge of the phone's frame, to millimetre precision. Unlike other in-situ cases, the Noreve Tradition can be levered off and back on the phone in a few seconds, if needed - thankfully.
In normal use, the vulnerable E7 camera glass is completely covered - if you need to take a snap (or use the E7's 'torch' function) then the camera flap swings down easily and folds completely flat under the body of the phone - it's not unduly awkward.
Also shown below is one of several precise cutouts, some with embedded metal 'mesh', for the E7's microphones and speakers. Again, I can't praise the fit and finish of the Noreve Tradition enough - unlike some other case manufacturers, you can tell that Noreve bothered to get an actual device and run through several design iterations before finalising on their production case.
In opened mode, you have two options: the top flap of the Tradition can be left extended to the left and looks a little cumbersome - and the camera flap adds a slight degree of wobble to the cased E7, should you want to try typing on a flat surface. Or you can fold the top flap all the way back under the E7, providing even more wobble but having the benefit of raising the E7 further off your desk and way from dirt and damage, perhaps.
Used for thumb typing in two hands, the top flap is definitely best folded under and provides a nice grippy surface for your fingers.
You can see in the photo below the precise fitting of the hook sections that retain the E7 - there's almost zero chance that the device will fall out - or rattle - again, the positioning is very precise.
After which hyperbole, it seems churlish to complain about anything, but it's worth noting that the HDMI port is covered by one of the clips - there's nothing Noreve could realistically have done about this without compromising the security of the case, and after all, how often will you be plugging your E7 into a HDMI TV system?
In addition, the 3.5mm audio jack is catered for by a hole, so that you can listen to music with the case closed, controlling it from a Nokia multimedia headset, perhaps. But then when you open the top flap to do something on the phone, the flap catches on the headphone jack/cable, which is a little awkward. Changing the hole to a simple rectangular slot, allowing the case to be bent slightly and temporarily to evade the inserted cable might have helped prevent this happening.
But I'm nit-picking. The Tradition Leather Case is superb. It's expensive, mind you, at £35, but then class and premium materials usually are. At least here you can see where your money's going.
Steve Litchfield, All About Symbian, 5 July 2011
Reviewed by Steve Litchfield at