The PDO Reviso ($30) is a black leather “use in place” iPhone case that includes a clear plastic screen protector. While it’s design is 99% black leather, one thing that differentiates it from the competition is the “dual racing stripe” that runs down the back of the case–available in your choice of red, white, or blue. On the same we received, the stripes are definitely eye-grabbers, though they aren’t perfectly parallel. Some may see this as a flaw, while others may see it as a sign of a genuine hand-crafted product. To me, though, the racing stripes look just a bit cheesy. The case has a solid feel to it, and it completely encloses most of your iPhone–there’s a small slit at the bottom for the dock-connector port and microphone/speaker, but the sides are completely enclosed (including the bottom corners) up to the level of the volume control. From there on, the case is open on the sides and top.
The other things you’ll find on the back of the case are a small hole for the camera and a permanently-attached belt clip. I don’t like to wear my phone on my belt (might as well wear a sign saying “mug me!,” I figure), so I would have preferred a removable clip. Still, it’s not overly bulky even if you slip the case into your pocket. The only problem I had with the design of the back is that the camera hole is only a bit larger than the camera lens, and I occasionally found found that the case had moved enough to partially obscure the camera.
Putting the case itself on the iPhone is generally simple, even though there were no instructions included–only the parts and a cardboard insert with a small picture of the iPhone on it.) Just slide the phone in, and then pull a strap over the top to secure it. The strap closes with Velcro, not a snap as on some other cases. Over time, this may lead to difficulties closing the latch if lint builds up on the Velcro, but I had no issues during my testing.
The plastic screen protector, on the other hand, was tricker to install. The protector itself has two protective films on it–one on the front and one on the back. One film is labeled “(1) Please peel off this mask BEFORE application” and the other is labeled “(2) Please peel off this mask AFTER application.” Using my advanced logic capabilities, I quickly deduced that the side labeled “(1)” must be the side that faces the iPhone’s screen, otherwise removing the “(2)” cover was going to be quite difficult. Still, a “this side down” tag would have made things a bit clearer.
The film cover is relatively stiff, so it was fairly easy to position it properly on the iPhone. You’ll want to make sure your screen is completely clean, however; there were a couple of small specks of dust on mine, and both turned into small bubbles that resisted all attempts at smoothing with a credit card. The film has a slightly tacky, but not adhesive-like, surface, and I was able to peel it up and remove the foreign objects; you’ll want to be careful, though, not to get fingerprints on the film if you do this–they’ll be very visible.
The film doesn’t interfere with the iPhone’s touch-sensitive screen in any way; I had no troubles typing, scrolling, or tapping. If you decide you don’t want the film, it’s easy to remove–just slide a credit card or other object under the edge near the iPhone’s Home button, and the film lifts right off.
I only had one real issue using the case–tapping items that appear close to the edge of the screen, such as the Q, P, Delete, Shift, and Return keys on the keyboard, was somewhat difficult due to the thickness of the case. When I tried to reach one of these edge-located buttons, my thumb would end up touching the case instead of the key. With some practice, I was able to change the angle of my thumb when typing on these edge keys, but it’s still not a completely natural motion.
Overall, the Reviso case provides a durable enclosure for the iPhone, and the included screen protector is a nice addition to an already attractively-priced package. The protection comes at a price, of course–your iPhone is now thicker, and that thickness may cause issues with pressing some of the edge-located onscreen buttons. If possible, I would recommend checking out the case in person to see if this will be an issue for you–if you type differently than I, or if you’re more agile, perhaps this won’t be an issue.–Rob Griffiths