Review: Treo 650 CrystalCase

Soon after the Black Tie Treo 650 arrived at my door, I began the eternal quest for accessories. Even though the device was bundled with a hard case that I eventually grew quite fond of (and now use exclusively), at the time I wanted something else. Something that didn’t mask the astounding beauty of the Black Tie but that still offered protection and in-case usability.

What I found was the Mobi Products CrystalCase, a two-piece plastic case that snaps together to form, well, a casing around the Treo.


The CrystalCase ships in a heat-sealed plastic baggie. And I don’t know who’s right here, but  "Crystal Case" (two words) is printed right there at the top of the bag; everyone online (including me) smashes the words together for some reason.


I actually think this is an OEM case because there isn’t any kind of company branding. Also, in this review the case is attributed to Smartphone Experts, not Mobi Products. In any case, the CrystalCase scores no points for presentation.

As the name implies, the case is crystal clear (no points for creativity either) with cut-outs for access to all of the phone’s components. The plastic is thin, smooth, and a bit glossy. In fact, it supposedly feels exactly like an uncased standard Treo 650. This feature thrills most people, as nearly everyone loves to keep their gadgets "naked." The Black Tie, on the other hand,  is coated in an ultra smooth silicone/rubber casing, which the CrystalCase obviously covers completely. I normally wouldn’t mind, comment, or even notice the feel of plastic, but it really doesn’t compare to the almost silky texture of silicone/rubber (it’s all very Batman!). 

In addition to masking the feel of the Black Tie, the case also covers the SIM card slot, which I actually don’t think is included on standard Treos. I don’t need regular access to the SIM card, of course, but it’s worth mentioning.

At first glance, and from afar, the CrystalCase appears to fit the Black Tie perfectly.







But looks can be deceiving.

Most likely because of the extra (albeit thin) coating of rubber/silicone, the CrystalCase is only a partial fit for the Black Tie.

Great fit on one side

Not-so-great fit on the other side

Scratch magnetism, that is. And the CrystalCase is brimming with it.


I know it’s hard to believe, but I actually don’t use my Treo as an air hockey puck. The only places this case has ever been are on a blanket and a table. It’s never even left the house (I can’t keep such an exposed gadget in my purse).



I’m sure such scratches wouldn’t be  as visible against the silver casing of the standard Treo, but they sure stand out on this.

If you have a Black Tie Treo 650, don’t buy or use the CrystalCase.  On the other hand, if you have a standard Treo 650 and live in a placed filled with extra soft, non-scratchy cotton balls, this may be the case for you.

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Jenn K. Lee

Jenn K. Lee is the founder of Pocketables. She loves gadgets the way most women love shoes and purses. The pieces in her tech wardrobe that go with everything are currently the Samsung Galaxy Note II, Sony Tablet P, and Nexus 7, but there are still a couple of vintage UMPCs/MIDs in the back of her closet.

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