Review: HTC EVO 4G leather carrying case
The most popular HTC EVO accessory at the Sprint stores here in Hawaii is the official leather carrying case ($29.99). It was sold out at several locations on launch day and appears to be in very limited supply elsewhere.
The pouch appears to be the only HTC-branded leather case that will be offered for the EVO, so if you prefer official accessories to third-party ones and you're looking for something in leather, then this is it.
Design & Quality
HTC's leather carrying case for the EVO has a slightly weather-beaten look that makes it look a bit old even when it's new. I prefer smooth leather with a hint of sheen (as found on Noreve cases and even the Case Logic case that can be used with the EVO), so I personally don't care for the coarse grain and dull finish of this case. But that's just me.
That being said, the leather is soft and of good quality. It has a decorative arch on the flap with the HTC logo imprinted in a slightly recessed area below it, which gives it some interesting detail.
The case is well made and features even stitching, a soft suede lining, a magnetic closure, and a non-removable belt clip.
One thing this leather case doesn't have is a slim profile; it just about triples the EVO's thickness.
The EVO fits nicely into the case, but it's difficult to remove quickly when wearing it on a belt. There really isn't a whole lot to grab onto from that angle, so you'll most likely need to push it up from the bottom cutout with your fingers, use your thumb to keep the EVO from falling out, and then readjust your hand to pull it out of the case. You definitely won't be playing "quick draw" with this.
Another issue I see with this leather case is that the magnetic closure isn't very strong. The top flap needs to be pushed down deliberately to ensure that the case is closed and of course the lightest touch on the bottom of the flap opens it up. Because of the way the case is designed to be worn, there's little chance of the EVO falling out when you're walking around, but the magnets are still weak.
Since this is the only HTC-branded leather case for the EVO 4G being sold at Sprint stores right now, I can understand why it's been so popular. Take availability out of the equation, however, and I don't think many people would be impressed with it. All of the top-tier leather gadget case manufacturers like Vaja, Noreve, and Piel Frama aren't making EVO cases yet, but those will be the ones to beat once they exist.
In the meantime, if the Case Logic leather case isn't official enough for you, then you're going to have to settle for this bulky pouch that doesn't close very well or make it easy to remove the EVO from. It isn't the worst leather case ever by any means, but it's far from the best.
The HTC leather carry case is available now from Sprint for $29.99.