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ATPM 15.12
December 2009


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Accessory Review

by Chris Lawson,

U-Suit Premium


Developer: Uniea

Price: $35

Requirements: iPhone 3G or 3GS

Trial: None

There are hundreds, maybe thousands, of different cases out there for your iPhone. I’ve personally used at least a dozen, and yet I still haven’t found one I’m totally happy with. Can Uniea’s U-Suit Premium leather hard case change that?


As you can see, the U-Suit Premium adds very little bulk to the phone and is almost unnoticeable from the front. Note also the obvious gaps in protection at the top and bottom.

The U-Suit Premium has a fairly simple design. A thin but stiff molded plastic shell fits the iPhone. This shell, in turn, is encased in smooth leather. The plastic is just flexible enough to allow the iPhone to snap in and out of the case, but there’s no danger of the phone popping out of the case when it’s dropped.

Uniea follows the Henry Ford school of thinking: you can get a U-Suit Premium in any color you want so long as it’s black. That’s not a bad thing; black leather is timeless, goes great with a black iPhone, and wouldn’t look out of place with a white one. Overall fit and finish are excellent. Mold lines in the plastic are barely noticeable along the inside edges of the case, and you have to be looking for them to pick them out. The leather appears to be of high quality and uniform texture, although I could do without the Uniea logo stamped on the back.


These are the only mold lines you’ll find on the U-Suit without looking very closely. Uniea took great care to ensure an excellent fit and finish.


The leather looks great, but why did I just pay $35 to show off this big Uniea logo?

Protection for the sides and back of the iPhone is good, with a reasonably sized cutout for the volume and silent buttons on the left. The top and bottom of the phone are mostly exposed, but all four corners are protected well. The leather itself is just grippy enough not to fall out of a shirt pocket easily, but smooth enough that it doesn’t turn the pocket inside out as you’re extracting the phone from your jeans. (Both of these extremes have been a problem with other cases.)


Inserting an iPhone into the U-Suit is simple: just angle the button side of the phone into the case, then squeeze the other side down with your thumb.

Screen protection is provided via an included stick-on screen protector, which Uniea calls a U-Shield. It looks just like the protector included with the Zoe Case, right down to the instructional decals, and provides a reasonable level of scratch protection with minimal fuss. Applying these sorts of screen protectors so that the cutouts for the speaker and Home button are centered can be a bit tricky, but they’re durable enough that you won’t have to do it often. Unlike ZoFunk, Uniea doesn’t sell the screen protectors separately, so you’ll have to buy replacements somewhere else.


Stick-on screen protectors are tricky to align perfectly. This one is slightly offset, as you can see at the button.

Thus we come to the value equation. The aforementioned Zoe Case, while admittedly poorer in fit and finish, is comparable in design and materials (minus the leather), provides superior protection, and costs just $21. Adding leather to anything ups the price, but I’m not sure $14 more—a 67% increase—is justified.

If you’re looking for an unobtrusive case that doesn’t feel cheap and provides a modest level of protection against drops and scuffs, the U-Suit Premium is tough to beat. Its understated, elegant looks are a perfect match for the iPhone.

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