Stylish Italian styling sets RexRegina apart
Last month, I reviewed a new side pouch by Smartphone Experts so I was eager to see how the RexRegina Winston side pouch stacked up.
The RexRegina Winston Side Pouch features a horizontal design for those who prefer belt clips and horizontal insertion of the BlackBerry. It is designed to protect your BlackBerry against scratches and dings and is small enough to fit into purses or bags too. But that isn’t why you’d pick a RexRegina case. The real reason for picking this side pouch is the leather styling. And at just $49.95 it's affordable as well as elegantly stylish and functional.
Opening the box
You know you are getting something a little special when the box arrives. Is it a Cuban cigar? Inside a soft cloth protects the new pouch and a little burst of the smell of leather greets your nose upon opening. RexRegina are creating a brand here and the little touches in presentation indicate they may spend this amount of effort on their products too.
RexRegina uses quality Italian leathers to give their cases and side pouches an incredibly rich and distinguished style. Italian leathers are regarded as the best in the world and the RexRegina range feature great textured leathers that add a dash of sophistication to what is effectively a utilitarian accessory.
The company also spends considerable resources ensuring these cases look polished. The leathers are aniline dyed, which means they are colored all the way through and gives the leather a deep richness and depth of colour. They are certainly distinctive.
The leathers used by RexRegina are, according to the company, made using a natural vegetable tanning process where extracts from barks, wood, leaves and fruits are used to tan the leather. The leather is apparently a lot more resilient.
I’ve been trying it out for three weeks or so now. The leather looks supple and soft but the side pouch is quite rigid which protects the BlackBerry well. It has lost a little of that rigidity over the last week, although not to the extent that the pouch doesn't hold my Curve snuggly. It is also leather lined which makes for a durable finish. The leather is designed to wear a little and take on a worn patina without losing durability or function.
The pouch is closed with a metallic magnetic clip that holds the BlackBerry securely and prevents the device from moving around. As with the other side pouches I have tried, getting the BlackBerry in and out can be a little tricky, as it is very snug. That is OK, however, when you use it conjunction with a Bluetooth enabled headset. Your BlackBerry sits snuggly on your hip while you can still use the phone functions easily (thank you BlackBerry voice dialing!). The head phone jack is also easily accessible.
RexRegina’s side pouch cases come in a couple of styles – the original Stanton and the all-new Winston. The Stanton is for the older BlackBerry 7100 series phones, while the Winston accommodates both the BlackBerry Curve and 8800 series (yes, that means the 8300, 8310, 8320, 8800, 8820, and 8830 – what a mouthful - will all fit this case!).
To accommodate my Rogers 8300 Curve I tried the Winston, which featured the crocodile skin texture, although it also comes in black vegetable tanned leather, black pebble grain leather and black lizard embossed leather finishes.
The 7100-designed Stanton also features Italian leather and comes in both 'Classic' and 'Nouveau' styling. While the Stanton Noveau series cases feature textured leather finishes similar to the Winston, the Stanton Classic cases are finished in a smooth leather that is available in brighter colors with cool names like 'London Bus Red' (I wonder when you order one of those if it takes forever and when it does arrive it arrives with five others behind it. A little joke for our London readers there.).
Wearing the device
The case does have a magnet that sends your BlackBerry into sleep mode, although it took me a couple of times to realize there is a wrong and right way of doing this. You can insert your device either screen in or out and wear the pouch on either hip just so long as you have the earphone port facing up. If you insert the wrong way, you are going to be making some very odd e-mails as the phone remains active.
The rear clip is very rigid and clasps a belt firmly. The clip itself is integrated into the design of the case, so it won't break, disconnect or pop off, which ensures no accidental drops.
I found the side pouch to be nice and light and it has such a thin profile I was unaware of it pretty quickly. Its small size also meant getting in and out of a car is a breeze with no fear it was going to be popped off my belt.
RexRegina designed these pouches to be elegant and stylish. If you invest in a great pair of shoes, an Italian leather case or an expensive purse, then you can accessorize with these stylish side pouches.
Functionally, they have everything you want in a side pouch – they are light weight, they hold your BlackBerry firmly and tightly and the back clip is tight and won't slip off at some inopportune moment. The sleep mode prevents any unwanted key strokes.
But the real reason for buying one of these is the chic factor. Kudos to RexRegina for taking a utilitarian accessory and really spending the effort and time to create something well-made and stylish. Customers have a variety of colors and, interestingly, textures with which to integrate the side pouch into their own personal style.
Purchase the RexRegina Stanton Side Pouch for the BlackBerry 7100 Series: