Back in the early days of the smartphone revolution and well before the dawn of the iPhone accessory boom, there were already several companies creating cases for phones. One of those pioneer accessory makers, Sena Cases, not only made cases for the handful of original smartphones and MP3 players, but those cases were made out of beautiful calfskin leather and designed with a flair for style. The company is still around and doing very well, thank you, and they provided TUAW with a huge assortment of iPhone and iPad cases to review and give away.
I'm happy to say that since I got my first Pocket PC Phone back in 2003 and protected it with a Sena Case, the company has kept up the high quality of the construction of their products. The cases are all handcrafted, and the leather is breathtaking. Let's take a look at the cases that I have here to review, and then you'll have a chance to enter a drawing and win one of the Sena products.
Florence Leather Case for iPad
The Florence Leather Case (US$79.99) resembles the original Apple iPad case in form and functionality, but far exceeds the original in terms of build quality. The Florence comes in black, orange, brown, and red leather, features a magnetic closure that puts your second- or later-generation iPad to sleep when closed, and folds into either a typing or viewing position by folding back the cover and placing the edge under a leather tab.
Of the Sena iPad cases reviewed, this is the one I'd probably pick for myself since it is very slim and relatively lightweight.
Folio II Case for 3rd-generation iPad
If you're the type of person who wants to have all of your credit cards and ID on hand with your iPad, the Folio II ($99.95) is the case for you. On the left side of the case as you open it you'll find a fold-out leather pocket with slots for those cards, including a transparent holder for your ID.
The pocket also serves to hold the Folio II into video viewing position, while a smaller fold-out is used when you wish to use your iPad in a typing position. The Folio II comes in six finishes: black, red, red crocodile, brown (with orange interior), pewter, and orange.
LeatherSkin for 3rd-generation iPad
Do you already have an Apple Smart Cover, but you want to wrap the back of it in something luxurious? That's where the LeatherSkin ($69.95) comes in. You'll have to supply your own Smart Cover, of course.
On the back, however, is something a little different -- one of those Sena Cases touches that really stands out. That something is a magnetic-closure wallet for a couple of credit cards and an ID, perfect for those situations where you want to carry your iPad but nothing else. The LeatherSkin comes in black, tan, red and baby blue to match the respective Smart Covers. You can also mix and match colors for a fun combination.
Keyboard Folio for 3rd-generation iPad
For those who want to have a real keyboard for fast data entry when they're typing on an iPad, Sena has the Keyboard Folio ($149.99). The keyboard is held in its own leather pocket and can be removed for use further away from the iPad or with another device. That keyboard is made by another company (it says Hippih on the space bar), and I didn't feel that it stacks up to the standard of the Logitech Ultraslim Keyboard.
That being said, the keyboard will last up to 45 hours on a charge, and the Folio has a collapsible back stand to hold the iPad in the upright position you'll want while you're typing away. The Folio is held closed by a snap closure. The Keyboard Folio comes in black, red, and brown leather.
Now let's take a look at the wide variety of iPhone 4/4S cases Sena provided.
Some people like to change cases depending on their mood or what they're wearing. The Lugano Snap-On ($49.95) is the iPhone case for those people, as it's easily slipped on and off while providing beautiful protection.
The Lugano Snap-On comes in ten colors and finishes: black, black crocodile, black pebble, baby blue, silver, red, red crocodile, pewter, orange, and brown.
One of my first Sena cases was a flip case for a T-Mobile MDA. It had a leather cover that protected the phone's face and flipped out of the way when I wanted to use the phone. That's the idea behind the Sarach Flip ($69.99), which gently cradles your iPhone 4/4S in a leather pouch and protects the screen behind a flip-up cover. It's very reminiscent of the original Star Trek communicator!
I love the look of the Sarach Flip, as it comes in a two-tone saddle-stitched design. The combos you can get? Black and gray, red and red (well, they are two colors, although the same), brown and cream, and tan and cream.
The Sarach Ultraslim ($39.95) uses the same saddle stitching as the Sarach Flip, but doesn't have that flip-up cover. Instead, it's a very slim pouch type case. My favorite is the white/red design, which resembles a baseball, albeit without the 216 stitches of a standard MLB baseball. Complete with a velvet lining, the Sarach Ultraslim comes in white and white, black and gray, brown and beige, beige and brown, white and red (the baseball design), and red and cream.
The Magnet Flipper ($52.00) is another flip-cover case, this one including a magnetic closure to keep the cover closed in transit and a removable metal clip system. One of the more popular Sena Cases designs, the Magnet Flipper also comes in a huge variety of colors and finishes: black, black crocodile, black patent leather, red, red crocodile, red patent leather, burgundy crocodile, tan, brown, crocodile tan, baby blue, green, orange, white, and pink.
Another minimalist case like the Sarach Ultraslim is the Corsa ($39.99), which is a pouch type case with a pull-strap to help you pop your iPhone out of the case quickly. It's different from the rest of the cases with a bold racing stripe down one side.
Color combos that you can get include black and red, black and orange, white and red, red and white, white and orange, red and blue, blue and white, baby blue and white, black and white, black and yellow, and purple and yellow.
Another Sena case for the person who wants a slender iPhone case and a built-in wallet, the WalletSlim ($44.95) is a slender design with an added two-pocket wallet.
It's available in black, black crocodile, tan, brown, red, red crocodile, and orange.
Featuring the same removable metal clip as the Magnet Flipper, the LeatherSkin ($39.99) is described as a "premium leather glove" for your iPhone. Unlike the Flipper, it doesn't have a flip-up screen cover. Instead, it cradles your iPhone in a smooth leather slimline design.
Colors and finishes include black, black crocodile, tan, brown, red, red crocodile, and orange.
Want to swipe to answer your iPhone while it's still in the case? The Creativo ($39.99) is going to be the perfect Sena case for you. It features a swipe area in the proper area of the case so you can just swipe and pop the top of the case to talk.
It features a shock-absorbent padding to keep your iPhone 4S from feeling the effects of drops. Colors include black, tan, brown, and red.
Another flip-case with a protective front cover is the Hampton Flip ($59.95). The Hampton flip comes with a pair of credit card slots, and features a smooth and seamless design. Colors include black, tan, brown, and red.
I liked the design of the Hampton Flip more than many of the other designs. It combines functionality and minimalism nicely for an attractive and useful case.
Don't go confusing the Hampton Flip described above with the Hampton Wallet ($59.95). The Wallet doesn't have that flip-up front cover, but uses a book-type cover with three credit card slots to make itself more wallet-like. A belt closes the cover securely to keep your cards from flopping out.
The Hampton Wallet comes in three fascinating colors -- crocodile black, crocodile red, and a black and white striped leather.
Now's the time for fifteen lucky TUAW readers to win a free case for an iPhone 4/4S or for a third-generation iPad, courtesy of Sena Cases. Here are the rules for the giveaway:
Open to legal US residents of the 50 United States, the District of Columbia and Canada (excluding Quebec) who are 18 and older.
To enter, fill out the form below completely and click or tap the Submit button.
The entry must be made before July 8, 2012 11:59PM Eastern Daylight Time.
You may enter only once.
Fifteen winners will be selected. Prizes include a Florence Leather Case for second- and third-generation iPad (black or brown) valued at $79.99, a Folio II Case for 3rd-generation iPad (red) valued at $99.95, a LeatherSkin for 3rd-generation iPad (black) valued at $69.95, a Keyboard Folio for 3rd-generation iPad (black) valued at $149.99, a baby blue Lugano Snap-On for iPhone 4/4S valued at $49.95, a brown and cream Sarach Flip for iPhone 4/4S valued at $69.99, a WalletSlim in black crocodile leather valued at $44.95, a black with red racing stripe Corsa valued at $39.99, a red crocodile LeatherSkin for iPhone 4/4S valued at $39.99, a "baseball" Sarach UltraSlim for iPhone 4/4S valued at $39.95, a black Creativo for iPhone 4/4S valued at $39.99, a Hampton Wallet case in black crocodile valued at $59.95, a green Magnet Flipper for iPhone 4/4S valued at $52.00, and a Hampton Flip case in brown leather valued at $59.95. (Indicating a preference for a particular case does not guarantee that the case will be available.)