Mobile enthusiasts generally like shopping for the perfect case and it usually takes several tries to get it right. Vaja has been making high quality Argentine leather cases for several years and they appear to be perfecting their designs as evidenced by their functional case for the QWERTY keyboard sporting Nokia E61.
I moved from a Treo 650 to a Nokia E61 3 months ago and have been very happy with the device. It is a bit wide, but it is also quite slim so I have been able to carry it around in my shirt or pants pockets without too much trouble. A case was never included with the device and I have been very conscious of sitting on it or dropping it, although one time it did slip out when I exited my truck and received a couple of minor scratches. I have always heard a lot of praise for Vaja leather cases, but never tried one out on my converged devices and since the E61 will be with me for quite some time I decided to check a case out and see if it was functional and stylish. BTW, I did check out a Noreve leather case, but didn't particularly like the flip cover that seemed to get in the way during calls and added bulk to the package.
Vaja sent me an E61 Classic case that was all black leather with a belt clip post on the back. You can check out lots of photos in the Vaja E61 Image Gallery, where you can also see the couple minor scratches from my previously mentioned drop. The case came wrapped in a classy white box with a simple Vaja name on the front and after opening the box I found the case and belt clip. A screen protector was placed on the plastic piece that kept the it from getting scratched during shipping. Overall, it was a pleasant first impressions experience.
I have used cases before on devices with thumb keyboards and most of them had a piece of plastic over the keyboard that was used to hold the device in the case and also protect the keyboard. However, most of the time the plastic cover hampered full use and functionality of the QWERTY keyboard. Thus, I was very pleased to see that the Vaja case allowed full access to the keyboard as well as all buttons and ports on the side, top, and bottom. They achieved this while also holding the device very securely in the case with a top bottom flap, secured with two buttons, and s semi-rigid side and bottom frame. Mesh screen protectors cover the front and side speaker, which looks great on the black model they sent me. The high quality Argentine leather looks, smells, and feels spectacular and the stitching was top notch. I can easily see this case lasting for quite some time.
The one area of the case that may be affected first is the plastic piece that covers the display and holds the case together on the front. I have kept my Nokia protector on since day one so the display wouldn't get scratched and now I can take it off and use the protector on the case. I found that the plastic on the case doesn't attract as much face grease as the device display, but it does appear to be getting a couple of scratches that I can see when using the E61 in daylight at the right angle. With the backlight of the display turned up I can't really see the scratches and it hasn't impacted my usage, but it is the one area to keep an eye on in the future.
My Nokia E61 has been living in the Vaja Classic case for about 3 weeks now and I LOVE it! It stays securely on my belt and slides out when I get a call with a firm button press. The case doesn't add much weight or size to the E61 and I can highly recommend this outstanding case. The Nokia E61 Classic Vaja case is available in a large number of colors for US$60 with some additional costs for options like personalization, custom lining, and belt clip options.