Review: Viiger belt loop case, finally a PDAir replacement?

The story so far... I can't live without a belt case for my PDA/smartphone/whatever. Really. I've tried, and I kept leaving it behind. And don't talk to me about pockets - these are fine when I have a jacket or coat, but I find today's giant phones uncomfortable in a trouser front pocket. I'm clearly in a worldwide minority here - maybe I'm just too slender! 

So belt case it is. And my go to for the last decade has been PDAir - I won't link to their web site because it's effectively dead now. Either coronavirus or just market forces or mis-management caused their demise. Which was a great shame, since their slender vertical belt pouches were/are perfect for me. Here's an early sample, from 2013 for the Lumia 1020:

Since then I've managed to get half a dozen (gradually larger) PDAir belt pouches and these have done my various Android and then iPhones right up to date. In each case, I like to have the phone in a slimline TPU case (for grip) and then the cased phone goes in the belt pouch, if you see what I mean:

But I'm on my last one, in terms of wear and tear and fit. The elasticated mid sections give way after about two years solid use each. So I've been searching for something that can replace my beloved PDAir pouches.

And I've almost found a replacement. Well, I have found one - it's just not 100% the same. As I'll explain.

I hadn't heard of Viiger before (here's their Amazon store), I think they might be a 'premium' Chinese brand for the West. Certainly their cases don't seem handmade and the leather doesn't seem top quality. However, the Viiger products do seem a cut above the cheap stuff you'd find on AliExpress, and the designs are as advertised.

In this case, a vertical pouch perfect for my cased phone (14 Pro Max here), with no rattling around or other mis-sizing. Rather than being open at the top, there's a small magnetic flap, but this is fine - if anything it's more secure etc and less chance of being pick-pocketed when out and about:

On the reverse is a leather 'loop', but it's nicely tight against the pouch and well stitched. On the average belt there's some vertical play, of course, but this isn't a big issue:

Below the iPhone is shown cameras-out, but in practice I've been using the pouch with the phone stored cameras-in, so that the camera island doesn't catch on the pouch front when re-inserting the device. There's no 'right' way to put a phone in a belt case, but cameras-in (i.e. the reverse of the photo below!) seems to work well in this case. Just a small tip.

The magnetic closure works very well and the magnets are just the perfect strength to prevent accidental openings while being trivially easy to open when needed.

All in all a great success, albeit a little pricey, given the only caveat - the ‘Genuine leather’ - in black, at least - possibly is such, but it’s heavily textured and I’d rather have had smooth leather, as on the PDAir cases. The texture makes the case feel cheaper than it is. IMHO.

Interestingly, the Brown version does have smooth leather, but I have to have black. Anything else draws peoples’ attention too much to what I’m wearing! And belt cases are distinctly unfashionable in most walks of life now. Ahem. Black just fits in and doesn't stick out to the eye.

Anyway, I have a precise replacement for the PDAir cases of the past. I'll keep on looking, of course, but this will amply do. You can grab Viiger cases here on Amazon UK.


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