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Otterbox 1933 - Blackberry 8800 Case Review 3rd October 2007

Reviewed by Darren Griffin

 

We have reviewed a few Otterbox products over the past few years. Otterbox have a reputation for no-nonsense protective cases that are tough, waterproof and built to last.

 

I have recently switched to using a Blackberry 8800, a GPS equipped smart phone and within an hour of using it I had managed to snap the clip on the supplied soft holster case. Getting into a car the case caught on the seat and the clip snapped clean off. So I was delighted to see that Otterbox had just launched a protective case for this phone. Maybe that would survive my heavy handed abuse!

 

I've had the opportunity to use the case for a few weeks now and I'm very pleased with it, read on for the details.

 

Quick Navigation

Overview

Compatibility

Review

Conclusion

Resources

Overview

The Otterbox 1933 consists of the following parts:

  1. The hard plastic shell which consists of a front and back.
  2. A transparent latex screen and keyboard protector
  3. An outer soft rubber bumper surround
  4. A belt holster

It's important to point out that unlike many other Otterbox cases, this is neither sold as nor intended to be waterproof. This is a 'protective' case and the protective screen provides water splash protection from rain etc. It is not designed to survive being submerged in water or subject to excess water.

 

Otterbox also supply a small hard plastic applicator and glass cloth to assist in fitting the transparent plastic and ensuring no bubbles remain under the display area.

 

Otterbox review

Compatibility

The Otterbox 1933 is designed for the Blackberry 8800 and 8830 (World Edition) model phones only.

 

The review

 

Fitting the case is straightforward. The plastic shell is split into two.

 

 

The the transparent plastic layer is applied. This wraps over the top and also covers the back. As can be seen in Fig 1 and 2 below, it is very difficult to expunge all the air and marks from underneath the screen area even when using the supplied applicator. Although perhaps unsightly, when the screen is illuminated these marks are not visible so it does not affect use in any way.

 

The next step (Fig 2) is to place the phone complete with protective layer onto the back plate of the plastic case.

 

Fig 1 & Fig 2

 

 

Now the front panel is fitted over the top and clipped to the back piece.

 

 

With both halves of the case applied you can see below that access to the keyboard is unhindered. The keyboard/screen shield has a cut out to allow access to the roller ball.

 

 

Now the soft rubber outer shell is fitted over the top. This is an easy step, the shell fits snugly and recesses in the plastic case mate with lugs in the rubber to ensure it stays in place.

 

 

All done!

 

 

The case has been carefully designed. On the rear are ribs that make it very comfortable to hold. In addition these ribs mate with the holster to secure the phone when holstered. The holster is designed so that the phone's display is oriented towards the holster for added protection when inserted.

 

 

 

The rear of the holster shows the heavy duty clip. No chance of this coming off your belt accidentally! The clip aloes rotates in increments withal firm click to allow the holster to be oriented as you choose when fitted to your belt.

 

 

You can see below the 'return' on the clip which prevents the holster from slipping off your belt accidentally.

 

 

On the top are rubber 'Power' and 'Mute' buttons separated by the speaker port. There are tow speaker ports, one on the front above the sip lay and the one shown here. Both are covered by the protective layer which has an opening with a fine cloth filter over the speaker ports.

 

 

A rubber flap on the left hand side covers the USB and Headphone connectors. Also here hidden by my thumb is the rubber button for the custom configurable button on the 8800.

 

 

On the right is the Volume +/- buttons

 

 

 

 

 

The Otterbox 1933 in use

 

The case has been superbly designed with access to all ports and buttons retained without hampering use. The screen/keyboard protector does not hinder use of the keyboard in any way which surprised me. Indeed once fitted I quickly forgot that it was even there!

 

The case does not add more bulk than is necessary, and it makes it very much more robust. Dropping your prized Blackberry will not result in a cracked screen or scratched case if fitted in this Otterbox!

 

The holster has a magnet and so when the Blackberry is holstered it will switch to the holster profile as per Blackberry's own range of soft cases which is excellent. The only reason you need to remove the case is if you need to change the battery or gain access to the memory card slot, not something most of us would do very often.

 

Conclusions  

The Otterbox 1933 case will certainly protect your Blackberry. It does not add greatly to the bulk, looks good and retains access to all the buttons, ports and screen. The holster is also superb.

 

The only niggle is actually fitting the transparent rubber layer. I found it impossible to fully rid the display area of bubbles and other marks when applying. This does not affect use at all as when the back light is on, the bubbles etc cannot be seen anyway.

 

If you need to protect your Blackberry then this case will survive any accidental dropping which is what normally kills my phones and at £29.95 it represents excellent value for money.

 

Pros

  • Full protection for your Blackberry
  • Connectors are still accessible
  • Holster is well made and the device easily stowed. Has the magnet system to switch Blackberry to holster mode.
  • Easy to fit and remove case

Cons

  • Adds a little bulk
  • Protective screen layer difficult to apply

 

We have also reviewed Otterbox's 7000 Series Rugged laptop Case here.

 

References

Suppliers Web-site www.otterbox.com
Pocket GPS Contributor

Darren Griffin

RRP $49.95, £29.95

 

 

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