Review: Case-Mate Barely There for Blackberry Bold


Yesterday Larry took a look at the Case-Mate Smooth for iPhone 3G/3GS. I would say he liked it! I too have long been a fan of Case-Mate’s products. In fact, a Case-Mate case was the very first cases I got for my original iPhone. The company doesn’t limit itself to iPhones however. They offer solutions for protecting a wide variety of handhelds including, as luck would have it, the Blackberry Bold I began carrying last week.

I always tend to prefer a minimalist approach to protecting my devices. I like a “real” case so invisible skins don’t do it for me, but a low profile case that keeps the device from scratching and offers some degree of protection from bumps and bruises is always my preference.

The Barely There fits that bill just fine! Let’s take a look.


As you can see in the above picture the Barely There truly earns its name.

Its comes in 16 different colors and a variety of finishes including Matte Black, Wet Red and Glossy Royal Silver.

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The wide range of colors truly lets you personalize your device.


The packaging includes screen protector, installation card, installation instructions and a small cleaning cloth.


The Barely There is a one-piece case that easily snaps on the Bold’s back. It is just as easily removed although that does not mean there is any possibility it will come off on its own. It Won’t! The design of the case is precise enough that it grips the device exceptionally well.

The case offers good protection for the back and sides of the device. It wraps around the device just enough to get a good grip but not enough to offer any protection of the bezel. Unlike the Case-Mate Smooth for iPhone 3G/3GS that Larry looked at this is not a “lay on the table” design.


The side cutouts give full access to the Bold’s buttons.


They are, of course, a bit recessed when the case is on but there is enough added space built into the case that the buttons are still easy to activate.


The cutout on the back stays well clear of interfering with the camera and flash. Like the buttons it too is now a bit recessed. That’s a great thing as it added some extra protection to the lens.

There is always a bit of a compromise when choosing a minimalist case for a device.


In this case that compromise is met at the top and bottom of the case.


Both feature a full cutout giving way to the Music/Standby key, speaker and mic. If I were looking for maximum protection this might not be my preferred choice but since I opted for the barely There for its minimalism it is more than fine.


The Barely There comes in a number of different finishes. The three I have had a chance were all “Matte”. The cases are rigid but has a bit of a “soft-touch” feel to them that makes them a pleasure to hold for an extended period. And although the Bold’s back provides better than normal grip thanks to its textured feel, the Barely There makes is even easier to grip.

Finally, I really appreciated the fact that Case-Mate included a screen protector with the case. While the Bold has less of a need for such protection than it would were it a touch screen device, I ALWAYS like to immediately protect the screen of any and every device I own.

The Case-Mate Barely There is a fantastic case for anyone looking to add protection to their Blackberry Bold without lots of weight or bulk. It is a great fitting, great feeling case that I am enjoying greatly.

You can check out the Case-Mate Barely There here.

M.S.R.P. – $19.99

What I like – great feel, great fit, lots of color choices, good price point

What I don’t like – nothing but it is not a case if you are looking for maximum protection. For Me, however, it is close to perfect..

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2 replies


  1. andrew
  2. Steve Mason