Yesterday I reviewed one of Sena’s iPhone pouches –the Corsa Pouch. The company was kind enough to send one of their BlackBerry Bold 9700 cases, the Leatherskin, for review as well. This case takes a more traditional approach to protecting the smartphone — it wraps around the back, sides and part of the front of the phone giving protection to everything except the screen and the keyboard.
Like everything else from the company the fit and finish are excellent and the leather is top quality. Let’s take a look.
Minimalist, form-fitting, slim curve-hugging, the LeatherSkin is like a premium leather glove for your Bold 9700. Slim curve hugging leather design Soft velvet lining with light protective layer Removable ratcheting metal clip system
Unlike the pouch which is intended only for those times when the iPhone is “pocketed”, the Leatherskin for the Blackberry Bold 9700 is intended to be on, and remain on, the device full-time. In order to get the device into the case you simply slide it in from the top.
A leather strap extends from the front to the back of the case at the top and securely snaps closed, ensuring that the phone isn’t leaving the case unless you actually want it to. The snap does, however, mean that there is a fair amount of thickness at one point toward the top of the device.
The leather on the back of the case is two layers thick, resulting in a rather rigid back. The sides and bottom of the back piece extend a little bit beyond of the device itself, resulting in an extra bit of protection.
The design of the case, coupled with the phone itself, results in the need for this particular case to be rather complicated with regard to the number of cutouts necessary if the phone’s controls are going to be accessible. Not surprisingly Sena has done an excellent job of ensuring that these cutouts are perfectly lined up. In fact when the case first came I asked Elana to take a look at it and to tell me what she thought. She’s not into device cases but immediately upon looking at this particular case commented “Wow I’m impressed by the accuracy of all the holes.”
The camera lens, the flash and even the speaker on the back of the device remain perfectly unblocked- the speaker through two layers of leather no less!
The upper and lower portion of the phone’s front are covered by leather as well. This ensures that the device can’t possibly pop out one side of the case.
The downside of this is that the bottom row of keys are somewhat below a layer of leather. This made accessing the bottom row of keys a bit more difficult than it might otherwise be.
Another issue that I had with the case was that the edges of the leather at both the top of the screen in the bottom of the keyboard are a bit rough. when I held the phone to my face I could definitely feel that the edges where the present. It wasn’t problematic but it was noticeable.
The case ships with a removable belt clip that can easily be screwed into this back plate. The belt clip itself is rather heavy duty and feels quite secure both with regard to being attached to the case and with regard to clipping over one’s belt.
The belt clip is of the type that has a lip at the edge so that it cannot accidentally slip off of the belt.
In all, the case gives good protection to the phone’s sides, back and upper and lower sections while maintaining the ability to access all of the buttons and ports on the device itself. It’s a nice looking case that gives you the option to have a belt clip or to go sans belt clip and, if you change your mind, to adapt it in either direction.
The Leatherskin for the BlackBerry Bold 9700 has an MSRP $39.99 and can be ordered directly from the.
What I like –
High-quality leather, excellent design, workmanship is everything I’ve come to expect from Sena. All of the cutouts are precise and allowed continued access to all of the devices functionality. Comes with a belt clip it doesn’t have to be used with a belt clip. Holds the device securely with no possibility that it will accidentally popped out.
What needs improvement –
The placement of the leather at the bottom portion of the front of the phone makes accessing in the bottom row of keys a little bit more difficult than it might otherwise be. The edges of the leather at the top and bottom of the phone are a little bit on the rough side and are noticeable when you hold the phone to your face.