I have really been enjoying the experience of using the Blackberry Bold over the last few weeks. It is a fantastic device for e-mail and IM;and the integration with Google voice, while not as good as you’ll find on a device running Android, is quite good. I cannot see giving up my iPhone, but I am glad to have the opportunity to use both devices in parallel. While I have not gotten into the practice of surrounding myself with accessories for the device in the way that I have with my iPhone, I have discovered a few key accessories that enhance my experience of using the Bold.
Two of my favorites come from Case-Mate. One adds a tremendous amount of battery life the device, while the other merely enhances its appearance. Let’s take a look at both.
BlackBerry Bold 9000 Fuel – Rechargeable Battery Pack
A few months ago I took a look at the company’s Fuel external battery for the iPhone. I like it a lot. The company was kind enough to let me keep the review sample which is now with the latest iPhone-convert to our crew, Clinton. As much as I like the iPhone version of the battery I absolutely love the version for the Blackberry Bold.
We’d like to introduce you to your new best friend…the BlackBerry Bold FUEL. It’s a protective case, carrying solution, and extended battery life all in one. So from here on out you’re good to charge on the go. So the next time you’re rushing to get to the airport at 6am and you forget your charger…relax, your BlackBerry Bold is taken care of.
Extended Battery Life Features
* Talk time: up to 7 additional hours beyond standard BlackBerry Bold battery life
* Stand by time: up to 20 additional days beyond standard BlackBerry Bold battery life
* Power on/off button makes more efficient usage of the fuel by only engaging when you decide to
* Fully ratcheting 180-degree belt clip
* Easy slide in/out access to your BlackBerry Bold
* battery capacity: up to 2300mA
* battery charging current: up to 450mA
* battery max discharging current: 2A
* power consumption: 5v/2.5w
* battery operational temperature range: 5°F to 122°F or -15°C to 50°C
I’m not a big fan of carrying my devices on my hip. In the case of the Blackberry, however, that isn’t totally the case. The device happens to lend itself to a hip holster quite well. That, in part makes the Fuel a homerun. It looks like a simple hip holster, albeit slightly thicker than usual. Made from a soft matte material it feels nice, doesn’t capture fingerprints at all and obviously will stand up to a great deal of use and abuse. That’s important because the Blackberry isn’t a piece of electronic jewelry — it’s a serious work device and, as such will see a great deal of use and abuse over time.
The battery itself is quite simple. On one side of the battery is a mini USB port, a power button, and a status light.
On the back is a heavy-duty belt clip. If you are going to use about clip — this is the type of book reviews. It’s strong, ratchets 90° in either direction and as a hook at the bottom so that it goes over and under the belt assuring that it will not accidentally slip off.
The Blackberry goes into the holster face in and simply clicks at the top. While in the holster the screen and keyboard are fully protected. Removing the Blackberry is as simple as pulling on the pad atop of the battery. The device pops out and is accessible within seconds.
Overall I have been pleased with the battery life of the Blackberry. Having the extra runtime of the Fuel is a nice way to guarantee I never run out of juice. Moreover, between the device itself and the battery I really don’t see a need to carry an external charger with me unless I’m going somewhere overnight.
What I Like-
Heavy duty, strong belt clip, simple easy-to-use design, as a tremendous amount of additional battery life
What Needs Improvement-
Not a thing
The Fuel is available directly from Case-Mate for an MSRP of $79.99.
BlackBerry Bold 9000 Backpacks
One of things that I especially like about the Blackberry bold is the leather-like backplate of the device. I like the way it looks and I especially like the way it feels in your hand. What I don’t like, however, is that it is fake leather. I don’t like fake leather. If I’m going to have something that looks like leather I wanted to be leather. Yes, I am a leather purest. Case-Mate offers a nice variety of replacement back plates
The Backpack is a, form-fit leather covered shell for the BlackBerry Bold.It replaces the battery door, adding the perfect accent to your Blackberry Bold.
* A perfect accent to the BlackBerry Bold.
* Quality leather form-fit design.
* Scratch resistant polycarbonate camera bezel.
* Impact resistant plastic shell.
The back plate itself is made from nice, woven leather in the case of the black microfiber version. It simply snaps on the back in the same manner as the original version. Where the original version had the Blackberry logo embedded in the silver trim the replacement backplate has the company’s name. While I like the look and feel of the replacement plagued far more than the original I do miss the silver trim around the camera and flash. I think it looks a bit more refined.
Given the choice between the two of backplate, however I definitely have been opting for the replacement backplate. It looks and feels nicer and it is real leather and that counts for a good deal.
What I like —
Perfect fit, easy to swap one backplate for another, real leather
What needs improvement ––
I guess the silver trim around the camera and flash
Each Backpacks costs $19.99 and can be ordered directly from Case-Mate.
Between the fuel external battery/holster and their placement backplate my Blackberry bold looks a bit sharper and runs a good deal longer than ever before. The combination of the two is under $100. Although the company was kind enough to send me both as a keeper — review accessories I certainly wouldn’t hesitate to buy both on my own. For more information visit the company’s site.