BlackBerry’s Hail Mary pass — aka the Blackberry 10 Z10 smartphone — is close to release. I was impressed with the sample I was given at the official release event, and am looking forward to hearing what Judie, who currently has her hands on our Z10, thinks about the phone. The BB Z10 feels solid enough, but I suspect that as with the iPhone, owners are quickly going to want to protect the Z10’s large touchscreen in a case. Case-Mate was quick to announce some Blackberry Z10 Cases, and they sent two along so we could give them a try. If you are familiar with Case-Mate’s offerings from other touchscreen devices, you’ll immediately recognize the Blackberry Z10 Cases as coming from the same designers. Let’s take a look at each.
The $80 Zebrawood case is the first of the two Blackberry Z10 cases we were sent; this case is “inspired by automotive interiors”, and it is part of the Case-Mate Crafted Woods Collection. This Zebrawood case is a combination of brushed aluminum, real wood, and — the company neglects to mention — plastic. The combination of the wood, metal and plastic looks quite nice and is visually interesting as well. The back plate of metal and wood separates from the frame to become two pieces. Once the Z10 is placed inside the bottom piece the second part locks the phone safely inside. At that point the back and sides are completely protected an the front frame offers a degree of lay-on-the-table protection. The case has an MSRP of $80. In addition to Zebrawood, the design comes with Blackened Ash, Gray Leopardwood, Narra and Rosewood. You can find more details here.
If you want excellent protection for the screen of the Z10, the second of the two Blackberry Z10 Cases might be just what you need. The Case-Mate Signature Flip is made from real leather and features a microfiber interior to help keep the Z10 pristine. While you’ll lose the convenience of having your phone’s screen open and accessible whenever you pull it from your pocket, you’ll have 360 protection while on the go. The $50 the Signature Flip is also available for the iPhone 4/4S, iPhone 5 and Samsung GALAXY S3. Details and ordering information can be found here.
Case-Mate’s Zebrawood and Signature Flip cases for the Blackberry Z10 both look great, although they strike me as a bit overpriced. That is especially true of the Zebrawood case. The look, fit and finish on it are excellent, but the case frame is plastic and while exotic wood isn’t exactly cheap, $80 seems a bit too rich for what it offers. This is especially true since neither case comes with a screen protector. Still, if you took a risk and invested in Blackberry’s future, then you’ll likely want to keep your new phone safe; Case-Mate is ready to help.