Protect your Z10 with Ballistic's tough 3-layer Shell Gel (SG) Series Case

Provides excellent protection without sacrificing functionality

By Alicia Erlich on 19 Feb 2014 11:15 am EST


No matter which BlackBerry 10 handheld you own, there are a variety of cases at your disposal. Whether they be lightweight skin or crunk cases, hard shell cases, transform cases, or rugged full body protection ones, there is always something out there to keep your device secure from everyday drops or falls.

Over the years, I’ve become obsessed​ quite the collector. Searching for the perfect case is not easy and combine that with my tendency to break things, it is a necessity. Therefore my preference is in cases that are the most impact resistant. As I have used Ballistic cases in the past, it was a no brainer to check out the Ballistic Shell Gel (SG) Series Case for the BlackBerry Z10.  

Design and Protection

The one common denominator in these rugged cases is that you sacrifice the lightweight feel of your device for extra protection. Some may categorize this as being bulky or clunky. While I do find the case to be heavier, it is not a detriment but a compliment. It does not weigh your device down like a brick but feels sturdy which in turn offers a better grip.  

Ballistic SG Series Case Back

It offers three layers of protection in a two piece design. The outermost layer is a soft shock absorbent polymer layer that is smooth to the touch. It is molded to the second layer that is an impact resistant polycarbonate shell. Finally, the third and innermost layer is a soft silicone skin with their signature Ballistic corners for extra shock absorption.

The corners for me are my favorite part of the design and the reason why these cases hold up so well during daily use. They offer extreme drop protection coverage to the point where your device literally bounces. I say this speaking from personal experience with all of my Ballistic cases.

Ballistic SG Series Case Volume Buttons

Another reason the skin layer protrudes from the shell is the “lay-on-table” feature. It ensures that if the BlackBerry Z10 falls flat on its face or is laid on a table, the screen never touches or is affected by the surface it comes in contact with. Some may ask whether these raised sides affect swiping or BlackBerry 10 gestures. To date, I have not experienced any hindrance in typing or swiping from the edges.


Some two part cases are difficult to snap on. In the past I’ve actually broken the outer shell trying to do so. In this case you merely wrap the skin around the edges of the BlackBerry Z10 and glide the outer layer over it. Two steps and it is all in place with no hassle when removing either. 

Drop test and liquid test

Normally I would never drop my device on purpose, but accidents happen. No matter the height or type of surface, the case bore the entire impact without showing a scratch, mark, or smudge and my Z10 remained intact and in one piece.

As for the liquid test, I unfortunately spilled a bottle of Diet Coke on my desk and over part of my device. I must say cleanup was easy and the skin case layer prevented the liquid from getting inside.

The Good
  • Three layers of protection for better impact resistance
  • Ballistic corners offer extreme shock absorption against drops and falls
  • Simple installation/removal – is not extremely tight
  • Ports are fully accessible
  • Does not show dirt or scratches easily
  • Excellent grip – does not slip easily out of your hands
  • Available in two color options
The Bad
  • No port protection allows dust and dirt to get in
  • Some may find it to be too thick and not as fashionable
The Bottom Line

Ballistic has been around for some time and I enjoy their lineup of cases for BlackBerry. The Shell (SG) case offers maximum protection for your BlackBerry Z10 with the exception of covering up the ports. The question of whether to go for a rugged, full body case is always a tough one. However, the weight is not as cumbersome as you might think. If you want top notch protection for a low price, this combo gives you all of that without taking away functionality even when carrying around in your pocket.


Reader comments

Protect your Z10 with Ballistic's tough 3-layer Shell Gel (SG) Series Case


I will vouch for this case, 100%.

While a little bulky, no more so than an otterbox, it offers great protection.

My wife uses it on her Z10, and our kids toss it around like a basketball. The thing is amazingly strong and still easy to use all the gestures. It seriously bounces on impact. Strong and durable, a must if you're clumsy or have kids.

Posted via CB10

For my Z10 I use a Trident Kraken, it's a better case than the Otterbox and for my Q10 I use a Trident Aegis. Best cases I've ever bought.

Trident are a Canadian company too.

Dunno, those kind of cases can be pretty cumbersome when compared to lighter cases

Twitter/4sq/Insta/PSN/CB/Steam: @Loppizzle Dr. Michael Lopez, B.Sc, M.D.

Thanks to CrackBerry for the promotions here, but I'm curious why there's never been a single case or accessory for the Z30

Posted via CB10

The Z30 is still pretty new, even the sellers in the mall say to wait a bit they will have them.

I have only found one cheap black thin case in the mall that they wanted 20 bucks for that I found also on ebay for under 4, so I'm waiting patiently!

I do think however that it is one sexy phone without one!

On my awesome BlackBerry Z30

It's all up to personal preference as to what one wants from a case. Thin or thick, flimsy or sturdy, sleek and barely there or "bullet-proof". Every BlackBerry owner has different needs and preferences. Case requirements change according to how and where the device is used ; a day hanging out at home or backpacking through Europe or the wilds of Canada. I use several different cases depending on where I'm using my Z10. But this case is a great all purpose one.

As for the review, it was excellent. It covered off all the pros and cons. Would like to have covers for all the ports to keep out dust and grime. Great work.

Sure the case makes the device a little bulkier but does not impede its use or access. Great for those of us with kids or for use on the job site (construction, oil patch, trucking, etc...) or even at the office with its professional appearance.

Posted via CB10

They don't even have Blackberry listed on their site at all. This is a shame. So many case manufacturers and nobody builds for Blackberry. And if they did, they stopped.

I have / had used one of these cases and can vouch for their ruggedness. They are 1 tough case. However there is no headphone jack cover, and for me that's a deal breaker, since I actually had to send in my baby Z10 to BlackBerry for headphone jack repair. That was a bad 2 weeks! I would suggest the GreatShield line of cases that do cover the phone ports.

Z10... next Ontario!

Hey the military should get these. Great weapon. They can than through there z10's at the enemy and be able to retrieve there phone with no damage. Have they tried driving a 18 wheeler over the phone with this case?

Posted from a Blackberry Z10

How about something for the Z30? Have a case but could use a heavy duty one.

Posted using the best phone ever, the Z30!

Try Trident cases for the Z30. One of the best there is. I know there's not a lot of variety for the Z30 and I hope more come to market.

Posted via Z10

I picked up one when I got my Z10. I wouldn't use a different cover for my phone... I just plan works for me!

Posted via CB10

Smartphones with Cases / Covers never look good, hate them.
They look best without any protection, especially the Z30/Z10.

Would never put a ugly cover and even screen protectors are gay.
Wished they had Gorilla Glass 3 though.

Posted via CB10

I've gone genuine BB case for my white Z10 (white flip case, opens sideways), and a black flip case for my black Q10 (opens at the top and drops down).

The genuine Q10 case actually helps the look of if, when it's closed, it still means business due to the shiny silver BB logo on it. Without the case, my Q10 also looks awesome, but feels kinda fragile and vulnerable, I'm so used to the case. I actually also like the slightly increased thickness when typing.

iPhone for me? Scr... ahem Q that! (posted from the latter)

Put clearplex on your Z10 if you have one it will literally prevent breaking and is literally bulletproof from 9mm bullets.

I have several different ones, I have 2 like this one which have a hole in the back plate that's shows the logo, I find its better as you put a finger tip there and the z10 becomes easy to spin around... this one has higher corners which I like. I have bounced mine a couple of times...once into the snow. No harm no foul...

Posted via CB10

Having used the Otterbox defender case and had the problems with swiping etc.; and after looking at the other cases out there, I think the only other case I would consider would be the Seido Convert. I want it mainly for the port covers.

Posted via CB10

I like Poetic's Atmosphere case for the Z10, but they've discontinued them and they're getting harder to find online. Just the right amount of protection without a lot of bulk.

These cases are awesome! I still prefer Incipio cases but to each their own. Protection none the less.

Posted via CB10 with my T-Mobile USA  ‎BlackBerry Q10...SON!

Tried a few others but the Ballistic case is the best one for me. Used my OtterBox for about three days. Swiping and texting was just about impossible with it.

Posted via my Awesome Z10

Maybe a little bulky for some, but I liked the Bulletistic for my z10 and wish they had it for the z30. I got the Trident case for my z30, but it just ain't the same.

Posted via the Android CrackBerry App on a 2nd gen Nexus 7 32gb tablet when I'm not on my BlackBerry Z30!

I do own this case and enjoy it, I work in an autoshop so it's been dropped a few times and survived well, also easy to clean. Sometimes the silicone may push the buttons underneath, ex the power or volume buttons, but a few tugs and it's perfectly normal again.

Posted via CB10

Why can't these high end cases not hide the BlackBerry logos, and or be transparent so as to not hide our beautiful BlackBerries?

Tim Smith from my Z10 on Rogers