BlackBerry Case Review: BlackBerry Leather Holster with Swivel Belt Clip for BlackBerry Curve, Pearl, 8800 Series

BlackBerry Leather Holster
By Kevin Hill on 5 Mar 2008 11:24 am EST

Even with so many excellent carrying solutions available for BlackBerry smartphones, Research in Motion's line of BlackBerry OEM cases and skins remain a top choice with BlackBerry users everywhere. There are three reasons why BlackBerry-brand accessories are top sellers: they are widely available (walk into your local carrier store or click into your local online store a la and you are bound to find them); they carry the BlackBerry logo (cool!); and just like BlackBerry smartphones, they are simply Well-Designed and Well-Executed Products.

When it comes to selecting a holster for your BlackBerry, there are only a few things that one need consider. Does it keep my Berry safe? Does it fit well? Does it look good and does it allow me to access my phone in a timely manner? Does it have a sleeper magnet?

The Blackberry Leather Holster with Swivel Belt clip addresses all of these points admirably and is available for the BlackBerry Curve, Pearl and 8800 series smartphones in a variety of colors.

The BlackBerry Leather Holster for the Curve

This review specifically examines the BlackBerry Leather Holster for the Curve, but keep in mind this accessory is the same for all trackball BlackBerry smartphones, with the same design features and quality built-in to every version. Dimensions are changed to fit the different device models and available colors may vary.

The premium lambskin leather is soft and looks sophisticated but it also covers a sturdy frame that is taut. It keeps its shape and keeps the Blackberry (in my case a Rogers 8300 Curve) snug. Elasticized sides mean the Berry can slide in and out freely, while the magnetized clasp keeps the device firmly secured with little risk of the device sliding or dropping out. The nice little slap of the magnet as it falls into place gives you a bit of reassurance the BlackBerry is in place. The holster also features built-in grooves constructed of hard plastic that run along the front and back insides of the case to protect the trackball.

BlackBerry Leather Holster with Curve
The BlackBerry Leather Holster

Like all BlackBerry brand cases (not including skins of course!), the leather holster features a magnet that puts your BlackBerry into sleep mode when inserted into the case, conserving battery life and eliminating accidentally key presses. This also allows you to take advantage of the "Out of Holster" and "In Holster" profile settings on your BlackBerry, allowing you to set different alerts/tones/volume levels for each. It's pretty awesome to think RIM actually designed their BlackBerry Operating System to "work" with an accesory like a protective case.

In the case - sleep mode
Good Night Curve - sleep mode time

The open top design also allows you to see the LED nofication light and functions like the headphone jack and USB port are open and available for use while in the BlackBerry is in the case.

Leather Holster Clasp But what is really cool about this particular model is the clasp on the back. Unlike a lot of other carrying cases, BlackBerry paid a lot of attention to this feature with this case. Having had a few BlackBerry holsters fly off my belt and another just bust, I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of effort that has gone into the design of the rear clasp. It has a strong spring loaded clip that gives plenty of gripping power. The swivel is well designed and clicks through a 180 degree rotation solidly. It is well-mounted on the back with extra leather strapping and a firm bolt. It definitely doesn’t feel cheap or flimsy and I definitely don’t feel it is going to break or pop off my belt. The clasp is sturdy but because the spring is so strong it is hard to put on and take off the belt with the device in the holster. I found it easier to first take my BlackBerry out and then press inside of the case to take it off. A minor quibble for what is a solid product. And given more use this action will likely smooth up.

The carrying case retails for $29.99, which is a good price for a well-made piece, but you can find it for less - the Leather Holster for the Curve retails for $19.95 at Available colors in include Burnt Sienna, Ecru Tan, Pearl White, Pink, Apple Red and the ever-popular Black!

BlackBerry Holster Review Summary:
BlackBerry Leather Holster with Swivel Belt Clip


  • Good Everyday Protection
  • Strong Belt Clip
  • Sleeper Mode
  • Nice Soft Leather
  • Easy to Use
  • Quick Access to Device


  • Can be difficult to take off belt with device inserted
  • More colors always welcome!
More Info and Purchase the BlackBerry Leather Holster:

Reader comments

BlackBerry Case Review: BlackBerry Leather Holster with Swivel Belt Clip for BlackBerry Curve, Pearl, 8800 Series


I love my OEM holster - the 8800 one I got doesn't have a seam as pictured in these ones though.

The 5CB ratings are all correct; I love just being able to slip her onto my belt or if I have to carry her in a blazer pocket (school) I can just insert it and with a flick of the wrist the magnetic support slips into place.

The 8800 case is too bulky. I haven't felt comfortable with another case that is small and protects and! is easily accessed.

I actually purchased my first BlackBerry just 2 days ago, an 8310 curve. Because I needed everything accessory wise, I grabbed this holster they had at the ATT store. My other phone was a treo 650, and because of that I had Rhino holsters for fear of damaging the phone. I was a little leery about this case, as I just wanted to make sure the little guy was well protected. So far I think it is great. The review was right on about the belt clip, the first thing I noticed when clipping it on. It has a nice deep grove to secure your belt and if for some reason that thing breaks a little loose, there are some ridged grips on the edge. most other holsters barely get the edge of the belt, and I always had them pop free when sitting up from either my desk or car.

Being the paranoid person, I am, I would have like to see the holster completely cover the phone. I hate seeing exposed edges of my phone, only because that the most likely point of impact if it is dropped. I didn't know about the magnet turning off my phone, the in holster / out of holster compatibility, or notice the groves, but after reading the review, I see I really got more than just a case for my new blackberry. Overall I am pleased with it and having this is my first positive purchase (aside from the phone of course)it is making my transition from Palm Treo to BlackBerry a pleasant one.

I like the holster so much I'm on my third one. It's the cheap flimsy swivel I don't like. I'm not an engineer, but it's obvious it was poorly designed and could easily be improved.

The only problem I have with the case is the BlackBerry logo on the flap. I broke off two days after I had the case. Probably because it was rubbing against my seatbelt as I like to have the case in the horizontal position on my belt. But, the plastic underneath the logo is black, so the case still looks good without the logo.

i had a belt case that i got from walmart for $10, and i liked it, but then suddenly out of the blue everytime i bumped the case (Well twice really) my pearl came out and landed on the floor.. no damage to the phone and BSE saved me from scratches on the screen.

i went right up to my nearest AT&T store (i'm with sprint lol)
and purchased one of these for my pearl. it looks great, fits great. it doesnt put mine in sleep mode.. but it does seem to lock my keypad.. so thats good.

i think every owner should have one of these blackberry cases they are stylish and functional.

The clip broke on mine 45 days after I bought it. It fractured right at the pivot bolt. I tried to take it back to T-mobile but they said they only have a 30 day return policy. I would gladly send this back for a warranty replacement, but I cant figure out who manufactured it. I really love the fact that my blackberry goes to sleep when it is tucked in.

NIce case put for US full figured crackberry addicts the clasp sticks into your belly. if the swivel was 100 and 180 degress and they have the cover cover the whole tome of the phone it would be the perfect case. I always seem to drop my phone on that unprotected corner

I had the oem, and with me getting in and out of my car 30 times a day with all the clients, i broke the plastic clip in a matter of weeks, and then i bought a cheap side holster and broke that, if these were stronger, i would buy another one, but not for a while.

I have broken four clips in less than a year. Holster gets caught on a chair or car seat, then the non-replaceable clip breaks. Needs a metal clip or a replaceable plastic clip.

i noticed that yes the phone is hard to remove from a belt when in the holster, if you spin it horizontal its much easier to remove from your belt without juggling the device at the same time.

I broke the clip off during the first week. It's only attached with cheap plastic. This is a great case, but VERY fragile.

I am on my second case and love it. The first clip broke off after 6 months, but it was my (dogs) fault. I keep mine in my pocket with the clip on the outside when wearing jeans and the dogs retractable leash got caught underneath when the dog was running and pulled the clip off. It really is very sturdy, just dont put your dogs full force behind it.

Case is great, but after a year of in and out of the case the flap has finally had it. They should reinforce the flap. I probably take the phone out of the holster 100 times a day and 1 year of use is all it took to wear it down. What am I going to when flap which is barely hanging on finally breaks? Time to buy a new phone then, or a new case?

Just my two cents... the clip on the back of my OEM holster(s) broke within a week (each one)... so I was on my third one when it broke I gave up. I now also use a skin... and found that believe it or not the OEM leather holster for the 8703 works WONDERFUL with a Curve with a skin on it!!! Brilliant!! It looks good, protects it, and is really solid feeling... it was a great suggestion by someone at a new store at my local mall..

I was searching for my third case this year, as this one's belt clip broke yet again in a couple of months. I am not hard on these holsters at all. This last time I was standing in our assembly area and the case made a pop sound and fell to the floor.
As I read all these reviews about the poor design of this clip, I ask myself, how many hundreds of thousands of dollars has this company made on this piece of junk?

The clip is obviously a manufacturers defect and should be covered by law in most states for a year.
But who is going to pursue a $20 loss?

I will pay more for quality, and found another case to try.
Not a blackberry product.
Has a longer warranty.

My recommendation is to avoid this product and pay a little more.

Perhaps the Smartphone Experts TopPouch?

I am on my 3rd case since in 3 months. The first holster was a non-Blackberry-branded model that resembled the belt clips for Nextel i560's. I broke it within a couple weeks.

I bought this case and love it, but, again, it broke in a matter of 2-2.5 months because of a seatbelt. The clip is not very sturdy on these. In fact, I think it is the same swivel clip that Nextel uses on their iden phones (i5xx series). I had an i560 from a previous employer and went through 2-3 holsters/year because of the cheapness of the clip.

buyer beware.

This holder is great, if you have a belt it fits on. Those of us in the military, police, etc, are forced to carry Blackberries yet none of the holders fit our 2" wide uniform belts. With the nylon riggers belts the military uses, the tight spring clip still slides right off too easily. It seems like a large pool of likely buyers is being ignored.

I've had the belt clip crack on two of these one within 2 days of buying my curve. Both sheared off were the clip attaches to the ratcheting part. I may be rough or have crappy luck but for now I'm going to be trying something else for a while.

The clip on mine lasted less than a week before shearing off at the pin, thus converting an excellent case into a useless piece of clutter. I suppose that I could return it under the warranty, but I've been that route before with other badly-designed devices. I'll look for something that suits my needs or simply make my own.

Just got a new storm pouch from blackberry and whilst in
Paris my hotel room key failed then the metro tickets - wierd

I was wearing a puffer jacket.

Then my credit card gave up the ghost as 'invalid'

I literally nearly took the jacket apart until I realised everything was hanging near the edge of the new pouch.

A few swipes of the hotel room key over the closed pouch and et voila the room key mag stripe was corrupted.

So here I am in Paris, with no credit card and a room key that I can fix.

Thanks RIM, for all the engineering of the BB which I think is great I am now stranded in Paris.

You will be hearing from my lawyers

Case is only as good as the clip and the clip is terrible in design. I only had mine for a few weeks and it broke... all I did was get into my car and it popped off. My brother went through 3 of them for his BB before giving up so I'm not going to bother and just get a different brand.