Depending where in the world you live and what carrier you're buying your new Bold from, the BlackBerry Bold 9930 / 9900 Leather Holster may come in the box along with your phone for free. That's not a bad deal, considering it has a list price of $39.99. And if you didn't get one in the box and want one, you can buy one separately.
In the year 2011 it seems people have pretty mixed feelings from a fashion standpoint about wearing your phone on your hip. I for one typically don't give a rats butt about what other people think, so if I'm looking for a carrying solution that provides the ultimate accessibility to my phone then the holster is the way to go. And as far as holsters go, this Leather Holster is well designed and well constructed.
There is a ton of attention to detail put into this holster. The LED notifier is still visible with a phone inserted, and the headset jack is also visible. The angular-styled flap flips down perfectly to magnetically latch the phone securely into the holster and the case (angle flaps are cooler than straigh cut flaps, don't you think?!). The holster includes a sleeper magnet to put your phone into standby mode automatically and trigger in-holster sound profile settings, and the stitching on this model seems better than on past BlackBerry holsters - it should stand up to some abuse. The fit of the phone is pretty snug, so if you want to use a skin on your Bold and holster it, you'll want to look into other solutions (see our tip about using a Hard Shell or Soft Shell case for the Bold 9930/9900 with a Bold 9000 holster). On the less positive side, we've been seeing many reports about faster battery drain when using this holster with the Bold 9930/9900, which is something to be aware of.
The BlackBerry Bold 9930/9900 Leather Holster has a list price of $39.99, but you can get it for less at ShopCrackBerry.com. We're even giving away a chance for you to win one for free (details below). Keep reading for a video, more photos and more important details surrounding this case.
BlackBerry Leather Holster Final Thoughts
I've always been a big fan of holsters - while I like to mix up the cases I use I always find that a holstered BlackBerry feels like returning home. Considering the BlackBerry OS was designed to work with a holster in that it has separate sound/notification profiles triggered by being put into the holster, you get the impression that this is the BlackBerry carrying experience as RIM intended it to be from the birth of BlackBerry.
A note about battery life reports with this holster: With a downsized battery and a bigger display and faster processor than previous generation Bold devices, depending on conditions and usage the Bold 9930/Bold 9900's battery can get eaten up pretty quick (see this post for tips on getting the most life out of your Bold 9930/9900's battery life). One oddity that has been reported enough times that it's worth mentioning here is that some users have noticed the battery can appear to drain quicker than normal while using this holster. It's an odd thing to hear, as these holsters, with their sleeper functionality, should help improve battery life, but it does seem to be a frequently reported issue so is something to consider. Whether it's a software bug that will be addressed in an OS update or a hardware thing or is just a non-related weird observation at this point, we're not quite sure. I do have my own theory on it. With the Bold 9930/9900 being the first BlackBerry to feature a stainless steel metal band around the phone, I have the feeling that all things equal the radios in the 9930/9900 have to work a little bit harder in order to maintain signal strength (as compared to a BlackBerry with an all-plastic casing). It could be that if you holster the phone in a leather case like this and are in a lower coverage area, that in order to maintain enough signal strength for adequate network connectivity that the radio REALLY has to crank up its power which eats through the battery. Again, it's a theory, and not reported by all users, but it's one to keep in mind. We'll report more on this as we learn more. Luckily, there are a ton of case options available for the new Bold if you want to avoid this holster.
Overall though, the BlackBerry Leather Holster for the Bold 9930/9900 itself really is a well built, good looking holster.