Case Review: BlackBerry Leather Side Pouch for BlackBerry Curve and 8800 Series Smartphone

By Ryan Blundell on 21 Apr 2008 11:23 am EDT
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Blackberry Leather Side Pouch for BlackBerry Curve 8300, 8310, 8320, 8330 and BlackBerry 8800, 8820 and 8330

A Smart and Stylish Option to the BlackBery Leather Holster 

An epic battle rages on in the world of CrackBerry Users and Abusers; How do you Carry your BlackBerry?!? I’m one of many users to wield the mighty BlackBerry Leather Holster. Brandishing the BlackBerry name, it promises endurance, loyalty and a certain sense of exclusivity that we all feel (Whether you like to admit it or not).

Time and time again, I have tested numerous accessories. Though I have found some excellent carrying solutions, I can’t help but find myself drawn to BlackBerry branded cases. Perhaps it’s the knowledge that BlackBerry knows how to make a case.  I’m always seen with my BlackBerry nestled into its holster, clipped to either my belt or pant pocket. Today friends, I find myself presented with another option. Shall I stray from a BlackBerry clipped to my pocket and actually have a BlackBerry slipped into my pocket? Introducing the BlackBerry Leather Side Pouch!! 

A look into the pouch

The Leather Side Pouch has been designed for the 83XX and the 88XX series. It’s available in Black, Black w/ Tan, Red w/Tan and Brown w/ Tan and sells for $39.95 at ShopCrackBerry.com. My 8310s current home consists of the OEM Lambskin Leather holster (for the 88XX series) and a black skin. It has served me well, but it’s time to step out of my comfort zone.

BlackBerry Leather Side Pouch
BlackBerry Leather Side Pouch
 
BlackBerry Leather Side Pouch
Without the Packaging!

The pouch has been partnered up with an optional leather wrist lanyard, adorned with the BlackBerry logo. The pouch also seems to be made of “sterner stuff”, as the leather has been wrapped around hard plastic for added protection. As with the holster, the pouch’s flap is equipped with a magnet to tuck the BlackBerry into its bed. I say bed because it also has the magnetic proximity sensor to help save the battery, save yourself from “misdialing” and support the In Holster and Out of Holster profiles.

BlackBerry Leather Side Pouch
Package Contents

The BlackBerry could face both inwards and outwards, but taking a closer look under the hood will make you rethink the BlackBerrys positioning. The pouch sports not one, but two holes on the “back wall”, giving the trackball a little wiggle room. Beyond that is a separate compartment, designed for carrying business cards or dolla dolla bills y’all.

BlackBerry Leather Side Pouch
Inside Details: Note the Trackball Grooves and Warning Symbols

DO NOT DO NOT DO NOT carry your credit or debit cards, or anything with magnetic strip components in that section, as it might erase data stored on the card (Though it would be nice if it would erase the amount owing!).  I’ve heard nay’s and yay’s on this one, so just consider yourself forewarned. There is a warning label in the pouch to remind you of this as well.

My 8310 felt nice and secure in the pouch, I couldn’t shake it loose at all. For an added sense of comfort, the case is big enough to accommodate a skin. I would make sure you open the case wide enough before inserting your skinned Berry. The skin’s opening for the camera would sometimes get caught on the corner.

BlackBerry Leather Side Pouch
My BlackBerry Snuggling In

It took a while for me to get used to carrying my Berry in my pocket. I would find myself reaching for the left side of my hip and then feigning a stretch to cover my mistake. Having the Berry in my pocket wasn’t uncomfortable, it felt like a wallet more than anything else. My response time is slower, as I now have to pull it out of my pocket, then the pouch. I’ve tried simply carrying it, but I’d rather have both hands free.

Final Thoughts

I would have to say that the Leather Side Pouch is a strong alternative to my holster, but I’m still undecided as to which way I will go. The pouch does add more protection, but you have to carry it, pocket it or put it into your purse/man-bag. One major disadvantage is the lack of access to the LED indicator. Though if you suffer from a nasty case of BlackBerry Addiction, maybe not seeing your Berry's LED 24/7 is a step in the right direction. Lack of access to ports/covenience keys is another sacrifice made with this style of case design - perhaps RIM could include a couple of cutouts in a later version. I still recommend this as a powerful opponent in the war of carrying solutions.

BlackBerry Holster Review Summary:
BlackBerry Leather Side Pouch
Ratings

Pros:

  • All Around Protection
  • Removable Leather Wrist Lanyard
  • Sleeper Magnet
  • Extra Storage Compartment
  • Fits a Skin

Cons:

  • No Access to Side Keys/Port or LED Indicator
  • No Belt Clip Option
  • Cannot Carry Credit/Debit Cards
  • No 81xx Model Available
More Info and Purchase the BlackBerry Leather Side Pouch:

Reader comments

Case Review: BlackBerry Leather Side Pouch for BlackBerry Curve and 8800 Series Smartphone

13 Comments

I'm impressed two ways here:

a) I saw these cases at CTIA in Vegas and really liked them. Less corporate, bit more style, still has that BlackBerry quality to it. Not something I would use personally - IMHO I think they're targeted toward the female business user (I could be wrong, I'm often wrong), which is cool. Would grab my attention if I saw a lady pull her BlackBerry out of one of these cases.

b) and maybe more importantly... SUPER IMPRESSED you painted a table CrackBerry Orange so you could take photos of accessories on it! Nicely Done. A true BlackBerry Addict

The case was not what I thought. Online shows every view possible EXCEPT from the back. ( No pun intended ) I had no idea it did not have a clip nor belt loop for my hip. Needless to say my wife was just thrilled to ask me for it because it looks so femm. In closing my 50 bucks wasn't a total loss. My wife will be thrilled when I give it to her.

I like how this looks and the idea cause I'm not a fan of putting things on my hip but rather in my pocket. I like the extra area for some money or whatever, but I think I would actually go for this case if it didn't have the magnet to put the BB in sleep mode or whatever when holstering. I always lock my BB b4 putting it in my pocket anyways so I don't need the case to do it for me. If it didn't have the magnet I could put my debit/credit cards in it and use it as my wallet also. So there's my suggestion BlackBerry!....exact same case w/ no magnet!! (unless they already make it and I just don't know..lol)

You are right about its appeal to women. I was less than impressed by the clip holster that came with my 8830. However, the burgundy/tan side pouch looks and feels very nice. The lanyard is a little thick but it is easily replaced with a sleeker one with a Blackberry logo. The extra storage is perfect for business cards (who uses them anymore) and a few bills.

The review lists a red version but the Crackberry store doesn't list it. Does anyone know where I can get this pouch in red?

LadyBeryl, where did you see it? After I lay my eyes on it, I might want the black anyway...
Thanks!

Sorry for the delay as I stopped watching this blog. CB probably has the red color by now so I don't feel badly point to another web merchant -- eshoplimited.com

Come on now, Ryan. We both know this thing will never fly for us holster users. It's everything we're against! Bulky pockets and a slow multi-step draw. We have things to do! Text messages, Twitter, Messenger, Emails, etc. Who's got time to be putting it in a case, and then shoving it in you pocket? I sure don't! Yeah, holsters kinda look silly and 45-year old man, BUT, like any berry addict knows, it's more about the access and speed than style.

I think you'll be back to your holster in a few days. How sick will you get of bulky pockets and spending 10 seconds just to get to your phone?!

I have to say I agree with your assessment of the side pouch. I got this pouch soon after I got my Blackberry for protection. As what I really like and don't really like:

Pros: The protection! I have a dog, she's known to chew on things when left unattended, to me this was a no brainer (just in case). The casing offers all around protection to your Blackberry. Also the looks, the leather makes it have a luxury feel to it, not to mention the "Blackberry" name on it.

Cons: Like Ryan mentioned, the LED indicator is something it lacks. I have indicators that are silent so the light really comes into play. Also, the debit/credit card holder, when I first bought this pouch (eBay - $13) I thought it would be able to hold them, for convenience.

Overall, the main thing this pouch is going to provide is protection. If you drop it, happen to walk under a waterfall, or your dog gets a hold of it, it will be better off in this pouch then many others. As for carrying, you have to carry it in your pocket/bag, I have a holster also when I am going to need it for fast access.

I usually keep my 8830 in a black skin (purchased from CB), I do like the pouch because of its protection while running about and traveling. I like having it attached to my wrist with stashed cash and I not worrying about it getting banged.

This is not the "perfect case" as I don't like having to remove it from the pouch but it will do until I find something better -- that holster that came with it was NOT for me.

this was the first oem accessory i bought for my curve as i wanted 360 degree protection that the holster doesnt provide as i usually carry my berry in a backpack or tank bag since i commute primarily on my motorcycle.

even though it has the cutouts in the rear of the case for the trackball, the front is also cut away to accommodate it. facing the front of the case, i place my curve in it with the screen facing front and to the right. this allows me to view the LED while inside the pouch from the lower right corner, access to the USB with the flap flipped open, and it still gives my trackball breathing room.

i only wish it had a zipper pouch in the rear for access to the card pouch so i wouldnt have to dig for stuff with the blackberry in the case. since i'm still wishing, i also wished it had a small loop or a covered channel in the bottom so i could safely clip the HS-655+ headset cradle to the bottom and keep it all together.