Clean yes, germs no - A review of the iSkin Vibes for the BlackBerry Bold 9900 / 9930

By Ryan Blundell on 4 May 2012 05:15 pm EDT

Protect yourself, while protecting your BlackBerry smartphone. Do you know how many germs and bacteria are on your BlackBerry?! Just think about what comes in contact with your smartphone whenever you pass it along to someone for them to check something out. Or how many less than sterile surfaces you’ve put it down on, and only you know how many times you’ve used your BlackBerry on the toilet to keep you in business while doing your business (just make sure you flush after you end the call). Sure it’s easy to wipe your BlackBerry clean, but what if you had a skin or case on it? You’re one white skin or case may take on a yellowish hue over time, and may even start to smell as bad as it looks.

iSkin has long been the leading expert on protection, style and cleanliness with their line of BlackBerry skins. I first learned of their products a few years ago and had the opportunity to try them out on my Bold 9000. As I said in an earlier review, the iSkin solution “means style without staining and looking funky without smelling funky”. It’s high time that I make the introduction between the iSkin and my Bold 9900- what do you think?

The iSkin Vibes for the BlackBerry Bold 9900 comes with a clear screen film (dry application), the LCD Anti-static cleaning wipe to use prior to and after the application of the film, a microfiber cleaning cloth and some iSkin stickers to give the company some potential free advertising.

Putting a case on your BlackBerry is, typically, not only for protection, but for personalization as well. Over time, you’ll usually notice the once sleek, sexy skin covering your phone has lost its lustre. The iSkin is made of high quality, second generation soft TPU (Thermoplastic polyurethane) polymer that boasts elasticity and transparency. It’s also resistant to oil/grease staining and good old fashioned wear and tear.

What really sets the iSkin line apart is its Microban protection against bacteria that cause stain and odour (not including your own funk though). You can definitely feel the quality in the build of the iSkin. Although it’s roughly 1mm thick (at it’s thickest), it’s surprisingly sturdy as far as keeping its shape. It’s flexible enough for an easy application, but no where near as flimsy as a basic silicone skin. The iSkin Vibes is durable enough to protect your BlackBerry from everyday wear and tear or from the occasional minor drop. Your media keys, and the lock/unlock button are completely covered, while still remaining functional. Coming from using the BlackBerry Hard Shell case, I did find it slightly more difficult to use them, but only slightly. Cut outs are found for the USB port, the headphone jack, camera, flash, speaker and mics. Unlike the iSkin for the BlackBerry Bold 9000, this iSkin does not include removable covers for the headphone jack or USB port. Around the camera and flash, the case has a more solid strip about it. 

Not only does this bacteria blocking skin sport very stylish curves and textured patterns, you can definitely feel a solid grip while operating your BlackBerry one-handed. For the BlackBerry Bold 9900/9930, iSkin has four colours available; the Carbon Black I have, as well as Diva Pink, Vive Purple and Bondi Blue. I really like the unique look and feel of the iSkin Vibes as it gives a sense of ruggedness without looking rough at all.


More BlackBerry Skin/Case options for the BlackBerry Bold 9900 / 9930

iSkin Aura Case-Mate Tough Case Dicota Hard Shell Cover
iSkin Aura
"It's designed with a modern look that compliments the style of the Bold perfectly."
Case-Mate Tough Case
"Heavy duty protection in a lightweight stylish design."
Dicota Hard Shell Cover
"A simple yet stylish cover for your device"


Reader comments

Clean yes, germs no - A review of the iSkin Vibes for the BlackBerry Bold 9900 / 9930


I've never liked the patterns and what not on these cases. The skin itself looks to be pretty decent but I can't get over the ugly patterns they always have on the back.

I would recommend people research Microban before buying products like this. First, it's a pesticide. Second, products with the Microban label contain Triclosan, an endocrine (hormone) disruptor.
The safety of Triclosan is currently under review by both the FDA and Health Canada. Studies have shown that it can affect the immune system & may be contributing to bacterial resistance. It's completely unnecessary for a phone case to contain this crap. Just sayin....

You do realize, regardless of the accuracy of the information contained in their articles, that Wikipedia is NOT considered a reliable or credible source.

Re: The Bad. No flap over USB and Headphone jack

I had a iskin case for my 9000. Those flaps were the work of the devil. It was impossible to insert the USB jack or the Headphone Jack in there with the case in place because the flaps were so tough to get out of the way. I started taking my case off to insert them after a while. However, one day while thinking I'd try again with the case in place because surely the flaps should still allow access to the ports, I found out how bad the design was. The pressure from the flap pushed the headphone jack on the side of the port and broke the metal ring around the port. See here [ That ring I found out later regulated the jack insertion and makes sure it's not inserted too far. Which makes the headphone not work. It also proves the pressure to make the headphone work. All in all, breaking that made my BB a strictly no headphone device. I'm glad I didn't try that with the USB. Who knows what would've happened there.

So I'm glad there is no flap there. The con is actually an improvement. And a Pro. I don't think the reviewer used the cases for long enough for the 9000 to have this issue. Looks like iSkin realized the errors of their ways from last time. I like their cases. I hope this does well.

I have the iskin for my 9000 and the flaps fit perfectly and never got out of place. I never liked my BB so much until I bought that skin, it was perfect, people could not even tell the phone was "wearing" a skin, even the back looks like leather until you look closer.

However, I got the new skin for my 9900 thinking the good experience was going to be repeated but unfortunately:

1.- The new bold is wider and thiner so the skin doesn't have enough thickness to get that cushioned protected feeling when putin the phone down.

2.- The aluminum band is exposed at the keyboard's sides and makes it look akward, like they couldn't decide wether to cover it or not.

3.- The plastic color is more clear than the one for the 9000, which makes it look cheaper.

4.- And the lack of flaps make the phone looking like it got a very bad hair cut when you look at its side.

5.- While it makes the lock key so easy to use I only need to barely need to touch it (I like that), the up and down volume and convenience keys are much more difficult to use, you really need to use your finger nail to get through.

The design in the back is a little silly, but you can barely notice it if you get close enough. I still use this skin when I get really tired of the aluminum and want to have it blacked out, but still doesn't look "serious", I prefer the OEM hard case which also leaves the aluminum band exposed, but at least does it with style.

In the end, I dislike the aluminum band so much I ended up buying a 9780 for its completely black without any skin, but I also ordered its iSkin for protection.