Review: Ballistic Shell (SG) Series Case for the BlackBerry Bold 9900, 9930

Ballistic SG Series Case for the BlackBerry Bold 9900, 9930
By John Yester on 24 Jan 2012 02:06 pm EST

"The Ballistic Shell (SG) Series Case is in a rugged category of its own. Adding the most needed drop protection without sacrificing the Bold design and function."

In Short:
"Affordable military spec case"

Should I Buy?
"Extreme work = Extreme case = Slim form factor"

The Ballistic Shell Gel (SG) Series Case adds the most needed drop protection without sacrificing too much of the Bold design and function. This case was approved by and developed in cooperation with BlackBerry and is equipped with three layers of protection. 

 The Review

My devices have had their fair share of bumps and drops over the years. So with my line of work - and outside of work - I have always opted for those "Rugged" type cases. The big issue is most are bulky and feel clunky in the hand when using the device. But overall I love the sleekness of this case, as I don't feel like I am carrying a masonry brick around. This case actually integrates an outermost layer, which is made of soft rubber for shock absorption. The rubber layer is molded to the shell form which is impact resistant polycarbonate. These two layers combine to offer a formidable defense against everyday damage.

Closer look at the corners of the case and device.
Strong Ballistic Corners to absorb the shock of a drop from a great height.
A look at the left-side ports
The left side ports are open for easy plug in access

While the 3.5 mm headset and Micro USB are exposed, they are recessed far enough for sufficient protection, yet fully accessible. But for an "extreme" case you think there would be full protection in that area.

Media and convenience keys.
The media buttons and convenience key are completely covered and fully functional.
Protection, even from a face-down fall
Device drops and lands face down, is fully protected.

The "lay-on-table" feature ensures no matter where you place your new Bold, the screen will never touch the surface it impacts. Though this case does not have a holster, pocketing the case does give some issue as the rugged corners may catch in the pocket. The back of the case is sporting a smooth "gunner" grip texture, which does not add much grip. Three color options are available as well to meet your style. 

Ballistic SG Case on my 9930!
Ballistic SG Case on my 9930! 

Ballisitic (SG) Series Case

The Good

The Ballistic SG case is a winner in my book. If you work or enjoy your weekends in some extreme places this case will suit you will. With much needed protection added to the front of the device, yet still keeping a sleek profile. This case is bomb proof!!!

The Bad

No port protection on the Ballistic SG Case?? Some dusty environments might not like this case very much. Anywhere there is an open connection, it's just asking for trouble.... In addition the rubber corners can catch while pocketing the device, wish there was a holster available.


Tthe Ballistic company only recently released cases to the Built For BlackBerry line up, but they have been around for some time and are serious in what they are doing. They have some awesome color choices as well. I am confident that using this case, it will function just like a BlackBerry Bold. Just with a bullet proof vest on.

Three More Great Protection Options

Mobi Products Hex Case for the BlackBerry Bold 9930 9900 Case-Mate Pop! OtterBox Defender Series Case for the BlackBerry Bold 9930 / 9900
Mobi Products Hex Case
"Breaks the mold of the standard skin case design with a sweet hex pattern on the back."
Case-Mate POP!
"Good protection to keep your Bold 9930 or 9900 safe."
OtterBox Defender Series
"Three layers of protection to keep your device safe and sound."

Reader comments

Review: Ballistic Shell (SG) Series Case for the BlackBerry Bold 9900, 9930


I have one and I have the OtterBox defender for the 9900 Bold. I like the Ballistic much better. The rubber part for the Otterbox doesn't stay in place very well, while the Ballistic gets hold of the phone and hangs on.

I have this case and it does what they say... I've dropped my phone and it landed on the front hard. I was worried when i picked it up that the screen might have scratches on it, but it didn't... This case is tough and I like that i can hold my phone without it slipping out of my big hands...

the lack of a holster is pretty confusing considering that the people that would use a case like this generally use it with an accompanying holster since its generally hard to pocket/remove from a pocket.

This seems like an Otterbox Commuter with the silicone part on steroids. I am like many others that couldn't stand the 9930's Defender & added the Commuter & 9000 Koskin holster as the perfect combo (I'm an alarm tech by trade).

If they made some kind of holster similar to what Seidio has with the locking top-clip, this might warrant a second look...