In-Depth Review: Seidio Holster for BlackBerry Curve

By Kevin Michaluk on 13 Aug 2007 03:00 am EDT
-
loading...
-
loading...
-
loading...

I enjoy writing reviews, especially when given the chance to really put a product through its paces. And now that I have been abusing my BlackBerry 8300 Curve for just over two months (I can barely keep it out of my hands!), I'm primed to get crack’n on my backlog of accessory and software reviews for the Curve. So let’s dive right into it with an in-depth look at Seidio’s Rubberized Spring Clip Swivel Holster for an Un-Skinned BlackBerry 8300.

Seidio's Rubberized Spring Clip Swivel Holster for an Un-Skinned BlackBerry 8300 Curve


Skin, Case, Holster – Covering Your Curve is a Necessity
Seeing a Holster or Case packaged alongside a new BlackBerry is quickly becoming a part of RIM history. My AT&T Curve came with no protective cover of any kind, and due to the arguably rushed/premature launch of the 8300 it appeared the aftermarket manufacturers had very little notice to begin their development work resulting in an initial lack of case options for the Curve. For the first three weeks of ownership I was actually forced to carry my Curve around in a cloth sunglass bag I had lying around from an old pair of Spy’s (which made answering calls an incredibly slow process!) for fear of damaging my newly acquired precious gem.

After three weeks of coping with a naked/case-less berry, I finally got my hands on RIM’s OEM BlackBerry Leather Swivel Holster for the Curve (review to come), which immediately proved to be a lot better than a sunglass bag. But while the BlackBerry Holster does a good job of protecting the Curve, I personally am not a big fan of the puffy-lambskin-leather-with-magnetic-flap-look. It's a bit dated, but the holster I  actually find myself still benchmarking all others to is the OEM holster that came with my BlackBerry 8700 (which did come in the same box as the phone!). It was slim and always made for fast one-handed access to the phone, which are the two I really value in a holster but unfortunately are the two characteristics the BlackBerry Leather Swivel Holster lacks.

The BlackBerry Leather Holster compared to the Seidio Rubberized Holster

I was now a month into using my Curve, and while I loved the device (I don’t think you could pay me to switch back to the 8700!) I still didn’t feel quite at home with it. Something wasn’t quite right. But early into month two there came a knock at my door and in walked the mailman bearing a gift that was much more than just a brown box – he delivered to me the ability to finally be at one with my Curve in the form of the newly released Seidio Swivel Holster for an Un-Skinned Curve.

First Looks – Don’t Judge a Holster by its Packaging!

When it comes to Seidio, I assume they save their money on packaging in favor of putting it into their products. While a company like Vaja packages their cases in what must be a $15 box (I keep every Vaja box I have – I literally cannot bring myself to throw any away ) Seidio’s packaging consists of a standard brown box, some packing filler, and in this case the Swivel Holster concealed in a generic, clear plastic bag (I threw the packaging in the garbage before I even contemplated taking a picture of it). While I personally don’t mind this approach to packaging products, it might be worth it for Seidio to develop some sort of cost-effective yet stylish packaging solution, just to keep bloggers like me from always having to bring up this point!

Seidio Swivel Holster for Un-Skinned 8300 Overview
When picking up the holster, the first thing you notice is how light in weight this case is. Just for fun, I busted out my kitchen scale for some comparisons - the Seidio holster weighed in at a 38 grams (just over an ounce), as opposed to the OEM Holster at 62 grams (just over two ounces). Although, now that I think about it, in the battle of lightweight supremacy the real winner here is my old sunglass bag, which weighed in at a feather-light 10 grams.

Weighing in some BlackBerry Curve Cases

The Seidio Swivel Holster achieves this light-weight feat by way of its low-profile design and thin construction. The high impact, rubber coated Polycarbonate case is barely more than a millimeter in thickness, and there’s only as much material in the case as is needed to get the job done. With the case designed for the Curve’s display to be placed face in, when viewing from the back/camera-side you can barely tell there is a case at all!

This slim design leaves all of the Curve’s side buttons and ports accessible (headset jack, serial connector, volume control, mute), which was definitely not the case with the BlackBerry OEM swivel holster or my sunglass bag for that matter. Seidio has also perfected the overall texture of the case, with the rubberized coating providing good grip, resistance to scratches, durability and good looks, which provides an overall impression of quality. Without a doubt it beats the heck out of the hard plastic found on my trusty old 8700 holster.

Seidio Rubberized Holster for Curve - side profile

The clip attachment which goes over the device has been improved with extra tension, providing added security in ensuring your new Curve never takes an unplanned tumble to the ground. The swivel clip on the back also has good tension and is long in length – also ensuring it will securely clip over today’s trend of wide belts. Or, if you are like me, and like to wear your holster on your front jean’s pocket, you will find the length of the clip to be more than adequate in keeping your berry firmly planted.

Seidio Rubberized Holster for Curve - Spring Clip

Seidio Rubberized Holster - Back

The ingenuity in the design of this holster well justifies the $29.95 price tag it carries. You are not paying for material costs here (there is barely anything to it); rather, you are paying for the engineering that went into removing all of the unnecessary materials from this holster!

Seidio Rubberized Holster - Holster Only

Using the Holster
Is pretty simple. To place your Curve into the holster you need to know two things: one, the bottom of your BlackBerry 8300 must be inserted into the holster first; and two, make sure you insert your Curve into the holster with the display/keyboard facing in. When wearing the holster even for the first time, it was very easy to insert the device into the holster with one hand. With the bottom of the BlackBerry first inserted in the holster, a firm yet gentle push is all that’s required for the clip attachment to move up and over the device, firmly securing it in place with a gentle “snapping” sound. A well-placed magnet located within the bottom portion of the casing puts your Curve into standby/sleep mode when the device is placed in the holster, helping to extend battery life considerably.

Where I did run into a learning curve (pun intended!), however, was with removing my Curve from the holster with one hand. Thinking back to my trusty old 8700 holster yet again, all I ever needed to do was put a bit of pressure on the bottom of the berry with my fingertips, and in sliding my hand upwards the berry would slide out of the holster easily (which while I loved this ease of accessibility do think a lot of 8700s ended up meeting their demise from this OEM holster by overeager hands that accidentally sent their devices flying into the air). Because the one-handed motion I was habituated to did not apply to this particular Seidio holster, for the first three days I found myself using two hands. I would reach over to the holster (worn on my right pocket) with my left hand in order to “lift” up on the clip attachment, which would then allow my right hand to grasp the berry and pull it outwards from the holster for use.

72 hours of semi-aggravation later (of course I blamed the holster and not myself), the motion finally came to me – use my right thumb to lift up on the clip and my index finger to pull the BlackBerry away from the holster and into my hand. EASY. With true one-handed operation mastered, I finally became at one with my BlackBerry Curve. The little something that I felt wasn’t quite right with my Curve actually had nothing to do with the device itself; rather, it was the lack of an easy-to-use case!

One Month Later

After a month of putting Seidio’s Rubberized Spring Clip Swivel Holster for an Un-Skinned  BlackBerry 8300 (what a mouthful! Maybe Seidio should work on their names a bit along with their packaging! Something short and cool, like “el Diablo”) through daily use I can confidently say I love using this holster.

As mentioned, the first three days were slightly aggravating as I kept fumbling around with two hands to get the BlackBerry out, but after mastering one-handed operation I quickly decided that my trusty old 8700 OEM holster was no longer the benchmark by which I will measure holsters. Way to go Seidio! The one-handed motion required to get the Curve out of its holster is very smooth and secure – upon removing it from the holster the device is immediately and firmly in your hand, which I think will result in few, if any, unplanned trips to the floor. And after a month of use the holster still looks as mint condition as the day I received it (it still even has the red sticker that says "PDA Face in Design" on the inner felt liner).

Drawbacks?

I honestly thought I would be wrapping up this review with nothing but 100% positive comments on Seidio’s first holster for the BlackBerry Curve, but as I wrote this review, and fumbled around with my holster and berry between paragraphs, I stumbled upon two issues – one fairly major, and one minor.

Major Issue: I noticed the clip attachment that slides over the top of the berry to keep it in place has done some damage to my Curve’s case. The grey plastic on the backside of the Curve’s case as well as the black rubberized strip that goes across the top have been scuffed/scratched. My guess here would be that the added tension Seidio put into the clip attachment to improve the security of the device was just a bit more than the Curve’s materials were ready for. Seidio has just released a new Holster for the 8300 that accommodates a Skinned BlackBerry Curve, which may be the ideal route to take if you want to keep your Curve permanently in mint condition.

Damage done to Curve by Spring Clip

Minor Issue: I noticed the hinge pin that slides through the spring clip attachment managed to slide out of its casing by a 1/16 of an inch. A very minor issue which was easily rectified once identified – the pin slid back into the spring/casing easily with a firm press of my fingers. I guess this minor issue could turn into a more major issue if the pin slid all the way out and the spring clip detached, but the odds are you would notice this long before that could ever happen.

Hinge Pin sliding out on Curve Holster

Conclusion
I’m the type of guy who typically takes “extreme care” of his new toys for the first two months post purchase, and after that uses them the way the way they were intended to be used (i.e. beats the heck out of them!). Luckily I was 3 days past owning my Curve for two months before noticing the scuffs, so the minor damage my 8300 incurred from using this Seidio holster hasn’t upset me too much. Scuffs on a BlackBerry are like a badge of honor - honestly, if your berry stays in pristine condition for too long you can't legitimately call yourself a “CrackBerry”.

All things considered, I am a big fan of Seidio’s Rubberized Spring Clip Swivel Holster for an Un-Skinned BlackBerry 8300. If you want to wear your Curve on your belt or pocket, and are the type of person who is constantly slamming the phone in and out of the holster all day long, this design is for you. Your berry will be held securely in place with the critical components protected, yet your phone can still be removed from the holster in a moment’s notice with a quick flick of the thumb.

Seidio Holster Review Summary:
Seidio Holster for BlackBerry Curve
Ratings

Pros:

  • Low-profile rubberized design is lightweight, looks/feels great, holds the device securely and protects the critical components
  • Provides fast one-handed access to BlackBerry when worn on belt or pocket
  • Sleeper function helps to prolong 8300 battery life when in holster
  • Easy access to device features – headset jack, serial connector, volume controls and mute

Cons:

  • Small learning curve for getting used to one-handed removal of the device from holster
  • The top clip attachment could do some scuffing to the Curve's casing
Discussion & Photos:
View more photos and discuss this Holster in the CrackBerry Forums. Go to the Forums >>
Buy Now: $29.95
Purchase this Seidio Holster in the CrackBerry.com Store.

Reader comments

In-Depth Review: Seidio Holster for BlackBerry Curve

9 Comments

I hope Seidio sends you a replacement Curve! How are you going to do more reviews with a damaged Curve? It will ruin all of your future review pictures!

Our(Seidio) holster was specifically designed NOT to scratch the Blackberry if used properly. The spring clip is supposed to be lifted before the device is pushed back into the hoslter. If you're simply shoving the Blackberry into the holster then naturally the clip is going to rub across the top. This is the reason we went to a spring clip design in the first place. The old clip type holsters did exactly what you're talking about. They would rub the finish off the top of the device. If used correctly, ours is the most "finish friendly" holster there is.

Thanks

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Seidio

Having owned a similar Seidio holster for my previous device (Treo) I have to say it is a great type of holster and will be buying one of these for my BlackBerry.

But I'm surprised at the comment above. Sounds too snarky for my liking.

I agree, the holster does work very well but I also have found the hinge pin issue after only 2 weeks. I emailed Seidio only to get a (very polite)response to contact their rma dept for shipping and replacement. I didn't bother considering I'd be at least 10 days without a holster,(shipping both directions). Hopefully the pin will not get loose to the point where its a daily chore to check its status.

3 Months later this is still my favorite case for the Curve.

The ease of access can't be beat. I think I've probably turned 15 BlackBerry users onto this holster now.

it was ok...like the first 3 months. Then it started to mess up the top of my blackberry. Then the top of case broke off. so it was pretty much shot and i had to throw it away.

Are you guys serious?? A coupla tiny scratches on the top of your poor phone...where it's mostly black. They're cell phones, not automobiles. Oh, lemme guess. You guys fureak out if someone sneezes on your cars, too? This is the 2nd seidio holster I've bought. First one was for my last Treo. These holsters are awesome, but can create insignificant marks on the top of the curve. Had this holster for at least 8 months and zero problems with the pin. If you're concerned about the markings, save yourself some money and therapy bills and go wrap your phone in bubble-wrap. (Psst, cell phones - smart or not - are not meant to last forever. Use them and live life...don't worship the stupid things.)

I bought this holster because I cannot stand to have a phone in my pocket. I was looking for something that held the phone safely beacuse I like to ride motorcycles and a fall at 70 MPH would be fatal. The only issue as mentioned in other comments is the scratching on top of the phone. Not a big deal to me beacuse mine is a tool, not a piece of artwork! I would reccommend to anyone that likes a holster design. Buy the skin one if you want to keep the scratches off of your phone.