After using the OEM Leather Pouch for the Priv, I thought I'd give the Leather Flip case a try. I've used flip cases before and when BlackBerry released the flip case for the Priv, I knew I had to get one. I was very curious to try it out due to the window on the front flap. However, I've always had a love/hate relationship with flip cases. Would the window help to make me love the Priv Leather Flip case more or would I still be indifferent? Continue reading to find out how my time with the Priv Leather Flip case went.
The case is made with genuine Nappa leather and provides stylish protection for your Priv. After BlackBerry tried to change things up with the Passport Leather Flip case and its adhesive application, I was glad to see that the Priv Leather Flip case returned the usual design where you would just insert the device into a back casing to ensure a secure and solid fit. Simply slot your Priv in place and push down firmly to make sure your device is fully inserted. The plastic casing that supports your Priv covers up the sides of your device, while the top of the device is only covered halfway. The bottom has minimal covering with only the bottom edges having support. This allows for easy access to the charging port on the bottom. You will have to take out the Priv if you want to access the SIM tray or SD card slot. The volume keys and mute button have a cut-out around them, as does the power button on the left-hand side of the device.
On the back from the case you have the cut-out for the camera and flash. You'll also find the BlackBerry name embossed on the back too. The main feature of the case is the window opening on the front flap that allows you see notifications at a glance. There's also a little window for the LED notification light and a cut-out for the phone speaker on the top. When the case is shut, you can see (and feel) where the power button is along the spine of the case. BlackBerry neatly embossed the area on the case that aligns with the position of the power button on the left side.
The window opening definitely makes the experience of using a flip case much better, coupled with the LED notification window. When a message comes through, you can see at a glance what messages have, if you set a different LED color for different accounts. If you want to have a peek at your messages, there's no need to open the flap just yet. Instead double tap the screen through the opening. Alternatively, you can press the power button through the side of the case. Whichever method you choose, you'll be presented with the time and a look at which accounts have notifications waiting in the form of icons. The number of unread messages waiting within each account is also shown on on the corner of the icon. On the same screen you'll see your device status too, such as battery percentage, cellular signal and Wi-Fi status, if it's turned on.
You can then swipe up to scroll through the unread messages. Some accounts will display a little bit of the message contents while other will just tell you how many you have unread. You can swipe the message left or right to dismiss it or you can open the front flap in order to go straight to the message. If you get a call, you can answer, take the call and end the call all without having to open the flap case. When a call comes through from a contact, their photo and name will appear through the window, you then have the option to swipe right, from the green slider to answer the call, or swipe left from the red slider to dismiss the call. Since there is a cut-out for the ear piece you can take the call without opening the front flap. When you're finished with your call, just swipe the red slider to the left to end it.
If you were playing music, you'll be able to see a mini player through the window. You can pause and play the music as well as skip forward a track or go back a track. I've tested this with a few media players. It works with the Google Play Music app, Spotify and Amazon Prime Music. As with their standard notification drawer actions, they have varying playback options — some don't have a back option. I also tried it with SoundCloud, but no controls show through the window.
The first time I slotted my Priv into the Leather Flip Case, I immediately thought I wasn't going to like it. The reason for this was because the front flap didn't line up very well. The front flap came over too much that the window didn't align in the center. That also meant that the LED notification window was off and so was the ear piece cut-out. However, I decided to work the leather a little - something I'd recommend you do when you first get it. After a while, the front flap started to sit properly. Though I found that this would then leave a gap in the folded area of the case.
So while the front flap sat nicely, it did not sit snugly. I felt I needed to keep working the leather to keep it aligned, making it feel like a chore to keep things tidy. I didn't have that much frustration using the Z30 leather flip case, even though that case didn't always align either. Seeing the window off center drove me crazy at times, so maybe that's the difference. Or maybe I just needed a bit more patience in making the leather soften up a bit more over time.
I decided to reach out to other people who have tried or use the case and I got mixed feedback. However, most of them said they love the case and didn't have the problems I was having. So, maybe I received a defective version. Or maybe I'm just no longer the flip case fan I thought I was. That's not to say the case functionality is bad — I fully love the idea of the window to be able to peek into your messages. It does make using the flip case a more pleasant experience.
Do note that due to the opening, I have found that occasionally dust and lint gathers around the window, so when you open the front flap you'll get a nice square of dust on your screen. So be prepared to wipe the screen often.
- Window opening to check messages and answer calls
- Sleep magnet
- LED notification window
- NFC friendly
- Front flap seems to be longer, so window doesn't align well
The bottom line
The overall functionality of the case is something I really love about this case. Being able to view your messages and answer calls without having to open the cover is icing on the cake. It was a great way for me to quickly check my messages while sitting at the computer at college or when at the desk at home. The issues I had with alignment may be minor or it could just be me being finicky and wanting everything to line up perfectly all the time. I highly recommend the case to those who do love using flip cases. The window really enhances the experience and for that alone, it may well be a case I go back to use often.
The Leather Flip case for the Priv comes in two colors: black or tan. You can get it today from ShopCrackBerry for $59.95.