"The Case-Mate Tough Case offers heavy duty protection in a lightweight stylish design"

In Short:
"Sturdy case without the bulk to easily fit in your purse or pocket"

Should I Buy?
"Solid well-built accessory that protects your device from the pitfalls of daily use"

Case-Mate Tough

One of the first things I do when purchasing a new BlackBerry smartphone is pick up a case. So it's no surprise that over the years I've accumulated quite a few. Some I've used, some are dented, and others have not been up to the task of having me as an owner. As Barney Stinson would say, my klutziness is, wait for it, LEGENDARY. People actually take bets on when the next drop will be. Now I own the Seidio ACTIVE case and holster for both my Torch 9800 and Bold 9900 but they have a tendency to lock up your device or be slippery in the hands. That's why after a little bit of searching through the CrackBerry Store I decided to check out the Case-Mate Tough Case and see if could withstand the rigors of daily use. What's the final verdict you may ask? Click on the jump to find out.

The Review

The Case-Mate Tough case is comprised of two layers to help protect your device from the sudden drops, falls or any other kind of impact including falling from a desk to the floor. The outer layer is a polycarbonate hard shell while the inner layer is made of soft dual layers of silicone to guarantee your device is snug and fully protected while still granting access to all the ports. 

Case-Mate Tough Case - Back

What had me sold was the textured back. It's the first thing I noticed when taking it out of the box. It offers a firm non-slip grip, feels amazing in your hands, and is extremely sturdy. There's also no chance of fingerprint residue or smudges dirtying up the back and it stays put when placed on a flat surface. Unlike the exterior shell of the Seidio which is thin but effective, I'd much rather go with the stronger material in this one. The cutouts in the back are just the right size and do not interfere with the flash or when taking a picture or video.

Case-Mate Tough Case - Left

The left side lets you access the charging port and the headphone jack with cutouts that do not prohibit you from plugging in your chargers or wired headsets.

Case-Mate Tough Case - Right

The right side covers the volume buttons and convenience key but doesn't take away from how they operate or their response to your touch.

Case-Mate Tough Case - Top

Both the top and bottom are fully protected by the silicone layers. While this gives additional protection for all the corners it ensures you won't be able to fit it into the BlackBerry Charging pod without removing.

After all of my numerous drops and bangs, falls to the carpet, being placed in different jacket pockets, and going up and back from my bag, it withstood all that I threw at it. Plus, I rarely found it to collect dust and dirt so that the eye-popping blue stayed clean and shiny the entire time. It's available in three colors (outer shell remains black): black/pink, black/black, and my personal favorite, black/blue. One of my co-workers saw it on my desk and picked it up immediately (I know how could I let her) and she too fell in love with the color and how light it was. 

Case-Mate Tough Case for BlackBerry 9900/9930
by Case-Mate

The Good

The Case-Mate Tough Case is a stylish yet durable case that doesn't feel slippery in your hands and is extremely solid. For those who prefer using a holster it fits perfectly in the Seidio ACTIVE Holster. Its snug silicone layers and hard outer shell provide suitable protection from the shocks and bumps of daily use.

The Bad

At first, it's extremely tight and can be difficult to apply and remove. However, after a few tries it does loosen up a bit. While this might cause the device to lock up, I did not experience this. One thing I must warn you about is that it's very loud in vibrate mode when placed on a hard, flat surface.


If you're looking for a case that combines style and functionality and keeps your device intact from accidents and spills then this is for you. This is one of the best cases I've owned (even with the quirks) and keeps up with my active (careless) lifestyle. It's lived to tell the tale without a single scratch or bruise.

Three more solid protection options

Seidio ACTIVE Case for the BlackBerry Bold 9900/9930   OtterBox Defender Series Ballistic SG Series Case for the BlackBerry Bold 9900/9930
Seidio ACTIVE Case
"Offers great protection for those who have an active lifestyle"
OtterBox Defender Series Case
"Keep your device safe and sound from everything from daily bumps to drops on the pavement"
DICOTA Hard Cover
"Fits without being too bulky"

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