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The BlackBerry KEYone is arguably the best phone BlackBerry has ever made. The beautiful design with a gorgeous screen and incredible BlackBerry keyboard, combined with a near stock Android experience with a few usable additions, make it a truly compelling device. As such, you want a truly compelling and beautiful case to go with it right? Of course, you do! Well, SatchelSatchel heard you, and boy did they answer.
The Good: Hard to go wrong with leather
SatchelSatchel is a small company that specializes in making hand-made, high-quality leather bags and accessories. They recently decided to bring their skill and experience into the world of phone cases, and their efforts show here. Everything about this case exudes luxury and craftsmanship. It is beautifully stitched together, and the leather is gorgeously tanned for a great look, feel, and yes, smell. Call me crazy, but there's something about the way leather smells that's just awesome. The KEYone fits into the case quite well with a solid hold, but not being so tight that the phone is hard to get out. There is an extra pouch sewn into the front of the case to allow for business cards or possibly a credit card. The clasp that holds the whole thing closed is solid, so you won't have to worry about your phone slipping out, but it's still plenty easy to open.
Everything about this case exudes luxury and craftsmanship.
If the leather design is not cool enough for you, these guys are actually double agents! They are not just cases, but they are holsters too! That's right! You can relive the glory days of BlackBerry by throwing these on to your hip for even quicker access. And you'll probably want to, too. The KEYone is already a fairly large device and once inside the case, you won't want it to be spending much time in your pocket. The only way to really carry it comfortably is on your hip...like a hipster. Get it? There are actually two options for hip-carrying. There's a belt loop that is sewn into the leather on the back, or you can opt for a belt clip that rotates allowing you to carry it vertically or horizontally (the belt loop only allows for horizontal transportation).
The Bad: It's big and not in a good way
For all the beauty of the design, there are a few things about this case that I'm not a fan of. First, the small pouch on the front, while large enough to hold business cards, cash, or a lone credit card, is quite tight, making it fairly difficult to remove said items once inside. Now it may loosen up over time, but I've only had the cases for a couple of weeks so I can't really speak to that. In my experience, it actually made it more inconvenient than using my pocket or wallet.
Second, I'm just not a holster kind of guy. Now, this is an entirely personal preference, but I just don't like or use holster cases. Also, the colors I was sent would be even more difficult for me to wear because I just personally don't think they look that great on the hip. There is a black version of the case which would probably look much better but I didn't receive that one. Again, this is an almost entirely personal preference, but I like to be honest. It would be hard for me to wear these on my hip every day.
Don't get me wrong, it looks great, but it's very noticeable.
My last issue with this case is the size. Let me qualify this by saying that I'm more of a minimalist when it comes to cases, but this thing is not small, inconspicuous or subtle. Don't get me wrong, it looks great, but it's very noticeable. That may not bother you, but for me, it makes it almost unwieldy. Like I said before, the KEYone is not a small phone and when you put a large phone into a large holster, everything just gets bigger, and not necessarily in a good way. Once again, a lot of this is personal preference, but I'm just trying to let you know what you're getting into.
I admit that I may very well be exaggerating a bit here, but these are just my impressions of the thing. You won't really know for yourself until you have one. They do have a 30-day return policy for undamaged, unused units so give it a shot!
The Ugly: It's gonna cost ya
I'm just going to throw it out there, this thing is expensive. The belt loop model is a cool $118 (yeah that's what I said) and the belt clip version is ten bucks more at $128 before taxes and shipping. Yes, you pay for shipping. That's hard to swallow, especially since BlackBerry's own leather case is $40 (some are even cheaper). Yes, it's hand made, and it comes in three different colors, but $118 is a lot of money for ANY case. There was only one other manufacturer I found that even comes close to that price and they offer customization options and quite a few more colors too.
What you are paying for is an extremely high-quality design and build that is so good, you most likely will never need to use the lifetime warranty.
Let me say it again though, this case is gorgeous. What you are paying for is an extremely high-quality design and build that is so good, you most likely will never need to use the lifetime warranty. This thing isn't made in a factory, and you won't be able to find another or better hand-crafted leather case/holster combo out there. If you really want to complete the look of luxury with your KEYone, then this is absolutely the case to get. It's big, it's expensive, and it makes quite a statement. If that's your thing, then head on over to their website and pick one up. I recommend Black...or Brown...or the Natural Tone, you know what? They're all just awesome.
As a special gift for Mobile Nations readers, they gave us a 10% off discount code: MNATIONS.