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Old 03-04-2009, 10:44 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Post In-Depth Review: Seidio Innocase II & Holster for the 8900

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The BlackBerry 8900 has come a long way. I was one of the first to get one, hunting it down from the moment I heard of its release.

One of the biggest downfalls of the 8900 was the lack of support for the device. Not technically, but in terms of personalizing it. It took RIM months to come out with a leather holster, skins and a docking station for it. Because of lack of third-party software support, themes for the 8900 are just coming out now.

But arguably the most important accessory for any BlackBerry user is the holster. Seidio is a very popular brand with any phone. They custom make accessories for each phone and generally have a higher quality fit and finish than most others. It is why i trust them with my 8300, my iPhone and now my 8900.

So, here we go... my COMPLETE experience (to date) the Seidio Innocase II and Holster Combo for the 8900.

First off, Ordering and Delivery. Ordering was simple as usual on their website. Since I am Canadian, I elected to go with the cheaper USPS shipping than the FedEx option that costs nearly $15 more. I already had the OEM Holster, so I wasn't in a rush. I placed my order on February 15, and the order arrive March 2nd. Not the shortest delivery time, but just outside of Seidio's 7-10 business day promise.

Now to the real deal. How well does it work?

The Innocase itself is pretty close to perfect. Any button or port that needs to be accessed has an unobstructed opening. Unlike previous models, there is no longer a "keyboard side" and a "back side" but rather a "top portion" and a "bottom portion". As you can see in the pictures, the case splits right around the "alt" and "enter" keys on the keyboard. This allows you to remove the bottom of the case to dock it to the OEM BlackBerry dock (see pictures below).

The only downside (or upside depending on how you want to look at it) is that the bottom half is really difficult to remove. One could say this is good, since the bottom will not fall off, but at the same time, if you charge using a dock, it is quite the chore to remove that bottom portion every time.

All in all the Innocase II provides great protection for the device. it has stopped a lot of minor scratches and the rubberized texture feels good in your hands.

Now the holster. Unfortunately, Seidio decided to cut some costs and use the same holster as the 8330. The model number on the back even shows an 8330 case (see pictures below). The holster does still do the job that it is meant to do, but it is not as snug as you'd want it to be. By this I mean that it still securely holds the phone in place, but the holster doesn't "wrap around" the phone as well.

For starters the biggest gripe is the clip on the top. It leaves a very predominant gap between the phone and the clip (see picture below). Granted it does hold the phone in well.

Also at the bottom of the phone, the "holding feet" (I don't know what else to call them) doesn't quite line up with the phone. I would say this is because the 8900 is thinner than the 8330 the holster was designed for, but it does leave space for things to get snagged on (see pictures below).

To address some of the questions I have seen elsewhere on the forum...
The camera opening does not have any kind of covering over it. The camera has an unobstructed view, as does the flash.

The clip is very firm. Although it does leave a gap, it grips the phone well. The fact that the Innocase has a strip that protects the phone along the path of the clip means that the phone can be snapped into the holster without lifting the clip, and without worry that it will damage the phone.

I have not seen any damage to my phone because of this case.

The "sleeper" function of the BlackBerry is preserved 100% with their design.

Although the charging ports are exposed at the back of the phone through the Innocase, you do have to remove the bottom portion in order to charge on the OEM dock.

Unlike the OEM skin, there is no cutaway to make some extra space around the keyboard. Sometimes you will find that annoying, but you get used to it really fast.

Lanyard users will be happy to know that the lanyard hole is uncovered, so you can use a lanyard with the Innocase.

Innocase II for 8900: 9/10
Innocase Holster for 8900: 7/10

I hope this review helps people make an informed decision when considering this product.

Below are additional pictures that I took, but didn't find a good spot to put in the review.

Any comments or questions are welcome. Just reply in this thread =)
Current: White iPhone 3GS, Curve 8310
Previous: 8900, iPhone 3G, 8300, 7290

Last edited by iLawCDN : 03-04-2009 at 10:58 AM.
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