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Old 05-18-2006, 08:01 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default REVIEW: NEW Custom Fortte Leather STiL for 8700

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Product: Custom Fortte STiL for 8700 in Old Fashioned Chocolate Leather with Custom Fixed Belt Clip
Price: $48.99 ($32.99 + $16.00 for custom color)

Fortte, Fortte, Fortte - will this company ever cease to amaze me? Probably not. They have proven time and time again that they will stop at nothing to satisfy their customers. From customized case giveaway contests to creating entire new case designs based on customer input. Case in point (excuse the pun...), ragin cajun asked for a special strap to be added to the pouch style case to prevent his BB from falling out, and they made him one that worked so well they added it to their regular lineup of cases. (The snap closure is actually a small button snap instead of a magnet type of snap closure, which in this situation is even better because it is much stronger. This snap won't pop open unless you want it to.) (read about it here)

I personally liked that style so much that I decided to get one for myself, with a couple special features of my own. After using, testing and reviewing so many cases over the past weeks I have determined what my ideal carry solution would be. I took that info to Fortte and they created my perfect case. Perfect for me is first of all a pouch case. I dislike flip style cases and cabrio style cases because I don't like having leather and/or plastic against my face and ear when using the phone. I definitely need protection of the device and this caused me some concern about using pouch cases - until I found the InvisibleSHIELD skins. These things are awesome! (InvisibleSHIELD review here) So now that I have full body skin protection I feel more comfortable using the pouch cases. Not to mention the fact that I just prefer using the BB in it's raw form instead of while wrapped in a case, but that's just me.

Next I needed a clear opening for the speaker to avoid muffling ringtones while in the case. Done. Then came the issue of a pouch case allowing the device to fall out at certain times. Thanks to our friendly neighborhood ragin cajun, that problem is solved. Of course I needed a properly working sleeper magnet - Fortte has never had issues with that, to my knowledge, so check that off the list as well. Then I told them I really have this pet peeve against anything gold - no problem, they used a silver logo shield instead (matches nicely with the speaker grill).

All that was left to determine was my choice of belt clip and the color. For color I saw that not only did Fortte have color choices, they had TONS of color choices. Much more than any other case manufacturer I have seen. I actually had difficulty choosing one! With a little constructive help from Monica at Fortte, I settled on the Old Fashioned Chocolate, and man am I happy with it! It is just what I was looking for - a look that can be worn when dressed for work or meetings in a suit, and just as easily worn with jeans or golfing on the weekends. It's perfect.

So that leaves the belt clip dilemma. Fortte again has several options to choose from, no surprise there, and I have previously reviewed a couple of their options so I have some familiarity with them. Again, through use of several cases over several weeks I have concluded that for me, the fixed clip is the wat to go. At first I loved the ratchet clip idea, but after using several of them I realized that I NEVER ratchet it anywhere except for the horizontal position, parallel with my belt. In fact, the ratchet clips would get pushed around from time to time getting in and out of cars, movie seats, etc., so it was actually more annoying than anything. Swivel clips are certainly worse than ratchet clips at moving around too much, so that was out. I have used the Heavy Duty clip before and liked it, but I prefer a tighter feel on my belt, and the fixed clip offers that extra grip. But like I just said, I always wear my cases parallel with my belt, when possible, because I like to quick-draw the BB out of the case and have it facing me ready for use in an instant. So I made a special request to Fortte, and they once again came through. I aksed them to use a fixed clip wrapped in the same leather, but to place it sideways on the back, so I can wear it horizontally. No problem.

So as you can see, Fortte has designed the absolute perfect case for me. Not only did they not even twitch at any of my requests, they almost jumped at them. Ever have that feeling where you think to yourself "man, if I was running a company like this I would jump through hoops to satisfy my customers. They would just love my products." Well this is exactly what they do. Simply put, Fortte makes the best custom leather cases on the market.

UPDATE: I just realized that there is an added benefit to this setup. The case is so slim, and the fixed clip is so low profile that it allows me to pocket this case with no problem!

SECOND UPDATE: When I originally ordered this case I was using the Seidio skins daily. So I asked Fortte to give me some more room for the skin in the case, and they did by adding small elastic pieces to the sides to fit the BB and the Seidio skin together. So those of you looking for the ultimate protection, use the Seidio skins AND a custom sized Fortte case.

Click to enlarge:

To see the other two STiL cases I have recently received, go here.

ATTENTION: New discount from Fortte!
Online Coupon: Emboss your name for FREE with the purchase of a case from a special color collection. Use this code: BBF63F

Rating: I give this case an easy 5 out of 5 Berries.

Conclusion: Perfection. Exactly what I wanted - could not be happier.

Pros: Total customization, several color choices, several belt clip choices, no speaker muffling, safety strap on top with button snap closure, customized fixed belt clip, Seidio skinned BB fits as well, etc., etc., etc.

Cons: None. Sure, it costs a pretty penny, but we all know by now - you get what you pay for.
My heart belongs to Liv...

Last edited by Seattle18 : 06-16-2006 at 12:05 PM.