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Old 04-04-2006, 01:50 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default An Old Fart's case comparison

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I have been a member of these forums for approximately two months now and have read hundreds of posts concerning cases. One lesson learned is that beyond providing protection, the type of case desired is a very personal choice. Without knowing anything about the reviewer, it is difficult to gage the relevancy of the review to your own desires. I am an attorney in practice for 34 years so you can guess my age. I have owned every type of car/cell phone imaginable and have used nearly every provider (most do not even exist anymore). My first car phone was so large that the guts of it filled 20% of a Mercedes trunk and weighed almost 30 pounds. In deciding on a case, I put my desires in the following order: protection for the bb, ease of use, unobtrusive (anyone trying to be a “Geek” at my age simply ends up looking ridiculous). I have the OEM shell that came with the 8700c and have purchased three additional cases, mostly based on the reviews of LGreenberg, but the last was my own special order. My thoughts:

OEM shell – the easiest to use, literally screams out to everyone “look at me, I have a BlackBerry”, and provides the least protection. Its not “if” but “when” it will either break or the bb will slip right through it and crash on the floor. Because of the lack of protection and geek factor, I only use this case if I want to clip the bb into my pocket.

Fortte Vertical (black) – Purchased directly from Fortte whose customer service is delightful. This case provides great protection. It came with a swivel clip that has both advantages and disadvantages for me. It sticks out a bit too far from the belt for my taste but you can take the bb and case off your belt together without removing the clip. I do this all the time when I come into the office. At first I did not like the way it freely flopped around but find it to be an advantage when wearing a suit or sports jacket. The swivel lets you reach in discretely and remove the bb from its case at any angle. With a fixed vertical clip you end up looking like Wyatt Earp flipping the jacket back for a quick draw. Not a good idea, especially in front of court security personnel.

OEM vertical (black) – Purchased from Smart Phone Depot (SPD). Again a credit to our forums as they always keep you informed and their prices and service are first rate. The fit for the 8700c is perfect although I wish the sides covered more; there is a lot of the bb left exposed, but the same goes for the Fortte vertical. The leather is nicer on this than on the Fortte, so if you prefer Fortte I would go with an $8.00 leather upgrade. Although it seems to fit the bb just about the same as the Fortte, it is definitely a bigger case and thus more obtrusive. Its clip is not removable from the case and is the same ratcheting clip as on the OEM holster allowing it to be worn either vertical or horizontal. Unfortunately the ratchets have many intermediate stops and I often find that it moves into some sort of weird angle when sitting down and stays there when I stand up. This looks really stupid. I cannot understand the purpose of these intermediate stops. Also, when you use this case in the horizontal position you have to remove the bb from the side, a less than ideal situation. All in all though it is a first rate case.

Fortte Horizontal (brown) – This case I wanted for times other than at work and when wearing casual attire. The horizontal case is the least obtrusive and hides well under sweaters. This case has the leather upgrade and is absolutely beautiful. Fortte’s normal clip for this is the swivel which makes no sense whatsoever. Why would one want a swivel on a horizontal case? Fortte will at no extra cost substitute their slimmer fixed clip or even slimmer belt loop. I opted for the belt loop so that I can either thread the belt through it (securest method of putting it on a belt) or carry in a pocket without a clip or stud poking into me. From order to delivery in my office took 10 days, much shorter than the estimated 3 weeks. Kudos to Fortte and Salo/

All three of the purchased cases have covering flaps that work quite well and really do not increase the time in accessing the bb. I have tried open pouch cases, but they have sides that come up higher than the covered cases requiring you to grip the very top of the bb and pull it out a little bit with your fingertips and then grasp it more firmly. The time differential required getting the bb out of an open or flap top case is negligible. Again it is simply a personal choice; I prefer the more secure feeling of a flap over the bb. Most of my open case loosened up over time increasing my uneasy feeling about using them I do find it easier to remove the bb from either vertical case than the horizontal one, which is why I confine its use to off work hours. I use the two vertical cases about equally (Fortte if wearing a jacket and OEM, because of nicer leather if staying in the office), but like the horizontal case the best.

I have not posted pictures because LGreenberg alreasy has and I could not hope to do as well as he.
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Old 04-04-2006, 03:49 PM   #2 (permalink)
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cool thanks for the input.
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Old 04-04-2006, 04:07 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Hey Pops (Kidding),

Thanks for the review. I also have a conservative taste and the clients I work with usually don't like high-tech stuff. People almost always talk about the latest case or the coolest ones - but I'm just looking for a useful case that people won't laugh at me about.

It's a great review of 3 cases.
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Old 04-04-2006, 04:27 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Very nice synopsis.
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Old 04-04-2006, 08:47 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lgreenberg
Very nice synopsis.
Thank you
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Old 04-05-2006, 08:32 AM   #6 (permalink)
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interesting.... I use the OEM plastic cases. I always have on all my cells, blkbry, etc.

I dont think they look techy or geeky. In fact I think the leather custom cases are more obtrusive and attention getting. On the fact that they are made from leather. where the stock clip is only plastic.

anyone else on this?
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Old 04-05-2006, 08:42 AM   #7 (permalink)
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My problem with the look on the OEM plastic case is limited to the 8700c and also may be due to the fact I have the full body protectice skins on the bb that make it shine. Since the 8700c and the plastic case are different colors you have a two tone phone hanging off your belt. I have seen people wearing 7xxx series black bbs with a black case and that does not draw as much attention.
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Old 04-07-2006, 09:37 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Thanks for the summary reviews. I dislike the OEM plastic holster for the reasons you mentioned - my 7200 series clip snapped after getting hung on my seat belt which was my fault, but makes me nervous about the same thing happening to my new 8700. I'd prefer a flapless case like the Fortte STi since I've become used to the "quick-draw" ability of flapless vertical holsters. Unfortunately, the options are few and there are recent posts with concerns of the loosening of the flapless vertical cases, specifically the Fortte STi.

One comment though: you suggest an $8 leather upgrade when ordering from Fortte. I'd prefer black since it tends to go best with most of my daily attire, but the only leather upgrade with black is the brandy/black, yet I want all black. Apparently you're stuck with the standard leather if you want good 'ol black unless Fortte would be willing to do a custom black leather upgrade...guess I should ask!

Thanks again - you saved me some reading time.
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Old 04-07-2006, 11:51 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Great summary, this combination plus the Seidio holster is what I am looking at (got the STi & OEM, obviously)
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Old 04-08-2006, 12:31 AM   #10 (permalink)
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As another old fart who would look equally ridiculous trying to be a geek trying to look cool, I'd like to offer that the new Vaja Case is simple perfection. I have had it two weeks and the leather is beginning to wear in nicely. Still has that leather smell. I elected not to get the clip, nor the credit card slot. I DID get the case embossed with my initials. The magnetic clip takes some practice but I have mastered it now, and when reversed and clipped, the case and cover actually become a kind of glove for the hand. I read books in my 8700c (via Mobipocket), so having that grip simulates a paperback book of a sort.

The case also triggers the unit's holster settings, which prolongs battery life. However, the plastic clear-vue over the screen is such that glare is increased. THAT I could live without.

So, there you have it. The Vaja 8700c case. I give it four stars out of five. And remember that old farts generally don't give out five stars to anything.

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Old 04-08-2006, 12:32 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Where's that elusive four and a half!!!
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