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Old 05-21-2005, 05:28 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Thumbs up Yet Another SkinTight Rubberized Case Review

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SkinTight Case for the Blackberry 7290

Rating: Three out of four berries

Pros: Superior protection; rubberized grip; functions with or without screen protector; attaches easily and securely to belt clip

Cons: Bulges slightly on both sides of the 7290 screen; makes it more difficult to pull out the battery; can interfere with thumb access to the space key

The Bottom Line: If you donít mind the added bulk, this case provides superior protection and a better grip than competing Blackberry cases.

Who would have thought that my Blackberry 7290 needed an overcoat? By now youíve seen the pictures on the forum. The SkinTight case is a rubberized overcoat for your Blackberry. The case fits like the set of goulashes your Mom made you wear when you were a kid. Like those goulashes, it takes some effort to slip the case on and off, so prepare to be irked whenever you need to pull out the battery.

Iíve used RIMís leather case and have been happy with its fit and convenience. This case doesnít add much weight, but it does add some bulk. The rubberized material is strong and should protect your Blackberry against most knocks and tumbles. The case is especially easy to grip, and it wonít slip out of your hand.

Unfortunately, the fit isnít as exact as I had hoped. Thereís a slight bulge on either side of the screen. The bulge was there whether on not I inserted the plastic screen protector. I assume the bulge is related to the larger size of the 7290 compared with the 7230. The 7290 is 0.9 inches deep, while the 7230 is 0.8 inches deep. That 0.1-inch difference may not sound like a lot, but itís more than a 10 percent increase in size. The bulge is less pronounced with my 7230, which has eGrips installed on the back and sides. I wasnít willing to peel off the eGrips, so I can only assume the bulge would disappear on a 7230 without the eGrips.

I also found the lower lip of the case sometimes interfered with my typing. With the Magmic games, you can use the space key to initiate actions or select items on the screen. I kept hitting the edge of the case whenever I reached for the space key, which felt awkward, though I could probably become used it over time. Speck Products should consider dropping the lower lip of the case just a bit, so the space key isnít so close.

The case connects easily and securely to the belt clip, which is included in the package. The belt clip has a built-in magnet, which is necessary for the Blackberry to automatically switch off the screen.

Will I keep using the case? In airports and other crowded venues, itís pretty much ideal for my needs. Thatís where the protection and grip are more important than any inconveniences. In meetings and less-hurried tradeshows, I may revert back to the leather case, which has a more professional appearance.

DavidE
www.davidenglish.com

Last edited by DavidE : 05-22-2005 at 12:18 AM.
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Old 05-21-2005, 11:52 PM   #2 (permalink)
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nice review, I will probably use the case the same way as you. as you is it when I am out or around casually. but trade shows (like yourself), I will try to keep it more professional. might even try the black one for the pro look.

by the way I am using a BB 7520, so when they come out I will, lol.

pink
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Old 05-23-2005, 05:45 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Skin∑Tights now posted on our website - In stock and ready to ship

http://www.smartphonedepot.com/shop
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Old 05-26-2005, 10:07 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default New review - Speck case on a 7290

Amy at Speck kindly sent me one of these cases for review purposes, and my impression is a bit mixed - probably because of the way in which I use my BB.

1. "Assembly" and fit: As other reviewers have mentioned, there seems to be a minor fit problem with this case. The rubber bulges on either side of the screen, implying that the case is just barely too narrow. Similarly, the cutout for the speaker above the screen seems to be a bit too high and doesn't align well with the three silver slots (ie. the cutout reveals blue plastic where I don't think it intended to). I usually use a bluetooth headset so this isn't a big deal for me, but I think it would make it a bit harder to hear if you held the bb to your ear during a phone call.

I agree with DavidE that the lip around the keyboard is too close, but this wasn't hard to get used to.

2. Grip and handling: Although the case makes the bb more bulky, it definitely achieves its objectives of fitting nicely and securely in the hand. I also liked the black case because it gives the unit a more "professional" look than the standard blueberry blue.

3. Screen visibility: Under regular indoor light, the plastic cover protecting the screen was fine, but I found that it reflected too much light outdoors in the sun and made it hard to see the screen. Is there such a thing as anti-reflective plastic? I eventually removed the plastic cover to improve visibility, but this made the rubber bulges more noticeable from an aesthetic point of view.

4. Desk stand (a minor point): I use the desk stand from my old 7280 when I'm charging the BB at my desk and, not surprisingly, this doesn't fit the encased 7290.

5. Holster (a major point): I am used to pulling my bb in and out of its original holster with one hand and without much thought or effort. This is not the case with the new holster, especially when sitting down. It can be somewhat tricky to get the bb out of the holster, and even more difficult to get it into the holster because it has to be perfectly aligned in order to fit. I suppose this is somewhat to be expected because the rubber is not supposed to slide anywhere (that's the point of the case). But this was a real frustration for me.

6. Power management (not sure how major this is): Related to point 4 above, I noticed a few instances where the bb was holstered (perhaps a bit crookedly) but the screen was not shut off! From a power consumption point of view, this could be a huge problem. I can't reproduce the problem now, though, so this may be something that goes away after a few days when the case has been slightly worked in.


Overall impressions: If I worked outside a lot or in situations where I was concerned about wear and tear or physical damage to the unit, I would go for this case in a second. I didn't actually do a bounce test, but I have no doubt that the protection offered by the case is significant.

However, in an office environment where physical damage is not so much of a concern, I think the difficulties in taking the unit out of the holster and putting in back in again outweigh the benefits of the extra protection.

In other words, right product, but wrong user.
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Old 05-29-2005, 07:24 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I've done the bounce test.... Ground 0 BlackBerry 1
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Old 05-29-2005, 08:03 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rcg
I've done the bounce test.... Ground 0 BlackBerry 1
I've coordinated the implementation of new scanners for a major courier company. Our criteria for an acceptable device was that it could survive a 6 foot drop onto concrete: any angle, any temperature!
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Old 10-06-2005, 06:17 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I love the case except for four problems / issues:

1. I have the same experience as ldblf2: on my 7250, the sides of the screen opening are stretched (bowed) outward. Basically, the screen opening fit top-to-bottom looks perfect, but side-to-side looks like 1 mm too short on each side. So I can't seem to keep the hard plastic screen cover from falling out so I am going to give up on it and use a cling-on type protector sheet. I called Amy at Speck products, and she said I could return it if I wasn't happy with the fit. So I'm guessing by now they are aware that some 72xx models have screen width fit problems.

2. I also see that the top-most opening for the speaker does not align very well. It is about 1-2 mm to high. Note that all the other holes (screen width excepted) appear to align very well. Doesn't seem to affect phone use, though.

3. The holster could be improved. It is often difficult to get the BB in the holster straight w/o looking. It will "snap-in" over a range of off-vertical angles, and I've found if it isn't in perfectly vertical, it can be knocked out fairly easily. Either the bottom cup of the holster needs taller "sides" to force the BB to go in vertical, or the case and holster top latch need some kind of alignment contour/groove. It is also a little awkward to remove the BB from the holster with one hand, especially if you carry on your left side. But you sort of get used to it.

4. The bottom edge of the keyboard opening could be beveled a little more than the abrupt radius it has. It sort of forms a "ledge" that your thumbs need to roll over to press the space bar. Don't know if a thin beveled edge would make it prone to tearing, though.

Even with the four issues noted above, I love this case! It improves the grip - 200%! - in both one-hand and two-hand holds. Plus it is the perfect density to be "grippy" yet firm enough to protect the BB.

One final note: I've found the case dampens the feel when in vibrate mode. Some people might not like this, but I like the softer "purr" as opposed to the hip-jarring "buzz" you get when carrying in the RIM hard plastic holster.

Last edited by drhink : 10-06-2005 at 06:22 PM.
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Old 10-06-2005, 07:20 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I just got this same case yesterday and I can't seem to get past how bulky it is. The clip leaves a bit to be desired as far as a no look insert of the BB. But over all the drop test led to no damage to my BB and I am very pleased with the protection that the case provides.
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