The 1600 and 2500 boxes look straight-up military grade in toughness. The OtterBox 2500′s neon yellow might hurt the eyes, but provides extremely high visibility in low-light conditions. The clear GPS case lets you get power and signal status at a glance, without having to open the case. Back over to the device cases, it can’t be denied that the OtterBox 1930 makes your 8700 look like a tank, which earns it some Badass Points in the fashion department. All of the overlaid keys are clearly labeled and have great grip to them. By contrast, the BlackBerry 8800 case is rather svelte by OtterBox standards. The power, volume, mute and convenience buttons are subtly integrated into the outer skin, and the casing around the keypad is beveled perfectly for access to the keys.
The GPS box came with a generic foam bedding which held our precious little Garmin puck with all the tenderness of a newborn’s mother. As far as the BlackBerry cases go, the 8700′s clickwheel is hindered a fair bit by the OtterBox. Not unusable, but sometimes it takes a few tries to get where you’re trying to go. Otherwise, the keys are perfectly responsive, and sound quality isn’t hampered in the least. As mentioned, the 8800′s case was very well-tailored for the keypad. There were no issues with accessing the side keys, like with the alu-leather flip case. Scrolling up wards with the ball was a little awkward, since there’s a sidebar stretching beneath the screen, but even then, it’s indented to allow a little extra thumb-room. More notably, the skin tends to pull off from the side of the screen fairly easily, which can turn into a hassle if you have to do it time and again. The top speaker cover on the base plastic layer was starting to get torn up after a few disassemblies, so take care.