Curve and Pearl case update
For both, the outer skin coming loose beside the screen remained a bit of an irritation factor, and the extended microphone cover on the base-layer screen made installing the hard case a bit trickier. Again, the extra layers covering the speakers were prone to peeling and getting mangled with repeated installations, which could become an ongoing problem if the OtterBox is just something that you would use for the occasional outing rather than on a full-time, day-to-day basis.
The funniest thing about the Pearl case is that the extra size actually makes if feel better in larger hands. I had grown accustomed to BlackBerry 8800’s extra bulk, and switching to the 8100, while more convenient for carrying, was almost awkwardly small for folks with big ol’ digits like myself. Outside of that, the case accommodates the right-side convenience key, as well as the camera and flash (although not the reflective viewfinder). The plastic cover wraps over this too, but there’s little to no reduction in photo quality. I had a slight issue with the USB and headphone jack cover: the bit near the top where the hard case meets the rubber is pretty sharp. If you regularly plug and unplug your Pearl, this could get irritating. It’s a minor thing, but still noticeable.
The Curve case was a tight fit, which wasn’t helped by the extra padding around the microphone cover, but on the whole it offered the BlackBerry some much-needed protection. With the 8300’s lightweight construction, and a few lingering complains of dust settling in under the screen, the Otterbox provides the Curve with some much-needed coverage. The crossbar remained as nicely beveled as the 8800’s case, allowing for easy trackball access.
Of course, an OtterBox review wouldn’t be complete without a bit of BlackBerry punishment.
At the end of the day, these two new additions to the OtterBox line do the 8800’s case justice, and earn them the same 3.5/5 score.
UPDATE! A separate case for the BlackBerry 8120 and BlackBerry 8130 is available, since the Pearl saw a few changes… check it out on the next page!