BlackBerry Battery Cover Review: Bold vs Tour vs Curve vs Storm and more

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Over the years RIM has been continually changing the BlackBerry battery cover. Some covers have been better than others, and I thought I’d put together a review post including new and older devices. The devices included in this review are:

BlackBerry Bold 9700
BlackBerry Curve 8530
BlackBerry Bold 9000
BlackBerry Storm 9550
BlackBerry Storm 9530
BlackBerry Pearl Flip 8220
BlackBerry Tour 9630

Generally, I’m looking for a battery cover to be solid, sturdy, easy to remove and put back on, and have an element of fashionable design.


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BlackBerry Curve 8530

The BlackBerry Curve 8530 and the Storm 9550 share similar battery cover designs. To remove the cover, the user has to dig their nail into a slot at the base of the cover, and pry the cover off the device. Once removed, you can see that the cover relies on an anchor that fits itself into a hole behind the slot. While this provides the cover with a lot of stability and sturdiness, it’s a very uncomfortable process. I personally really dislike removing this battery cover and if I’ve just clipped my nails, I find it a little awkward, sometimes even painful. Putting the cover back on is a breeze. You just slip the top of the cover in first, and then clamp it shut where the anchor meets behind the removal slot. The cover has a solid “click” reminding you that it won’t deteriorate over time. In terms of design, I like how it blends in to the rest of the device and camouflages itself. The fact that it comes in different varieties with the 8530 vs the 8520 is cool too.

Stability: 9/10
Usability: 3/10
Design: 7/10

BlackBerry Storm 9550

The BlackBerry Storm’s batter case is much like the Curve 8530: a small slot where you pry off the cover. The major difference with the Storm is that the cover is metal vs plastic, and the anchor used behind the slot is a little different. When it comes to taking off the cover and putting it back on, they’re very similar experiences. Overall, I’d say the Storm gets another point for design because I prefer metal over plastic, but the usability is still very poor.

Stability: 9/10
Usability: 3/10
Design 8/10

BlackBerry Bold 9000

The Bold 9000 battery cover was one of my favorite parts of the device’s design when it first launched. The ability to customize the device with a denim, and in this case, white snake skin battery cover was a cool idea. If you haven’t tried a Bold, the battery cover is removed by pressing a button at the base of the cover, which unhooks the anchor holding it in place. I’ve found that the cover tends to fall off very easily, especially when dropped, and that the anchor isn’t set firmly enough into the device to make it stable. While the process of removing and replacing the cover is easy, it’s almost too easy.

Stability: 5/10
Usability: 8/10
Design: 9/10

BlackBerry Storm 9530

The BlackBerry Storm 9530 uses a unique battery cover approach with latches on either side of the device. The removal process feels a little ridiculous, almost like in a movie where they’re launching a nuclear weapon and they need two people to turn the keys at the exact same time. The fact that you need two hands to remove the cover, and both latches need to be unsecured, is ignoring the usability of the cover. While the latch system might be awkward, it does make for a solid connection with the device. Also, as with all Storms, the metal back vs plastic always adds a nice touch to the design.

Stability: 8/10
Usability: 5/10
Design: 8/10

BlackBerry Bold 9700

The Bold 9700 uses a sliding battery cover that latches in at the top and bottom of the device, almost like a moving shelf rudder. At first, I found the cover pretty solid and fairly easy to remove. The Bold 9700 came with instructions on the sticker that tells you to use two thumbs to push the cover off. Like the Storm 9530, I don’t think it should take two hands to remove a battery cover, but this isn’t the major issue. The major issue with my personal device, is that after 2 months of usage, the cover is completely useless. It comes off with the slightest of touch, and the side latches become ineffective after just a little wear-and-tear. The design is a little cheap as well, considering the Bold series is known for its class. While my device may not be the norm, I can’t help but think it’s the worst battery cover made by RIM to date.

Stability: 2/10
Usability: 4/10
Design: 3/10

BlackBerry Pearl Flip 8220

The Pearl Flip uses a very simple latch and button mechanism that locks the battery cover into place. The cover is very easy to remove and put back on, and it’s a solid connection to the device. When it comes to design, this cover is lacking, but it definitely works the way a battery cover should. It’s simple, effective and reliable.

Stability: 9/10
Usability: 8/10
Design: 1/10

BlackBerry Tour 9630

The BlackBerry Tour 9630 battery cover has the same mechanics as the Pearl Flip cover, but everything is obviously much bigger. While I have heard users complain about the Tour’s battery cover (the door not fitting snug), I personally have found it stable and easy to use. The fact that it is a simple latch mechanism means there isn’t much that can go wrong, and it seems like it would be effective after a lot of wear-and-tear. I like the look and feel of the cover and I think it’s a good balance between functionality and design. I don’t really have any complaints here, but I know there are a ton of users out there who are really unhappy with this cover.

Stability: 8/10
Usability: 8/10
Design: 8/10
*Only based on my own device, which doesn’t seem to be indicative of most Tour owners*

LAST MINUTE ADDITION:

The BlackBerry Curve 8330

The Curve 8330 uses a button and anchor system, with the anchors placed around the sides of the device, making it firmly locked into place. The cover is very easy to remove and put back on, and design-wise, it’s a little ahead of its time. This cover might be one of the best available to BlackBerry users, as it’s reliable, functional and fashionable.

Stability: 9/10
Usability: 9/10
Design: 8/10

RIM really needs to figure out what the best battery cover solution for a BlackBerry should be, as they seem to just be throwing darts at a design board. With the battery cover changing with almost every device, RIM is just creating more situations in which users can find fault in their device and possibly return it. By figuring out a design that works best, RIM could potentially avoid thousands of device returns, which is silly considering how minimal the battery cover is to the overall cost of manufacturing the device.

  • edri

    Am I the only one that sees an 8900 in the pic? Why would u show it if ur not gonna review it…and then throw in an 8330 for kicks? Lol

  • edri

    Am I the only one that sees an 8900 in the pic? Why would u show it if ur not gonna review it…and then throw in an 8330 for kicks? Lol

  • Ray G.

    I can only speak for the 9700 cover, but I think for MOST users who aren’t Power users and pull batteries every 3 minutes, the battery cover is fine. If you are loading Leaked OS’s and beta programs 6 times a day and pulling the cover to fix the crashes, then you are putting it to an extreme test. In the nearly 2 months I’ve had mine, the cover has been off maybe 6 times. The fit is still tight and there is no appreciative difference in the effort to remove it.

  • Ray G.

    I can only speak for the 9700 cover, but I think for MOST users who aren’t Power users and pull batteries every 3 minutes, the battery cover is fine. If you are loading Leaked OS’s and beta programs 6 times a day and pulling the cover to fix the crashes, then you are putting it to an extreme test. In the nearly 2 months I’ve had mine, the cover has been off maybe 6 times. The fit is still tight and there is no appreciative difference in the effort to remove it.

  • Guest1

    Agree 100% on the BlackBerry Bold 9700 cover. I have had my bold for about a year..The cover comes off. HAD TO USE TAPE!  Expensive phone now Looks cheap.