BlackBerry Z10 official leather flip case review

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So you’ve taken the plunge and bought yourself one of the brand new BlackBerry Z10 phones. Looks good, eh? The last thing you want to do is damage it. What better than the official BlackBerry Z10 flip case?

BlackBerry (don’t call them RIM!) have gone all out with the launch of the Z10, not only with their advertising, but also with the official accessories.

Because I’m paranoid about damaging my Z10 review unit I thought I’d take the opportunity to see what the official flip case is like.

Pros and Cons
Good

  • Well made
  • Built in stand
  • auto screen on/off function

Bad

  • Cannot use connectors with it closed
  • Picks up dirt like a Hoover
  • It gets dirty very quickly
  • Did I mention it gets dirty ridiculously easily?

Construction

The case consists of a plastic hard shell that clips around the phone and a leather cover that flips over the front to protect the screen. The shell is shaped so that there is easy access to the volume, voice control and power buttons, as well as the USB and multimedia sockets.

The materials are sturdy and give confidence that the phone’s in a safe place. The fit is perfect, as you’d expect from an official BlackBerry accessory, so much so that removal of the phone is a real struggle.

In Use

The case inevitably adds bulk to the phone, but it still sits well in the hand and isn’t significantly heavier. The flip bit (you know, the flap) folds out of the away when talking on the phone, and can hang down when texting or surfing (or whatever else you do apart from making calls) without getting in the way too much.

I did find that using the camera was a bit of a pain because the flap got in the way of holding the handset comfortably.

A nice secondary feature is the stand. By folding the screen protector back and underneath itself you can form it into a triangle which makes it into a stand, allowing the phone to sit at an angle on its side for watching videos, etc. much in the same way as a lot of the iPad cases. If you’re careful you will also be able to balance it upright, although the stand feels less secure in this configuration.

Something else that is brought across from most iPad cases is an auto screen on/off function, so when you open it up the screen turns on and when it’s closed the screen turns off again. I wish my Samsung flip case would do that.

An unfortunate problem is caused with the way the phone’s connectors are laid out though. You see, both the USB and multimedia connectors are on the left hand edge of the handset, meaning that when the case is closed the spine of the flap covers them. This means the phone cannot be charged with the case closed. This is a major drawback, however, given the phone’s design I don’t think there’s a way around it.

Visually

The case isn’t exactly what you’d call fashionable. Understated is probably the best way to describe it, although I’d go for the black version if you want truly understated. There is a red one though, should you wish to make an impact.

The back of the shell where the leather is attached to the plastic looks rather cheap and unsightly, although it is very strong. I would have thought there was a nicer looking method of forming a similar joint though.

After a week with it, one thing above all else stands out with this case: dirt. When it arrived in its box it was a pure white that only an angel washed in Daz could rival. Within a day it was a grubby cream colour.

Now, before you accuse me of being an unhygienic slob, I have a white Samsung Galaxy Note II case that is still as pristine as the day I bought it. As anyone who knows me will tell you, I treat my phones as if they are Faberge eggs, and even the cases are immaculate. Not the BlackBerry one though, no matter how hard I tried.

The black version of the BlackBerry case is probably fine, but unless you live in a hermetically sealed iron lung I strongly recommend you don’t buy this white one. I hate to think how they guy in the Phones 4 U advert is going to react when he sees it!

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Conclusion

On the whole the official BlackBerry flip case is a sturdy and practical bit of protection for the Z10. The inaccessible connector problem and slightly ugly back would make me think twice about buying it without checking out the competition. But please, for the love of all things BlackBerry, please don’t buy a white one!

Thanks to Mobile Fun for the loan of the case which can be found with the rest of their BlackBerry Z10 cases.

  • Martin

    Doesn’t look too bad a case but……. what a bunch of dickhead R…oops Blackberry are, why not put cutouts in the side of the flip part of the case so that you can charge the thing with it closed!