REVIEW: Case-Mate BlackBerry Bold Fuel – Rechargeable Battery Pack
Cost: $74.95 @ BerryReview Store
The Case-Mate rechargeable battery pack is a Blackberry belt clip with a built in external battery designed exclusively for the Bold (for now).
As a battery extender: In the event that you forget to charge your Blackberry and don’t have a second charger handy, a secondary battery can give your Blackberry up to 7 additional hours of usage time or 20 hours of standby time. However, if you are using that logic, you better hope that you didn’t forget to charge your Case-Mate holster. If you have experience with battery charging cycles and are worried about unnecessarily charging your Blackberry while in the Case-Mate holster, using more charging cycles than necessary, the Case-Mate charging holster has a power on/off button for controlling when the
holster is a charger and when the holster is just a holster. In using the charging function I had no problems. The leads connect to the Blackberry smoothly and charging happens without a hitch. Turning the charging function on and off is also quite simple and I didn’t have any problems. In sum, as a battery extender/charger, the holster works great.
As a Blackberry belt carrying clip: The purpose of a phone holster, for those who use one regularly, is to keep your phone accessible while also keeping it sturdy and safe. The Case-Mate holster is open on the sides and has a pocket at the bottom so you Blackberry can slide in easily. This is actually really useful for quickly placing your Blackberry into the Case-Mate holster without having to even look or fiddle around. However, the Blackberry is only held in place by a tab that stretches about halfway across the top of the Blackberry and interlocks with a recess on its top. When you take care to make sure that the phone click into place, the tab does a great job at keeping your Blackberry secure. However, because the tab must must lock into the Blackberry recess to hold it in place, if something gets in the way of that interlock then the Blackberry will fall. For example, someone like me Case-Mate holster. Consequently, there have been many instances where a part of my shirt has got in the way while sliding the Blackberry into the Case-Mate holster–making me think that the Blackberry was locked securely into place when it was not and leading to many Blackberry scraping falls. To contrast, many other Blackberry holsters have a curved upper bracket that not only stretches over the top of the Blackberry but also hooks around partially down the face, making it almost impossible to mistake having locked the Blackberry into place. Thus, while the Case-Mate holster is slicker and easier to connect to than most, if you aren’t careful you could wind up bruising your Blackberry like I did.
Construction: The holster itself is made out of a rubbery plastic (or a plasticy rubber) giving the unit a pretty luxurious feel, and is actually pretty slim considering that there is a battery built within. After playing around with it for a while you also notice that it is pretty solidly constructed to protect both its own battery and the Blackberry itself.
Overall, this is a very useful product with solid and impressive construction, but make sure you are paying attention when locking in the Blackberry!