Review: OtterBox Defender Case for BlackBerry Curve 8520
Cost: $49.95 (+ *shipping)
Available from: www.OtterBox.com
Once again, the folks over at OtterBox have done it. They have made give out yet another perfect score. I went over this case with a fine toothed comb and couldn’t find one fault. The design, fit, attention to detail and overall build quality is flawless.
Some weeks ago, OtterBox sent this case out for me to review. I have been putting this review off partly because of an extremely busy work schedule and partly because I have a deep and meaningful love affair with my, OtterBox clad, Bold 9000 at the moment. I didn’t want to give the Bold up. It was robust, reliable (mostly) and, well, it’s just my favorite child right now. I’ve had the Curve 8520 sitting in the cupboard since a few weeks before release date and a brand new OtterBox sitting along side it… waiting… Waiting until I screwed up. Well it happened. Friday night the Bold gave it’s last flicker of life and succumbed to a lifetime of abuse, overuse and 300+ emails a day.
One excuse is as good as another so I swapped devices and cracked the packaging on the Curve 8520 and matching OtterBox Defender.
I was not disappointed. Overall built quality on the OtterBox Defender case fantastic. It doesn’t matter how hard I try, I just can’t find a fault with this case.
Fitting is easy (when compared to the OtterBox Defender case for the Curve 8900). Again, the manufactures have used a hard membrane over the screen so when you fit the case, no annoying bubbles are formed between the screen and membrane. The keyboard is protected by a form fitted clear membrane. The only part of the BlackBerry Curve 8520 that is left un-protected is the trackpad. (A small hint, the edge of the membrane surrounding the trackpad will settle back onto the underlying button after a day or two. I thought this was going to be an issue at the start as a small but noticeable lip had formed surrounding the trackpad but it settled down 24 hours or so later).
There is a total of eight dedicated locator pins/lugs around the other edge to hold the silicon skin in place. This aids in holding the very outside layer of protection in place like no other Defender Case that I have previously reviewed.
The charge and earpiece port is covered with a two stage removable plug. This allows you to uncover just the earpiece port whilst keeping dust and dirt out of your charge port at the same time. All outside buttons are catered for, including the three media keys on top of the device making every function of your BlackBerry Curve 8520 operable whilst in the case.
Previous OtterBox Defender cases occasionally caused a ‘flashback’ effect that would render flash photography from your device virtually impossible. As the Curve 8520 has no flash, this is not a problem with this OtterBox Defender.
Sound quality from the Curve 8520 is, well lets be truthful here, CRAP at the best of times. Putting it in this case doesn’t make any difference. It still sounds like crap… I haven’t had any complaints about voice quality and have taken quite a number of calls over the weekend so that factor seems to be fine too.
The first thing you will notice about the holster is the activation magnet is offset slightly to one side. But apart from that, everything is as it should be. The twenty four position belt clip is as strong as always and the device clips into the holster firmly with a positive lock-down in the final ten millimeters or so.
- OtterBox’s famous 3 layers of protection.
- Easier to fit than any other OtterBox Defender to date.
- Access to all buttons from outside the case.
- Firm fit on the silicon outer skin.
- Two stage plug cover for earpiece/charger port.
- Moulded keyboard cover.
- Sturdy and robust holster.
- The old Henry Ford philosophy… Any color as long as its Black…
Simply put, OtterBox have got it all together when they designed and constructed the OtterBox Defender of the BlackBerry Curve 8520. I know this device is a budget line for RIM but these days, every cent counts right… For $49.95* you can essentially purchase an insurance policy against dropping and damage that we all incur on a day to day basis.
My BlackBerry Bold 9000 has been in an OtterBox Defender case since the day I got it. When I removed it the other day, the device did not have single scratch or blemish anywhere. It was just as if it was brand new. (Except the now black trackball that started life as a white one). I work in a construction environment on a day to day basis and if this is no testament to the protection OtterBox offers then I don’t know what is.
My only gripe is the lack of color range. Come on OtterBox, at the very least bring back the yellow option. (Although, I think a drab olive green or camo would be a superb look…)