Review: OtterBox 1933 Rugged Case For BlackBerry 8800 Series

editors-choice-small.jpgOtterBox 1933 Rugged Case For the BlackBerry 8800/8820/8830
Editors Choice Award Winner!

Cost: $49.95

If you use your BlackBerry in a active environment or you are just plain clumsy the OtterBox is the best solution for you. The case is very well designed and the only fault I could find with it was its bulk. What amazed me with the OtterBox was their attention to detail which makes the 8800 completely functional in the case. I admit that the bulky size will discourage some potential users but the protection it provides your BlackBerry is state of the art. I even dropped my BlackBerry ~4 feet to concrete just to see what would happen. Check out the full review of our latest editors choice winner after the jump.

I had always heard about OtterBox cases but until this review I did not have a chance to actually use one first hand. The case is amazingly strong and is built to last. The materials make this feel like an armored case for your BlackBerry.

The Review Unit: The review is the standard black OtterBox for the BlackBerry 8800 series. The case does come in a yellow version but that is the limit of the customization options. The box for the OtterBox is actually quite nice compared to the competition so I decided to take some pictures of it below. There is also a picture of the OtterBox warranty below:


Installation: Installing the OtterBox is not as simple as other cases but is worth the effort. First you cover your 8800 with a double sided piece of molded plastic skin with cutouts for the speakers and trackball.


The plastic covers the front and back of the 8800 from water drops and dust. You can see the cutouts for the speakers, microphone, and trackball. You will also notice that it is almost impossible to not get bubbles underneath the skin but with the included credit card plastic you can push them out a bit.


There are also filters over the speaker cutouts to stop dust and other particles from entering.


Next you have to install the hard cover on top of the skin. The hardcover just snaps into place with a back and front piece on top of your BlackBerry. You then have to stretch the silicon rubber over the hard case to complete the install.

A Closer Look: One of the major reasons we do these reviews is because there are no really good pictures of the cases available online. We also try to be as specific as possible when it comes to the case descriptions.


In the pictures above you can see the top and bottom of the case. The top soft silicon buttons that allow you to push the mute and power button through the silicon rubber. They also included a speaker cutouts and have not blocked the LED indicator light. On the bottom you will only see some hard plastic surrounded by the silicon casing.


The left and right sides of the case can be seen above. There are nice rubber grips and some hard plastic on the side to allow for easy gripping even with gloves on. On the right and left hand side there are softbuttons that allow you to push the convenience and volume keys through the silicon of the case so you loose no functionality.


The back of the case sports curves to cradle your fingers around and prominently shows the OtterBox logo. On the left hand side of the case is a nice silicon cutout with a flap cover that allows you to access the USB and headphone jack without taking the phone out of the case.


Once inside the case your BlackBerry feels like its built like a tank. The case effectively doubles if not triples the size of your BlackBerry but you can now safely drop your BlackBerry 3 or 4 feet :). Above you can see the end result for the screen and the keypad. They only complaints I had was that the plastic around the trackball interferes slightly when moving it up and that the screen still had some bubbles underneath it. The molded plastic over the keypad works amazingly well and does not hinder your typing but you do have to work around it.


Another thing to note is that the silicon skin picks up dust and hair for some reason. If you are picky like me you may notice cat hair and such on the dark black.

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What really makes the OtterBox stand out of the pack is the heavy duty holster that comes with the case. The holster is a perfect fit and is easy to take out using the groves on the back of the case for grip. There is a earth magnet in the holster that shuts off and holsters the BlackBerry when you put it in.


The ratchet clip on the holster is unbelievably strong and holds onto your belt like no other and once locked in place it does not move at all. I find the flat face of the ratchet clip to be useful compared to the rounded ones some other cases use.


  • Heavy duty construction protects against drops
  • Very strong clip and holster
  • Completely functional in the case
  • Added rain and dust protection because of plastic skin


  • Bulky (Sticks out from your belt)
  • No customization options

Conclusion: The OtterBox 1933 is a great solution for people like me who have broken a berry or two on the sidewalk. It is not the most graceful and aesthetic solution but it works very well. The design leaves nothing out and does not limit your control of the BlackBerry like older tough cases. I only wish the geniuses at OtterBox can do something about the added bulk. With the OtterBox the BlackBerry goes from a .55″ thickness to a .85″ and adds another ounce and a half of weight. All in all I personally think that this is the best OtterBox yet and is a godsend for constuction workers and other active professionals including clumsy people like me.

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