As someone who is prone to drop my phone with unfortunate regularity, some sort of protection for my newly purchased BlackBerry Curve is certainly in order, particularly with a three-year contract ahead of me. It was with this in mind that I tested the protective cover for the Curve from OtterBox’s Defender series.
The OtterBox consists of three elements: a clear plastic membrane, a hard plastic shell, and a texturized rubber cover. Black and yellow models are available for the Curve.
The clear plastic membrane is an optional step, and defends the keyboard and screen in particular against spills and other liquid issues. I applied the membrane but I may not keep it on, as it just feels a little plasticy over the keyboard. Applying it in a way that removes all the air bubbles over the screen can be a challenge as well, although the instructions offer some tips.
After the membrane, the phone slides into a two-part plastic case that snaps together to protect the Blackberry. Over this case the rubberized sleeve is applied to give it a more attractive look and feel that’s easier to grip. A belt holster is also included with the OtterBox.
The case leaves holes for the keyboard and screen of course, as well as the camera lens (which is covered by the clear plastic membrane), the message light (which is hard to see from an angle now), and the speaker. Rubber tabs also pop-out to reveal the USB and headphone slots, and raised bumps in the rubber case indicate the positions of the volume and side function keys, to allow accessibility through the cover.
With any protective case for a phone or PDA, the balance will always be between the aesthetic look and feel of the device and the desire to protect it. The BlackBerry Curve is an attractive, sleek and light device, and much of that is lost inside the OtterBox. My Curve is red, but the case shields that fact pretty well. But while the case does make for a bulkier and slightly unattractive device, it really does offer quite durable protection, from minor spills to the not infrequent drop.
Whether you wish to err on the side of fashion or protection will be up to your individual use case, and there are certainly protective products out there offering a range of options between the two. But if you’re looking to err on the side of protection, the OtterBox Defender Series is a good way to go.