Otterbox has been around for a few years, outfitting cutting edge phones with protective gear that keeps them better protected than the average bargain-basement silicone skin. Though they are priced a bit higher than their competitors, the quality of the materials that goes into each case, in this case the Commuter series for the BlackBerry Bold 9900, is outstanding.
The Commuter series of cases is a three-part system: the inner silicone shell to protect the device from impact; the outer shell, made of a hard plastic; and a screen protector cut for the specific handset. Since the Bold 9900 is a sleek device, it was a nice surprise to see that when installed the Commuter case added very little bulk to the device — less than 2mm, in fact.
Though the combination soft-hard combination does cover up the gorgeous metal band around the edges, as well as the stylish translucent battery cover of the Bold 9900, the Otterbox looks pretty stylish on its own. The silicone layer increases the surface area of the power button, as well as the volume buttons and convenience key, allowing for easy access when in the pocket.
The two ports on the left hand side — namely the microUSB and headphone — are covered up by little flaps to prevent dust or debris from getting inside. Unlike other Otterbox cases we’ve used, the flaps were not difficult to remove and did not resist when we had headphones plugged in.
Because of the smooth matte hard shell, holding the phone is actually more enjoyable with the case on. Typing was not obscured at all, and the case adds very little extra weight, so it does not change the natural typing experience.
The only part of the kit we’d like to see improved is the quality of the screen protector, which, unlike those you buy from Zagg or Protech are low-quality and actually affect screen vibrancy and touch input. While these screen protectors are certainly more expensive to include, for $34.95 or thereabouts one would expect a decent addition to go with the excellent body protection.
We easily recommend the Otterbox Commuter case for the BlackBerry Bold 9900. It is available for around $35 from various retailers.