Before venturing out into the world, be it for travel or work, the first accessory that is always a must for me is a case. While I would rather marvel at the design of the Classic, my better judgment always warns me that protection is best. This time I decided to try the Amzer Hybrid Case with Kickstand. I have always preferred heavy duty cases so this was a no brainer.
The design is similar to those we have seen with Seidio and Otterbox but at a much different price point. The inner-most layer is a thick silicone case that fits around your entire device with extra protection at the corners. Having these reinforced corners is practical and gives an extra bounce if there is an accident. While this does make the case a little bit thicker, though not oversized, it ensures your Classic won't crack or break when dropped to the floor. The silicone layer also gives an extra lip that goes around the entire device so that the screen never touches the surface when laid flat. The downside is that it tends to attract dust and dirt.
What I do find a bit troubling is the plastic exterior shell that goes over the silicon case. It purports to be thick but upon closer inspection, there is one flaw that stands out. The top piece is extremely fragile and thin. Once you place it over the lock button it is fine, but it tends to be loose. Also, I find you have to be careful when removing as if you bend a tad too much it might snap. Part of me would like to attribute this to how close the cutout is for the camera on the edges but I could be wrong.
Another feature the shell boasts is a retractable kickstand so as to use your BlackBerry Classic in a portrait or landscape position when viewing or listening to media. However, while the kickstand itself is strong enough to balance your device in either position, the tiny piece that extends out to lock it into place underneath is weak and flimsy. If you put too much pressure when opening the kickstand there is a chance the piece will go off the runner. This might not be an issue for some, but as I sometimes have a heavy hand it happened a couple times to me. Once retracted, the kickstand allows for a decent viewing angle. Users have access to all of their ports, display, and camera. While the buttons are covered by the silicon layer, the charging port is left exposed for easy access. As this is a custom-fit case, all of the cut-outs line up perfectly.
When you hold the case in your hands it has a solid feel and grip so it won't slip and fall when placing in and out of your bag or pocket or when using. While the shell might be too smooth in some areas on the back it does not affect daily use or the grip at all.
- Easy installation, fits together perfectly
- Silicone inner layer is durable, flexible, and absorbs shocks
- Provides rugged protection with a kickstand
- Access to all ports and buttons and does not interfere with the keyboard
- Reasonably priced
- The hard exterior shell is weak in the places outlined above while sturdier in others
- Adds some bulk to the weight of the device
The bottom line
What sets this apart from the competition is, of course, price. This case offers durable dual-layer protection, comparable to the more recognizable brand-names, at an affordable price. The silicone layer with four corners protection alone is enough to keep your BlackBerry Classic safe throughout the day from whatever scratches, bumps, or falls may befall it. When you add in the shell and kickstand it is a nice, no frills case that wards off damage from rough handling. With a price tag of $7.95 at ShopCrackBerry, and availability in two colors, it is worth the investment.