Since I received my BlackBerry Priv, the question of the day is whether or not to use a case on a daily basis. While the dual-curved display utilizes Corning Gorilla Glass 4, which survived drop tests in the lab, real world dangers presents a bit of an uncertainly for me. Not one to put my investment at risk, the first case made available to me was the Slide-Out Hard Shell. This thin, lightweight case protects your Priv from normal everyday wear-and-tear while also giving full access to all ports, buttons, and cameras.
The Priv Slide-Out Hard Shell is comprised of two pieces made from a glass-filled polycarbonate resin. This gives it a lightweight feel and some impact resistance for minor accidents. Being a slider, the case is clearly split into two parts. One half is a hard-shell back designed to protect from the scratches, scrapes, and accidents of everyday use, includes shielding the camera from potential blemishes when dropped or when placed on a flat surface. The other piece is the snap-on cover which gives protection to the top, bottom, and sides of the slider and display.
Some may find the cover somewhat flimsy, but I feel this actually works in its favor. My experience with slide-out cases goes back to the BlackBerry Torch 9800. Many of the cases for that particular device, as well as the 9810, tended to break. More specifically, the teeth on the slide out portion would snap when installing or removing. Since this part always tends to be thin and flimsy, BlackBerry made the upper shell for the Priv's case somewhat flexible and the teeth are now replaced by a small rubber piece at the top. I never felt like there was cause for concern over breakage. I removed the case several times over the past few weeks and it still snaps into place perfectly. In addition, once the piece is locked into place, it will remain there, though flexibility works both ways. The side rails tend to flex a little too much for my taste, especially when using the onscreen keyboard.
The rear portion of this case is textured for a secure grip, has a cut-out for the camera, and rubber covers for all of the buttons. It is meant to shield the back, top, and sides from any minor damage that may befall it. Now I am not sure if it is the case, texture, or the overall thinness of the Priv, but while the case itself has a decent grip when holding, it is slippery when picking up or putting down. I dropped the Priv several times in the first few days of use (on carpeting).
Another issue is with the rivets that hold the rubber piece for the volume keys. These rivets are not flush with the case and tend to leave indentations in the Priv above and below the keys. It is not noticeable unless you stare closely at the side of the device to find two small marks. Nonetheless it is annoying that these rivets were not designed in such a way to be flush with the case, at least not on the case that I received. Reading through the forums, it appears not every case came with this flaw.
- Feels good in your hands when using - adds a bit of heft to the phone when holding for a more secure grip when typing
- Easy to install and remove – slider piece does not snap or break
- Protects back of device and camera from surface abrasions
- Raised edges of the top piece keep the display from laying flat on a surface in addition to moving the slider up and down
- Does not interfere with NFC or wireless charging
- Rivets holding the button covers in place on both sides of the case may place two small indentations above and below the volume keys and power button for some owners
- Case can be slippery at times
- Side rails may interfere with selecting text near the curved part of the screen
- Tends to attract dust and dirt especially in the back and in the corners of the slider piece
The Bottom Line
The hard shell case itself is not meant to protect your device from extreme falls and drops, only minor ones. For instance, if this case were to find itself falling on concrete, pavement, or falls from a significant height, do not expect anything to stay in one piece. The purpose of this case is to protect your smartphone from any abrasions caused by low impact drops and daily wear and tear. It does not interfere with the basic functions of the device or keyboard functionality nor do the plastic covers block the use of the buttons in any way. If you are looking for a lightweight case to care for your Priv, which shows off its sleek design and does not sacrifice usability, this is a decent and reliable option even with the aforementioned flaws. You can find it in ShopCrackBerry for $39.95. It is available in Black, Lagoon Blue, and Military Green.