After our last review we move on to the another 8800 case in Fortte’s line of cases. This one is actually one of my favorites since I am a big fan of lateral cases. I wont go to far into the details again about all the customization options but rather I will focus on the differences. This case includes all of the normal trimmings you can expect from a Fortte case including high grain leather and a magnet for automatically shutting off your BlackBerry. The lateral opening is a matter of preference but I personally think it is easier to get my BlackBerry in and out of a lateral case. Once again we are reviewing basic black leather but they have tons of customization options. Read on for the review.
The Review Unit: The review unit case is full grain leather in a professional Black. The belt clip option in this unit is is a fixed metallic lock clip. (That means it does not ratchet) There are tons of customization options on the Fortte website when you order your case but a ratchet leather clip is not an option.
Customization: This is the same as the last case review as you can see here. I will include it in this review just as a refresher. You can choose from 33 different types of leather based on texture and color. The colors and textures range from black to kiwi mint with many choices in between. They also give you an options for the belt clip. You can choose between a fixed metal clip. a belt loop, and no clip at all. The colors and textures add a premium of $10-$20 in cost.
They also provide you with personalization options in terms of marking the case as your own. You can emboss up to 14 letters of text on the front or back (but not both) of your case in two different fonts for $15. You also have the option to emboss a non copyrighted image on the bottom-front of the case. It does not mention how big of an image this can be but it costs $25 for this feature. As a nice touch Fortte also allows you to choose between a silver, gold, or black Fortte shield embossed on the front of the case at no cost. You also have the option to have no shield.
A Closer Look At The Case:
As with all Fortte cases you will find the bold logo on the front of the case. As we mentioned above you can change the color of the logo for free. You can see a picture of the default silver above. Personally I think it adds a nice sophisticated touch to the case.
The case we are reviewing is a basic business black as you can see above. As we mentioned above the front of the case can be customized. My favorite part of this case is the magnetic snap closure of the flap. I found it really hard to photograph so I will do my best to describe it. Unlike other magnet closures this one is metal and has a nice snap to it when it closes. It locks in real tight so there is no worries about being pick pocketed. I found the strength of the closure to be enough that I would not accidentally open the case but still did not have to yank on my belt to open it. The earth magnet inside did a good job of turning off the BlackBerry when it was placed in the case. This case does fix the issue with other Fortte cases where if you put the BlackBerry in the case too fast it may scroll the trackball on your 8800 which may effect emails that you were in the middle of reading.
Above you can get a closer look at the top of the case. You can see that they have added a cutout for headphones and the USB jack on your BlackBerry. I found this to be a nice touch where I could have my headphones connected with the case closed.
The top of the case has a cutout for the USB and headphone jack. There is also a cutout on the top for the speaker, power, and mute buttons.
My favorite part of the design on this horizontal case is the wide opening on the bottom of the case. This allows you to push the phone out of the tight case in one sliding motion right into your hand. Its a very natural way to get the phone out of the case and helps you not drop the phone. Personally I do not know why Fortte decided to include cutouts on the bottom left and right of the case. This just opens up the door for scratching up the corners of the device.
Its interesting to note that Fortte included two pockets on the inside flap of the case for memory cards. Personally I don’t see the point. The microSD cards are tiny and would get lost in such a large slot. Also I have yet to hear about anybody who carries a second or third memory card around with their BlackBerry. you would have to reboot every time you swapped cards making it impractical.
The last feature of the case is the belt clip. It has a nice strong feel about it and does not slide off your belt. Unlike the RIM belt clip this one does not go completely around your belt unless you have a thin belt. I found the leather covering on the clip very useful since it did not scratch my belt every time I put it on and off. There does seem to be a ratchet option for this case but I don’t see the point in a ratchet for a horizontal/lateral case.
Nice cutout on bottom for easy removal
Full grain leather including belt clip
High quality construction with padding inside and hard back cover
Very strong magnet closure for the case
Multitude of customization options
Cutouts on the bottom corners of the case leave device prone to scratches
Useless memory card holders
Leather sides of case make sliding the BlackBerry in harder than elastic
Conclusion: I may be a bit bias on this case since I enjoy lateral cases more than vertical ones but I think Fortte has a strong and useful case for your BlackBerry 8800 device. It is small touches like the leather covered clip and large cutout on the bottom that make me like the case. Hopefully they will fix such oversights as the corner cutouts on the bottom of the case in a future revision. Fortte offers a wide array of customizable features that can really make it stand out in the crowd. As we mentioned in the past review shipping rates in the USA start at $7.95.