Review: Amzer TPU Gel Case For BlackBerry Classic

Packaging. Humble beginnings.
Packaging. Humble beginnings.

Do you use a prophylactic on your device? Sometimes I go naked because, my device is so excellent; I like to show it off. Often however, I like to put a case on my Classic, to help keep it pristine in the event of a rare drop or accident. Typically, I have several case options for my Berries. Among them, I usually like to have a BlackBerry logo’d case so I can show off my favorite brand and logo. I also usually have an Otterbox Defender for those times that I’m doing something active or believe my precious may be subject to some potential harm. Then I usually round those two out with some other options.

Top to bottom: Q10, Classic, Z30, Z10.
Top to bottom: Q10, Classic, Z30, Z10.

I guess after looking at the above picture, you may think I’m a case freak, and I guess maybe this is true. In fairness, some of those cases turned out to be duds and I stopped using them, so they don’t count. In any event, I’d like to tell you about my new, favorite EDC (every day carry) case for my Classic, the Pudding Soft Gel TPU Skin Case by Amzer.

Excellent!
Excellent!

I have had Amzer products before, but typically they’re mounts for my car or a desktop dock like I had for my Storm II. I’ve come to see Amzer as a high quality brand that offers thoughtfully designed products and I think their Soft Gel TPU case for the Classic is a great, albeit simple, example of this. I think the design people at Amzer must be heavy mobile users and very passionate about what they do.

IMG_20150726_143626

The case is fairly straightforward. It’s a TPU skin case like so many you may have tried before, but Amzer has amped-up the design a notch. There are two features of the Amzer case that I want to highlight and it may be illustrative to compare the Amzer case with the clear gel TPU case I bought for my Q10 a year ago, which is one of the cases I’ve stopped using.

Case on the left is a dud.
Case on the left is a dud. See the difference in the lips near the keyboards?

Clearly these cases are for gentle drops and bumps and designed to be used every day. I liked the clear case for the Q10 because it allowed me to show off the cool weaved glass battery cover and BlackBerry bullets. However, it failed in one regard, which happens to be part of where the Amzer case excels. Both cases have a lip on the edge that allows you to take advantage of the clever “advanced interactions” setting of BB10, “flip to save power.” I love this setting and use it constantly and the cases I tend to use the most are the ones that have this feature because it’s a great way to help save your battery while limiting the chance of having the screen get scratched through contact with something on the surface you’re setting your device face down on. The problem with the clear gel case is that the lip is big and as a result, a little adaptation is required in order to press the keys on the edge of the keyboard. I can still type on the Q10 with this case on it, but it’s annoying to make the adjustment necessary when to me, it’s clearly not the proper design.

Can you see the lip is smaller near the keyboard? It get's bigger again at the bottom.
Can you see the lip is smaller near the keyboard? It get’s bigger again at the bottom.

The lip on the Amzer however, is shorter near the keyboard than it is everywhere else. This allows your thumbs to have full access to the keys along the edges of the incredible BlackBerry keyboard and Classic Toolbelt. When I reviewed the Otterbox Defender for the Classic, I was excited about that case for the same reason I like the Amzer. They both thought this through and designed accordingly, except that the Amzer lip begins again at the bottom, after the keyboard, near the chin area of the Classic.

IMG_20150726_143549

The other feature of the Amzer case that I really like is the design of the grip. The grip of the TPU material on the Amzer case is perfect. If you use cases on your Berry that don’t come with a holster and are designed to slip into your pocket, you know there’s a balance that must be struck between slipperiness and “grippiness.” If the case is too “grippy,” it will stick a bit to the inside of your pocket on insertion and retrieval and it will also collect lint from your pocket and dust or grit if you happen to set your phone down somewhere that isn’t clean. On the other hand, you don’t want the case to be too slippery, as it will be harder to grip your device in your hand.

See the difference in the texture of the TPU gel between the edge and the back?
See the difference in the texture of the TPU gel between the edge and the back?

As you can see from the picture above, I have tried many different kinds of cases. You may have also noticed that I can also be a bit “particular” about things. What I have noticed is that when you grab a phone, most of the grip or friction comes from the edges of the phone, rather than from the back. The back certainly matters, but I believe the edge is most important. To be more specific, I think most of the grip comes from the surface along the edge of the phone and a small strip of the back of the phone where it meets the edge of your device. As a case designer, if you make this part grippy, you can sacrifice some grip on the remainder of the back of the case to allow the device to slide in and out of the pocket and help prevent it from picking up dust from whatever surface it’s set down on, and this is exactly what Amzer did. The Amzer has become my go-to case for my Classic for these two reasons: the grip design and the lip design.

So please forgive my ramble about this case. I am an enthusiastic BlackBerry fan and enjoy sharing my discoveries with everyone at UTB. If you are looking for a cheap, well designed EDC case for your Classic, give this Amzer a try. I got it at Amazon for under $10, but you may be able to get it from our UTB Store, so please check there first! Just click on the store button atop this page!

james pisano

RIM/BB fan since 2009. Wouldn't consider entrusting my career, life or privacy to another platform. Foremost, I am a student of life. Some likes: longboarding, nature, Baltimore Orioles, technology, driving, music, reading and Taoism. Politically independent.

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