Product Review: iSkin for BlackBerry



iSkin_teaser_400w

Want strong protection for the looks of your BlackBerry Bold, Storm, or Curve (8900 only)…but want it to be attractive, too? And not interfere with phone usage? Check out these skins from iSkin, Inc.

iSkin, Inc. was kind enough to provide me some samples to evaluate, and here are my findings:

  • The skins are very tough
  • The skins come in really nice colors
  • The skins are precision-made for a perfect fit, so you must choose the right skin for your BlackBerry model
  • The skins do not interfere with operation of any buttons, camera, microphone, speaker, headphone jack, or charging/data connector.

What iSkin Offers

To be sure about iSkin, Inc.’s latest product line, check the iSkin website since I’m sure that over time they will offer new products and make changes to old products. But at the time of this writing, the BlackBerry models that will work with iSkins are:

  • BlackBerry Bold
  • BlackBerry Storm
  • BlackBerry Curve 8900

I hoped the skins for the Curve 8900 would, by chance, fit my Curve 8330 or my Tour 8630 since the dimensions are quite close. But the iSkins are made to such exacting dimensions that they would not fit. Millimeters matter! But that’s the good news: these skins are not stretchy, floppy, droopy, puckered, wrinkled skins (have you seen that kind?). Rather, they are just flexible enough to fit on the proper models with ease, and stay on!

Not surprisingly, the iSkins are also trimmed perfectly to expose the phone’s display screen, headphone jack, microphone opening, camera lens, charging port, etc. The camera flash is protected by a clear, colorless, but tough membrane that does not reduce the intensity of its illumination.

The standard sleeves, or holsters, that come with your BlackBerry cannot really be used when these skins are on. I could force my Storm into its sleeve while an iSkin was on, but the fit was so tight it really wasn’t satisfactory. I have observed that many BlackBerry users don’t use these holsters anyway.

Here are some promo shots of the BlackBerry iSkin product line at this time:

iSkins for Bold

iSkin_Bold_500w

iSkins for Curve 8900

iSkin_Curve_500w

iSkins for Storm

iSkin_Storm_500w

My Storm with an iSkin

First, let me apologize for the less-than-professional quality of my home photographs. In person the iSkins look more attractive than they might in these photos. What looks like speckles and scratches result from my camera flash being so bright at so close a distance from the phone. My intent is to focus in on some of the precision dimensions that I described earlier.

Front Side

myStorm_iSkin_01_400w

As you can see, the overall fit is excellent: no slop, no puckering, etc. No overlap of the screen or buttons.

 

Right Side

myStorm_iSkin_02_400w

This view shows that the opening for the headphone jack is perfectly aligned. There are raised “bumps” on the skin just where needed for the up/down volume controls and the right-side convenience key. I verified that pushing them still worked even with the tough skin over them. It did take a stronger squeeze or push to activate them, but I thought it was acceptable.

 

Left Side

myStorm_iSkin_06_400w

This view shows the “bump” for the left-side convenience key and also how a protective flap can be folded down to expose the charging/data port. Normally, the flap is tightly closed to protect that port.

 

Bottom Side

myStorm_iSkin_07_400w

On the bottom, the microphone opening (did you even know it was there?) is exposed to assure that your voice can still be heard and not muffled. Brilliant!

 

Back Side

myStorm_iSkin_04_400w

On the back, you can see the clear, colorless membrane for the camera lens and flash, but the photo does not clearly reveal that there is, indeed, an opening for the camera lens. So the lens is not obstructed at all by the skin.

 

Top Side

myStorm_iSkin_08_400w

Finally, on the top you can barely make out the tiny symbols for the lock and mute buttons. On the Storm, these really aren’t buttons so much as pressure-sensitive areas on the Storm case. I verified that with an extra amount of force, the lock and mute functions can still be activated. Actually, the skin helps prevent inadvertent activation of these features, which is a good thing!

Conclusion

These iSkins are great protection and look very stylish. They are well-designed so that no functions are obstructed or diminished. Again, in my opinion, they are not compatible with the standard BlackBerry holster, so that’s a choice you have to make.

If you decide to try one, please return and let me and other readers know what you think.

And…thanks to iSkin, Inc. for reaching out beyond the unwashed masses of iPhone users to all of us BlackBerry users. Would you consider changing your name to bSkin?

Bookmark and Share

About the author

This entry was contributed by Kelly Carter
84 entries have been written by this author.

9 comments on this post

Donna says:
Aug 21, 2009 - 01:08:28

Question: this looks like a case I would not mind investing in, but I am concerned that my ringer (or any sound emanating from the speaker) will be muffled since the case covers the speaker opening. Have you noticed any distortion/muffling of sound?

Aug 21, 2009 - 10:08:37

Donna,
I haven’t noticed any significant muffling or distortion, although I’m sure a precision sound-measuring instrument would prove some small drop in sound level. You would have the same problem with your phone in a case or the standard holster/sleeve. It’s a legitimate concern but I don’t think the sound drop is enough to be a problem.
Kelly

Xandrex says:
Aug 22, 2009 - 05:08:32
Aug 22, 2009 - 07:08:01

Xandrex, mon ami:
Now that I have the new Tour, I guess my Storm is just gathering dust. No, really, I need a better setup for taking photos. A lightbox or something. Thanks for sharing my article with people on BlackBerry Support Forums.
Kelly

Justin says:
Aug 27, 2009 - 04:08:55

Hum to bad they dont have one for a pearl. But to be honest I think its time for me to upgrade to a new one. My pear is having all kinds of problems, im really looking at the Tour. Still pissed that they dont have wifi but what are you doing to do. How are you liking it so far coming from a pearl user?

Justin says:
Aug 27, 2009 - 04:08:40

Also sorry for posting this here but im not sure how to send you a email or anything. I just wanted to recommend to you a great thing for the BB. Youmail.com its one of my favorit things for my BB! You should give it a review.

Aug 27, 2009 - 07:08:29

Justin,
I used YouMail for a long time. It is cool. But thanks for the recommendation. I learn a lot from my readers.
Kelly

Aug 27, 2009 - 07:08:21

Justin,
The Tour is outstanding. It’s not a huge leap from the Curve but a significant one. The Curve is a great bargain if cost of the Tour is prohibitive.
Kelly

Justin says:
Aug 27, 2009 - 11:08:58

What was your experience when you went from your Pearl to your Curve. Was that a big job? I’m still not sure if i really need to do that or maybe just stick with the Peal till the Tour prices go down.

Thanks for the very fast response. I’ve made some WP blogs and i love it. That’s why my avatar is a weird fish lol.

Sorry, comments for this entry are closed at this time.