Although this is a little odd as far as cases for cell phones go, the Roots Tuff Skin is actually a pretty sturdy, decently functional protective case and holster for carrying your Blackberry Bold around safely and easily.
Now, with that said, I did find that it didn't quite work the way the pictures on the packaging seemed to imply it would but I'll get to that in a second.
What Tuff Skin offers
With a 3mm silicone rubber protective case that slips quite easily around the phone and covers the back of the phone, this case is surprisingly secured once the lip of the edge of the case opening is wrapped around the edges of the phone. It provides a nice little cocoon that nests the Blackberry inside a little rubber shell that keeps it "drop" safe. According to the information these cases have been tested from a 4 ft drop and the Blackberry inside has operated to tell about it with no damage or issues caused. I'm sure I'll be testing that little claim out sometime in the future but don't have any intention of doing it on purpose for this review - sorry. ;)
What you get with the case
The Tuff Skin protective case comes with a swivel holster which is sort of a light smoke gray clear plastic with a clip that allows you to swivel the phone when you are carrying it on your hip or wherever you carry your phone. It also comes with a carabiner clip which allows you to attach the holster to your purse, backpack or even the handle of your briefcase if you wish. The swivel belt clip on the holster also converts to an easel type stand so that you can set your phone on a desk or other flat service either horizontally or vertically for easy viewing. According to the package this is a feature available for only the holsters that are designed for IPods or IPhones even though the image indicates a Blackberry. So, being the curious type, I decided to try it out with my Blackberry and sure enough, the holster's clip opens and a little steel brace can be released to prop the holster up like an easel on any flat service and remains that way until you release the brace and close the clip. The clip itself is long enough to ensure that you are able to securely fasten it to almost any garment or bag you might be using and it seems to snap on and stay put quite well.
The weight of the holster and the rubber case added to the phone tends to be a little heavier than I'm use to. This isn't necessarily a huge drawback because I found that just after using it for a short bit I liked the additional weight it provides. The holster sits squarely and doesn't wobble or bounce around so this isn't necessarily a drawback unless you don't like your phone to announce that it is still securely in place.
The rubber case, once on the phone makes a few things difficult. For example...the illustration for the case on the packaging shows clearly the person carrying the phone with the keyboard pointing toward the ground, nestled against the lip of the holster which keeps it in place securely and the top of the phone is then clipped behind the small clip at the top of the holster. When I tried to do this, a button I have at the top of my phone would black out the screen making it impossible to see anything. At the time I was listening to an e-book and I wanted to turn it off before going into the store but wasn't able to access the controls because the screen wouldn't return. I overcame this by simply taking the phone and case from the holster and turning the phone so that the keyboard faced me.
The second drawback is that you have a difficult time ensuring a solid connection via the USB if you wish to update something from your Desktop or send something from or to the phone without OTA (Over the Air) installations. I found that my USB cable tended to fail to fit securely with the case on the phone. I'm sure if you played with it a bit you'd be able to improve upon that but I decided the case would only be on when I am actually going out, rather than keep it on all the time.
Thirdly, if you are someone who is use to just removing your phone quickly from its case...this isn't quite the deal with this one. I find that it's easier to simply remove the holster and all when answering or making a phone call or doing other things with the phone than it would be to release the top clip portion to remove just the phone, but doing so doesn't take any longer than if you remove the entire holster phone and all so this may not be a drawback for others. I usually use my phone with my Jabra bluetooth headset though, so unless I'm using the phone for texting, checking emails or updating status messages, this isn't a huge issue.
For the most part this case works well and doesn't stop me from using my phone's keypad or screen or most of it's features as I normally would. I do still have to cut out certain areas of the case, there are sections on the side of the case that corresponds with buttons on the phone such as volume control, and the button I have set for voice commands, video, etc. They are indicated by indented templates and a simple swipe of a razor blade should do the trick to remove the rubber and reveal the buttons. Texting and using the keypad/screen normally isn't hindered by the case and everything in this area is easily accessible. The holster easily removes from the phone & case by simply pulling up on the small tab at the top of the holster and pushing it upward. While in the holster the phone is protected by a lip at the bottom of the holster that wraps up over the bottom edge of the phone and keeps the phone securely attached at all times.
I haven't yet tried taking images with the case on although there is a cut out that allows the camera access but by all indications it doesn't seem to impede the cameras function.
This case, holster and carabiner clip are warranted for 2 years from date of purchase to be free from defects or poor workmanship. Overall, I like this particular case, clip and holster and I find that it remains securely attached and means that unlike all of my other phones, I don't have to constantly be feeling the case to ensure I haven't lost it somewhere.
If you own a Blackberry and want to ensure a 4 ft drop doesn't kill it....this is the case to get. I don't know if it is available in designer colors as the only case color they had was Black - but my favorite shade is and always has been black so this suits me perfectly!