Review: Monaco Aluminum Case for BlackJack

The Monaco Aluminum Case for the Samsung Blackjack ($29.95) is a solid metal case that protects your BlackJack without requiring the sorts of compromises cases often require. Read on for our full review.


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The case is built of anodized aircraft-grade aluminum, which is an oft-used term with cases these days. The upshot, though, is that it feels very sturdy and professional. The surface of the case has a nice, textured feel to it, it won't show fingerprints. Neither should it get too slippery in sweaty hands - though this is mainly due to some well placed grills and ridges.The case also adds very little weight to the BlackJack, nor much in the way of bulk. It's as close-fitting as you can expect a rugged metal case to be. The interior is lined with a grippy, padded material (neoprene, actually, in case you ever need to, ah, wick water away from your BlackJack) that holds on to the phone quite well. The padding may add a bit of extra bulk to the case, but that's more than made up for by the added protection against minor drops and bumps it provides.The front of the case is actually a hinged door, which seems a little odd for a device without a touchscreen. Upon closer inspection, however, the door's purpose becomes more clear - when it's latched there is a small "lip" over the top of the BlackJack that holds it in.


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Since the BlackJack doesn't have a touchscreen, you'll never need to open that door. In fact, you should pretty much never have to take the phone out of the case, as it has openings for all of the ports and buttons. A word to the wise, though, this case won't accommodate the extended battery.Rugged cases often add bulk in exactly the wrong place - immediately next to the thumbboard or other buttons. The Monaco case manages to mostly avoid this hazard by leaving relatively ample space around the main buttons and thumbboard. The earpiece volume buttons are abutted pretty closely on the left side, but in my use it wasn't a big deal.Of course, there are holes and/or grills for both the ear speaker and the main speaker on the rear. On the front, the plastic view window covering the screen is fairly robust, it had held up fine against the keys in my pocket.

Belt Clip

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The belt clip on the Monaco Aluminum Case is the standard Monaco belt clip -- which is to say it's identical to the one found on their sleeve case. It stays firmly on the belt and also firmly holds the cast onto the clip, releasing with a button.The clip allows for 360 degrees of rotation but doesn't ratchet. I prefer the ratchet myself but understand that there are those that don't. Fortunately, the "button" unscrews if you don't want to use the belt clip at all.


If you're looking for a tough case to protect your BlackJack, you could do a lot worse than the Monaco Aluminum Case. For the price of just a little added volume (oh, plus $29.95), you get a lot of added protection. Unlike many other cases, that's really the only compromise you have to make, as all of the BlackJack's functions are fully available with the case on.

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Ratings (out of 5)Design: 4Belt Clip: 4Protection: 5Port Access: 5Overall: 5ProsBelt clip rotatesProtects the BlackJack very wellEasy access to ports and buttonsConsBelt clip doesn't ratchetWon't accommodate extended battery
WC Staff