Hunting for new BlackBerry themes has become a new joy to me. When we started doing the theme review feature, I kind of slogged along, dreading the bi-weekly ritual of finding and then testing themes (made even harder when I had an incompatible device and have to borrow). That changed recently, and now I enjoy reading about new themes on different sites and then loading them up. As you can see, we’ve strayed from the usual suspects — well, sometimes — and have started to feature a number of different theme developers. This week we’re hitting on a new favorite, Elecite, and one we haven’t hit before, Ninja. And then there’s Hedone design, but it’s expected that we’ll review new themes when they create ‘em.
So often we go for the functional themes, but there are some pretty awesome themes that put functionality second to design. I wasn’t too familiar with Ninja before this week, but I can tell you that we’re definitely going to dip back into their pool and showcase some of their brilliantly designed themes. This week we’ll look at Heart Chick, which I found via BerryReview. It fills the female theme market, one that doesn’t get much attention. This should satisfy many, though. The theme’s main feature is its customization capability. Once you buy the theme, you can contact NinjaThemes and they’ll change the home screen text to whatever you want. It can be a saying, your name, whatever you want, really. By default it’s “sexy,” so I’m sure a few people will want to keep it. The home screen otherwise features five icons, customizable, plus a profiles icon in the top left corner. The new message indicator is a heart, very fitting with the theme. The only issue I have is the horrible, horrible font, but you can always change that. You can get the Heart Chick theme for $3.99, a tick below what we normally see for premium themes. It is available for OS 4.6, 4.7, and 5.0, but not for the Storm. Sorry, touchscreen users.
Our second dip into the Elecite catalog is by far my favorite — perhaps the coolest theme I’ve reviewed in a while. It’s called Halcyon, a visually vibrant and functionally strong theme. Oftentimes we get one and not the other, but Halcyon combines aesthetics and organization to create a theme I’m probably going to keep on my Berry for a while to come. People love customization, yet Halcyon’s bottom dock remains static. So why will people like it? For starters, because it includes the essential apps: contacts, messages, calendar, tasks, memo, profiles, browser, Facebook, and a spot for UberTwitter. Yet it also has a dock item which opens up a customizable icon menu featuring eight apps plus a spot for a weather one. Oh, and in case you were wondering, the calendar and messages open a Today preview, while the other static items show a large icon in the middle of the screen. You can get the Halcyon theme for $6.99. I’ve been using it for a few days, and it’s worth every penny. It’s available for the Curve 8900, Bold 9700, both Storms, and the Tour.
Finally, we’re back to a Hedone theme. This one is a bit more like Halcyon than Heart Chick, meaning you get more functionality. In fact, like Halcyon, it’s based on fitting everything possible on the home screen, meaning you won’t have to navigate away. They combine static icons, custom icons, and dual-purpose icons to allow a total of 14 home screen icons. Do you use more than 14 icons on your BlackBerry? Across the bottom you’ll see messages, browser, calendar, and contacts. Messages and calendar are, of course, Today preview. As an added bonus, BerryShell darkens the wallpaper when you’re in Today preview mode, for easier reading. Also across the bottom sit the time/date button, which brings you to the clock app; the signal meter, which brings you to manage connections; the battery meter, which brings you to options; and the profiles button. Up top there are six user-defined icons. If you have a BlackBerry running OS 4.6 or above, you can get the BerryShell theme for $6.99.