A New Retro Look: HTC One Dot View Case Review

htc-m8_010The HTC One M8 has made quite the splash with its release. It took the already respectable hardware of the HTC One (M7) and stretched it farther in every category. Truly a powerful and beautiful device that you just ache to protect. Yet, you don’t want to overshadow the phone’s beauty with a bland case that is not nearly as easy on the eyes. The only recourse is to get a case that protects your phone and, well, your “cool factor”. Enter, the HTC Dot View case.

Now let’s look at the actual protection the case provides. It’s a case with a rubbery cover, so at the very least the screen is quite protected. Don’t let the dots fool you as the holes rest over the screen are not portions of the screen that remains uncovered. A very thin rubber membrane exists in the holes over the screen – thin enough to let light from the phone’s screen pass through. Only the holes over the two speakers are actually “empty”, which ensures that any and all sound from the phone remains unblocked. The back is a hard plastic with spaces for the led, BSI sensor, mic, and both cameras. This hard back also wraps around the corners of the phone.

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You may immediately notice that the top, right, and bottom of the phone is left bare. As the HTC One M8 now has the sides and bottom covered with metal, you may not as worried as you would have been with the M7. This clearly a sacrifice of protection for sleekness, which I didn’t mind too much. However the top of the phone is still plastic and would be the most likely prone to scratches. That said, I do like how the case looks on the phone. It’s a simple design with just the right placement of the HTC logos. The colors available for the case are: Baton Rouge (a dark red), Imperial Blue, Orange Popsicle, and Warm Black.

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Now for the main feature of the HTC One Dot View Case, the dots! When the case’s front flap is closed, you will have a set of displays and indicators that are all available to you straight from the cover. As long as you have Motion Gestures enabled on your M8, you can tap or swipe on the front cover of the case to see the time and weather. When you are receiving calls, the number displays and you can swipe up or down to either answer the call or hang up respectively. Other notifications include icons for texts, alarms, calendar events, missed call, voicemail, and low battery – all which need you to open the case in order to resolve them. You may also activate Google Voice from the cover as well, although you will have to unlock your phone to continue with your commands.

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The case is very interesting and unique. It’s a nice to have for those who want to protect their phone but want to still stand out despite it being covered. However, the immediate gripe I had with the case is typing with it. I struggled to find a comfortable way to type long-winded messages while holding the flap open, whether it be in portrait or landscape. The case’s front cover, to its credit, firmly tries to swing itself shut. That leaves you trying to find creative ways to hold the cover open when you try to use both hands for typing. Although I’m not a “swipe” keyboard user myself, I should say that this caveat may not apply to you swipe users out there. Otherwise, as long as you are doing the majority of your navigation and input with one hand, this wont be a problem for you.

I’m at a bit of an crossroads with how I feel about this one. The case itself is impressive, and the cover’s features are indeed likeable. Yet, that strong flap getting in the way of two-handed inputs combined with the case’s price of $49.99 would make me hesitate on its purchase. It’s a fine product, but a user will have to vet the way they use their phone somewhat deeply before deciding if that cost was worth it. I’d personally wait for the HTC Dip cases for the HTC One M8 to be available before deciding which case I’d really want for an M8.