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~Review it while you can~
Rumour has it that our IT department are about to recall all our HTC One V phones due to a weird intermittent fault which involves the phones sporadically and unpredictably turning themselves off. With that in mind, I realised I'd better review my phone cover before I have to return the phone. Since I've had the cover for about 9 months now, I'm pretty sure I can say I've given it a good battering and am qualified to have an opinion on its performance.
The HTC was the first phone I've had which I actually liked enough to feel the urge to buy it presents. Many of my previous phones could happily have leapt off fifth floor balconies and I'd not have cared. A bit like ladies tights where you can guarantee that the more they cost and the finer they are, the more likely they are to ladder, you can be sure that a phone you don't like will be effectively indestructible. Unless of course you drop it down the toilet - but that's another story.
~Dressed for success~
Once I'd realised that I loved my phone I went in search of a cover. It wasn't actually out of any desire to particularly protect the phone or to 'reflect my personality' or anything crazy like that. I just wanted something which would help me to find the damned thing in the bottom of my bag. The HTC One V is a slim, black phone and it's ever so easy to lose it. I wanted something which would make it stand out a bit more amongst all the stuff in my bag and also something which would ensure that if it were sitting on a table with several other similar phones, it would be easy to spot mine.
I went off to look at Amazon and find out what was available. There are just so many options these days. I knew I didn't want a full case which would require me not only to find it before it stopped ringing but also to get the case open and into the right position. For that reason I opted for what I'd call a half-cover - something that covers the back and sides of the phone and doesn't interfere with the screen. Obviously you need to be sure to get one that fits the right model of phone to ensure that it fights snugly and that all the necessary holes are in the right places.
From memory I paid around four pounds including postage and packaging for the the 'Italkonline Super Hydro Gel Butterfly Protective Case for the HTC One V. I'd never heard of Italkonline but they seem to have tens of thousands of listings on Amazon. I figured that for £4 it would be hard to make a significant mistake. Why did I pick the one with the butterflies? Well people keep telling me subconsciously it must have been because I've had thyroid cancer and butterflies are symbolic of the thyroid. I have to say that's total tosh - I just liked the butterflies. Totally conscious, no hidden meanings, just lots of pretty flutterbys.
My first instinct when the phone arrived was that the case looked too small. I really thought it wouldn't fit. Second instinct was "Hey, pretty butterflies". The case is a bit of a squeeze to get onto the phone and you may fear for your fingernails in the process. First time it's very tight but if you take it off a couple of times, it seems to get the hang of things. The very good news about the HTC One V is that there's really very little reason to ever take the case off because the battery is not removable. I've had phones that I've had to repeatedly remove the back in order to take out the battery and force a reset but the battery is not accessible at all. The only time I took the case off was when I needed to remove the sim card a couple of times after my company removed a usage limit which required a reset to activate it.
~Made to Measure~
The case is made to measure for the phone with holes cut into it for the charger, the headset, the camera lens and the microphone. For the button on the top which locks the phone or the large button on the side that changes the volume, you have a small bulge over the buttons and you need to push them through the rubbery material. This isn't as easy as it probably should be and can be a tad annoying.
On to the materials the cover is made from a shock resistant rubbery stuff that the manufactures call
Super Hydro Gel TPU Protective armour. It sounds like something you'd dress a bomb disposal expert in. This is a millimetre or two think and acts to protect the phone from knocks and bumps as well as giving it a slight non-slip surface. I've never dropped this phone which shouldn't surprise anyone as we never do drop things if we've bought them protective covers, do we? I am left wondering what would happen to the screen if I dropped this but I'm not wondering enough to be willing to try it out. The cover does protrude slightly around the rim of the phone so potentially I can imagine it would give a bit or protection if the phone was dropped flat.
I've said already that I bought it because it was pretty and the decoration is rather lovely. The butterflies of various colours and sizes are fluttering across the surface and the design has an almost three dimensional effect due to each butterfly having a shadow. The surface of the case is matte and this matte surface is starting to wear off in places. Particularly around the edges, the matte coating has rubbed off. It doesn't look ugly or dirty but you can tell it's not new and it's seem quite a lot of action.
~Does it meet my needs?~
Because the background is white to grey in colour I do find it a bit easier to find the phone in my bag although I try to always put it in the same place to avoid too much scrabbling around. I have no difficulty to spot my phone when it's hanging out with its HTC One V buddies at work so the case also performs well against that objective.
My husband recently got his first smartphone, another HTC but a smaller type, on a Tesco contract. I wanted to get him a case too and ordered a really cute one with a teddy bear face on it. Yeah, I know, roughty toughty or what? That case was made from brittle plastic and whilst the colours were strong and vibrant and better than this gel material case, his case arrived with a crack in it already. When IT do finally demand the HTC One V back and replace it with something else (rumours say Samsung, who knows?) I will definitely go back to Italkonline and look at their options for a rubbery half-cover for whatever I get.
Value for money is fantastic, the cover does exactly what I want it to do. If they can fix the peeling of the matte surface, they will be no reason to ever consider any other supplier.