HTC spent a lot of time and money perfecting the design and build of the HTC One (M8). The phone feels amazing when held in the hand, but unfortunately we live in a world where the majority of smartphone owners buy a case for their device, fearing that their new toy will meet its doom due to their inattentive clumsiness. In a perfect world, the metal shell of the HTC One (M8) and its gorgeous 5-inch display would be impervious to scratches, dents and cracks. Because the technology isn’t quite there yet, HTC has developed the Dot View case for the HTC One (M8) which may be as impressive as its flagship smartphone.
The Dot View case for the HTC One (M8) is a fresh take on the flip cases that have become so popular thanks to Samsung. Rather than copying the traditional cut-out model that Samsung and LG have been pushing to display notifications on the device, the Dot View case takes a slightly different approach.
There’s really nothing that stands out about the design of the Dot View case for the HTC One (M8) besides the Warm Black, Imperial Blue, Orange Popsicle and Baton Rouge color options. The front flap is made of rubber with hundreds of semi-transparent perforations and the back is made of a hard plastic with cut outs for the Duo Camera, flash and near microphone. And because the case’s uninspired design hides the beauty of the HTC One (M8), there’s an HTC logo placed on the front and back just in case you forgot who makes the phone.
HTC has embedded magnets in the Dot View case that allow the phone to turn the display on when the case flips open and turn it back off when the front flips back to cover the display. The font flap of the Dot View case is designed to cover the entire screen of the phone, but those semi-transparent perforations on the flap are used to display the time, weather, notifications and call information in a retro-style dot matrix pattern that shines through from the phone’s display.
While we love the design of the HTC One (M8), it seems everyone we show the phone to is more interested in the Dot View case than the phone’s machined unibody aluminum shell. Double tap the front of the case while holding it in your hand and it’ll display the time and weather information. It’s simple, elegant and something that adds a lot of character to phone even though it hides it completely.
Because the Dot View case covers the display completely, don’t think that you need to flip it open to interact with the device. As we mentioned above, you can double tap on the screen to display notifications, but HTC has a few more gestures that also work with the case. If you want to place a call, swipe down from the top left side of the screen and you’ll receive a prompt to say the name of the person you want to call. If you receive a call, you can swipe up or down on the case if you want and answer or reject the call or just put the phone up to your ear and the proximity sensor will answer the call for you.
The Dot View case also offers adequate protection for the HTC One (M8). While the phone is exposed along three of its edges, the corners are protected quite nicely and have absorbed the impact of multiple drops over the past few weeks, saving the One (M8) from dents, scratches or even a cracked screen. Unlike most flip cases, which don’t usually stay firmly closed after a few days of use, the design of the Dot View case gives the front flap a bit of a spring, helping it to snap into place and protect the display with an enjoyable “tap.”
There’s a lot to love about the Dot View case, but there’s a few issues that should be addressed. While the case’s functionality is impressive, the design of the case is standing in its own way. The choice to use hard plastic on the back of the case doesn’t seem that strange, but we managed to scratch it on the very first day. Using a soft rubber on the back may have made it hard to put the phone in your pocket, but a soft-touch polycarbonate may have done the trick.
The hinge that helps keep the front flap closed when the phone is not in use works to the case’s detriment when you actually want to use the device. The front flips around to the back just fine, but the flap actively fights you when you’re holding the phone in one hand. If you hold the phone in your right hand, we are able to secure a tight enough grip on the phone to use the keyboard with one hand, but that’s nearly impossible when you hold the phone in your left hand. The springiness of the flap causes the phone to bounce every time you touch the screen.
Taking pictures with the Dot View case is also a bit of a chore. The front flap covers the Duo Camera when it’s flipped all the way back. You’re forced to hold the HTC One (M8) awkwardly with two hands while trying not to cover the depth sensor with one of your fingers as the front flap of the Dot View case dangles below the device.
When it comes to the HTC one (M8) Dot View case, we’re a bit torn. The $50 price tag is a bit steep, but it’s on par with the suggested retail price for the official flip cases for Samsung and LG phones. The dot matrix information that displays on the case is as cool as a flip case can get, and the way you can interact with the device without flipping the case open is extremely helpful. The design issues with the Dot View case make it harder to use the HTC One (M8), but become less noticeable after using the case for a few days. If you’re willing to live with a few tradeoffs, we’re sure you will be delighted with the Dot View case. We can guarantee your friends will be astonished the first few times they see it in action. Just be sure to pick a color that’s more exciting than the gray model we were given.