One of the highly anticipated features announced with the OnePlus One was the ability to swap out the standard back cover with covers made of a variety of materials, ranging from bamboo to denim. Unfortunately, OnePlus had to cancel these StyleSwap covers due to production issues, but the Bamboo cover, in limited numbers, was made available to consumers. I was lucky enough to pick one up, and today, we’ll be taking a look at the installation process in this quick review of the OnePlus One StyleSwap Bamboo Cover!
Unboxing this accessory, the cover comes in typical OnePlus packaging, in a white and red box. The cover has all the appropriate cutouts necessary, including one for the SIM card slot, that is a separate piece that needs to be fixed after the cover is installed. Included in the box is an installation guide to help you replace the covers, as well as the tool required to do it, an instrument that looks like a guitar pick, that makes separating the back cover from the phone easy. Two SIM card trays are also available, one suited for a microSIM card, and another that can be used with nanoSIMs, which is a very welcome addition, since I previously had to use an adapter to use my nanoSIM cards with the OnePlus One.
Another tool that is required to get started is the SIM tray removal tool, that should come with the device itself when you first got it. Removing the SIM tray is the first thing you have to do before getting started on removing the back cover. I used the blue tool that comes with the accessory to pop out all the clips that hold the back cover in place, but to get started, you can use a headphone jack to pop out the first notch at the top of the phone. Removing the sandstone black cover was quite difficult, but the tool did make it easier than it might have been with other generic instruments.
Taking a look at the two covers after removing the sandstone cover, the first thing you’ll notice is that, while the sandstone material makes its way around to the sides, in the case of the Bamboo cover, the lining is a plastic material, with the insides of both also made of plastic.
Installing the bamboo cover involves just snapping it into place. Pop in the replacement SIM tray available, and you’re good to go. Bamboo back covers are my favorites, and for now, only the Moto X (2014) and the OnePlus One are the devices that allow for this option, which is one of the big reasons why the former is what I use as my daily driver. The Bamboo StyleSwap cover costs $50, but that isn’t that big a price to pay, given that you can dramatically change the look of the device from the standard Sandstone Black.
The handling experience with the phone remains largely unchanged, even if the grip feels a little bit better, but not by much, with the Sandstone version, especially when using the device with one hand. As far as the look goes, the plastic lining around that separates the bamboo from the frame of the phone is a slightly jarring. You do get the look of a three-toned phone though, when you move from the bamboo to the plastic, and then to the metal frame that goes around the front of the device. All said and done, it still looks quite exquisite.
As far as connectivity is concerned, the change in material doesn’t affect it any way, with NFC, Bluetooth and mobile network connectivity as strong as you would expect.
So there you have it – a quick look at the Bamboo StyleSwap cover for the OnePlus One! You may require an invite to be able to buy the cover, but occasionally, you will be able to buy it for $49.99 from the OnePlus Accessories page. If you have a OnePlus One and you’re hoping to change up the look of your smartphone, this Bamboo cover is certainly a great way to go.b