| | 10-07-2013, 05:50 PM #1
When I got my 820 it came with a black wireless charging shell, and a token for a white wireless charging shell as soon as they came in to stock (Tesco like to provide white phones). Top quality shells both, but I wanted a little more colour and a bit more protection once I saw my friend break his 820 screen. I have a leather wallet type case, but that only protects it in my pocket. I wanted something that would protect it from a fall whilst in use, and yet still fit in my leather case for transit. Oh, and I hate screen protectors, but that's just me.
So, I bought the often ignored 'Protective' variant of Nokia's shell, the three variants available being wireless charging, glossy or the afore mentioned protective. I can't compare to glossy as I have never used one. These are all Nokia branded shells though, so you know build quality is going to be top notch across the board.
Firstly, there are only two colours available for the protective shell (orange is said to have been in the range but I've never seen any stock of it anywhere) being yellow or green. I like green however, so cool for me. The back of the shell is made from the same stuff as the wireless charging shell, but is slightly more flexible so as to absorb shock into the shell rather than the screen and to allow the shell to flex during impact rather than crack. It drops wireless charging hardware, and instead includes cushioning for your phone and to absorb shock. Surprisingly, the wireless hardware actually adds noticeable extra weight. Not a lot, but you can tell it is a little lighter with the protective case. The case is constructed in combination with a, still hard but, more rubbery section. This section moves up to create a lip around your screen so the phone sits recessed into the shell rather than proud above it. It also forms the corners, providing shock protection right around the key screen weak points. It is very comprehensive in this regard, save covering the actual flat of the screen. The lip will prevent the screen contacting if dropped on a flat hard surface, but a stone or lump of gravel would be too tall if the flat of the screen were to fall on it. So, maximum protection without actually covering the screen in armour. The lip also makes the new flip to silence feature useful, as you won't fear damaging the screen. The shell is slightly thicker, hardly at all, but precisely enough so it's easier to pick up from a flat surface and feels more secure in the hand. The screen trim adds extra grip when using the device as a camera and the lip means it is less likely to slip in the classic two finger pocket withdrawal manoeuvre. It adds so little extra bulk, that it still slides into my leather wallet case with ease. One last thing, the Nokia logo on the back is recessed slightly when compared to the wireless charging shell, so that it won't wear off whilst you're being all active and rugged and the like.
Clearly Nokia made two design decisions with the 820 that made it less rugged, and I understand why. Wireless charging needs a case that is hard enough to stand a little focussed heat without softening and the large charge pad disallows any in-case shock absorbing. The QI pad also adds more rigidity simply by adding another rigid layer. This all conducts shock straight to the screen weak points in a fall. On top of this, people like screens they can just wipe on their shirts easily. A proud screen is great for this, hence the popularity and the second design decision, but a tragedy in a fall. A small lip doesn't make it too tough for me to wipe on my shirt, though I'm more likely to 'finger' a bit of shirt round the screen. It works just as well and only takes a second longer than a wipe. But I get why many people in the market are attracted to the plain glass approach, especially if they're not thinking of the risk. Nokia has to acknowledge this when designing their products.
To offer to completely reverse these compromises with a quick shell change is genius. To do it at such a very slight increase in thickness is amazing. For anyone who does not use QI charging (it's not of use to me) and who would not risk their screen to shave a second off wipe time, you have no reason not to be using this shell. Need more convincing? Well, I've seen many a story of a broken screen on the 820 forums, but never have I seen claim that they had the CC-3040 protective shell on it. If they had, you can be sure they would have mentioned it. That has to be a good sign. Buy it now.
What Nokia shell do you have? Have you considered the CC-3040 shell? Tell me about your choices, I'm curious. :)~