Finding the perfect case to protect your shiny new smartphone can be tough. Many cases offer either a bulky design or added functionality. The problem is, it can be hard to find a good balance between the two. With the arrival of the HTC One (M8), the company also launched a new Dot View case that adds additional features, while keeping your device thin and protected. The Dot View Case will set you back $49.99 and is currently available in five different colors, but is it worth the money? Read the full review or check out the above video to find out.

From a design standpoint, this is definitely a unique case. First off, this is a flip cover or folio-style case, so if that isn’t something that interests you, it’s probably best to look at third-party options. On the front of the case, you’ll find a soft touch rubber material and an array of tiny holes that pass through light from the display. This results in a retro 8-bit appearance when you receive notifications and calls, and overall it looks pretty cool.

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The back of the case is contoured to fit the HTC One (M8) perfectly. With a slick hard plastic finish, it will definitely protect the device from minor dings and light drops, but don’t expect this to compete with OtterBox’s official case or something similar. The main purpose here is to provide minimal protection with added functionality, but does it accomplish that?

This case provides the ability to quickly respond to calls, alarms, and calendar events. Along with that, it displays notification icons from a few stock apps on the device. In this regard, the Dot View case definitely works as advertised. I’m a big fan of the design and retro look, but in my opinion, you’re not actually getting additional functionality by using the Dot View case.

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When you receive a message, email, or other notification, there’s not much that you can do with it through the Dot View case. A large icon related to the notification is displayed through the cover, but you can’t actually view the content associated with the notification. That may not be a deal breaker for everyone, but I couldn’t help but notice that the case actually required me to take addition steps to acknowledge a notification. First, you’ll see the icon shine through the tiny holes, then you’ll need to open the cover to view the notification and manually dismiss it.

When receiving a call, the cover will light up with the contact’s name and animated arrows instructing you to answer or decline. There’s not really an advantage here over answering a call without the case, but if anything it helps keep your screen clean. On a good note, alarms and calendar events can be dismissed through the case and you can also swipe down across the front cover to activate the device’s voice calling feature.

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The Dot View case definitely looks cool in action, but is it at the cost of battery life? It’s important to note that the HTC One (M8) has an IPS display. The entire display is required to light up in order to show information. When using the Dot View case, I noticed that the entire display would automatically boost to its highest brightness setting to push light through the tiny holes on the cover. Regardless of the device’s brightness settings, each time I opened the case after a notification appeared, the brightness would gradually decrease to its original setting. While I didn’t notice any obvious decrease in battery life, it’s well-known that a bright display can result in less operating time. The Dot View case would almost certainly conserve battery life if the HTC One (M8) had an AMOLED display, as it would only be required to light pixels showing the actual information behind the cover.

Another minor annoyance with the Dot View case is that it completely kills the ability to use the phone with one hand. The cover tends to spring back into place when you open it, and because of this, you’ll need to fold it behind the device first or hold it open with your other hand. This could wear down after months of use, but the rubber hinge is pretty strong and I still haven’t noticed a decrease in the cover’s need to spring shut. There’s also no opening for the front or rear camera on the cover, which would obviously hurt the case’s main aesthetics, but also causes you to leave the cover hanging when taking photos.

Bottom Line:

Overall, the Dot View case definitely adds an additional cool factor to the HTC One (M8), but unfortunately, I think the cons outweigh the pros. Don’t get me wrong, I’m in love with the retro style, I just don’t believe you’re actually gaining anything by using the HTC Dot View case. Everything the case provides can be accomplished without it, and in some aspects, the phone itself provides more information. To find out more about the Dot View case, visit HTC’s official product page. Also, don’t forget to check out our review of the HTC One (M8).

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