When OnePlus released its first smartphone, it also launched a bamboo StyleSwap Cover, giving you the option to go with a wooden back to replace the standard plastic one. To say it was tricky to install would be something of an understatement. This year, the company’s learned its lesson and released a cover which is much easier to install and comes in four different flavors. I unboxed them all, applied them and compared them…
Each comes in the same packaging: A simple red cardboard backing, with a transparent dome on top. Opening them up is as easy as ripping off the back, and wrestling with the cover until it’s free. I’d already purchased the rosewood model when I bought my OnePlus 2, the others were sent to me by the company to check out, so that I’d get a feel for the full range.
Last year, the Bamboo cover was pretty popular, so that returns, but I must say that the new additions are far more attractive and premium-looking. And they’re all a jump up from the standard Sandstone Black cover, which feels like holding sandpaper.
Removing the shell involves prying it off using the small indent in the bottom left corner of the metal frame. When my nails were a tiny bit longer than they are now, I could do it without issue. While shooting the video, I failed miserable and resorted to using a pick tool that comes as part of this toolset. But, any regular thick (1mm) pick should do the trick.
The covers themselves are actually made from Polycarbonate, and are lined with different materials. Because of this, they’re actually a little thicker than the standard cover. They’re also nowhere near as flimsy or flexible. You can just about see the plastic around the edges, and the inside of the camera cutout. The surface of the cover sits slightly higher than the camera which protrudes from the Sandstone black shell.
Each of the finishes is unique. The three wooden backs have completely different grains and colors. Apricot and rosewood feel exactly the same to the touch and are really smooth and almost texture-less. While the bamboo has a little more texture to it, you can feel the grain of the wood more obviously. I’m not a big fan of the way the bamboo model looks, and of the wooden ones I’d have to say the rosewood is my favorite. Hence why I bought it. Saying that, the white grains on the black apricot wood look fantastic and contrast well with the black, charcoal-colored wood and the shiny chrome OnePlus logo.
The Kevlar case features genuine, actual Kevlar and has a different texture. It’s soft and smooth, but isn’t slippery. I wouldn’t go as far as saying that it’s sticky, but it definitely feels less likely to slip out of my hand than any of the others, and it’s not horrible and rough like the Sandstone black. The pattern and gray/black coloring perfectly compliments the dark grey chassis of the phone too.
In my opinion, all of these are an upgrade to the Sandstone Black, but the Kevlar is the one I’ve found myself most drawn to. I’ve used it almost constantly since I received the covers. If you want to pick one up for yourself, they’ve available to buy from $25.