Wednesday, January 21, 2009

HTC Dream Accessories

Every Googler received an HTC Dream as their 2008 holiday bonus. Officially called the Android Dev 1, these devices are very similar to the T-Mobile G1 but without many of the boundaries. I was excited to finally own an Android device and wanted to protect my shiny new toy.

I started researching and speaking with co-workers about protection and cases. I quickly focused on Zagg's invisibleSHIELD and Naztech's Gladiator II case.


invisibleSHIELD corner
Zagg's invisibleSHIELD has become one of the best known protective methods for cell phones and other electronics. I purchased a whole body shield on Christmas day and it arrived twelve days later. I would normally be upset with a nearly two week delivery; however, this was bearable considering it was the holidays. I read the installation instructions and spent approximately an hour installing it on my Dream. My installation went well but I could not perfect the corners using the palm or thumb techniques. A couple of the corners never made full contact to the device; looking back I wish I had used a blow dryer as well. If the corners begin to peel away I may contact Zagg and request a replacement under their lifetime warranty.

The invisibleSHIELD gave my Dream a completely new texture. When I first installed the shield my phone bordered on tacky but after a few days I realized that it had subsided to a clean and barely noticeable feel. I really like having the whole body protection but I recommend the screen protection at a minimum. The shield does not impare the visibility of the screen and, like the body, it has a wonderful feel now that it has broken in.

A few days after installing my shield Zagg released a how-to video for installing on the G1. I did not realize how liberally I should use the installation spray until after installing mine and reviewing the videos. Considering the amount of spray that comes with the kit you can be extremely liberal as long as you avoid the open ports.

Gladiator II
I ordered a Naztech Gladiator II case from onlyg1 on the same day that I ordered my invisibleSHIELD. It took nearly a month for it to be delivered. I would be more understanding of the delay if the company had contacted me to inform me of a shortage, when the package actually shipped, or anything. They charged my credit card almost immediately after I purchased the case which is unacceptable considering it didn't ship for an additional 20 days. Around this time I contacted the company by phone to learn where my case was which was successful after approximately 25 minutes of being on hold. After a bit of digging I learned that OnlyG1 is part of the onlyphonenetwork, is associated to EliteXtreme, and has horrible consumer reviews overall. Thankfully my encounter with OnlyG1 has absolutely no reflection on the Naztech case.

The case is absolutely wonderful and I would suggest it to anyone. One of my coworkers, tgrey, originally suggested it to me and I am glad that I listened. This case is one of the most durable phone cases I have ever owned. The belt clip connections are metal which is a great improvement since I have destroyed many cases at that location. The case comes with two different belt clips as well, one for clipping inside a pocket and another for fastening around a belt. I use the clip that fastens around my belt and enjoy how secure it feels. Many people have suggested to avoid cases with magnets because it can cause problems with the Dream's compass; however, I rarely use that functionality and have not encountered a problem so far. This case may be a little bulky for some people but I'm glad to finally get my phone out of my front pocket.

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