Urban Armor Gear case for HTC M8 Review
Urban Armor Gear Case
Application Materials for the Screen Protector
$34.95 with free shipping
Urban Armor Gear
Meets military drop test standard MIL STD 810G 516.6
Clear back (Maverick only, other colors available)
Openings for every port, camera, mic, etc.
Free screen protector
Can be a bit tough to apply
IR Blaster port useable angle is reduced
Flat back negates the ergonomics of the phone
Urban Armor Gear case for HTC M8 Review
Urban Armor Gear has long been one of my favorite case manufacturers. I chose to review the Maverick, as it’s clear back would show off the beautiful gunmetal finish on my M8. I was curious to see if the cases for the M8 lived up to my previous expectations.
In the box are the case itself along with a screen protector and application materials. These consist of a small plastic card to smooth out the bubbles and a microfiber cloth to clean your screen before application. I chose not to install the screen protector as I already have a tempered glass solution applied to my M8. A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away, I did use the Urban Armor Gear screen protector on my Galaxy Note 2, and it was a fine middle of the road screen protector. Not bad for free.
The case itself simply snaps onto the phone in the usual TPU fashion. Applying the case does take a bit of effort, as any of the Urban Armor Gear cases have a good bit of rigidity to them to aid in protection. This also helps the case stay on the device through drops. After I snapped it on, I found it did not interfere with my glass screen protector at all, which was nice.
Build quality is something I shouldn’t have to talk about with Urban Armor Gear products. The stiff outside of the case provides great protection against dings and dents. Scratching simply cannot happen. Around the edges and port openings, softer black plastic aids in lessening impacts (UAG cases meet military drop test standards) and helping you actually get the case around the handset. On the corners, the black plastic hardens up in the event of a bad landing on a corner.
The case fits solidly on the M8 with no wiggle or looseness anywhere. The back is completely flat, unlike the naked device. This is helpful in scenarios where you have your phone on a desk and are using it as a calculator, for example. I will say, however, that the ergonomics that were so well done by HTC are completely undone by this. Speaking of the back, those little black “torx screws” you see stand off the case a bit, preventing the case from becoming too beat up. They are also non-skid, so if you toss your device (hopefully gingerly) on a table at an angle it will not slide too far across the surface.
On the front, the edge of the case surpasses the device to protect your screen from scratching. This was enough height to also protect my glass screen protector. There are tactile buttons for the volume rocker and power button. These improve finding the buttons without looking, as the stock device has the power button flush with the top edge, and the volume buttons are pretty close to the body of the phone.
Openings for the charging port and headphone jack are perfectly adequate. The charger fits fine and after trying at least seven types of headphones, there was nary a problem with girth. Around back there are two openings for the Duo Camera system. Photos taken produced zero halo effect. All of the cool editing stuff such as Foregrounder and UFocus were not affected by the case whatsoever. Two orifices for the speakerphone mic and flash are also on the back. As expected, the speakerphone was unhindered. Photos taken with a flash were also fine. I’m not sure how much of that had to do with the opening or the clear back of the case. In any event, they were fine.
Up top, the power button that protrudes from the top of the case has an opening to lessen the impact on the IR Blaster. It’s important to read that word, lessen. Without a case, any given user has a range of angles the IR Blaster will work at. My phone can be almost 45 degrees from the device in question and still send a signal. The hole on the top of the case essentially creates a tunnel for the infra-red light to travel through. As with any tunnel, this will decrease the angle at which the light travels through, thus reducing the angle you can change channels on your TV. As an effect, your M8 has to be pointed directly at the TV, air conditioner, or whatever else you may be trying to control.
Note on performance:
I tossed my phone over 10 feet (~3m) into the air and missed catching it. No scratches, shatters, blemishes, anything on either the phone or case. Also, yes I’m pretty dumb sometimes :)
If you’re the type to keep a case on a phone for protection, it’s hard not to recommend Urban Armor Gear. They have consistently produced great quality cases at a price in line with what you get. If you must protect the beautiful M8, pop on over to their site and place an order. The size, quality and protection trump what little you lose with this case on.