HTC Dot View Case (for HTC One M8) review

Pros

  • Full-body protection
  • Slim and lightweight
  • Clever notification and gesture support
  • Cool dot matrix look

Cons

  • Covers camera when folded open
  • Expensive

Not since the Apple iPad Smart Cover have we seen a first-party case that drummed up as much interest as HTC's Dot View case. Launched alongside the new HTC One M8, the Dot View case combines protection and functional 8-bit charm into one of the cleverest cases around. It's pricey at £35, but it's still an easy recommendation for owners of the One M8 (incidentally, you can see our full review of the M8 here).

The One is arguably the best looking smartphone around, and I wouldn't blame fans out there for considering any case an act of blasphemy. The phone absolutely exudes class and luxury, but that polished aluminium finish comes with a price – the One M8 is just plain slippery.

The plastic Dot View case fits the One like a glove, weighs just a tad over 30 grams, and pops easily on and off. All ports and cameras are easily accessible, but you should expect no less from a first-party case. The real fun comes from the rubbery, perforated front flap. Small dots line the front from top to bottom in a tight grid pattern, enabling some neat tricks that work with the One's new Motion Gestures.

For example: Double tapping on the flap when closed conjures up a dot matrix-like display that shows the time, current weather conditions, and notifications. It's got a playful retro feel that looks pretty awesome. Swiping down from the top activates voice commands, letting you place calls without ever opening the case. Notifications from the default email, SMS, phone, and calendar apps show up, but no third-party app notifications are supported for now.

There are really only two minor drawbacks to using the Dot View. Firstly, the flap covers the camera opening when folded back, which is a bit of a pain if you're used to taking pictures one-handed. Secondly, the dot matrix effect looks cool, but it's not really saving any battery life like Motorola's Active Notification feature, found in the Moto X, because the One's LCD panel can't turn on individual pixels like the Moto X's AMOLED display can. Neither of these is a deal breaker, though. The Dot View is protective, sleek, and an ingeniously functional case that is a perfect match for the One M8.

Verdict

The HTC Dot View case is the perfect complement to the new One M8, offering protection and functional 8-bit charm.