Verizon Shell/Holster for Motorola Droid Review

(image courtesy Verizon Wireless)

I hate cases for my phones. I tend to forget this however and buy them anyway.

In 10+ years of owning cell phones, I think I’ve used one case for more than a few weeks (an Agent 18 ecoShield for the original iPhone). At the same time, I really love my Moto Droid and thought it would be prudent to have a case for it…so I did my research and discovered there were very few exciting options out there. A few Verizon branded cases did catch my eye and after a field trip to my local store I picked up the shell/holster combo.

Is it a keeper? Will it survive my low case attention span? Read on to find out!

(all the pieces laid out together)

There are two parts to this case, the shell and the holster. Let’s start with the shell. It’s thin and strong, made of two halves to accommodate the sliding keyboard. The top part has a narrower bevel on the keyboard side so you don’t bust your fingers trying to type. It took a bit of adjusting but once I was used to the case being on the phone I didn’t have any problems typing. Keep in mind I am very fast on the Droid’s keyboard; if you have issues with it without a case, this isn’t going to improve your typing.

(Suited up and ready for action!)

On the back side, the case has horizontal ridges to help give it a sense of “grippiness”. It also feels vaguely rubberized- not enough to be sticky, just enough to give it some texture. The stiffness of the material, and how well it fits the Droid, makes it feel like almost tank-like in the protection it offers, without being thick and bulky. I had no problems with the sliding keyboard catching or sticking, and the ridges on the back actually made holding the phone in landscape mode more comfortable.

(Back of the holster-note the ridges continue onto the holster from the shell)

The holster is made of the same tough rubberized material, and has a rotating belt clip. I’m honestly not much of a holster girl (shockingly, women’s suits are NOT designed for having items clipped to them, batman style), but this holster is solid. I tried it on with some jeans just to get a feel for it, and it rode comfortably without poking me in the side or coming loose. The phone slides screen-in, and while it is easy to pull it in and out with a bit of force, it sits very solidly in the holster. As a whole package, it feels very well protected.

(Droid naked)

(Droid cased)

Sounds great, right?

Well, there are two frustrating issues with this case combo that make me hesitant to recommend it wholeheartedly. The more minor of the two has to do with the excess ridge the shell creates around the screen. It gives it a few millimeters of protection, so if the phone were to fall face-first it would hit the shell, not the screen. Unfortunately, I have a dog who sheds his body weight in hair every few days. The helpful ridging makes it nearly impossible to easily clean the screen of dog hair; every time I had a hair cornered, I couldn’t QUITE get a grip on it. The shell also had a tendency to get lint, fuzz and dog hair caught underneath, necessitating a weekly removal to wipe everything down.

The really big issue has to do with the shell and the slider. While the slide mechanism itself worked great, the shell was a smidgen too tight, and left a scratch on the little lip with the Verizon logo at the bottom. It’s a minor blemish, but it really annoys me that I bought a case to protect my phone, and instead it caused damage. From what I can tell, it is from the clips that hold the top portion on the phone. There are only clips on three sides (the fourth side is clear for the keyboard), and I think to make the case fit tightly, the clips come down a little too close to the surface. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get my camera to focus clearly on the scratch, so you’ll just have to take my word for it.

(Fully encased, ready for battle!)

Despite the scratch and the dog hair issues, I’m still hanging onto this case. It’s not my everyday case, but it is a tough, strong, protective shell. I plan to use it when I’m heading out on a bike ride, or going for a day hike. Essentially anytime my phone may be riding along in a pocket or a bag, and needs an extra layer of protection, I’ll be reaching for this combination. The holster clip works great when hooked to an internal bag pocket, and knowing my phone has a shell and a holster around it in bouncing/rough conditions makes me feel a little better.

If you want a strong layer of protection, but don’t want to pick up a great deal of bulk, the shell/holster is a good combination. Just beware the scratching tendencies, and watch your pocket lint when you use it! The Verizon Shell/Holster combo is available online or at your local Verizon store for $29.99.

What I liked:
-Solid constructed case
-Nice rubbery feel
-Great holster

What I didn’t like:
-Stores lint like a hoarder.
-Scratched my phone a bit.

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