Review: PDAir Luxury Silicone Case for Nexus One

I like lots of different kinds of cases and switch depending on what I need at a given moment.  For quite a few years, I was really into aluminum cases (Rhinoskin, anyone?), then slip cases, pouch cases, play-through cases… you name it.

More recently, I’ve preferred to put as little on my devices as possible.  With my iPhone, I’ve settled into using just a screen protector and an Incipio Feather case much of the time to protect it from scratches.  So when I picked up a Nexus One, I started looking for ways to protect it, but with minimal weight and bulk.  I looked around, but wasn’t really finding anything that suited my taste.  Then, PDair offered Gear Diary a chance to check out their new Luxury Silicone Case for the N1, and I thought, hey, why not, I’ll give it a try.

When I received the case and opened the box, I have to say I was pleased with the quality of the form-fitting silicon case inside.  Unlike many form-fitting cases made of rubber or plastic, which can often be stiff or tough, the silicone case is soft and pliable, but still fits reasonably snugly when installed on the N1.  It was easy to install the case by inserting the top of the phone into the top end and then massaging the bottom edges into place.

Without protection, the N1 is relatively slick and could quite easily go flying out of one’s hand if bumped or jostled.  In addition to offering protection from scratches and nicks, the other advantage of the silicone case is that it is a bit easier to grip.  It’s not excessively tacky, but enough so that I’m not worried about easily dropping it.  The finish on the silicone has a fine pebble texture for better grip.

The Luxury Silicone case has cutouts for the microphone, speaker, camera, flash, charging/syncing port, and headphone jack.  The power button and volume rocker are covered, but still easy to activate through the silicone.

Although I’m sure it’s obvious to our readers, it is only fair to point out that this type of form-fitting case isn’t going to provide much protection against drops or major accidents.  There isn’t any protection for the screen – just the sides and back.  It is also important to note that this case is thick enough that the N1 won’t fit into a desk cradle or car holder while in the case.  Furthermore, even though there are cutouts for most of the controls and ports, the silicone covers the three little metal contacts at the bottom of the N1 that are used for charging while in a cradle.

In addition to the case itself, PDair also includes a disc-shaped screen cleaner.  The Luxury Silicone Case is available in black or red.

What I Like:  Nice, tacky texture; easy to install and remove

What Needs Improvement:  This case is pretty darn simple, so it’s tough to find something that needs improvement.  If there were a way to allow it to be used with a cradle, that would be ideal, however.

MSRP: $18 from PDair

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