I’ve made no secret of how much I love my new HTC One M8, except how very, very slippery it can be. Since I don’t love big bulky cases, I’ve been hunting for slim but grippy solutions. STM asked us to take a look at their STM Grip 2 for the One, and it might just be the perfect minimalist solution!
There’s not much to the Grip 2. It’s a plastic snap-on case, and the fit is absolutely exact. There’s no wiggle or uneven spots. It fits like it is part of the phone, which helps keep the bulk to a minimum. The top and bottom are exposed, and the sides are covered aside from an opening for the volume keys. There is no access to the microSD or SIM slots while the phone is in the case, but unless you’re swapping cards multiple times a day that’s a minor issue. Even though the top and bottom are open, the case curls around all four corners, so there’s some protection on all sides. It barely peeks up higher than the screen, so you get just the slightest amount of lay on the table protection.
The real reason to love the STM Grip 2, besides the thinness, is the eponymous grip. STM calls the case “ridged for your pleasure”, and I’m just going to skip commenting on that since this is a family site. The texture and ridging does make the case grippier than smooth plastic, but the ridges don’t interfere with sliding the phone out of a pocket. It just makes you feel a bit more sure-handed while holding the phone one-handed, or while snapping a photo. The extra bit of textured grip makes a huge difference, and since the case is so form-fitting you don’t give up the curved feel in your hand or the ability to use the phone one-handed. (Assuming you could use the phone one-handed without a case-this case will not grow your hands if they are too small to reach the whole screen).
There’s only one downside to the STM Grip 2, and it’s not a knock on the case itself so much as the whole minimal case category. This case will not protect your phone from a catastrophic fall, or from a fall where the phone lands screen-first. The slight lip isn’t enough to keep the screen from coming in direct contact with, say, sidewalk, so be aware that this adds grip but not indestructible protection. As my wife Sarah pointed out, this isn’t a case that would stand up to a direct assault from Destructo Dog and his sidekick the Tiny Terror (AKA our 100 pound labrador and 10-month old son), but it would certainly withstand everyday situations like hanging on to it while typing on the go. It’s up to you if that’s something you’re ok with risking.
Personally, I just want grip and the most low-profile case possible, and this fits the bill quite nicely! It adds a very minimal amount of bulk, but it’s as thin as it can get and still provide a solid fit around the phone. The cutouts for the cameras and flash are generous, and the screen is totally unimpeded for everyday use. The ridges really do add traction, plus they add visual flair. At only $19.95, this case is the perfect complement to the HTC One M8!
MSRP: $19.95 from Radtech (USA retail partner of STM Bags)
What I Like: Fit is perfect; ridges give extra grip; cutouts are generous; offers some protection without adding bulk
What Needs Improvement: Very little lay on the table protection; top and bottom are totally exposed
Source: The STM Grip 2 was a manufacturer provided review sample