HTC One hard shell case.

The official shell case for the HTC One aims to make it impervious to knocks and scrapes

If you pick up a phone as beautiful and well-designed as the HTC One, chances are you're going to want to keep it that way. Full protective cases -- like the official HTC offering for the HTC One -- aren't for everyone, but tough plastic covering just about everything that's not a touchscreen, it's hard to match the level of protection they offer.

We'll take a closer look at HTC's official "double dip" shell case after the break. That's also where you'll find a quick video walkthough and more photos.

In any smartphone case, there's a trade-off between aesthetics and protection. The official HTC One hard shell case clearly favors the latter -- it's big, chunky and plasticky, covering about all the aluminum areas of the phone. That, of course, means you retain the overall look of the phone, but lose the sleek metallic feel.

The case comes in three pieces -- first slide the light grey part on, then apply the top and bottom sections, which are red and dark grey respectively. Fully assembled, the case is a good deal sturdier than the official flip case, providing a gap between the surface of the phone and the screen when it's lying flat, as well as fully covering all the sides of the device. That means it'll provide better protection from drops and heavy knocks.

Button contacts on the outside of the shell allow the volume rocker to be pressed, though this requires more force than you'd expect (unlike, for example, the official bumper for the LG Nexus 4.)

Honestly, it seems a shame to cover up such a well-designed and attractive phone. So unless you absolutely have to, we wouldn't recommend covering up the HTC One to such an extent. It also isn't the easiest case to fit and remove -- even after extracting the top and bottom sections, quite a bit of force is required to detach the main section.

In summary, if you absolutely need full protection for your HTC One, the official hard shell case is worth a look. But for our part, we'd prefer something a little less bulky.

More: HTC One official flip case review, HTC One review

There are 29 comments

I like the 3-tone look of this case, it's different, but I bet I would get sick of it after a while.

Gah! Red and gray caps make it look like something from Playskool or Fisher-Price >.<

mstrblueskys says:

Haha, something designed by Samsung!

ro1224 says:

Literally L.M.A.O. You took the words right out of my mouth. Hideous!

jimbo says:

Just watch. It'll be a popular case with those "I gotta have a case" people. Apparently Alex Dobie, the AC crew, myself, and several others I know or have read are not.

Focus grouped by HTC designers. Way better than black or black or white or black or mono drab. This noticeable yet sophisticated design will also get people asking "what kind of phone is that"? Now that's cool marketing continuity! HTC will also capitalize on their full compliment of controlled design accessories coming out of the gate this time. Great control of the presentation and marketing of their flagship product. HTC is ahead of competitors on this strategy also. Kudos! Brilliant! Aggressive!

I may consider the HTC snap on accessory back with kickstand for occasional use. I have yet to understand why the designers moved the micro usb plug from the side to the bottom again. Probably internal design was the factor. I'd like to know if there was a functional reason. I guess the old wet bottom car cup holder concern has been dismissed.

offdahglass says:

Yes, it does look awkward and grade school- like.

estebancam says:

No, thanks. The phone is too beautiful to be covered up. I will just purchase a full body invisible shield from Zagg or full body Ghost Armour. That way I get the best of both worlds: no scratches on the body, and nothing covering the phone's looks.

RUSH says:

My thoughts exactly. I'm definitely not using this case. I hate when my phone looks bulky, that's why I used my EVO 4G LTE as is.

eanav7 says:

My exact plan :) Whenever I end up getting The one :/

mtmerrick says:

Tech reviewers when taking about Samsung:
Oh, polycarbonate is so cheap and crappy, no one would ever want that! How dare they use plastic and ruin it?

When talking about HTC:
Polycarbonate is so premium and nice. And it's amazing for device protection too!

Nope, no bias at all >_>

rafaelluik says:

The point is Samsung's polycarbonate is awful looking and is like a reflective plastic, HTC's polycarbonate is textured, "matte" and sometimes with patterns (HTC EVO 3D). HTC's is well built and good looking, that's the difference.

jimbo says:

No use of the word "polycarbonate" nor "so premium and nice" in the article but that won't stop 'mtmerrick' from false insinuation pronouncements. Here's one from me. Obviously 'mtmerrick' is jealous about the "well-designed and attractive" HTC One that 2 out of 3 among 25,000 survey respondents WANT instead of a shiny plastic Touchwiz covered with a new case every couple of months. Some people just love cases. No Pebble Blue this time?!? Awe darn! At least you can have a vignette of your own face in a heart frame floating in the videos you shoot and a physical home button like an iPhone. Nope, no bias at all. 1 out of 3 makes a market. And remember, a high percentage of people like tiny screen closed system iPhones because of their cool and sophisticated Apple design heritage.

bnrbranding says:

Yeah, I'm going to cover up one of the most beautiful phone designs in recent memory. Or, I'll just buy it at Best Buy with insurance and replace it every time I beat the crap out of it.

jimbo says:

Exactly!!! Unless one is a total natural born spaz and some people are.

I agree 'bnrbranding'. With smartphones, insurance make good sense. Makes for no harm, no foul, no questions ask replacements no matter what goes wrong including theft. If one chooses to be penny wise and pound foolish and chooses to assume all their risk, then so be it. No whining.

For those who are immature or clueless about how the world works, there are deductibles and limitations. Yet for these touchy fragile gadgets that are held and used constantly the risk reward favors insurance.

I Monarch says:

HTC is offering this case for free, along with the One for only $249 to Sprint, T-Mo, and AT&T employees. If you know anyone that works for a cell phone company, ask them to pick you up one!

jimbo says:

Brilliant marketing idea. Forget the case. Get this gorgeous HTC One Superphone in the hands of as many carrier store employees as possible. Giving a fairly discounted HTC One to carrier employees was my recommendation in a post when the HTC One was announced in February. The carrier employees will quickly learn to use the great camera and sound and be more enthusiastic about showing off the exciting new features to prospective buyers.

Samsung is going to have their own kiosk of Best Buy Blue shirts who don't know what they are talking about as usual.

It's ON !!!

How can employees get it for that price?

godnikeboy says:

Again, can somebody tell me why everyone hates plastic when everyone use cases? And no, I'm not a samsung fan, I'm a nexus fanboy. I love the nexus 7 because of materials use on it, where you're not afraid to scratch it, unlike metal materials.

PS: This looks like shit.

jimbo says:

I've never used cases on my HTC EVO 4G, EVO 3D, and EVO LTE because they are so beautiful and well built. I'm not clumsy fortunately, careful, and I purchase insurance. So, I and others are not everybody.

And FYI, all smartphones are constructed within their own cases; some unibody aluminum and glass and others shiny polycarbonate plastic, rubber, and other materials.

Design, look, and feel has always been an important factor for some. iPhone and the LG Nexus 4, for example.

Some people prefer fine jewelry while others enjoy Swatches and Livestrong wristbands. To each their own.

Samsung smartphones like the GS3 and GS4 are more ideal handsets for those "everybody" who like to spend money buying cases and change them occasionally for alternative looks and feel depending on their mood and personality. The case business is extremely profitable. $15.00 here and there for a 50 cent item. They have entire kiosks full of various designs including sports team favorites, glitter, and studded at swap meets and in malls.

I just happen to be one of the more exclusive of the everybody who prefer to sooth my ego with elegant design and $12.00/mo no fault insurance. Heck, I'd pay an additional $50 for Sapphire glass even though I have never scratched the glass of my unprotected EVO's. Dedicated hip phone pocket always helps.

rlbrooks says:

I have to agree. I've never used a case on my Pre, Evo, Photon, or Evo LTE. I have always thought to myself that a lot of design engineers worked really hard to make this phone not only look good, but feel good in the hand. I think slapping a case on a phone is like sticking snow chains on a sports car. It just doesn't feel right.

eyecon82 says:


jlopez#AC says:

HTC should really be more focused on their SHITTY BATTERY LIFE and not on stupid "Official" cases.. H igh T ech C rap is what they've become. SGS4 sounds like a winner for me

jimbo says:

sounds? Can't be looks. Can't be sounds either.

battery life?!? really?

gjlamb#CB says:

Well it looks like they have focused on their battery life. I've tried lots of android phones over the years and always went back to iPhone to get a phone that could last through the day. The One is the first Android phone I haven't had a single regret about moving from iOS. Battery life is better than my iPhone 5. Definitely a keeper. As for the case in this review, I like the look but wouldn't cover up the phone with it. I'm also careful with my phones and haven't damaged any of my phones greatly ( although someone else has and I'll make sure that doesn't happen again)

Love that a bunch of people that knock Samsung for using plastic will cover up their aluminum with a Fischer Price knockoff plastic case for protection.

kandihead says:

I've had this case on my phone since 15th March and it's rubbish. Struggle to press back and home keys and dropped it and chipped a large piece of the side about 15mm by 3mm. Great phone shit case

torch19 says:

Hi android central pls do a review on the poetic atmosphere for the htc one. I love to hear your thoughts.

Thank you!

tech_head says:

People claiming they do not like the color combo, you are aware you pick the colors *YOU* like.

I'm kinda a novice at posh phones and am not particularly discerning with regard to style, so I bought this case but was surprised (because I didn't really look into it before I bought it) that nothing covered the screen. So then I needed a screen protector too, but I still wasn't happy the screen was protected, so I bought a soft pouch. When the screen protection sheets arrived, I had to remove the case, which is how I ended up here (working out how, brute force). Removing the top part of the case left a very definite scratch on the aluminium, near the camera, top left. So, cheers for that, protective case, nice one.