HTC One hard shell case.

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