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Phone Case Review: Nokia N80 Crystal Case

October 11, 2006 in Nokia Phone Accessories

Ever since the iPod came out, boatloads of aftermarket cases and covers have been selling like hotcakes on ebay, the mall, the streets of NYC, you name it. One of the more popular cases is the “Crystal Case.”

Basically a thin plastic molding that fits into the shape of the (phone, ipod, mp3 player, etc), the crystal cases allow you to show off your expensive toy AND protect it at the same time. Sounds like a win-win, right? Let’s find out.

Nokia N80 Crystal Case

A review of the Nokia N80 Crystal Case.

N80 Crystal Case

Since the N80 is a rather difficult Nokia slider phone to design a one-piece case for (just ask Krussell, makers of one of the worst Nokia N80 cases ever made – review coming soon), the actual crystal case is made up of two pieces – one that fits into the top part of the slider, and the bottom piece which snaps over the camera/battery compartment.

N80 Crystal Case

First impressions are pretty good – when installed correctly, you can tell it’s there, but it also gives a classy look to the phone. I have to admit, I actually do like the N80 all crystal encased.

The plastic parts are made of squeezable molded plastic, and are about 2.5 mm (a rough estimate) thick. I say squeezable because they’re not rock solid hard plastic and they do compress slightly when pushed in. I’m a little unsure of the actual protection that this case might provide, but more on that later.

Unlike those silicone cases, the flexible plastic pieces lets you snap in both cases for a good tight fit. Definite plus. The notches click into place onto the N80 phone body with a nice sound so you know you’ve got it on righty-tighty.

N80 Crystal Case

All of the important ports have pieces cut out – camera, miniSD slot, Pop-port, on button, etc. I like the fact that the entire screen is covered by the plastic, but it appears that glare from the sun might be a problem since the plastic is WAY more reflective than the display. Incidentally, the fact that there ARE holes means dust will still get inside your crystal case. Not to mention that every time you need to remove the battery or change a SIM card you’ll need to remove the back cover.

I think the big question here is, how much protection could 2.5 mm possibly offer? And the answer is, not much. I haven’t done any N80 phone dropping tests (and I don’t plan to, unfortunately), but from my general feel of the case I don’t think it could withstand more than one drop. Or rather, if you drop this phone in the case you’ll almost certainly crack the plastic.

The good news is the price makes it pretty disposable – you can find these cases on ebay for less than 7 dollars. Those of you that are in a habit of dropping your expensive cell phones – this case is definitely, 100% NOT RECOMMENDED for you! Go for a leather case instead.

A little side note about crystal cases on ebay: the crystal case that I received has a ROUND circular hole cut for the camera – several sellers are auctioning off cases that look similar but have some subtle differences like a small squarish hole for the camera. Typically these cases are cheaper to the tune of around $3-4 US dollars, which is pretty damn cheap. I can’t vouch for these cases as I’ve never used them. So watch out.

N80 Crystal Case

Summary

+Fits the N80 well, in terms of looks and snugness
+Easy to install – snaps pretty securely in
+Holes are precisely cut out for important ports
+Doesn’t actually bother the person using the phone
+It’s freakin cheap – come on!

-Glare
-Will probably only withstand one drop and it’s over
-Holes allow dust to still get in

For the price you pay, the Nokia N80 Crystal Case proves to be worth every penny. A very good disposable case that you can replace easily if you drop it and shatter the plastic into a million pieces.

Recommendation: Highly recommended.

***

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