D30 cases for sensitive electronics are being introduced by a number of manufacturers. D30 is an innovative material that in its normal state is soft and pliable, but when exposed to shock the molecules lock together to absorb and disperse energy before almost instantly returning to its flexible state.
The materials ability to function as an shock absorber make it ideal for applications like smartphone cases. After doing some research on D30, see our story ‘D30, science fiction meets reality!‘, I decided to pick up D30 Band case for my smartphone from T-Mobile.
The case looks similar to an Apple bumper cases for the iPhone 4, a simple rubber band encircles the phone with the customary cutouts for access to headphone jack, usb ports etc… The configuration varies to match the smartphone it is designed for.
Installing the case proved more challenging than I expected, the D30 band case is a tight fit and the smartphone has to be carefully positioned in the inner channel of the band, I started with the top first, pushing the case down so it was flush with the top of the smartphone then slowly working to fit the sides, finally stretching the bottom corners to fit the phone.
Once the case was installed I immediately had problems activating the on/off button on top of my phone. The case seemed to be aligned correctly, the cutouts seemed to match up with the ports but I couldn’t actuate the button. The D30 band case for the Sensation 4G has bump outs that cover the buttons. The volume rocker worked great but the on/off button was no joy. It took several installation attempts to get the fit just right. I’ve read other reviews from users that returned the case because of the button problems. The case shouldn’t be this hard to fit, but it is.
The contoured semi-rigid case has a great hand feel, however the D30 Band case has deep cutouts (approx. 1/8 inch) that may cause problems with some accessories. For example the OEM HTC power cord plugs in without any problems with the case on. But my third party car charger from Motorola with a square head wouldn’t fit the tapered case cutout.
The case band has a raised lip, so when you set down your phone it rest on the lip of the case and not on the phone screen or back. With the optional clear cover on, it rest on the cover when the phone is flipped on its back.
I haven’t yet dropped my phone so I can’t personally vouch for the added protection but the science is sound, so D30 cases should offer an unprecedented level of protection.
If you need to get in and out of your phone a lot to swap out batteries, sims, or memory cards this is not the case for you.
Despite the problems I noted, I decided to keep the D30 band case, I like the look and feel of the case, it’s materials and design should afford additional protection when compared to other similar rubber, or silicon cases.
T-Mobile sells custom fit D30 cases for Sidekick 4G, Galaxy S 4G and Sensation 4G for $29.99 plus tax. D30 cases are also available from a variety of manufacturers for most popular smartphone models.