I have my hands on the new Dot View Premium Case for the HTC One M9. There are 7 different color combinations and you could choose from having a clear back cover or a colored plastic back cover. But as you can see here, I did go with the standard grey version. Now in terms of it being a case, it does protect the HTC One M9 on all four corners but it does leave a portion of the top and the bottom of the device exposed as well as almost the entire right hand side of the device. So you can reach the volume and power buttons and press them as well as if there were no case on the device, which is a good thing. But once again, there’s no protection here so it’s going to be more prone to damage. If you are looking for protection throughout the entire device, then you might want to seriously take a look at the Dot View Ice Case, which does offer this kind of protection.
The Dot View Premium Case is made up of plastic but with two different textures. On the front, we have a rubberized texture with a ton of dots, hence the name of the case—the Dot View Case, because it allows you to actually peer into the display via the dots on the case. There is a little cut out for the ambient light sensor but no cut outs for the UltraPixel camera, which makes sense since the UltraPixel camera will allow you to make selfies which you will want to look at the display. There’s also an HTC logo on the front of the case in a very awkward spot. It would have been a lot cleaner if this wasn’t there but you know how HTC likes to put their logo on the front of their devices.
Taking a look at the back though, we do have a hard plastic which kind of resembles the smooth metallic back cover of the M9 without the metal of course. So it feels cheaper and you don’t have that premium feeling anymore. On the back, we also do have another HTC logo. We also have a cut-out for the 20MP camera sensor and dual LED flash as well as a cut-out for the microphone. I will add that the Dot Ice Case has a clear plastic back cover so you can see through to the premium metallic build of the M9, however once again, you won’t be able to feel it with the case on for obvious reasons
When you open this case, the screen turns on like magic and turns off when you close it and that’s because there are magnets keeping this flap fastened to the screen. But they aren’t very strong and it can open up pretty darn easily. But this is the Dot View Case and you do get some additional functionality. If you jump into the settings, either navigate to the personalized tab or search for Dot View over the top and from there you have immediate access to various themes. I counted 24 stock themes, 5 holiday themes and then 7 live themes. Holiday themes can be programed to automatically be displayed on holidays, which is kind of cool I guess. And the live themes are actually animated so they actually move ever so slightly and aren’t stagnant. They use more battery life but they do look better. So you do have a good selection of customization here, more so than the previous Dot View Case for the HTC One M8.
And what’s cool about the updated Dot View app is that you now have Dot View apps. There are three apps currently. The first one is called Dot Design, it’s kind of like a drawing game where you either create your own pixelated drawing or trace over an etched out design.
The second app is called Dot Breaker and it’s by far my favorite since it’s just so incredibly simple, it’s addicting and it’s a pixelated Dot View display as to the classic brick breaking arcade game. There are twenty levels so you can definitely play this game for a while before it ends, which is pretty cool. And you can definitely pass the time when you need to.
The last app is called Dot Message and allows you to write a message that can be displayed across the Dot View display. You can customize the scrolling speed, the color of the text as well as the background. It’s pretty pointless to be honest but it is kind of cool I guess.
The last section of the Dot View app is the settings where you can change the Dot View timeout, you can show Call History, and you can even bypass the security screen so you can use Dot View even if your device is password protected. And you can even turn holiday themes on and off. And if you make your way to the notifications setting, this allows you to actually control what apps you can set notifications to through the Dot View case, which is actually a lot of them. I’d say most apps can push notifications through to the Dot View case, which is pretty awesome.
But as far as how these notifications appear through the case, they actually appear in big bright retro logos and you can interact with them by directly touching on the case. I’m not going to lie—this is one of the most visually stunning and cleverly designed cases I’ve ever seen. But once the novelty wears off, which it inevitably will, it just becomes a relatively expensive plastic case that’s really not much different than any other plastic case. In fact, this particular plastic case doesn’t offer very much protection—less protection than standard cases for HTC One M9 devices. If you really want to protect your shiny new HTC One M9, I definitely recommend the Dot View Ice case since it does protect the sides as well.
Is the HTC One M9 Premium Dot View case cool? Absolutely. Is it functional? To a certain degree. Should you buy this case to protect your shiny new HTC One M9? No, you really shouldn’t since it leaves a lot of areas of the device exposed. The Dot View Ice Case does a better job protecting your device so that would be a better option I’d say. If you do want this case for aesthetic purposes though, then you’ll probably be impressed by it because it does look really good and that’s exactly what HTC is hoping you’d say. They created this unique, aesthetically pleasing case to make some extra cash. Actually, a lot of extra cash. The profit margins must be huge if you consider the plastic build quality on this thing and the ridiculously high $50 price tag.