Deceptively simple yet surprisingly capable, the HTC Dot View really turns the whole smartphone flip case on its head. Not just a mere window to the screen, the accessory uses its perforated front panel to displayphone alerts with retro dot-matrix chic. Even better, the Dot View allows you to interact with the screen without flipping the cover open. That's not bad for $49.99 and the extra protection the Dot View offers is icing on the cake.
Design and features
At a casual glance, the Dot View could be any of the legion of flexible flip cases which flood the market. Stepping a little closer though and it became immediately clear this gadget is different. The case's front panel consists of a myriad of tiny round holes and trust me they aren't for ventilation.
Indeed these little dots let light from the One M8's screen peek through, forming an attractive pattern of glowing points. In this way the phone instructs its screen to stitch points of light together to create text, icons, and animated graphics -- think Lite Bright meets the modern smartphone age.
When calls hit the One M8, the Dot View shows caller ID for the person ringing plus lets you swipe up to accept or down to reject -- all without opening the flip cover. The case also displays calendar alerts when upcoming meetings loom, missed call, and voicemail notifications, plus time and current weather conditions.
Built to operate exclusively with HTC's newest flagship smartphone, the One M8, the Dot View's plastic back is sculpted to accept the handset's rounded chassis. And since the case itself doesn't have any real software or sophisticated electronics (I'm guessing nothing more than an NFC chip), using other devices with the Dot View isn't an option.
If you're already planning to scoop up a shiny new HTC One M8, adding an extra $50 bucks to the bill for a gizmo seems like a tempting proposition. HTC plans to sell the case in a number of snazzy colors too (warm black, imperial blue, orange popsicle, Atlantis, Baton Rouge).
Current HTC One owners shouldn't feel left out either. The fact that HTC has said it will bring Sense 6 to its previous One handsets soon (which has the Dot View software baked right in) increases the chances in my mind that the company has plans to build Dot View cases to older One users as well.