Speck ToughSkin Review

Discussion in 'Motorola Q Accessories' started by CodeGuy, Aug 26, 2006.

  1. CodeGuy

    CodeGuy New Member

    Speck ToughSkin Review

    Hey all,
    My Speck Tough Skin case arrived from the EverythingQ Store yesterday (great service btw!), so I thought I would post up some initial impressions. I unfortunately don't have a camera to use for pics, but they would show you nothing that the pictures on the EverythingQ Store gallery doesn't already show.
    In a word, this case pretty much rocks. I had been using a very nice (and expensive) case that I custom ordered from Fortte. While there is nothing wrong with that case, which by the way, has the best belt clip I have ever used, the Speck Tough Skin wins out.
    • Fit And Finish
    First things first. The Tough Skin does not fit well with the extended battery. Gotta get that outta the way, because I know many will ask. However, it fits -perfectly- with the normal slim battery. When I say perfect, I mean perfect. Every hole, notch, and groove lines up -exactly- with the Q.
    One of the features of this case that I particularly enjoyed, and it shows how much thought Speck put into the design, is the handling of the area around the soft keys. Most cases I have seen that attempt to provide screen protection, while leaving the keyboard open, come down too far and end up overlapping the soft keys to some extent. This makes the soft keys very difficult to use. Speck's solution to this was to simply cover the soft keys with nice little rubber "nubbly" buttons, while leaving a cut-out for the d-pad. This makes the softkeys easier to find, and easier to press without accidentally hitting home, dial, hang-up, or the d-pad. Since the rubber also frames the d-pad nicely, it also makes it easier to locate that without having to really look. I have included an image I stole from the Q Store and highlighted to point this feature out (sorry Chris :whistling).
    • Screen Protection
    The screen protection provided with this case is excellent, as with all Speck cases. It is an optically clear plastic rectangle that has a "footing" that goes all the way round the screen protector on the bottom. Speck has thoughtfully lined the bottom of this "footing" with a nice silicon rubber pad. What this means is:
    1. Once you put the screen protector into place, it will not slide around in the least. Once placed, it is very firm and frankly, a bit difficult to move around, but that's a good thing.
    2. Because the footing is lined with a nice bead of silicon rubber all the way round, it will not scratch your screen. This was a defect with some of the first IPod cases that came out. People put the plastic screen protector into place, it slid around, and the thing protecting your screen actually ended up scratching it!
    This screen protector is also very pure optically. No lines, squiggles, or "wet spots" were in evidence with the one that I recieved. In matter of fact, after having looked at my screen through a case that had a vinyl cover, I was astonished at how nice the Q display looked.
    • The Belt Clip
    Again, Speck thought it through pretty well, though they did miss one opportunity to excel with the belt clip. First off, the clip is quiet sturdy. I was most concerned about this, because in the past, I have had some pretty bad experiences with some of the clips they provided with their IPod cases. In fact, I had three different IPod cases where the clip litereally exploded from me sitting down while the IPod was clipped to the front of my belt, and no, I am not an El Grande type of guy. So... I am VERY pleased to say that this clip is a winner in the construction category.
    Even though I do quiet like the clip / holster the case comes with, this is also the only place I found anything to ding Speck for in terms of design. Firstly, the holster grips the case quiet firmly. If you are concerned about it because it resembles the stock Q holster, put those fears to rest. Your Q will not slip out of this baby by accident.

    This also raises my first con for the case... It may be that I just don't have my technique down yet, but I can see where whipping your phone out of this in a hurry to see who is calling could be a bit problematic. I mean, it just doesn't want to let go of your Q, and takes a fair amount of tugging to get it loose. This might be a pro, or a con, depending on your mindset. I'm thinking after the case wears in a bit, it will probably become easier to remove, or I will discover the secret flick of the wrist that quickly frees my Q from it's captor, but for now, I am definitely wrestling with it. One thing is for sure... your Q isn't gonna hit the ground because the holster let it slip.
    Ding number 2 is a small one, but hey, I'm a nit picky kind of guy, or I wouldn't be worrying about my phone getting scratched in the first place, right? :) Anyway, I was a bit dissapointed to find, that when holstered, you cannot plug the power cord into your Q. That means you can forget about clipping the holster to something in your car, with the Q still attached, and plugging up to your car charger. Of course, for those of us with a Dremmel fixation, this will be quickly fixed, but is a minor annoyance non the less.
    • Conclusion
    All in all, I have to give Speck at least an "A", if not an "A+".
    Even with the minor cons that I have told you about, this case blows away anything else that I have wrapped around my Q, and I have tried a fair number of cases so far. I have tried the rubberized scuba type, glove with full vinyl covering on the front, silicon skin type, stock holster, and PDA pouch. This one beats them all, handily. It does manage to blend style and function together, so I would give it a "buy" rating if I were a Wall Street type.

    • Late Breaking News...
    I can't beleive I missed it until now, but I just realized... the IR Port and SD card slot are completely, and totally covered by the case. I was going to pop my memory card out to copy some stuff to it via my card reader, and only now realized that I would have to completely remove the Q from the case to do this. I rarely want to do this, so it shouldn't prove to be much of an issue, but I totally missed it in my earlier review, so I wanted to add it now for completness sake. I'm not sure if I consider this a con or not for the case overall. It certainly will be a con the first time I want to exchange address info with someone who doesn't have Bluetooth, but does have IR capability. Looking at the case, I suppose this was necessary because the IR port falls almost exactly where the holster "grippers" grab onto the Q.
    Hope someone finds this of use...

    CG
  2. TAG1976

    TAG1976 New Member

    Thanks for the Review!...If they make an extended battery version in the future Im Sold! Do the softkeys still have good functionality now that there is another layer on top of them?
  3. CodeGuy

    CodeGuy New Member

    I feel that they function better. Easier to find, and easier to push.

    CG
  4. MarcoV

    MarcoV New Member

    Thanks for the review...wonder if they will make a model for the extended battery.

    I need to use the extended battery for my Q.
  5. TheBigMotherFook

    TheBigMotherFook New Member

    very nice review. It was very helpful in giving me an idea of which case I should buy.

    I bought the skin case for my q and I still use it, however im thinking about switching to something more durable cause the case ripped once already and it might again. It just seems that the silicon rubber skins wear down over time, only much faster then other materials.

    The big selling point for me will be to get something that fits the extended battery... if such a thing exsists.
  6. chris

    chris Administrator Staff Member

    I can't believe I missed it until now.Huh? First the blue "m" and now this. What is happening to me. ***ammending review now***
  7. atatistcheff

    atatistcheff New Member

    I emailed Speck and they have no plans to produce an extended battery version of any of their Q cases. I begged them to reconsider as I think a lot - if not the majority - of Q owners use the extended batt.

    In the mean time, I'm wondering what the chances are that the toughskin case could be modified (like with a sharp knife) to work with the extended batt?
  8. CodeGuy

    CodeGuy New Member

    I thought about this myself, but I don't beleive it would work out well. If you put a couple of well placed cuts in the back to make the extended battery fit, I think the rubber the case is made out of would probably just keep on tearing out along that cut, unless you can think of a good way of preventing this. Between my Fortte case that accepts the extended battery, and this one, I have been able to get by pretty well, so I will probably resist the urge to make a Franken-case out of this one.
    CG
  9. khanusma

    khanusma New Member



    Apparently they would rather not make more money.
  10. Yohng Yiao

    Yohng Yiao Guest

    Nice post up, glad to see we're getting some straightforward reviews around here.
  11. zzap

    zzap New Member

    Thanks for the great post - I've been looking at that case - but it needs to support the Extd Batt (just like everyone else commented) - too bad the MFG is short sighted and doesn't plan to make the case to fit what has to be 90% of the Q's on the market. I read the part about making a hole for the USB - but what about the headphone jack (yes I get sick of BT headphones/headsets sometimes) - is that open? We have a customer looking 4 a ruggedized VzW SmtPhone - the Q will likely work fine if it were protected.
  12. chris

    chris Administrator Staff Member

    I exchanged emails with Speck and they are considering an extended ToughSkin case. I let them know there is great interest due to the popularity of the extended battery. A few people at Speck have also switched from Treos to Q's. Being familiar with the Q, I'm sure they'd know about the popularity of the extended battery.
  13. zzap

    zzap New Member

    I just did the same (send Speck email) - I suspect you have more influence. Can you run a poll of Q users on the site (do they use the ext batt or the reg batt) ? I'll ask VZW if they know.
  14. valetudo025

    valetudo025 New Member

    I have been using this skin for about a week now, and overall i will have to say i like it for its protective qualitys...BUT this skin could have been perfect if not for the holster, the holster does grab the phone to tight and the rubber on mine is actually starting to rip! the holster actually already made two small slices where it grabs it, thats saying alot because the rubber is fairly thick. I also wish that the case fit as snug on the buttom portion of the phone(under the space bar key) as the rest of the body. The top D-pad button is also a bit to hard to press at times (cant play SNES games very well) that and the other minor flaws the original reviewer gave it. I will most likely keep using the skin without the holster as much as possible. I give the speck tough skin a solid 7 out of 10.
  15. J Mazz

    J Mazz New Member

    Maybe if we ALL did

    I also sent an e-mail requesting an extended battery version. Maybe if we ALL did -they would get the messageWink . I'll never go back to the slim battery.
  16. toxiclows

    toxiclows New Member

    I love my Q and want to protect it... as i have no insurance on my pre pay Q I read the review here and it helped me make my decision amonxt the huge selection of cases here as well as on ebay and other places.. . .. I have been waiting on this sonce monday. . .and i just checked the ups tracking and saw that it just arrived 10 minutes ago... I sent my secretart up to pick it up at my house. . and am going to be installing it real quick like. . . . ill post back with my initial impressions or it. .. . i just hope it is as bad azz looking as it is in the photos cant wait. . .
  17. toxiclows

    toxiclows New Member

    well it is here. . . . i was a little dumb on how to install it though. . .. then i realised that the phone slipped through the opening for the keyboard to get it into place


    i really like it. . i was thinking tha that the screen protector would somehow be part of the case and not a separate unit. . . bu once it is in there it is in there. . . it could fit around the edges of the screen protector a little better. . but i guess i am just being too picky.. the bottom part of the front of it is a little loose but i am hoping that it will shrink up with some changed in temperature.. . . . overall it is def. worth the money.. . .. i love it and feel alot more confident holding my phone now. . .

    the belt clip that they give you is totally useless. .. it is made really well just designed very poorly yeha i know that these are expensive phones. . and you really would not want it to fall out of the holder. . . . but i know that there is no way that i would be able to get this thing out of the holder in time to answer a call. .. it just gripps way too tight. . .. i can also see how the rubber ripping as was mentioned in a previous post would be come a problem. . .. i just checked the holder in my drawer and will use it as a pocket phone. . . . . over all though. .. i am really happy. . . . .as i did not really intend on using the holseter anyway. . .

    A+ Spec. .. . and thanks
    everything q store. . .


    Chris
  18. reyosun

    reyosun New Member

    The case is pretty decent, except for a few flaws - after all, it's the flaws that determine whether or not we can tolerate the product, right?

    1. The holster, as toxiclows mentioned, is pretty useless if you need to pick up the phone while it's ringing. It takes two hands and about 8+ seconds to remove it from its case - and that's after spending hours trying to efficiently decipher an easier way to remove it (there isn't). Defeats the purpose of the clip in general. I stopped using the clip altogether because it was slicing into the rubber skin itself.

    2. The SD card port entry is blocked. While this is a much, much smaller deal, I'm not sure why they blocked it.

    3. The IR port is also blocked.

    There is another case that I'm looking at -
    http://www.seidioonline.com/index.asp?PageAction=VIEWPROD&ProdID=454. This is to be a fully skinned case, with a separate holster, and can looks easily removeable. Anyone have this one or know of a review?
  19. chris

    chris Administrator Staff Member

    I've used Seidio's holsters in the past and they make a very good product. I did a review awhile back for a Treo holster, but I haven't tried this specific product as of yet.
  20. ozzysjeep

    ozzysjeep New Member

    Received my Speck today. I was listening for the HONK of the UPS truckall morning. I heard him pull up and ran down to the garage as soon as I heard him start up his truck again to leave. I didn't want him to think I was waiting for my package.
    I carefully opened the plastic packaging it came in, just in case I need to return it,then, ever so gently, I slid my Q into it's new skin. It's a great fit. I like the feel and look of the Speck skin. The issue mentioned about the mini SD slot and IR eye being covered are non-issues for me. The holster, well that is a bone of contention with me. What were they thinking? Since it is nearly useless as it sits, I've decided to make a slight modification to the upper arms. When I get a chance, this weekend, I will cut away very small sections of the upper arms until I hopefully find the right fit between security and ease of removal from the holster. Wish me luck and I'll post up whether I am successful or not.

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