Review: Case-mate Barely There Case for HTC EVO

Update: As I quoted below, “bad news” ensued when I dropped my Evo. I still give this case a passing grade for everyday wear and tear protection.

On the bell curve of innovation I tend to fall in the early adopters section. Perhaps because I like to try new things or maybe it’s because I like to inflict a lot of pain…on myself. Whatever the reason I like my products to be covered in the fresh scent of beta.

Early in 2010 I decided to put Sprint to the test by purchasing their first Android-based smartphone, the HTC Hero. A quick trip to Best Buy (which I highly recommend for cell phone transactions) and off I went. About twelve months and many cuss words later I decided that the Hero didn’t have the hardware oomph to take Android OS to the next level. So, I upgraded to the HTC EVO 4G.

After about 20 days with the EVO I have to say that I’m very pleased. It’s fast, consistent and packs a big enough screen to ease the pain of not having some type of keyboard for my fat fingers. Since my cell phone acts as both my mobile and home phone line, it goes with me everywhere which means it’s going to get dropped. I’m going to need a case, right?

I researched every case for the EVO that I could find but only one caught my eye, the Case-mate Barely There. My case had to be thin enough to not add bulk to the phone, slick enough to slide in and out of my pocket, and sturdy enough to take a light day-to-day beating. It appears this case will do all of that and more.

CaseMate Barely There Case

According to Case-mate’s site, the Barely There case is made of “impact resistant, flexible plastic.” Based on my measurements, at its thickest point it’s still thinner than the side of a dime. The EVO slides or clips into the plastic shell with just a few easy squeezes here and there and that’s it, you’re done. Did I mention that it provides ample protection for the camera that by default touches all surfaces when you lay the EVO on its backside?

CaseMate barely there case

While this phone covers all of my bases it may not be for someone wanting serious protection. The Barely There case covers the back and left/right sides of the EVO but it leaves the top and bottom exposed. That’s good for port access but could be bad news if you were to drop the phone directly onto its top or bottom. If you need a beefier case I would suggest the OtterBox Commuter Series which I tried out for a day before returning it due to it’s thick size.

casemate barely there case

casemate barely there case

The Barely There case is packaged with a glossy screen protector, microfiber screen cleaning rag, a business card-sized piece of cardboard to apply the screen protector and a Case-mate decal to rep the brand. I refrained from using any of the accessories since I’m pondering a matte finish, fingerprint free screen protector.

I’ll close by saying that I think this is the best case for the HTC EVO. At $9.99 on NewEgg (price at time this was written) I figured I couldn’t go wrong, and I didn’t.

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