Back in November, I took the Toast wood cover for the Surface Pro 3 for a test run and liked it so much that I am still rockin' it today.
Unfortunately, Toast's line of products includes very few options for Windows and Windows Phone devices. The good news is that with the HTC One now available running Windows Phone 8, it does give us the opportunity to check out another one.
The Toast wood cover comes with everything you need: an alcohol cleaning wipe, the wooden shell, and covers for the volume button and SIM trays.
Applying the Toast cover to your HTC One is easy, in theory. First, clean off your phone using the provided alcohol pad, remove the film from the back of the Toast cover, then line up the cover correctly with the phone and apply.
Once applied, you should firmly press the case to the phone to ensure it clings tightly to it. After that, all that is left to do is apply the smaller covers for the SIM trays and volume rocker. In principle, the process is simple. However, it can get very tricky lining up all of the cutouts properly. Not to mention, there are many delicate pieces that protrude from the main form of the cover that can break off if you aren't careful.
The fact that Toast laser cuts this cover out of a single piece is both what makes it challenging to apply and beautiful once it is on. It takes patience and a steady hand, but the reward is worth the effort.
Look and feel
I opted for the Ebony finish on the cover, which is the darkest of the options, and I think it was the right choice. The deep color of the wood against the sleek metal of the phone is a nice combination.
Toast's HTC One skin covers the entire back and sides of the phone, butting right up against the shiny metal rim that surrounds the One's screen and faceplate. The result is an alluring contrast of the nature versus human ingenuity.
The wood finish, over all, is very comfortable in hand. It has enough friction to it to counter the HTC One's slippery surface without feeling too grippy, like rubber cases often do. It also does not hamper movement in and out of your pocket.
It was a wise move to not include a cover for the power button. Instead, the cutout gives you plenty of space to use it. And as someone who finds the volume rocker on the HTC One annoying, my experience is that the wood cover makes it easier to use.
My only complaint is a very minor one. Because the corners of the cover are made up of tiny plates of wood, the edges protrude slightly, creating a rough edge. It doesn't affect how the phone feels when you hold it, but it can get hung up on soft fabric or loose threads. The good news is that after just a few days, those rough edges began to round off and feel smoother.
Just like their skin for the Surface Pro 3, Toast's HTC One cover is not meant to provide comprehensive protection. It is a decorative skin that will guard against nicks and scratches to the body of your device. The only defense it offers against drops is giving you a better grip on the phone, so it doesn't fall out of your hand in the first place.
If you are looking for anything above that, then a Toast cover is not for you. However, if you are looking well-crafted, handsome skin that will turn heads, then have at it.
Toast's wood cover for the HTC One is available in Walnut, Ash, Bamboo, and Ebony (pictured) for $29.00 on their site. For an extra $5.00, you can get one of their designs etched on the back, or you can opt for some custom text, like I did.