I recently converted from an iPhone 4S to the HTC One, and with any new phone comes the joy of looking for a new case. Julie offered the Draco One Aluminum Bumper by Draco Design to review so I asked to give it a try.
Just a note: This is my first time using an aluminum case. Most of my past cases have either been leather sleeves or TPU/plastic cases.
The Draco One Aluminum Bumper is actually an interestingly-shaped aluminum bumper case. I received the silver one, but it also comes in black. The case is made of aircraft-grade aluminum.
There is padding on the inner edge and corners to protect the phone from being scratched by the case.
On the bottom edge are the cutouts for a lanyard, microUSB charging port, and the microphone. The cutout for the microUSB port is large enough to accommodate different widths of microUSB cables.
On the top edge are the cutout for the headphone jack and power button. The cutout for the headphone jack is shaped like the letter “U”. This design will accommodate larger-sized headphone plugs and angled headphone plugs.
Having an aluminum bumper case means the power button will be recessed. Draco solved this by providing a clear plastic button extender. It has to be clear because HTC One’s power button also functions as an IR remote blaster.
On the right edge is a volume rocker. For some reason, only the volume up button can be activated. The volume down button just doesn’t work no matter how hard I push. I probably got a bad sample.
The Draco One case comes in 2 pieces that separate so that you can put the phone in. It’s held together with 2 very tiny screws. Draco was nice enough to provide the tool and 2 extra screws. It was great for them to provide those extra screws because I dropped one on thick carpet, and it was never found again.
The Draco One comes up over the front of the phone a little bit to provide screen protection if you want to lay down the phone with the screen facing down.
There is one “minor” con, which would be that the 2 pieces don’t 100% align up when all screwed in. It’s not a major issue, but it would definitely look better if it aligned properly.
I personally think there’s one major issue that needs to be mentioned. The Draco One leaves the back fully exposed, which showcases the gorgeous HTC One’s aluminum back. The thing is that the HTC One phone has a raised, curved back which extends out past the Draco One’s bumper thickness. In other words, the back of your phone is in full contact with the table if you lay it down. This will definitely cause major scratches on the aluminum back over time.
However, the Draco One case doesn’t cause any loss of cellular signal because of the exposed back, which is where all the antennas are being housed. I have full 5 bars at one of my offices where the cell tower is about 200 feet away. I had my average 3-4 bars at home where the tower is about 1.5 miles away.
I was expecting a positive impression being that this is my first experience with an all aluminum bumper case. But I was quite disappointed in how the Draco one came out. The Draco One also cost a premium of $79.99 direct.