New platform. New device. Time for some new accessories. I am typically a belt case guy, but sometimes I like to carry my device around sort of naked. While the Surround is slender enough for my needs (I am used to thick devices with extended batteries) I found it to be a little slippery and worried that I might drop it so I decided to try out a hard shell. BTW, I am definitely not one of those people who cover things with plastic slipcovers so the next owner can really enjoy it.

Didn’t choose the Rocketfish/BestBuy for any particular reason. Happened to be in the store looking for something else and the sales rep (doing his job quite well) directed me to the hard shells and that was all the inspiration I needed. Actually I was hoping to find Surround screen protectors, but they were not yet available. I ordered a 3 pack from AT&T on launch day. well actually night, (none in-store) but the order showed one item backordered and I was not sure what was missing. Protectors arrived Thursday so I no longer have any ‘screen scratch” stress. Spare battery is not yet available though.

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Not much to the two piece snap-on hardcover shell. You snap the back shell on first which just grabs the phone case in the corners followed by the front shell which is a little tougher to get on but fits nicely. I got some practice removing and reinstalling the two shell pieces; first to repack everything for these photos, then a second time to apply the screen protector, then a third time to remove the first screen protector (couldn’t live with the lifting corner) and apply a second one (that’s why they give you three) which went on almost perfect, BTW.

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While it adds a little bulk to the phone, I really do like the feel. Rocketfish did a good job with the cutouts for buttons, ports, camera/flash and speakers/mics. As a result  all those little nooks and crannies makes the phone easier to grip, at least in my hand. The hardshell hides the nice silver bezel on the Surround but hey, its what’s inside that counts, right. No issues with sliding open the speakers on this phone as HTC left just enough gap between the two layers for the hardshell to grip. I do like the way the power and camera buttons are now recessed a bit. I turned off the “turn device on w/camera button” feature on day one for fear of accidental power-ons, but now I think I can safely turn that back on. I also like the fact that the screen is recessed, adding more protection. Also, when I do carry my phone in a belt case, should the screen turn on for an alert/alarm, there is less chance my belly will force the case against the screen continually waking up the device and draining the battery.

BTW, speaking of belt cases, my Surround fits nicely in several of my Tilt2/TouchPro2 cases, specifically NiteIze (horizontal & vertical) and Naztech (horizontal) so while waiting for manufacturers to catch up, you can try out those cases.

Overall I am pleased with the fit and feel of the Rocketfish Snap-On Hardcover Shell. Sort of puts the finishing touch on my Windows Phone. Available at BestBuy for $24.99. 

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