If protecting your piece of tech with a traditional case isn’t for you, consider a wooden skin. Yes, an adhesive skin made out of wood! Who would sell such a thing? Toast! Their handmade products enable you to add a unique twist to a variety of devices, including smartphones, tablets, computers and much more. Here, I’ll be taking a look at their custom walnut skin that comes complete with a metallic inlay for a further stunning appeal. Check out the full device lineup here.
Like other skins, installation is fairly straightforward. If you’re concerned, Toast has several installation videos for reference. You first need to make sure that your device is clean via an included alcohol wipe. Then, carefully align the skin over your phone. Sides adhere to the phone with a rolling method. The easiest components are with the optional smaller pieces, including SIM tray, button and camera covers. Going for the button covers will take away the click from the buttons, but only by a small amount.
Once completed, you now have a smartphone cover that very few have, which even includes an authentic wooden smell! At first, the smell can be quite strong, but it seems to subside after a few weeks. The color also seems to change, and is something that I found to be positive. My walnut cover slowly darkened to a tone that I found more aesthetically pleasing than when it was brand new.
While the design benefits are fantastic, usage does shift. For example, I found the sides to be quite slippery. As mentioned above, if you opt for the button covers, they’ll take the responsive click away a bit. If your device has soft-touch navigation keys, a home button or a front fingerprint sensor, the recessed nature of the front panel sometimes makes using those items a minor chore. I would recommend against the $10 add-on, though it won’t be nearly as appealing to you or people who may have otherwise noticed your setup.
What else might you notice? The lint… Due to the adhesive nature of something like this, lint and other debris can get caught on the sticky sections that are exposed. If you leave your phone in a pocket or bag, you’ll surely notice them far more than with a traditional case. If you can look beyond this, you’ll still be very pleased with what you have.
How much would something like a Toast cover cost? Pricing varies as Toast offers a number of packages that are tailored towards exactly what you’re looking for. As I have a Galaxy S7, the prices mentioned will be for that devices and may vary device-to-device.
The back panel (with curved sides) without a design will run you $34.00. For an additional $5, you can choose from dozens of pre-made etchings. You can also add custom text for $5. For $10, Toast will include a front panel. The full package will set you back by $54.00.
Getting into the custom options is where I recommend you look as you will truly have something that is unique. This route starts at $64.00, which again is based on Galaxy S7 pricing. Toast will allow you to upload your own design. Beforehand, their artists will make sure that your design ends up being something you’ll enjoy. Those who opt for the front panel can do so for $10, just like when going with a plain or pre-made setup.
With some minor gripes aside, Toast certainly has a quality product on their and their customers’ hands. Pricing may turn some away – especially when it comes to custom options – but the post-install awe of the transformation of your device makes it all worth it. I highly recommend going all-in with a custom package so that you can end up with something that reflects your personality and / or interests.