Friday, August 28, 2020

Supcase Beetle Phone Case for Huawei P30 Pro (Amazon.com)

The familiar two-piece design protects the phone from virtually all angles.
I gave an above-average-but-less-than-glowing review of my P20 Pro's Beetle Case. So why did I go ahead and get the same case for my upgraded phone? Two reasons: familiarity, and nervousness. For starters, I hate haggling with phone cases, and considering I had already installed (and uninstalled, for cleaning reasons) my P20 Pro case numerous times, I was certain I could install the P30 Pro's in record time. As for nervousness, I really wanted a clear case that would show off my cool “Breathing Crystal” finish (just as I had wanted to show off the P20 Pro's “Twilight”), but after reading several users having issues with tempered glass installations—thanks to the phone's curved-edge screens, and in-display fingerprint scanner, and especially in tandem with certain, unnamed phone cases—I just said forget it and stuck with what I knew. After all, protection comes first when you spend $600 on a new phone, with no warranty.

Just so that I could stand out a little bit more than with the boring “black” color case I got for my P20 Pro, I opted to suck up the extra $2 charge and get the blue version for this one. That decision was money well spent, because it certainly stands out; the medium-blue shade isn't one that I'd normally favor, but it strikes a good balance between light and dark while giving the phone a slightly more “modern” edge. I like it a lot.

Installation was easy once my dumb ass realized the reason my phone wasn't fitting into the Beetle Case at first was because I was trying to put it in with my Huawei-provided phone case already on it...duh. Once I took that off, it was so much easier to snap into the screen protecting portion (imagine that!). The rest went exactly as it did with my P20 Pro case, snapping into the back section with little fuss, and sealing up along the sides for a perfect fit.

Built like a tank, but also adds a lot
of bulk and weight.
The end result is a sleek, yet functional case, that would be an improvement on the looks of just about any standard, solid-colored phone finish. All of the functions (and complaints) are pretty much the same ones I had with my P20: namely, that the case does add quite a bit of bulk to what is a lightweight, smooth phone. The positive side to that, beyond the obviousness of added protection, is that the glass phone is really quite slippery right out of the box; the textured, rubber grips along the side of the phone make carrying it around much, much easier. Ditto that for car mounts: while I'm sure the rubber grips of any car mount would be able to handle the phone even with the standard case provided by Huawei, the rubber-on-rubber combination here just makes it feel all the more secure. It never slips even a fraction of an inch while I'm driving—and this is with one of those cheap Dollar Tree vent clips that I thought I'd sworn off years ago.

Just like all of the other Beetle cases, there is also a little "button" on the bottom that you can use to close off the charging port when it's not in use. This is a useful little tool, because you would be surprised at all the dust that can accumulate within a relatively short amount of time; these can lead to charging and connection issues, something I learned from personal experience with a previous phone. I was a little worried that the little rubber "nub" would bend the charger after a little while - especially since bundled chargers are already cheap and prone to wear-and-tear after a short while -  but that was never an issue on the P20 Pro, and so far hasn't been an issue here.

It's only been about three months since I've installed it, so I can't vouch for its long-term usefulness quite yet (this review will be periodically updated to cover the lifetime of the product), but considering it's the exact same model of case I had for over a year with my last phone, I am fairly confident that it will last however long I need it to. However, I must confess I'm a little more nervous about how this one will handle drops compared to the last one. Especially since—once again thanks to the curved screen—the sides don't jut out as far to block the fall as they do on my P20 Pro, which had raised sides all the way around. Here, it's only the top and the bottom that “stick out” to block the impact of a fall from shattering the screen, while the sides pretty much just sit flush against it.

I know, I know, these cases have months and months of testing behind them before they are released, and considering I bought this phone a year even farther out from that, that means there's been enough time for anyone to find any sort of terrible flaw in its design. Considering I read no reviews that mention any glaring flaws beforehand, I don't expect there to be any sort of issues; with my luck, I'll probably be the "lucky loser" that just happens to drop it at just the right angle to shatter it. Needless to say, I'm still a little more overprotective of this one than my P20 Pro, and will be nervous for a little while until it has a chance to "prove" itself.

Another long-term concern is seeing just how "gross" this one gets: After a year with the P20 Pro case, it seemed that fingerprints and grime accumulated on the screen protector ten times quicker than they did initially, and it seemed I was taking apart the dang thing every other week to clean off dead skin, or to dry off the inside from water seepage, or for some other cleanliness-related reason. Thankfully, the lack of a home button on the P30 Pro means that's one fewer cutout to the screen protector on the bottom of the phone, which is where I tended to have issues. There is a single, weird, seemingly random square cutout to the top of the phone screen, which I learned is curiously a "pull-down" location to access the options menu (which can also be accessed by pulling down in front of the camera). Water has gotten in here a couple times from me changing songs while in the shower, or standing out in a light rain, or taking it in the pool, but having one small square to deal with definitely cuts back on the amount of water that can get in, and so it's less of an issue when it does happen.

In the end, only time will tell how long it lasts and how well it protects, but it has certainly matched my expectations here in the early going.

Overall: 7/10. So far, so good, although it's only been about three months, and I haven't had any scary concrete drops to really “test” it out. This one looks a lot sleeker than my previous all-black case, making a slightly cooler statement (while, unfortunately, still hiding the even cooler finish on my actual phone) that still promises to deliver in the protection department. The included screen protector is just a thin film of plastic, and doesn't serve anywhere near the level of protection that tempered glass does, but still wards off light scratches and other minor screen damage, and is therefore better than nothing. Meanwhile, the $22 price tag is pretty reasonable, but note that all this comes at the cost of added thickness and weight. If you want a no-hassle way to guard your phone, this is a good product to start with.

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