Cases/shells for the Pro1, DIY experiments

There are no official case(s) for the FxTec Pro1, so I have ordered 21 cases/shells for various phones of dimensions close the keyboard part…

Ten have arrived, nine today, and here are the preliminary results, and a flip case fitted

Add Nov 21, two more have arrived, for Huawei P20  Pro and Note 7

(Will update if any of the remaining ones proves a better fit)

The bottom ‘half’ of the Pro1 has dimensions 154 x 73.6 x 8 mm, and a number of devices are quite close to that, see e.g here

After trying all ten then generally those for Note7 fits reasonable, the other does not fit, or fits poorly.

It is primarily a matter of the other ones having less sharp ‘corners’, that gives a poor fit

 

Pros and Cons

A case gives a nice protection, but it has its drawbacks too, also apart from the obvious extended weight and size.

It maims the aesthetics of the cool looking Pro1! Both hiding the sleek back, and having the bottom half thicker than the upper (this goes for flip and simple a like).

Whether this is outweighed by the added protection or not is a 100% personal thing with no answer fitting all.

 

First an overview of the ones I tried

 

Best fit (of course needing adjustments)

A clear silicon shell for Huawei P20 Pro, https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/183819340473

 

Reasonably good fit (of course needing adjustments)

A flip case for Note 7, https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/201755537173?var=502786851083

A clear silicon shell for Note 7, https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/293215067069

A black silicon shell for Note 7, https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/263139815870?var=562372896553

A black stiff shell for Note 7,  https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/332143570045?var=541171492261

 

Tolerable fit

A black thick shell for the Honor 20(S?), https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/143393956816
(The listing says 20S, but the package just “20”)

 

Unsuitable

A soft inner and hard external shell for Note 7. https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/282069013914?var=581204334934
(It fits OK, but due to it’s two-part construction, would be somewhat complex to modify. Not sure it would be worth the trouble)

No fit, typically pops off:

A clear silicon shell for Honor 2oS,  https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/143394863647

A black stiff shell for Honor 2oS,  https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/123918266548

A clear silicon shell for Huawei P20 Pro,  https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/113220086019

A black stiff shell for Huawei P20 Pro,  https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/113220070641

A clear silicon shell for Honor 2oi,  most likely https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/264438098645?var=564094654535
(The listing says the item is from Germany, but the poststamp and return address says France, and different shop name…)

 

The flip case

This flip case s intended to flip to the left, so the best fit is achieved by using it top-down(!), so the flip goes to the right, and doesn’t interfere with the keyboard

As could be expected some adjustment were needed, but here first a number of pictures of the (initial) result

 

 

So what needed to be modified.

  1. Hole for the USB-C
  2. Hole Opening for the fingerprint sensor
  3. Hole for the 3.5mm Jack
  4. Hole for the rear camera arrangement, Inner only
  5. Optional a bend of the top cardboard gives a better fit
  6. ADD: Optional remove the creditcard part
  7. ADD> Optional pop a few holes in the lid for the notification LED and the call-speaker

on 2, I did a first cut, it needs a little adjustment, as is clearly visible from the image. ADD Later opened up completely and replaced the old image.

on 3. Extension of existing hole

on 4. When the case is changed to flipping to the right, it will also offer protection for the camera arrangement when closed, so only a hole in the inner back was needed. Silly me I made hole in the outer also, but at £6 including shipping it is affordable to try more than once…

on 5. the ‘lid’ has a piece of cardboard inside, if you ‘break’ this along the edge of the (now upside down) card-slots, you will get a better fit, that closes easier.
ADD: This is not needed if you remove the credit-card part.
(The two end-shots were done BEFORE I had this idea, so looks ever so slightly better now)

All the cutting are done by hand using a Victorinox Swiss Champ pocket knife, mainly with the scissors, and the camera-hole partly with the knife…
Sure this could have be done more cleanly with proper tools, but I see this more as a proof of concept, and an intermediate case, until a proper one is offered somewhere…

The camera example above is with the preproduction unit as the motive.

And YES both the units and the table could have benefited from a little dusting before being ‘photographed’.

ADD: on 6) I removed the up-side down credit-card part, reducing the weight from approximately 65 to 60g, and reducing the thickness at the thickest over the clasp to 2.5cm

I should have done that rather than 5) above

ADD: On 7) I popped a few holes in the lid:

Yeah I know, could have been done more accurate, but still see this as a ‘proof of concept’

 

A simple shell case

Some days ago I modified a simple shell (that was the first to arrive), the modifications are practically identical to the above 1-4, though I did not swap the shell around.

Here on the “Pre production” unit.

I did not cut the hole to include the LED – that was not a super good idea, as the whole silicon case acts a bit like a diffuser, so most likely I will extend it soon.

ADD: Also tried opening around the fingerprint sensor on the soft case and to my surprise it did not have a substantial effect of the structural hold on the device.

 

 

Another Simple clear shell case:

The shell for the the Huawei P20 Pro, gives an even better fit than the Note 7 Shell, as the top/bottom and camera holes matches better.

Only three cuts are strictly necessary, extensions of two and a cut for the fingerprint

The hole on the back can be extended to free the secondary microphone

ending in