Modern smartphones are increasing in their screen size. And it becomes more and more vulnerable, even despite the fact that their materials can withstand a lot of external effects.
After breaking two screens of my phone I’ve decided to give a try to some “rugged cases”. So, I went to AliExpress to buy a LOVE MEI POWERFUL rugged case for my HUAWEI Mate 10 Pro.
Hope my phone case review will be useful for you. Let’s start!
1. Packaging and Content
The case comes in a branded box stating its main features: life proof, dust proof, snow proof and shock proof. Image demonstrates your phone model inside this case. Also there is manufacturer details and serial number on a sticker.
Inside the box you can find plastic enclosure with the case itself and some more extras: lanyard, two screwdrivers, wet wipe, cleaning cloth, two additional screws. Though the packaging may be different, it is very simple and has all the necessary information and kit.
The case itself is assembled and has graphical image inside, representing the corresponding phone model.
2. Case overview
The manufacturer offers different colour options for POWERFUL case: silver, red, white, yellow and black. In my case I have the yellow case.
LOVE MEI POWERFUL case consists of three parts: front panel, silica rubber soft internal case and rear panel.
Both front and rear panels are made of metal alloy. It is pretty hard and does not bend easily.
Front metal frame comes with a preinstalled protective glass. On the bottom side there are two meshed openings for speaker and mic. The glass has transparent circles for camera, light sensor and LED indicator.
Also there is LOVE MEI embossed branding on the right top part of the panel.
Soft silica case
Rubber silica case comes as a single part with only a bottom cap attached (it can be removed because it is not fixed to the main body).
It has two openings on the bottom side, redirecting the sound from the bottom to the front panel and vice-versa for the microphone. Internal surface has honeycomb design. It is claimed that it was made in order to reduce the influence onto NFC/other signal. But probably it is just a measure to save a bit on material and overall weight. The side circle is pretty thick and has “shock softening” structure. Again this will reduce the overall weight and also decrease the impact strength. There is also a protective screen (glass or plastic, I’m not sure) for camera. And an opening for fingerprint reader. It has LOVE MEI branding on the back side. On top of the case there are two holes – for IR port and second microphone.
Rear panel is just a piece of alloy with holes for screws and big square opening for silica case.
3. First impressions
How do you think what is the first impression that you could have with this case?
Yes, it is the WEIGHT! It weights like a brick. Also, it adds approximately 2 cm in each side. So, you should keep this in mind.
Here is how the case looks on HUAWEI Mate 10 Pro.
As you may see it sits perfectly well. A small rubber ring encircles the metal frame with a width of about 1.5-2 mm.
Rounded corners really do their job – the phone feels comfortable it the hand or hands. Probably not everyone will appreciate such size, but this case really feels fine.
LOVE MEI has lanyard and a dedicated hole, but I’m not a fan of lanyards, so I just do not use it. And frankly speaking, the included lanyard is not of a good quality and I would not trust my phone to it.
The USB-C port is accessible – just open the protective cap. But you should take into account that not all cables will fit. Just try to use original cable or cables with smaller jacks.
Worth also mentioning that if you choose this case, it probably won’t fit normally in your trousers or jeans, or a phone pouch.
Dimensions are (for HUAWEI Mate 10 Pro):
• height – 174 mm
• width – 101 mm
• thickness – 16.24 mm
4. Quality & Precision
Overall build quality is good. But, we can’t void some BUTs.
First of all it is the paint. Not sure how it is with other colours, but yellow is glossy. It will be probably prone to scratches. Another considerations is that it will probably fall off or splint in case of impact or careless use.
Then, some meshes are glued in a misaligned position. Not a big deal, but still looks unprofessional.
Two out of three meshes were misaligned in my case. One of the misaligned ones is pretty visible. About half a millimetre difference in such a tiny size.
Next one is silica case. The material itself seems fine, well made, but with a small negligent thing – the edge is not processed well, it has a tiny remnant around the outstanding edge (between two panels). It is hardly visible, but you can definitely feel it. And it feels really odd.
And the last one – opening for fingerprint reader. It has a good size, but the edge is sharp. Not sharp as a knife, but it would be better to make it rounded. Because it feels uncomfortable and complicates the access (especially if you have large fingers).
Everything else seems to be fine. No loose parts, everything is aligned.
5. Closer look & Final thoughts
The main concern
My main worry is about the front panel. It directly contacts the phone (through the built-in glass). Thinking logically, in case the phone will hit the ground and metal panel will touch the surface, there is a high probability that the impact could be transferred directly to the screen of a phone. Because there is not dumper or soft layer between the phone screen and front frame. Just the built-in protective glass, but it is definitely not soft.
When you tighten up the screws you actually pressing the phone between rubber inner case and metal frame (with glass). I’ve read many reviews where people claimed that they have broken their screens after tightening the screws (with non HUAWEI phones, but still). This is definitely confirms my thoughts. So, be very cautious with this fact. I might be wrong, but still the structure of this case brings in some worries.
Is it waterproof?
This case IS NOT WATERPROOF!!! Please keep it in mind. The manufacturer also does not claim that it is waterproof, but a lot of users think it should be waterproof. The case has a lot of unprotected (from moisture and water) openings. This means that the only waterproof protection will be the one, provided (or not provided) by your phone.
It is just a glass (it seems to be the glass, but I can’t say for sure), with no adhesive layer or similar. This creates some additional issues. First of all, before applying this case make sure, triple check, that the surface of the phone screen and protective glass of the case are clean. If some particle will remain between them, it could scratch or damage your phone screen. Also, after use in some dusty or harsh conditions, it is recommended to disassemble the case ad clean it from inside, especially both screens.
Another minor issue is the glow effect between the case glass and phone screen. It is visible in majority of cases, especially when brightness level is low. I can’t say that it is really annoying, but it is definitely visible.
Screen touch sensitivity
The responsiveness of the screen taps and/or gestures drops a bit. Probably you will notice some minor change in sensitivity level. But, in general, it won’t cause you any problems.
But where the problem is really annoying, is the edges of the screen, especially on the upper edge. In my case, I just cannot open notifications swiping from above, I have to swipe only in the upper left corner, where the sensitivity is better. Do not know why.
The same situations repeats in the bottom part of the screen – low sensitivity.
But it is worth mentioning that the glass has some oleophobic coating, fingerprints and other “staff” do not remain on the screen. This is definitely a nice feature.
It is lost?
Some users claim that there is a loss of signal when using LOVE MEI POWERFUL case. But I can’t neither confirm or deny this. In my area the signal is pretty good and I haven’t experienced any signal issues. Wi-Fi worked fine also, including as a hot-spot.
Camera, protected or unprotected?
One more “glass” concern of this case is rear camera window. It covers both cameras and LED/sensor, it has a soft material between the screen and phone body. But I do not know why the manufacturer have decided to leave a small gap (actually a hole) between fingerprint reader opening and lower camera.
There is a space between camera lens and protection glass. There is no contact between them. And this opening allows a free access of dust, dirt, sand, etc. to this space. And if some solid particle (like sand) will get inside, your lens can be F#KD. And this is very crucial for phones with high-end cameras and lenses. And again, one more place that need extra cleaning in this “360° protection” case.
Are you sure it isn’t dark here?
If you are using automatic brightness level adjustment, keep in mind that after using this case the automatic brightness level will drop. As to my eyes, the drop level is about 20-30% of normal level (using the phone itself with no case, according to the brightness adjustment lever). Definitely this will save a bit of battery life for you, but in some situations it reduces the usability of your phone. Not sure why such thing happens, may be because of smaller or limited aperture for the light sensor.
Modern phones are equipped with large screens, especially with the modern trend of bezel-less screens. Obviously many manufacturers also provide some level of protection, like Gorilla or other technologies. But still, the screen is the most vulnerable part of the phone.
The vast majority of phone cases on the market are designed to protect the phone in general, like rear surface protection and some drop protection. But there are some manufacturers who are standing apart with their more advanced cases. LOVE MEI is one of them.
In general, the LOVE MEI POWERFUL case is fine, with pretty god build quality, with some “unique features”. But still there are several major concerns regarding the phone condition while using this case.
Side panel buttons are fairly good and clear. I had no issues with both block and volume control buttons. You just need to apply a bit more pressure to press them. You can feel the distinctive tactile feedback.
Unclear screen protector construction with possible potential phone screen damage. Potential lens damage as well. And some other drawbacks can potentially bring to the loss of trust to this brand.
Disclaimer: I haven’t conducted the drop tests for obvious reasons, but some tests in the Internet / on YouTube showed good overall protection. All assessments were made according to my own personal views and can be different to yours.
LOVE MEI POWERFUL phone caseUSD 26-35 / USD 68 (on official store)
- Extra protection to your phone
- Has built-in screen and lens protection
- Good level of overall usability (not for everyone)
- Good feedback of side buttons
- Soft silica rubber inside
- Unclear screen protection
- Unreliable lens protection
- Drop of touch sensitivity
- Negative effect on brightness level (in Auto mode)