Around a month ago on Google Plus I saw a couple of posts from people showing off a vinyl skins for the Nexus 7 from a company called dbrand inc. Being the curious type I checked out the company and liked the look of them but I was not screaming “SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY”. The thing that bothered me was time and time again so many companies make products like this, claim they are amazing and wonderful. Then when you get your hands on it for yourself everything falls flat of what you were expecting. Looking through their product range I saw they did them for the Nexus 4 and it was only $9. I thought that is worth a gamble at $9.
But hang on how much is shipping. They are based in Canada, I am in the UK. I have seen other companies offer similar things for other phones in the past but have always been put off by the $30 shipping costs. Then I noticed this on their website
… all taxes are included, and a $3 flat-rate worldwide shipping cost is fair to all.
$3 worldwide shipping! That was just wonderful. I thought I have nothing to lose. Or I ordered one, shipping time was stated to be around 2 weeks and about 2 weeks later it arrives.
Boy does this thing look good. The first thing that struck me was how good it looked and felt. As you can see from the picture above I ordered the Titanium and to be honest when I first picked it up I expected it to be stiff and solid just like a sheet of metal. I mean it really looks that good. When the folks at dbrand say they use high quality realistic photos for promo images they mean it. Picking it up it bends and feels like vinyl. I must say though that I am impressed with the quality. This really does feel like a high quality product.
When I first posted a quick snap of this on my phone on Google+ there was a comment or two about the finish. If there was metal parts in the skin in order for it to have that look. The reason he asked was if there was there was a chance that it could cause problems with the antenna on the back. To be honest I had no idea, so I reached out to dbrand inc. and put these questions to them and in short no there is no metal in their skin. Nothing, zip. To quote them:
To answer your question, there is absolutely no metal (no shavings, no bits, no metal at all) in the Authentic 3M Vinyl we use. We called our 3M rep to confirm, who forwarded us to the technical specialist department. They informed us that the “metal” look is achieved through Titanium colored dye. It is purely a pigmentation process.
So there you have it. No metal. No risk of signal loss.
Applying the simple. Just head over to their site and follow the instructions they give you. It only took me a couple of minutes, and that was due too not getting it lined up right the first time.
Once lined up and applied the fit is perfect. I really love how the NEXUS on the back now stands out. And that comes pre-cut. No having to deal with cutting or popping it out yourself. And yes the cut out is perfect. I was so shocked at the final result of it.
The fit is flawless, have I mentioned that? If you carry on reading to the end, after the slideshow. there is a copy of the email that dbrand inc. sent me that goes into detail how much work they put into designing their skins 15 hours of work just to get the mould right for the Nexus lettering.
It also looks great and does not look like you have slapped a cheap and nasty sticker on your phone. Another bonus that I have found using it these last couple of weeks is that my Nexus 4 no longer slides about so easily in my hand or on a surface for that matter. I also think it would be a great way to protect that glass backing from getting scratched up too much when setting it down on anything.
There are 12 colour options to choose from, including the titanium. I am really tempted to pick one up for my Nexus 7 now. This would also be a great way for those of you that perhaps have a couple of Nexus 7′s around the house to easily and quickly tell them apart. Aside from the 4 and the 7 they also do skins for the Samsung Galaxy S3 Android wise, and Iphones. Ipads and games console controllers.
For more information on everything that dbrand inc. has to offer head and to order one of these hit up their site dbrand.com
Glad to see you’re covering our products. To answer your question, there is absolutely no metal (no shavings, no bits, no metal at all) in the Authentic 3M Vinyl we use. We called our 3M rep to confirm, who forwarded us to the technical specialist department. They informed us that the “metal” look is achieved through Titanium colored dye. It is purely a pigmentation process.
If you’d like some more information for your review, we’ve included a bunch below. Use as much or as little of it as you’d like:
We federally incorporated dbrand inc. on 11.11.11 after purchasing and being constantly disappointed by the quality of materials and poor fit that existed with every other skin manufacturer on the market. A skin has only two aspects to it: the quality of vinyl used and the precision of the fit.
We use top of the line 3M textured vinyl, generally reserved for architectural re-upholstering and auto body trim. All of our manufacturing is done in-house in Toronto. All the die-lines are 100% original, in fact we don’t even look at the device coverage another company is offering until we’ve mastered the skin ourselves. After purchasing a device that needs a skin, this is our process:
1. Measure each side and button/speaker/microphone/camera/flash/etc with a standard ruler…
2. Draw the vector in Illustrator
3. Cut a sample
4. Apply it
5. Measure the offset of each cutout
To get such a precise fit, we generally re-adjust the measurements for a device 4-500 times, and can take up to 50 hours in front of a computer to complete. With our top of the line vinyl cutting machinery, we can measure down to the 1/100th of a millimeter and see a tangible difference.
Some cutouts are quite simple, such as the camera/flash cutouts on the Nexus 4. Others, such as the “nexus” lettering are much more complex. To perfect the letter cutouts alone took about 15 hours. Would it have been easier to do what all the other companies did and skip it altogether? Of course! But that’s not what we’re about. Our mission is to give you the most precise fit available anywhere on the planet.
On top of providing such a precision fit, we work overtime to make the application experience as painless as possible. One way we are able to achieve this is by removing all cutouts for the customer. No other skin manufacturer on the market “weeds” out all the cutouts for the customer. The “nexus” cutouts are very intricate and very difficult to remove (requires tweezers). If the consumer was to remove them on their own, it would result in many ruined letters. Due to our extreme precision, the skin literally only fits one way. This enhances the user experience because either they put it on perfectly or they put it on dead wrong… there’s no middle ground.
Beyond the factory-fitted finish we offer, our corporation strives to provide a better shopping experience. Other companies tack on extravagant shipping costs and hide taxes until you near the end of the checkout process. We include taxes in all of our competitive prices, as well as offer a flat-rate $3 worldwide shipping cost on all items. Xxxxx Xxxxx (edited by me)), a major competitor of ours, charges $19.99 for the Nexus 4 back piece and between $20-100 for shipping to Canada.
Other companies hide behind photoshopped images of their product, unable to show the truth for fear that their items will go unwanted. We offer true images and HD close-up videos of all our products to give the user a genuine experience of how their device can look. To top it all off, we have a state of the art color selector interface, unparalleled by even heavyweights in the customization industry such as ColorWare.
Hopefully we have provided you with some useful tidbits for your article. Good luck, sir!