clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Google's custom cases for Nexus phones are more style than substance

New, 37 comments

A little over a week ago, Google announced two new customizable cases for the Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, and Nexus 6 smartphones. The new cases, which sell through Google's online store for $35, let you put a custom image, photo, or map on the back of the case, and talk to the phone via an NFC tag. The NFC tag allows the phone to set a matching wallpaper or perform a custom action when a certain area of the case is depressed.

For $35, the cases are pretty basic: I have the matte-finish Live Places case with a custom image of the island of Manhattan on it and it's about the same quality of plastic as a $10 case you can get from Amazon. The ports and buttons are unobstructed and there's a slight lip on the front to prevent screen damage when the phone is placed face down, but otherwise it's a pretty typical hard plastic case. The NFC shortcut button is also a bit of a letdown, as it only works when I press really hard on the case, making it virtually impractical in everyday use. On the other hand, the live wallpaper that comes with the case is a map that follows me around as I go to different places, which is pretty cool. I just don't think I'd spend $35 on this had I known what it was like in person first.

You can see more of the Live Case in the video below.