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Review: Amzer Double Layer Hybrid Case with Kickstand, for Lumia 920 and 1020
The Lumia 920 and 1020 feel pretty good in the hand, but they're still shiny plastic and everything's horribly exposed, from screen to camera glass. Yes, the 920 (et al) has a great record for durability, but why take chances? If I said you could have a textured, grippy, ruggedised case that also included a serious kickstand, all for a tenner, would you bite my hand off? If (as I suspect) the answer is 'yes' then see my review of the 'Amzer Double Layer Hybrid Case with Kickstand' below - it's everything you might think from the product title. And looks, in modern parlance, 'bad ass' at the same time...
I've a fair history in reviewing ruggedised cases from the likes of OtterBox, but this Amzer case was something new to me, in that it felt premium, it looked premium, it had innovative features... and yet is priced right down with budget accessories. Quite astonishing value. Here's an illustrated walkthough of the 'Double Layer Hybrid Case with Kickstand', modelled on the Lumia 1020 (first) and then 920:
There's a certain steampunk aesthetic going on here... The curves and bulkheads are very sci-fi. The four rubber corners are actually part of the inner case that the phone sits in, with the cross-shaped polycarbonate clipped around it to provide a backbone. The trapezoid structure is the folded-down integral kickstand - this is actually black, but the metallic material caught the light for the photo!
The kickstand in operation, it folds out and a support strut unfolds and clips into place, as shown. It's very solid too and a wonderful extra touch, given how good modern smartphones are for media consumption (YouTube, Netflix, iPlayer, etc.)
In the hand, there's an obvious increase in bulk (width and height are an extra 5mm or so, thickness slightly more so, but on the other hand there's a terrific sense of security, with all faces and corners of the phone protected against drops and impact. The various textures and mouldings also help the hand grip the phone - there's none of the usual 'slippery polycarbonate' feel that you get with a naked Lumia.
Cutouts in both the rubber inlay and the polycarbonate shell provide access to all exterior Lumia features, with the bottom of the case and phone shown here.
Here's the kickstand in operation on the Amzer case fitted on the Lumia 920, there's only one choice of angle, but it's a good one...
The equivalent bottom of the Lumia 920 version of the Amzer case, showing the data/charge/speaker cutout. And yes, wireless charging also works through the case - I tested this!
Showing the kickstand mechanics on the Lumia 920 variant. The kickstand 'clicks' into place, both open (to avoid collapse) and closed (to avoid swinging open by mistake).
Mouldings in the rubber allow access to the underlying phone buttons - this sort of system falls down if the rubber is too solidly moulded, but the Amzer folk have found the perfect resistance and the buttons feel almost as sensitive as the originals underneath.
The combination of black ruggedised case and black camera island, in particular, is very fetching, but you probably couldn't say, overall, that the Amzer cases are particularly pretty. However, they're very effective, surprisingly innovative (with the kickstand), well made and insanely good value.