Review: HTC One Poetic Borderline bumper case [VIDEO]


Ever since my HTC One Developer Edition arrived last week, I’ve been trying to find a nice case, for little money. For whatever reason, it seemed like every case manufacturer had their cases on back-order, with most cases not being available until sometime after April 28th (or at least, that’s what most of their sites were showing). Frustrated, I went for the cheapest case I could find on Amazon, one that would ship to my house in the shortest amount of time possible (lest my One suffer the same fate as my Nexus 4). Enter the Poetic Borderline bumper case for the HTC One.

HTC One Poetic Borderline case wm 6

I’m pretty well acquainted with Poetic’s accessories, having reviewed a slim case of theirs for my HTC Droid DNA in the past, and seeing a few of their bumpers equipped on friends’ devices. As far as their bumpers are concerned, I can’t say I was too impressed. From what I’ve seen, they looked kinda cheap with a mix between hard plastic and TPU. I’m not sure what possessed me to go this route for my HTC One, but I’m sure it had something to do with Poetic’s $10 price tag. Bad move, Chris.

What I received is one of the worst cases ever for my smartphone. Build quality with the Borderline case is cheap plastic mixed with TPU. Unlike my Droid DNA, the case fits — but just barely. Edges loosely fit along the sides of the device and overall there’s nothing premium feeling about the case in any way, shape, or form. Oh, and I haven’t even gotten to worst part: the freakin’ IR blaster is covered by the case. This is a huge oversight by the boys at Poetic, something they’re apparently addressing in an update:

“We are aware the issue of IR Blaster is being blocked. Update version will be released and ship on May 13th.”

To be fair, I guess it kinda makes sense. It is one of the lowest priced cases on the market (aside from buying direct from China). Since beauty is always in the eye of the beholder, it’s possible my issues with the case are minor, in which you might still find it worthy of a purchase. If that rings true for you, a link to the Amazon listing has been provided below, with a full gallery underneath. Just take my advice: you’re going to want to pass on this one.

[Poetic Borderline case ($9.95) on Amazon]

Chris Chavez
I've been obsessed with consumer technology for about as long as I can remember, be it video games, photography, or mobile devices. If you can plug it in, I have to own it. Preparing for the day when Android finally becomes self-aware and I get to welcome our new robot overlords.

Hello, Phandroid…goodbye, iPhone!

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  1. Just strap it on when you’re drinking.

    1. Yeah, I’ll only be using this while intoxicated. Some protection is better than no protection.

      1. I threw an otterbox and an invisible shield on day one!

        1. Too much junk in the trunk. I need my cases thin as possible. Of course….


          1. I feel your pain Chris. That case looks terrible. I wish Otterbox would design better thin line cases. I’m with you, I think, in that when you buy a phone for it’s clean, thin lines, you don’t want a case that makes it bulky again. With todays technology, there is no reason they can’t manufacture durable thin cases. Just silly.

        2. Like carrying an entire house in your pocket.

      2. Should of waited for sgp case. I’m waiting for the geuine leather to come out.

        1. ultra thin air case looks nicer

      3. Now you tell me ;)

  2. Go buy a UAG case and never look back

    1. Looks like the UAG case covers the IR/Power as well. I’d normally go Seidio myself (have one on order that I may have to cancel depending on what their support says), looks like Seidio covers the IR port too.

      1. Poetic knows of the issue and will have corrected cases out in May and is shipping a replacement one for free to the people affected at no cost and they can even keep the old one. Best customer service company out there.

  3. Mine will be naked fo’ life!

    Only way to go.

    1. Good lucky, I seriously, seriously for the sake of the good looks of the phone, hope you don’t drop it.

      1. I have never put a case on any of my devices. What’s the point of good looks if you only go out wearing a wife-beater and sweats? ;-)

      2. How does a bumper hide it’s looks?

        1. Did you even look at the poetic bumper on the One? It’s ugly…

      3. I agree with PhoenixPath…I don’t get the point of those cases unless one is extremely clumsy or poor enough that your phone is your entire net worth. I dropped my G1, Droid, and Sensation on occasion and they barely had a couple of tiny dings after 2 years.

        I just got the HTC One a few days ago and it does look a little more sensitive (like my Macbook Air) and it is more slippery, but if it can’t survive without a phone condom, then obviously it wasn’t “the one”.

        1. Dang, I just realized 3 of my 4 phones have been HTC.

    2. Bareback!!!!!

  4. I own this several Poetic cases and this is one of them. I like it, but it’s not perfect. In order for it to be perfect it should be a tighter fit, it’s not going to fall off, but, if needs to be snugger and it does not offer any protection for the back of the phone especially with the hump.

  5. chris just got my s4 its one of the best phone I owned even my iphone5 user wife wants it. I hope iphone7 will catch up.

  6. I also wrote up a review with a bunch of pics on an xda forum that’s been tracking the issue w/ the IR blaster being blocked. In my assessment, I was admittedly a bit more forgiving because I’ve never owned a bumper case before and had no baseline to compare it to. I realize now that there must be much better bumper cases out there for other phones.

    My review w/ pics:

    If you view the full thread and see my previous post, you’ll find my feedback on the Poetic Atmosphere case as well. I still think the Atmosphere case is a really nice case and will be even better when they release the updated versions in mid-May that doesn’t cover the power button. BTW, they’re sending out free replacement units to all who purchased the bad design. As for the Borderline Bumper case, as of today I received a message stating that they’re cancelling all orders and may not even be updating it anymore; and if they do then it will be after May before any are ready. I ended up getting a full refund via their Amazon seller (Exact-Deal), so despite their flop in designing a case that covers the IR blaster, I have to still give them some credit for manning up and doing what is right in the customer service dept.

  7. Chris, don’t you remember you and bumper cases don’t mix, granted the One doesn’t have a glass back, but nevertheless.

  8. Perfect case!! And like this to add HTC One Storage!!

  9. They are not going to be updating the bumper case. I bought 2 of them in different colors, and because of the IR blaster being blocked, they were going to send out updated ones once they fixed the design, but i got another email telling me that they are not going ahead with it, and i was refunded my money. Case sucked, but customer service is fantastic. On another note, i also bought their Atmosphere case, which is basically the bumper case with a TPU back. Its clear, so it still shows off that sexy aluminum, and is well made. The blaster is blocked on this one too, but they will be making new ones and will automatically send me one once they have them in stock.

    1. I did not receive a email, they sent me a letter with all 4 of my cases saying they would be shipping a replacement one for each one in May, and they refunded me $5, but, even with the IR blaster covered it works. I tested it last night and it still worked.

    2. I experienced the same. See my prev comment for more info. Funny thing is they accidentally sent me two Atmosphere cases about a week apart, so now I have two v1 Atmosphere cases, one v1 bumper case, and a v2 Atmosphere case on the way in mid-May… All for $10 after the refund for the bumper case. :)

  10. I ordered this case originally, but they had so many supply problems and kept pushing back the ship date so I canceled and got the clear Speck case. The Speck case protects the phone and preserves its beauty as well. In the event anyone was looking at that case as an option. I think I’m still going to order a Poetic case when they fix the issue with covering up the IR/power button . 6 months with one, 6 with the other lol.

  11. I have always like Body gloves cases. Cheap and plenty of protection.

  12. Try the trident aegis case. Have one for my note 2 and love it!

  13. All this hype about build quality only to bury it in a case. Samsung is a smart company. Power, high quality screen and features > metallic body.

    1. and with the HTC One you can replace the “>” with a “+”

  14. The nice thing about the case is the bumper dosnt cover the sexy back of the phone.

  15. Amazon has an excellent CIMI case that is slim and doesn’t hide the beauty of the HTC One. It is listed as frosted/clear. I would say it looks clear when it’s on, but it does make the phone appear a bit whiter — looks good. It only costs seven dollars.

    Edit: I guess I can’t post a URL, so if you are looking for it, the description on Amazon is:
    Cimo Grip Back Case Flexible TPU Cover

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