Toast is a Portland Oregon company that specializes in covers that make your phone, XBOX, laptop, and many other devices, look like they’re not cheap pieces of plastic and metal while offering some rudimentary protection in the form of thin wood or leather. They offer custom engravings and text as well so you can make your device a lot more yours.
I almost dropped in and visited them last week when I was in Portland, but this involved hauling some cranky kids thirty minutes out of their way post airline trip and I figured someone would explosively vomit into a machine after the plane landing we had just had.
I’m not a huge fan of adhesive-bound wraps. I believe I covered a total of two before stopping in 2014. Getting a full-case press correct without covering a vital port or lens is annoying enough, and if you have kids you’ll somehow end up being tackled while putting the case on which is what happened to me.
Fortunately this isn’t your average peel and stick and even with being tackled I managed to get the wood wraps on my HTC 10 and Kim’s M9 phones without much difficulty other than a 3yo asking “can I put that sticker on?”
I wasn’t a huge fan of the fit initially after pressing. The intricately cut corner pieces were sort of bucky, but after a day or use and sort of smooshing them into place they now fit perfectly.
Since adhering, Kim’s received somewhere in the neighborhood of eight inquiries as to where she got her case. It’s not a case mind you, but it sure looks like one. Everyone wants one for their iPhone or S8 until they hear the price.
The Toast products carry a premium look as well as a premium price. They’re priced at a case pricing points, and it’s a tough sell proposition that you’d plunk down $50 for thin wood and 3M adhesive, even if it does look beautiful.
By day three I’d reached the stage where the buttons and the wrap was set perfectly and now the thing became a massive lint attractor from where the adhesive had gooped out a bit at the edges. That lasted for a couple of days until the lint and random stuff at the edges had been removed a couple of times.
Each Toast wrap is different in how it installs. Kim’s M9 was somewhat of a pain getting the edge pieces to line up properly, my HTC 10 was pretty easy. Total install time for both, including cleaning up after a kid attacked, was about thirty minutes.
While I’m now a fan of the Toast made wraps I was a little concerned about the very real possibility that if someone purchased one they might find themselves with a very expensive piece of broken toddler-trampled on, beautifully finished uselessness, so I shot them some questions which I’m cutting and pasting here.
1. Any way to prevent the case edges from picking up hairs and lint? Threw in pocket and came out with a dust bunny.
This is pretty typical for a brand new, freshly-lasered Toast cover caused by tiny amounts of adhesive exposed at the score lines edges. It should go away after the 1-2 weeks as the cover gets broken in and develops its patina.
2. Is the price point expected to drop?
It’s not. Our covers are admittedly more expensive than much of the competition because we place a significant value in using sustainable, natural materials and US-based manufacturing. Every Toast cover is made-to-order and 100% of our production process is done in-house at our Portland, Oregon workshop. Because of the care and craftsmanship put into our covers and the quality of the materials we use, this is understandably more expensive than bulk manufacturing done overseas. So the price reflects that reality, and we believe the quality difference is apparent.
3. Is there any “I screwed up because my kid tackled me while putting on the wrap” discount or replacement policy?
Ha! Absolutely. We actually call this our “butterfingers” policy. Toast covers do take some care to apply successfully because they’re cut so precisely. We understand that slip-ups happen, which is no fun for anyone, especially since these are a premium product. All we ask for is that you send some pics of the mishap and email them to firstname.lastname@example.org so we can verify. We’ll take care of you and replace it at no cost.
4. As it’s wood, do they know a percentage of signal loss at 2.4ghz?
I don’t know if there is any measurable signal loss. The wood veneers are about 1/32″ thick, and considering Wifi signals pass through the walls & floorboards of one’s home and surroundings which are much more dense, I would be surprised if there is. We have not specifically tested it, but most of us have Toast covers on our devices and have noticed no loss of signal.
Anyway, it’s a pretty sweet wrap for your phone, I really do love the finish, it makes my HTC 10 look and feel nice and actually matches my office furniture a bit. While I got Kim an owl and mine just says “pocketables” on the rear, they have a decent set of graphics you can have etched in, and you can place text on the back to make your wrap yours.