dbrand is a huge name in the skins industry. But lately, it has been expanding the categories of products, and I love that. It was the first time in 2018 when they added a dbrand Grip case to their portfolio. It was an Indiegogo campaign which had plenty of backers – and I was one of them. I bought the Grip V1 for my OnePlus 5 and I loved it, for the period it lasted. It’s still not shattered down into pieces, but that’s because I saw it won’t last much longer when I stopped using it. That happened months after I got the case and even reviewed it. Due to those issues, the product never came on their site for public release.
I loved dbrand products and their customer support a lot even after that. Following them through Twitter, I was excited when I saw that the Grip V2 is coming soon. I was even more excited when I saw that they’ve started a puzzle and the humans had to complete the code for the products to be released. I joined their Discord and participated quite a bit for that. Finally, the day came when all those humans who came together on Discord completed the code and dbrand gave us a timer for the release date. In the usual dbrand style, they punished humans for taking long time to complete the code and added 7 days in that timer.
Ordering and Delivery Process
After waiting for over 20 days, the day finally came when the Grip V2 along with Prism Screen Protector was available for purchase. It was early morning and I was on my way to the college when I placed the order. Now, it was time to wait for a few months to receive the order.
My order was placed on 7th January 2019 and I received it on 8th May 2019. That was just 2 days before my birthday, and I was excited to test it out.
If you bought the Grip V1 or if you have read my review of Grip V1, then you’ll be familiar with the unboxing experience of the dbrand Grip. The Grip case comes inside a black-coloured box along with some yellow-coloured accents. I haven’t seen such type of box for any other case, except the Grip V1. So, I would like to give props to dbrand for going the extra mile and doing that.
This time around, the top of the box has the Grip logo instead of the dbrand logo which was there on the box of the Grip V1. The back side of the box has the trademarked tagline of dbrand – “It’s not a product. It’s a culture.” – similar to what we found on the box of the Grip V1. That tagline is printed in black, which means minimal branding – and I’m a fan of that.
As soon as you open the box, you’ll see the Grip case waiting to be pulled out of the box and protect your device. Also, you’ll be able to see those yellow-coloured accents a lot more. Removing the Grip out of the box, you’ll find a small card where you can see the robots taking over humans. The card also says “Grip is just the beginning…” which seems to be true. You won’t find the headphone jack adaptor this time around, because as you all know, the jack is dead. I can’t even complain about that because my device doesn’t have a headphone jack anyways.
That’s all you get if you just ordered the Grip case without any skin. But if you’ve ordered a skin along with the case (which you should) then you’ll find the usual packaging for the skin separately, which would contain your skin, the microfiber cloth and maybe some artwork – if you requested any.
Review – My Experience
So, as mentioned before – I received the dbrand Grip on 8th May. And I have been using it almost every day since then. The first thing I did with the Grip was to install the White Marble skin which I ordered along with the Grip and Prism. The first thing I felt after using it was that the case was quite thick. It didn’t feel as bulky as some other cases, but it did feel thick. The corners are now curved, and they feel a lot more like the other cases in the market. Also, it doesn’t make the entire footprint of the device feel huge, which I felt with the Grip V1.
I liked the Crescent Arc (trademarked by dbrand) design of the Grip case. If you have a look at the case from the sides, you’ll notice that the top and bottom part of the case have raised lips while the centre part of the case would sit flush with your screen. It makes the experience enjoyable as you’re not hitting the edges of the case whenever you are swiping near those edges.
The sides of the case look like they have some Grippy material, but it is nowhere close to what the Grip V1 felt. The buttons on the case are tactile and clicky. They even have texture which makes them easily identifiable, and it feels great while clicking them. They are almost as tactile as the original buttons on the device, if not more.
There are several cut-outs on the case, and they are perfectly placed. Starting from the back of the case, there are two cut-outs. One is for the camera and the second one is for the flash. They could have kept just a single larger cut-out which could’ve covered both. But I guess dbrand wanted it to be as precise as possible. But I would’ve probably liked it more if there was just a single cut-out as it would have improved the aesthetics of the case. Also, there are raised ridges around the camera which helps align the skin on the case. Also, it’s good for having better protection for the camera.
Now, coming to the bottom of the device, we have three cut-outs. One is for the USB Type-C Port, second is for the primary microphone and the third is for the speaker. Yeah, no headphone jack on my device – so no cut-out. On the right, there is a cut-out for the Alert Slider which is precise. And on the top, there is a small opening for the secondary microphone. Also, on the front side, they took care of the receiver’s grill, and precisely covered the case around it.
But is the case Grippy enough? I would say it’s Grippy enough to hold in your hands. But it does no wonders like the V1 did. But yes, the Grip V1 went up to extreme limits while proving its name. It even held extremely while being in the pocket while the V2 is easy to put in and get out of the pocket. This new case has good enough Grip for day-to-day use – nothing more, nothing less.
Till now, we have just only talked about the exterior of the case and how it feels while using daily. And you may have a question that what else is remaining now, right? Well, on the inner side, there is a microfiber layer which would protect the back of your device from scratching up. Also, we have the dbrand logo embedded in the microfiber layer, and that’s probably my favourite part of the entire case.
I like the Grip V2 as it is, but I was more of hoping for a bumper case again. If it was a bumper case like the V1, I would’ve liked it even more. But I do understand why dbrand went with a safer approach. They wanted to fix the basics of the case with this version first before doing anything insane – like they did with the V1. And I do think they’ve nailed it. Using skins along with a case is something I love more than using any single one of them and the Grip does that extremely well for me.
So, should you buy it? The answer is simple. Yes. If you’re looking for something which would protect your device as well as look great, the dbrand Grip is currently the best option, in my opinion. Sure, there are a lot of cheaper cases out there in the market, which can offer good to great level of protection. But those cases don’t have such official unlimited customization options available. Yeah, there are case which can be pre-customised before buying. But with dbrand Grip, one can start with one case and one skin. If you get bored with that look, you can just peel it off, buy a new skin and apply that. For reference, I removed the skin just to take some shots of the back of the case. I might just buy another skin at a later stage and slap it back again.
Sure, the final decision is in the hands of the customers. If your budget is around $40 for a good case, then this won’t disappoint.