Review: CC-3040 Protective Shell for Lumia 820

One of the interesting design languages of Nokia is their interchangeable shells for many of their Lumia devices. It all started in the early days of Windows Phone 7.5 Mango with the Lumia 710, and has since extended to the Lumia 520, 525, 620, 625, 820 and 1320.

The Lumia 820 alone has 3 different shells: the ordinary coloured shells (CC-3058), the wireless charging shells (CC-3041), and the protective shell (CC-3040). Today we’re taking a look at one particular shell: the CC-3040 Protective Shell for the Nokia Lumia 820. It’s a late review, yes, but it’s really an underrated shell that I’ve only recently discovered. And you know, better late than never.

Overview

Advantages

  • Shell is specifically designed for the Lumia 820
  • Protruding rim around the screen protects the screen from making contact with the surface when dropped
  • Several striking colours to choose from (yellow, green, orange with black rims)
  • Shell is lighter than the wireless charging shell
  • Extremely sturdy build quality, your device will definitely be protected
  • It’s not some thick, ugly strap-on cover; it’s literally the phone itself – no issues with buttons or ports

Disadvantages

  • Phone does feel a tad heavier and thicker
  • Matte back of the shell can easily be scratched
  • Shell is extremely hard to remove due to the protruding rims

Design

The CC-3040 protective shell has an extremely striking design. It comes in bright yellow, orange and green, with black rims and corners. In fact, in an online poll conducted by Nokia Conversations, the yellow/black design was voted as the most popular colour, among all the colours available (across all three types of shells).

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yellow CC-3040 (right) and white CC-3058 (left)

It’s really hard to find any flaw with the design. It’s simply beautiful. I bought a yellow one online as my normal white shell was getting mundane, plus I have a tendency to drop my phones when outdoors, so the added protection is much appreciated.

One flaw with the design is that the back, being a matte surface, can easily be scratched. I’ve only had mine for a month or two and scratches are already showing. No huge scratches to be worried about, though. But anyway this is a protective shell, so you would expect some signs of wear after facing the dangerous outdoors.

Scratches on the back
Scratches on the back

The black rims that protrude around the surface of the screen are a source of annoyance if you’re the kind of guy who likes to swap your shells often, or if you regularly swap SIM cards in and out of the device. In fact, it’s so terribly hard to remove the shell that I gave up trying to do so for this review, and the photo below was as far as I could go in removing the shell.

The worse thing is, when trying to pry off the shell with your fingernails, you end up leaving an ugly fingernail-mark on the rubberised edges.

But the difficulty in removing the shell is a worthy trade-off for the added protection of the screen.

It's terribly hard (almost impossible) to remove the shell
It’s terribly hard (almost impossible) to remove the shell

Build quality and durability

Being a shell that was designed to protect, you can expect the build quality to be superb. Well it is. The four corners of the shell are reinforced with a rubberized material, which also goes all around the front of the shell. This rubberised material even protrudes out and around the screen, which means that when placing the phone face-down on a flat surface, the screen is not in contact with the surface; the rubberised rim is. This greatly reduces the chance of a shattered screen when dropping the phone face-down.

IMG_0143
Rubber rims protruding around the edges of the screen

Personally, through the course of using my Lumia 820 with the CC-3040 shell, I’ve dropped the phone a couple of times. Just this morning someone rushed past me while I was sitting on a chair using my phone, and it flew out of my hand and lay face-flat onto the ground.

Normally, such an direct impact on the screen would’ve been disastrous, more often than not resulting in a cracked screen. But thanks to the CC-3040 shell my screen was unscathed. It’s really extremely sturdy.

Bottom line

3040 back

Well the conclusion is, I honestly don’t see why anyone with a Lumia 820 wouldn’t get the CC-3040 Protective Shell for their device. It’s stylish AND it protects your phone much better than any strap-on casing.

And yes, it is marginally heavier and bulkier, but that also means that it feels sturdier and more solid. I definitely feel more secure when using my phone outdoors now that it has the CC-3040 shell.

With the price of $35 SGD in Singapore Nokia (and some SingTel) stores, it’s a relatively good deal when you consider the fact that the normal CC-3058 shell is the same price. Or, if you’d prefer, you can order one from the UK on eBay for $22 SGD (inclusive of shipping), which is what I did.

It is definitely worth it, and even if you’re not an adventurous outdoors-y person, the added protection is a definite bonus.

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