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HTC Source | December 14, 2017

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HTC One M8 clear Speck GemShell case review

HTC One M8 clear Speck GemShell case review

The HTC One M8 is a beautiful piece of aluminum metal. This phone deserves to bare it all in the spotlight, but like many, the desire to preserve an expensive, pocket-sized, multi-tasking piece of artwork outweighs the option to show it off – so a case gets slapped on it like the President and the Secret Service. HTC products have such high marks when it comes to build quality, but it comes with a double-edge blade since a single drop on the right surface could scuff up the phone leaving permanent scars.

There are a number of companies with cases on the market that offer varying levels of protection and style. Speck is a well-known maker of cases for all sorts of portable devices. In fact, I had a Speck case for my original Microsoft Zune, so it comes to no surprise that they have a handful of options for the HTC One M8. One case in particular is the clear Speck GemShell case which provides some protection from our own destruction and also holds the curtain back from hiding the trademark design that HTC is so well known for.

Price: $30.84


Have you ever heard women say they have a dress for every occasion or someone that loves shoes say they have a pair of shoes for every occasion? The clear GemShell case by Speck is like going for a night out on the town with out any clothes on at all. While some might have a smartphone case for every occasion, this case is so discrete it’s like it’s not even there; visually. Though I would rank this case as a low medium thickness it still adds a noticeable bulk while in the hand.

Speck’s GemShell case covers the back and sides of the HTC One M8 with openings for the two rear cameras, camera flash, microphone, headphone port, USB port, and power button/IR blaster. I’d say the open area around the main rear camera is like a big window with enough space to let the flash and lens breathe freely. The front edges of the phone are also protected by the case, because the phone’s bezzle is what actually locks the phone snug inside the case. The HTC One M8 fits easily inside the case and is one of the easier cases I’ve taken off of the HTC One M8. It peels off easily around the corners.

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The GemShell case will provide a fair amount of protection on the back side if dropped, but will probably not do well against pointed objects or bullets. And for obvious reasons, the case will leave the screen defending itself against any damage during a fall. If you like to set your phone to rest face down, this case will at least keep the screen from touching the flat surface thanks to the rounded edges that wrap slightly around the front of the phone.


I really appreciate the raised area that covers the volume rocker, because it makes the up and down controls more obvious for me. When you press up or down on the rocker you hear a tiny click so you know that it registered and you should expect to hear the volume level adjust appropriately. Some people change cases depending on the mood they are in, this clear case gives the user more opportunities to show of the beautiful design by HTC and is in my opinion, perfect for all occasions.

Final Verdict

I’m not sure if there is a reason for it, but Speck used a black border as the frame for that window I described earlier that surrounds the main camera lens. It is the most noticeable part of the of the clear case and is my only negative mark against this Speck made case.

The Speck Clear GemShell case is ideal for those of us who don’t want to conceal the shiny metal body and brand that we love so much, because it offers a thin rubber protective barrier with a see-through texture that doesn’t get in the way of phone’s remarkable build and design quality.

As you may have noticed in some of the pictures, one of the HTC One M8’s in my household (mine) has a blue protective skin around it. Sorry if it distracted you from the review of this clear GemShell case by Speck and I’ll be covering that protective barrier in the near future so stay tuned.

About Andy Medders

With over a decade of IT experience working in and for the US Army, Andy has helped implement pilot programs using Android devices at work and helps others learn how to turn a smartphone into a tool for getting things done. He started a blog about HTC as an outlet to share HTC news without spamming his friends on common social networks, but decided to combine forces with HTCSource to have more of an impact on the HTC community. Andy has had an HTC in his pocket since the days of the T-Mobile MDA.


  1. Zoltan

    I know it’s not difficult to Google the case for price and availability.
    A link would be helpful for us lazy folks. 🙂
    Cheers M8

    • andymedders

      You’re right and I completely forgot to add one! Thanks for keeping me straight and thanks to Nick for adding one for everyone’s sake.

  2. Dasco

    Looks pretty good to me.

  3. Jesus Partida

    Looks nice!

  4. beberobu

    I like that is gratis!

  5. Mathew Sheldon

    This case looks great! I love the design and appeal of the M8 but the case that I have right now hides it all. This would be a great case to have instead of my current one that hides the features and case that HTC has designed.

  6. Lawrence Millinchamp

    This is the perfect fit, look, abs accessory needed to show off my fantastic #HTCONEM8!

  7. Guest

    Perfect for thh HTC One M8

  8. JW Wong

    Perfect for the HTC One M8

  9. Amit Shah

    Looks like a great case for the M8

  10. It looks really good and everyone can show the beautiful backcover of the M8 to people. 🙂

  11. B.

    looks awesome

  12. Kwadwo Boadu

    To use the old cliche, it does exactly what it says on the tin. Protects the phone while keeping it looking good.

  13. William Chan

    looks cool

  14. Robert Davis

    Like the idea of showing off the true beauty of the HTC ONE M8!