Toast Skins Review: A Genuinely Radical Change in Design

Toast Skins Review: A Genuinely Radical Change in Design

While Android is all about customization of software in the inside, various companies and their products allow you to customize the outside hardware. From cases to skins, your options grow by the day, but a quick glance at the bigger alternatives reveal just how samey they are.

note5wooodThis is where Toast comes in: the company offers original skins that do not look, feel or smell (yes, smell!) like the vinyl of the competition. Their specialty is genuine materials – wood, leather – and they are handcrafted to perfectly fit your phone and give it an extra sense of style and durability (especially if yours has a glass back, like mine). The first thing you’ll notice about Toast skins is that they come in a “onesie” package — that is, the whole skin, including sides, is one piece. While an odd strategy if you are used to other brands, it allows the phone to be fully wrapped up, seamlessly and with no gaps.

The skin achieves this with folds shown as vertical lines spanning across the back of the phone. Some skins also contain hypnotizing patterns carved into the wood, making the back even more alluring. This is actually part of the appeal — it gives your device an unconventional look and feel that is rather interesting, something you don’t see everyday. Buttons and SIM trays require extra pieces, as does the front, but overall the process is more straightforward than with other skins.

The result is, basically, a new phone. We tried this skin on both a Note5 and a Nexus 6P, and while other skins merely alter the color palette or texture, these alter the actual design of the phone in a way that makes it look like more than just a skin, and like a limited edition of sorts. Our skins also have an XDA logo in the back, one in ash wood for added contrast. You can add text on your skins too, allowing for extra expression.

notesideApplying these skins is not too complicated; I typically find that process to be one of the more stressful parts about every new skin, but Toast’s onesie design made it slightly easier to set up, as I mostly had to focus on the back’s alignment. That being said, this is an expensive skin, and definitely more premium than other ones out there, so you want to have a hair dryer handy and be as careful and patient as possible during the application. Getting the perfect fit is a little tough, and the sides can easily break, so apply it with nerves of steel.

The pictures speak for themselves, and these are beautiful skins that feel and smell like real wood. If you follow my articles (or my twitter), you might have seen a few skins on my phones from time to time (mostly wood and leather). Other skins can’t shake off the faux feeling, even when they get close. Toast offers the real thing, and while it’s a premium price to pay with a minimum of $29, the quality is above everything I’ve tried.

Some skins for some models can get really expensive, however, so ultimately it’s a purchase you must think through… especially if you have shaky hands. But at the end of the day, it looks original and unique, and not like just a skin. If you want to try a radically new design for your phone, Toast can make it happen.

You can get Toast skins for various popular phones including the OnePlus One, Nexus 6, Note 4 & Note5, but also gaming consoles and Chromebooks, Macbooks and Surface Books.

About author

Mario Tomás Serrafero
Mario Tomás Serrafero

Mario developed his love for technology in Argentina, where a flagship smartphone costs a few months of salary. Forced to maximize whatever device he could get, he came to know and love XDA. Quantifying smartphone metrics and creating benchmarks are his favorite hobbies. Mario holds a Bachelor's in Mathematics and currently spends most of his time classifying cat and dog pictures as a Data Science graduate student.