Customizing something as personal as your smartphone, tablet, or laptop is always fun and allows you to express your unique personality. There are lots of different ways to go about this, from buying uniquely shaped devices to covering them up with a cool case or skin. But what if you were into natural elements? What if you wanted to cover your device in real wood?
That’s exactly the thought process behind Toast, a company that’s been around for quite some time. It specializes in creating wooden skins for your phone, laptop, and tablet that add a unique aesthetic and natural appearance. The company reached out and offered us a skin to try out, so I took them up on it and have tested their skins using an LG V30. Here are my thoughts.
After arriving at my doorstep, the first step was to install the skin. It didn’t take me very long as the instructions provided in the packaging are clear and concise. You just have to be careful how you line it up with your device, but that’s to be expected since you don’t wanna cover any microphones, ports, or speakers.
With the actual skin, you’re also sent a cover for the bezels that surround your screen. You also get covers for the camera housing, volume buttons, power button, and SIM tray. You’ll want to be extra careful since these parts are super small, super sticky, and super easy to lose track of, especially if you perform the operation on a wooden desk like I did.
Overall, I had no problems with installation. If you do manage to fumble, however, Toast has a Butterfingers policy where they’ll give you a replacement skin for free in case you misalign something. The company will determine whether you’re worthy of a replacement skin, mind you, so that people don’t abuse the system. Regardless, if you manage to screw up, Toast has your back.
Look and Feel
After getting the skin and all its components attached to my V30, I was immediately taken away by the clean and minimal nature of the cover. It gives off this sort of rustic, natural, and classy aesthetic that’s eye-catching, unique, and stunning to behold.
For my review, I opted for the Albany wooden finish with Ebony accents. I asked if they could engrave the Matridox Parahex logo, and they said yes. This isn’t a press thing, mind you, as they’ll engrave any image you give them for a small fee. I’ve gotta say, the Parahex looks absolutely sick engraved in wood, and I’m glad I chose it.
It’s also worth noting that since the wood is so thin, wireless charging still works. I was able to confirm this with my V30. So in case you were worried it might block the feature, don’t be; you’re good.
Of course, this is actual wood we’re dealing with here. If you’re going to buy this skin for your device, you’re gonna have to be okay with handling a wooden phone every day. At times, it can be a bit uncomfortable, but you’ll probably get used to it over time.
Here’s something else you’ll need to get used to: the smell. Every time I pick up my phone, I’m greeted by a whiff of the lumber department at Home Depot. The scent is really strong, and it tends to rub off onto your hands. I’ve asked Toast whether the scent diminishes a bit over a longer period of use, and I’ll let you know when I hear back. Just know that after unwrapping your Toast and using it for a few days, the smell won’t be going anywhere.
A specific reason why many people buy skins for their phones is to protect their investments. You don’t get the same rugged protection like you would with a case, but skins do give you protection against scratches and scuffs. In the world we live in today where virtually every phone is glass, this type of protection is almost a necessity.
With a Toast skin, you get that same level of protection. The cover comes with a 3M adhesive that’s strong and durable and should stay on your device for years to come.
However, I can’t say the same for the adhesives on the corners. As I was reviewing the Toast cover I had made for my OnePlus 6T, I noticed it began chipping and peeling off, all while I used my phone like I normally do. The corners also manage to attract a ton of dust and pocket lint which, to be honest, annoys me tremendously.
Toast does acknowledge its skins can pick up unwanted debris, but the company says that should stop after a few days. During my usage, I never experienced a day where I wasn’t wiping off my phone. Take it how you wish, but at least in my experience, the corners and sides of the covers are not nearly as durable as the back side.
If you don’t want your Toast cover on your phone anymore, removing it can be a bit of a hassle. I had to take mine off from my OnePlus 6T, and the process took a little while. Toast says you can heat up the adhesive with a hair dryer set on low, but I chose to do it the hard way and just rip it off like they do in their video demonstration. I managed to keep the backside in one piece, but the sides and corners tore off incredibly easily.
Afterward, the skin left some residue which can be easily rubbed off. Unfortunately, though, if you change your mind, there is no re-installing the cover. Once you made up your mind, that’s it. You’ll have to order another one.
All in all, for those who want something different from their next phone skin, Toast should be considered. It’s a little finicky, it might not be as durable as you want, and boy are you gonna smell like a construction worker. But looking past that, Toast provides some really cool-looking customization options for your phone, tablet, and laptop that not many others offer.
Do I recommend them? Yes. They’re offering something that can achieve a look many have dreamed of. It’s not the perfect product, but achieving perfection is impossible anyway. If you want one, I think you should buy it. You’ll be pleased.