The Sony Xperia Z1 is a lovely phone with many fine features, but for those of us who don’t live in a padded room and have hands made of foam, it’s a little easy to scratch. For those of us who are clumsy and spend a bit of time outside, a durable case is required and that is where the Ballistic shell gel case comes in. It is a case in two parts, the inner silicon sleeve fits nicely around the phone and has enlarged corners for extra shock protection and it also makes it nicer to hold, and an outer hard plastic case which adds the final layer of protection.
Once in the case, the phone feels well protected and is much easier to get a grip of, it will survive almost any fall out of your hand; unless you are unlucky enough that the screen lands on a pointy stone. There are covers over the power volume and camera buttons which work very well. Actually the different button height between the power and volume buttons make the phone easier to use than without a case. There are also descent cut outs for the USB door, 3.5mm jack and all the speakers
There are a couple of negative points, however. The first may not be an issue unless you use the magnetic charger (but why wouldn’t you? who want to open that little hatch every night). There is no cut out to allow access to the docking port. I was able to fix this with with a scalpel and a Dremel without too much bother, but it seems a silly omission. The other negative is slightly more important. I have noticed a slight drop in signal strength when the phone is in the case. Nothing disastrous, one or two bars perhaps, but it is annoying to go from marginal signal to no signal.
But I would definitely recommend this case to anyone looking to protect their lovely Z1 from the the hard realities of the world. It is avalible from the nice people at Mobilefun