Toast has been working for a few years making natural-wood skins for our beloved devices, from phones to tablets to computers. I remember the company’s beginning and huge rise around the Nexus 5-era, receiving them huge press from phone enthusiasts everywhere. Last year’s Nexus 6 didn’t make as such a huge splash with Toast skins, but this year something emerged. Maybe thanks to the beautiful design of the two newest Nexus devices, but with the Nexus 6P, Toast found it’s next ‘goldmine’ device to skin.
The Nexus 6P was unveiled and quickly grabbed the hearts of the Android enthusiast community, so Toast took the opportunity to promote and tease their wood skins for the device, and everyone couldn’t wait to get their hands on them — I also had to get in on the action, after taking a break from wood on my devices.
Now before I start talking about the skin itself I want to reflect on the company. Toast happens to be an American company residing in the ‘Weird City’ of Portland, OR. They started in early 2012 and have maintained their close-knit company of having only 10 employees. Toast also uses renewable energy to make all their products and even donates some of their annual sales to charities.
There’s a main difference between cases and skins, and simply put: cases are removable and are widely varied; skins are semi-permanent and are usually thin and add a specific texture, color, or design to the main form of a phone. Also, cases are often made for protection while skins are almost solely for style. Toast skins are a little thicker than normal skins, due to the company using actual wood for the material, but I’ll go over that later.
With everything else out of the way let’s talk about this skin that I received for my spoiled Nexus 6P. As far as the type of wood that I chose for my skin, they were Bamboo for the main back piece and Walnut for the side buttons and back glass piece. These pieces looked exactly as if I were to take bark from a tree and slap it on my phone — that most likely due to the fact that this is real wood. With it being real wood you can expect that no two skins will look exactly alike, even if they are the same type, especially after aging and weathering.
With these skins, you can feel a unique texture that actually resembles wood. It doesn’t feel glossy or like plastic, it kinda almost makes me feel like I could get a splinter using, but not in a dangerous way. Also, you’ll notice that Toast had added some distinguishable lines to their skins, which (if lined up correctly) add a sort of shape to your device, knowing and seeing where the curves and corners are. I think of these as additions to the overall design and not detractions for your eyes.
The cutouts for various parts of this skin are almost perfect as well, especially when concerning the rear camera and fingerprint sensor. The charging port and the headphones jack were left with a little bit of area around the port where you can see your device, I can see some people nitpicking this since you’d still be able to slightly scratch up your device by accident. Darn nitpickers.
When you first apply the Toast skin to your device you’ll notice that it is quite a bit thicker that other skins out there, it’s around the size of a very thin case. This can be seen as good and bad for consumers. Bad in the sense that it is technically a size increase, so minimalist won’t be in favor of it, but good that it can provide a little more protection to your device, even if that’s not its primary purpose.
I also didn’t receive the front skin for my phone (I don’t like how it doesn’t blend in with the screen), so I can’t comment on how that piece connects with the back piece. In the old days, there was a hairline thickness between the side and back pieces, but this new model has them in a unibody fashion. The unibody back piece makes installation tons easier. The back camera glass piece also almost snaps into place with the back piece which helps with installations as well.
You’ll also want to be careful with applying this skin, as you don’t get too many chances to mess up. Pretty much you only get one chance to put the skin on the device and then it’s on their for good so take your time. Mine was slightly askew but I was able to shimmy it into place. If you do a terrible job though and end up completely wrecking your skin, Toast (being awesome) has a one-time ‘butterfingers’ policy in which they’ll replace and send you out another skin free of charge. Again though, be careful and patient.
The packaging for the skin is very nifty but can be detrimental if you aren’t careful. There are 3 zip-ties on the skin to hold it in place of its pamphlet holder, and if you don’t see them you can rip your skin. That pamphlet also has your instructions on it so don’t just throw it away afterwards — unless you want to watch my video for help :).
Within the package you’ll receive: the aforementioned back/side piece, back camera glass piece, pamphlet, and a baggie with your buttons and an alcohol swab for cleansing. If you order the front piece that also a separate piece.
Along with phones, Toast also makes skins for tablets, computers, and gaming consoles, so you can Toast any of your most delicate devices. You can even customize them more with text and images. As you can see in the pictures above I chose a stock graphic and the name of a side project I started before joining the iTechTriad team. I’ve seen a lot of others put the Nexus logo on the back of their skin which looks dope as well.
As with any products, device or accessory, one major component to worry about is how much will it eat from your wallet. Toast skins happen to be more expensive than other skins since they include more unique, delicate, and premium materials. In general skins from the company start as low as $29, but the Nexus 6P (being newer of course) starts at $34. Also, additions such as customer texts, etchings, or the front panel will add to that price tag. With that starting price, at least you are getting almost a fully covered device, other company will charge you per back, side, button etc. pieces.
To conclude this review, I’d like to reiterate that Toast is a wonderful company, not only because of their beautiful product but also due to their family of employees and what they do to contribute to others. Although the cost may be a bit higher than other skins, the skin is totally worth it if you like the natural wood look on your devices. I get more compliment and questions when I have a Toast-ed device than with any other case or skin. If you’ve like what you’ve seen here, be sure to hit up Toast from the link below and let ‘em know that iTechTriad sent ya!Nexus 6P cover from Toast