Where to get cheap crystal cases at Toronto’s Pacific Mall.

If you’ve been following this blog for any length of time you’ll know that I’m a big, big fan of the cheap crystal case. The idea of a hard plastic shell giving its life for your mobile phone as it smashes to the ground is quite simply the stuff of genius.

Crystal cases are all over eBay, but if you live in or near Toronto and don’t want to wait for an order to be shipped from Hong Kong or the UK there are now two shops at Pacific Mall selling them for reasonable prices.

Square Mobile, Inc.

(Somebody needs a website…)

Square Mobile has hands down the best deal on cases — $5 each, no haggling required. They’re located on the aisle against the east wall of the building, near the north end.

Communication Store

Gotta hand it to the Communication Store for deviously snagging PacificMall.mobi as their URL. Their cases are offered at $10 each — a bit of a rip-off, but even a pasty white guy like yours truly can negotiate a lower price per case if more than one is purchased. They’re located on the same aisle, just a couple of stores south.

Please note that I’m not getting any special consideration from either of these vendors; I’m merely pointing them out as a public service to you. I still see a fair number of people wandering around Pacific Mall looking like they’re lost and/or overwhelmed — if you’d like me to demystify Pacific Mall any further by all means let me know!

Case Study: Vaja vs. Crystal

Last summer when I bought my E61i I knew it would need protection against the rigors of everyday use. So I spared no expense and ordered a custom-made handcrafted leather case from Vaja, based on the company’s excellent reputation and some pretty alluring photos. It’s a shame I didn’t read this first.

As this first photo (kind of) shows, the Vaja’s hard, plastic screen protector has gotten so scratched up after only a few months use that it’s interfering with the readability of my Nokia’s screen. This, combined with the growing realization that one’s mobile should best be hidden from view (instead of gaudily hanging from one’s belt or messenger bag for all to see) got me thinking about something better.

As I live only a few short blocks away from Toronto’s Chinatown I often seen these cheap, “crystal” hard plastic cases for phones — nobody in town seems to stock them for the E61i, but I found a dealer on eBay who offers them so cheap that I ordered two. And as you can see here, they look awesome!

I realize that I’m contributing to global warming by supporting non-recyclable plastic made in some third-world sweatshop, but at least I didn’t kill a cow! The hard plastic is not only more durable than the Vaja screen protector, but I swear there’s some kind of ultra-violet coating on it — my screen has never seemed so vibrant and sharp!

Another benefit is that all four corners of my Nokia are protected in case of a fall, though I’ve heard from other crystal case users that the two halves of the case usually shatter apart upon impact, so you’ll want to make sure you catch your phone on the first bounce!

All in all, for $2 CAD plus shipping you can’t really go wrong with one of these babies, unless your mobile has moving parts (i.e. it’s a clamshell or slider), though apparently you can buy crystal cases for those too…