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Galaxy S4 Case Review - Spigen Neo Hybrid and Slim Armor

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creccaj #1

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Posted Aug 31 '13 @ 5:02 AM

Since the release of the Galaxy S4 there have been a plethora of cases that you could choose from to protect (or stylize) your phone.  One of my favorite companies that I is my go to for cases is Spigen.  They are usually slightly higher priced than the competition but their cases usually are built better and look better in my opinion.  I usually go caseless with my phones and right now as my phone sits on the charger next to me it is sitting here naked.  

 

Anyway, lets start:

 

Spigen Neo Hybrid Case:

 

Neo Hybrid.jpg

 

 

The Galaxy S4 Neo Hybrid is an assembly-type case with a TPU back cover and a polycarbonate frame. The Neo Hybrid is form-fitted to effectively protect your device from external impact. The Galaxy neo Hybrid is designed to highlight the curves of the Galaxy S4. It fits precisely onto the phone for a natural and sleek look. The Galaxy S4 Neo Hybrid is a 2 part case that can be dissembled into a TPU back cover and a polycarbonate frame. The Neo Hybrid uses premium TPU material for extra durability. The TPU back cover will not sag or expand due to heat from the device.

 

  • Form-Fitted
  • Hybrid Material of TPU and Polycarbonate parts
  • Interchangeable and Customizable look
  • Durable and Stylish

 

First off, I like the design of the case and I love the feel of the case on the phone.  It makes the S4 lay flat on surfaces and have a flat back all the way across the case and flat sides all around the phone as well.  If you like not having any type of curves, then this is the case for you.  It is a very light weight case and fits the phone really well.  

 

I don't see how much protection it will provide seeing that the TPU material is very VERY thin and I doubt the plastic bumper will do any protecting from a drop.  This case in my mind would be best suited for those looking at add some style to there device while protecting it from the minor bumps and nicks you would get from every day usage.  

 

One other issue I see with the case is that it will be very restrictive when it comes to 3rd party accessories like chargers and headphones.  Spigen's website does state that the hole cutout of the charger will work for the stock S4 charger but some 3rd party charges might not fit so that is something to consider.  Headphones also I can see being a problem.  If you headphones have an 90 degree angled plug in, there is a good chance that they might not fit or will be very tight when it comes to fully plugging them in.  Straight plugs that are thin should have no issue at all.  

 

The last issue that I see with this case is the volume rocker.  Maybe my case was a defective one but the TPU material has the opening for the power button and volume rocker and the plastic bumper has the buttons that fit inside the TPU openings and go up against the phone's buttons.  My problem was that you can hit below the buttons on the plastic bumper and still hit the volume rocker.  If you go to hold the case and turn the power on, I found myself hitting the volume rocker down, but not actually hitting the button on the bumper but the area below the button that seems to hit the phone's rocker even though I didn't touch the TPU's rocker. 

 

Again, this could be my case but its an issue non-the-less.

 

Overall Rating: 3.5/5 - Good style, OK protection, charger/headphone issues and volume rocker issues.

 

Spigen Slim Armor Case:

 

SlimArmor.jpg

 

 

The Slim Armor case for the Galaxy S4 is specifically designed to protect the device at all angles. The TPU case features improved shock absorption on the top, bottom, and corners to effectively protect the Galaxy S4 from external impact. Slim Armor is double layered with a TPU case and a polycarbonate hard case to provide additional protection in a form-fitted design. The polycarbonate midsection has a glossy finish and can be removed from the TPU. This allows the Slim Armor to be interchanged with different colors. The case fits precisely onto the Galaxy S4 for a natural and sleek look, and the speaker opening is specifically designed to fully utilize the speaker without reducing sound quality. The polycarbonate midsection has a glossy UV coating to prevent the colors from fading or rubbing off. Slim Armor is designed to highlight the shape and style of the Galaxy S4.

  • Slim and form-fitted to the Galaxy S4
  • Two toned colors with a glossy finish
  • TPU case layered with a polycarbonate midsection for extra durability

 

First impression I got from this case is that I would protect my phone significantly better than the Neo Hybrid case.  The TPU is much thicker and the plastic backing is more for appearances.  The S4 fits perfectly inside and does take a little working on to get into fully but that means its a very solid and well cut case.  

 

It is a very stylish case, albeit bulkier but in the end cases should be able to protect your device from drops or minor issues that would otherwise destroy your device (or your sanity).  Mind you, this is no Otterbox.  Do not go run this over with a 20 ton tractor and see if it will survive, it probably wont.  In end though, for the size of the case and protective ability that I see from the TPU material and build it should hold up to most every day problems as well as some of the tougher stuff.  

 

Saying that, it is no where near as bulky as some other cases out there.  Slim Armor does it justice.  It will protect your phone, but won't make your phone look like an Otterbox while doing it.  

 

Cutouts for headphones and chargers don't seem to be an issue when it comes to 3rd party accessories unlike the Neo Hybrid case and the power/volume keys also have no issues like the Neo Hybrid as well.  

 

Overall, this case is significantly better is almost every way over the Neo Hybrid except for bulk.  But you sacrifice bulk for style with the Neo Hybrid and for some that's fine but if you need case to protect you device, this one is your better bet.   Spigen also has a version of this case that has a built it cover that utilizes an S-View type function.  If you like having that ability with a protective case, its a great option as well.

 

Overall Rating: 4.8/5  - Good protection, bulky but not cumbersome, no issues with cutouts or button layout. 

 

Conclusion:  I believe that I will be sending back the Neo Hybrid case and keeping the Slim Armor.  Even though I prefer my phone naked, I will end up using the Slim Armor when I am going out to a bar, the gym or other places where there is a higher chance of dropping my phone and damaging it.  Below are links to the cases and where you can buy them,

 

Neo Hybrid: Spigen Official | Amazon

 

Slim Armor: Spigen Official | Amazon


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Cyber Warrior #2

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Posted Sep 28 '13 @ 12:43 PM

I just bought the Spigen Neo Hybrid and have to say that this is my all time favorite case. The main thing I like about this case is how sexy it looks, especially on the GS4. It has the aluminum look that wraps around the phone, similar to the design of the GS4 naked. The back TPU gets rid of that glossy back that comes on the GS4 so I no longer have to worry about smudges/fingerprints. One thing I've always hated about cases is that it covers up the look of the phone... you buy a nice looking phone and end up slapping some ugly case on it that takes away from the beautiful design of the phone. Thats not the case with the Spigen Neo Hybrid.. they did an amazing job at making the case look exactly like the phone, IMO.. it looks even better.

Screen Shot 2013-09-28 at 4.38.58 PM.png

 

 

Combined with the Spigen screen protector and i have the perfect combo. I've decided to go back to using screen protectors.. not because I scratch up my screen but mainly I wanted something that got rid of oily fingerprints, grease, etc.. that are almost impossible to remove without using some type of abrasive alcohol based wipe which eventually destroys your screen by removing the protective coating. So my goal was to immediately cover my brand new screen on day one and keeping the factory screen in pristine condition. Its easier to clean or replace a screen protector but replacing the actual screen of the phone.. not happening. 

 

This time around I went all out and decided to try the Spigen Glas.tR Slim which is $35.. yikes! I just installed it today along with my Spigen case and couldnt be happier. This isnt your typical cheap plastic protector.. its hard tempered glass. It went on very easy compared to the flimsy cheap ones, no air bubbles what so ever.. it practically applies by itself, no squeegeeing involved. The glass has a thickness to it but when used with the Spigen case, actually sits nice and flush. One recommendation, get the aluminum home button covers... this way the home button doesn't sink in due to the thickness of the glass. Its actually a nice addition and exactly resembles the black home button thats on the GS4 already. The screen protector does come with some jelly home button covers but IMO don't look as good.. they're a glossy plastic. Get the aluminum.. its worth it. Also, touch sensitivity works just fine btw.. no decrease in the responsiveness of the screen.. air gestures work great as well.


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pstellato921 #3

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Posted Feb 27 '14 @ 11:25 AM

I have both cases and I am partial to the Slim Armor for 2 reasons.  

 

1.  When you put the neo hybrid on its back, it is so slim it muffles the speaker too much for my taste and the slim armor has enough lift that  the sound is great coming from the speaker. 

2.  Protection.  The slim armor case protects much better than the neo.  BUT having said that, I recently dropped my S4 and it cracked the screen, but only because it fell face first and I think it hit a rock square on the screen.  The lip just wasn't high enough to stop the screen from hitting a rock as not many if any cases do.  Thank god for insurance.  

 

Just my 2 cents.  But I love the look of both of these cases.  I also like the smooth back of the slim armor and it will pair nicely with the Air Dock I am getting  (indiegogo project that is coming out soon).  It's a wireless charger for the car and has some type of surface where it sticks to the back of a smooth phone or case.  Should be getting it soon.



Cyber Warrior #4

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Posted Feb 27 '14 @ 11:44 AM

I have both cases and I am partial to the Slim Armor for 2 reasons.  
 
1.  When you put the neo hybrid on its back, it is so slim it muffles the speaker too much for my taste and the slim armor has enough lift that  the sound is great coming from the speaker. 
2.  Protection.  The slim armor case protects much better than the neo.  BUT having said that, I recently dropped my S4 and it cracked the screen, but only because it fell face first and I think it hit a rock square on the screen.  The lip just wasn't high enough to stop the screen from hitting a rock as not many if any cases do.  Thank god for insurance.  
 
Just my 2 cents.  But I love the look of both of these cases.  I also like the smooth back of the slim armor and it will pair nicely with the Air Dock I am getting  (indiegogo project that is coming out soon).  It's a wireless charger for the car and has some type of surface where it sticks to the back of a smooth phone or case.  Should be getting it soon.


Nice, haven't tried the Slim Armor yet. I'm so impressed with the Neo Hybrid, I feel like I can't go back to any other case which sucks because they only make so many for certain devices.. so I'm finding myself basing my cell phone purchases off of what Spigen has available lol. I can't picture going back to a rubber TPU case ever again. I hope Spigen expands their line one day.

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