If you need protection for your Samsung Galaxy S4, and you like the look of Carbon Fiber, then the Atom S4 by Element Case may be just what you’ve been looking for. At $59.95, it comes loaded with features including reinforced corners, Element’s Sound Boost System, and an ergonomic design.
One of the Samsung Galaxy S4′s biggest flaws is that it doesn’t have the type of solid construction that inspires confidence. Sure, it’s great that the S4 is a thin and light phone — svelte, even — but the device is so slippery that it almost seems to be looking for opportunities to slide from your fingers; simply put, the S4 needs to be in case. And while it would be a shame to put such a thin and light phone inside a heavy or bulky case, the good news is that there are options available.
The Element Case Atom for the Samsung Galaxy S4 is made of impact resistant TPU; the case is a semi-flexible shell design that is lightweight and yet fully quite protective.
- Polycarbonate reinforced corners
- Carbon fiber protective back plate
- Integrated buttons
- High Impact TPU chassis
- SBS – Sound Boost System (Patent Pending)
- Ultra slim & ergonomic design
- Designed in California
- Lanyard included
The Atom S4 is available in flexible Black TPU with black accents on the corners and button covers, black TPU with lime accents, or gray TPU with lime accents –which is the case style I was sent. The Atom S4 has a carbon fiber protective back plate “for added protection and rigidity”; I think that, above and beyond any protection if might afford, the carbon fiber adds visual interest to what might otherwise be a rather boring style.
Of course, the addition of the lime green corners and button covers definitely helps brighten the case; the effect is sporty and fun, without being obnoxious.
The three openings that you can see in the pictures above and below are Element Case’s new proprietary SBS (Sound Boost System) “that channels sound waves from the rear facing speaker and directs them to the front of the case, while amplifying the levels.” As I mentioned in my review of the Element Case Eclipse S4, this method really does work. Like so many phones, the Samsung S4 has a rear external speaker. It works well enough, but when you are playing games or watching videos, it is much more preferable for the sound to be directed directly at you, rather than away from you. (That’s something that HTC definitely nailed in the design of the HTC One, by the way.)
The Atom S4 has an extended lip that surrounds the phone’s screen, so there is excellent screen protection should you lay the phone down on its face; the case comes over the screen’s sides just a little bit, and it might not be enough to interfere with a screen protector if you have one installed.
As you likely noticed in one of the earlier above pictures, there is a lanyard included in the Atom S4′s box; it attaches on the left side of the case, and I really like the option of being able to use a wrist lanyard. Lanyards are an underrated feature, but when you are using your mobile as your camera, it just seems like a natural addition to have, as it makes keeping track of (and not losing) your phone that much easier.
The Element Case Atom S4 is simple to install and remove from the Samsung Galaxy S4; it is a flexible, shock-resistant, and protective case that manages to not look too utilitarian and doesn’t add too much bulk or weight. If you have been looking for a protective and reasonably priced case that doesn’t look like every other rubberized case available and that adds a bit of a sound boost for your gaming and listening enjoyment, then this will be the case for you.
The Element Case Atom for the Samsung Galaxy S4 is available directly from the manufacturer.
What I Like: Easy to install and remove; protects all sides of the S4 and includes face-down screen protection; the carbon fiber back panel makes the case look unique; included wrist lanyard; amplified sound through the proprietary Sound Boost System
What Needs Improvement: Nothing — the case works as advertised
Source: Manufacturer supplied review sample