You love the iPhone 5’s thin, sleek design. You love its refined look. You value the fact that it is even lighter than the iPhone 4S. All that being the case, why in the world would you want to add tons of extra weight and bulk to it? The short answer is, of course, you wouldn’t. Still, the iPhone 5 is a fairly delicate piece of electronics that needs to be protected. And as far too many of us have learned, the phone’s sides scratch far too easily. Enter the SPIGEN SGP Neo Hybrid EX Case for iPhone 5 and the iPhone 5 Case Linear Metal Crystal cases. Both offer style, protection and much more at a price that won’t break the bank.
In this first of two reviews we’ll take a look at the SPIGEN SGP Neo Hybrid EX Case for iPhone 5. A bumper-style case, it is just $31.99. That’s an amazing value when you consider both the quality and the inclusion of a screen protector and three button covers.
- Combination of Silicone and Polycarbonate for dual protection from drops and scratches
- Slim and form fitted to show the perfect shape of your device
- Perfect cutouts for speakers, camera and other ports
- Available in 5 colors (Black, Gray, Yellow, Green, Orange)
- Compatible with ALL versions of Apple iPhone 5 (2012 Model)
The two layers of protection combine to create a terrific level of protection that surrounds the iPhone. A soft layer inside provides bump protection while a harder outside layer reintroduces the smooth, refined feel of the iPhone 5.
Here’s a look at my iPhone 5 with the Neo Hybrid EX Case in place. As you can see it leaves the screen complete exposed but does add a layer of lay-on-the-table protection. It is definitely a great balance between minimalism and protection.
And what you can’t see is the fact that in this shot my iPhone is “wearing” a real wood back protector from Carved.com. It looked awesome.
A shot of the bottom clearly depicts the way the soft interior layer is wrapped in the smooth, hard outer layer. This image also shows what happens if you don’t take the time to slowly and carefully line up the two parts… yup, it takes some time, patience, finesse and luck to get it all lined up just right. But…
When you do line everything up properly- as I did by the time I took this shot- the case presents a nice, neat package.
I appreciate the fact that the case also includes one of SGP’s excellent screen protection films. If you want to protect your screen behind a thin layer of material that won’t add any weight the Ultra Crystal is a great choice. And since it is included with the case why wouldn’t you use it?
Rounding out the package, and adding even more value, is the inclusion of three Jelly Bean button stickers. I first encountered these button covers when I reviewed the SGP GLAS.t tempered glass screen protector. The GLAS.t was thick enough that raising up the button made sense. While you don’t need the raised button with this case and screen protector it does add visual and tactile appeal.
All in all the SPIGEN SGP Neo Hybrid EX Case for iPhone 5 is a great value for those who prefer to protect their iPhone 5 while maintaining as much of its thin profile and light weight as possible. I have always found SGP’s products to be of the highest quality and this is no exception. If you are looking to customize and “bling out” your iPhone this is not the case for you. If, however, you are looking to protect your iPhone in a rather minimalist way and you are on a budget this $32 case is a terrific option.
What I Like: Great quality; Adds two-layer bumper protection; Includes screen protection and Jelly Bean buttons; Doesn’t add significant bulk or weight
What Needs Improvement: Nothing too exciting or visually stimulating; Takes some playing around to get the two parts properly lined up
Source: Manufacturer supplied review sample