Tag Archives: Case

Review: Spigen SGP Neo Hybrid 2S Pastel Series for iPhone 4/4S



Company – Spigen SGP

Product – SGP Neo Hybrid 2S Pastel Series

Price – $31.99

Spigen SGP has done an excellent job of taking the time to make their packaging of their products look just as good as the product itself. When you receive the product, you feel like you are purchasing something of premium quality. Included with the case is a Steinheil Ultra Crystal front LCD screen shield as well as an Ultra Crystal back shield and a Micro Fiber fabric cleaning cloth. As with all products from SGP you receive the warranty card which includes a serial number for your product that you can register on their site which can be used for warranty purposes if required. It is available in 8 different color options, five being solid colors with both the inner and outer pieces being the same color and three of them having a white outer frame. They have gone even a step further recently and are now offering the option to purchase either the inner silicon shell or outer polycarbonate shell in a variety of colors so you can mix and match to your preference. Keep in mind that purchasing the two pieces individually will not include the front and rear screen shields.

   The design of this case is very similar to that of Apple’s bumper case that they offer for the iPhone. Well Apple’s case is a one-piece molded plastic and rubber design, this case features a two-piece design; the first being a silicone enter followed by a poly carbonate outer shell that holds the two pieces together firmly. Well some may view this as a minimalist approach to protection, someone to be able to still enjoy the beauty of the phone well protecting it at the same time. The Neo Hybrid 2S does just that. It is very comfortable to hold in the hand and found myself many times forgetting that I even had a case on at all. The inclusion of a front and rear shield also allows you to protect as well as show off the beautiful design of the phone.

   It features precise cut outs for the dock connector as well as the sleep wake button, headphone jack, speaker and microphone. One issue I had in regards to the cutout was that the headphone jack was too small for my L-shaped Beats Solo headphone connector. I was disappointed that I was unable to use the headphones in conjunction with this case as I use these headphones on a daily basis with my iPhone. I would have liked to have seen a larger cut out to be able to accommodate all headphone jack sizes. The inner silicon provides a raised lip on both the front and back all around for a nice lay on the table design silicon/polycarbonate combination will provide some shock protection from drops that could happen should it hit the corner, but will not provide protection from cracking the glass on the front or back, the inclusion of the front and back shields protect from scruffs and scratches from every day use. To some, this may be looked at as a deciding factor on whether or not to purchase, but by them including a front and rear screen shield, it should help ease your mind.

Aside from the headphone jack cutout not being large enough, I had nothing but a positive experience using this case. Using this on a typical day-to-day use, I had no worry that I was going to damage my phone, which in the case of it hitting the floor and shattering the screen, but not many cases will protect from that. Spigen SGP has done an excellent job creating a quality product as well as including extras and providing different color options for an overall great user experience.

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iPhone 5 Rumour Roundup – My thoughts on Apple’s next smartphone



It seems the the past few weeks have been filled with leak after leak of alleged parts for Apple’s upcoming  ‘iPhone 5’ with the latest photo leaking being that of a new USB cable to 8/9 pin dock connector. Whether all of these leaks are real or not are up for debate but let me give you my thought on the current situation.

Design

9to5mac reported a few weeks back what are to be leaked images of the upcoming iPhone 5 casing. It is featured to have an aluminum backing, smaller dock connector as well as the headphone jack moved to the bottom of the phone. While the image looks real, and I hope it is, i’m not holding my breath.

4″ Display

The only thing I think that’s safe to assume is that the next iPhone will include a new, larger 4 inch display: a much needed upgrade from their current 3.5″ retina display.  The iOS 6 beta has revealed in its code as well to support automatic upscaling to a larger 640 x 1136 from 640 x 960.

 

LTE/ 4G Radio

This is looking like a real possibility as the amount of LTE towers is rapidly increasing across North America, I think the only thing that would hold Apple back from including it would be its ability to get the battery life optimized to what is acceptable for them to release in a phone. Current generation smartphones that are LTE equipped notice a much faster drain than HSPA+ speeds. This is common sense, but Apple being the way they are, if it isn’t perfect, they wont include it.

Battery

The current iPhone 4S is equipped with a 1430 mAh battery. Recently leaked images(source: 9to5mac.com) of a what is proposed to be the new battery, features a slightly larger 1440 mAh battery. How much of a difference a 10 mAh increment will make doesn’t seem like a lot in my opinion.

Processor/RAM

Recent leaks of the proposed motherboard have suggested that Apple will include the A5X dual-core cpu that is in the current 3rd generation iPad. While these are merely a speculation, I would take this one with a grain of salt. It also has been rumored to include 1 gigabyte of RAM – this one as well is nothing more than speculation and is good as anyone’s guess. My thoughts are that this will be the minimum Apple will include their next generation iPhone.

 

Front/Rear Camera

Leaks of the proposed front panel show that the camera has been moved to the centre, just above the earpiece. Apple’s current generation iPhone 4S includes a VGA camera which I think will be upgraded to something that will be able to support HD FaceTime. Apple kept the same VGA camera in the front since the iPhone 4 and makes sense for them to upgrade as they are focusing on advertising FaceTime more than ever with iOS 6 including the ability to FaceTime over wireless. This may or may not have an impact on the camera they choose. They may limit the camera to VGA over FaceTime to improve quality in slower connection areas and enable HD for when connected to WIFI.

The rear camera is anyones guess. I wouldn’t be surprised if they kept the same, 8-Megapixel camera that is on the iPhone 4S, with possibly some more advancements done to it. In my opinion there isn’t really a need to go above the 8MP and would be better to improve on what they already have done a great job with.

 

NFC

Prior to the iOS 6 announcement, I would have bet that this would for sure be included. When they announced Passbook and how it is mainly barcode based, I’m not so sure. Other than using it as a payment system, such as what Google Wallet has done, I don’t see a big use. Android has their NFC share option called ‘Android Beam’, and is nothing more than a fun gimmick in my opinion, I don’t think Google Wallet has taken off to what it had hopes of.  Take this along with the fact that many businesses still aren’t PayPass/touch pay enabled, I don’t see Apple rushing into including this. They don’t look to be interested in the mobile payment game when it comes to using your credit card for making payments, and more for storing gift cards, movie tickets, sporting events etc. As of writing this, I don’t think Apple will be including NFC in its next iPhone.

Storage

16/32/64 GB are the current options. Will they be including a 128GB option for the iPhone 5? Who knows, but what I am confident of is that the 3 current options will be available.

Final Thoughts

As many leaks as there has been, and while its entirely possible, I find it extremely hard to believe all the parts all real. Has Apple, the king of secrecy, lost its touch? At this point, almost the entire phone’s parts have been leaks and while I understand the theory of ‘controlled’ leaks as well as the fact that a lot of parts are made by third party manufacturers, I don’t believe Apple believes in it. Why not? Because they don’t have to. They know the hype that is self-built around their products and as a suggested release date nears, the amount of fake parts manufactured spring out left and right. Yes, I understand the iPhone 4 was found in its whole, prototype form, but this was merely an employee mistake. While the odds are good that a lot of these parts will end up being real, don’t be surprised if its entirely different. If I know Apple, I wont be.

 

Feel free to share your own thoughts and comments and please, respect others opinions.

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Review: Spigen SGP Neo Hybrid for Samsung Galaxy Nexus


  • Company – Spigen SGP
  • Product Name – Spigen SGP Neo Hybrid
  • Price – $24.99  Currently on sale for $13.99 (8/23)
  • Website – www.spigen.com

So you’ve bought your new Galaxy Nexus and want to protect it from nicks and scratches without sacrificing size? There are many different options out there, so today I’m going to give you my review of the SGP Neo Hybrid.

The Spigen SGP Neo Hybrid, a case retailing for $24.99, is available in 5 different colours. I was very excited to receive this case but was a bit disappointed to find that they didn’t include a screen shield; something that they are known for having the best of. I would have been willing even to spend a few dollars more for them to include one.

The Neo Hybrid, a two piece case, is composed of a soft silicon shell inner and a hard polycarbonate frame outer. The inner is made of a nice and smooth silicon which doesn’t pick up any lint or dust, unlike other gummy silicon out there that pick up everything. It is smooth but still provides some grip so it doesn’t slip out of your hand. The inner shell has both hard rubber covers for the volume up/down as well as the power button. The outer frame, has cutouts for the headphone jack as well as the micro USB charger. There are various cutouts for things suck as the microphone/camera and secondary mic. I was very impressed with how precise the cutouts were as well as how form-fitting this case is. There is no movement and the phone sits tight and secure inside thanks to several small notches that securely fasten the outer shell to the inner. Due to this design, the case is virtually an exact fit. There is no movement and the phone sits securely inside. I found that the cutout for the USB charger is almost flush when plugged in and you need to use a little force to push it in all the way. Nothing big enough to consider a negative.

Using this case on an every day basis has been nothing but a positive experience. I am able to slide the phone in and out of my pocket with ease and is very comfortable to hold in your hand. There is a raised  silicon lip around the frame which allows you to lay the phone face down as well as a slightly raised lip around the camera cutout – something you need to worry about if you’re not using a case. I didn’t take any more special case while using the phone than I normally would and after a few months, the case has held up extraordinarily. In and out of the pocket, sliding into the car upholder, onto the table and it with a quick wipe, there isn’t a scratch on the case – it looks as good as the day I bought. The polycarbonate shell was a concern when I bought it as past experiences with cases like this have resulted in the case looking very beat up.

So ff you’ve just purchased your Galaxy Nexus and are looking for the very best – look no further. Other than the fact that they didn’t include a screen shield, which I don’t think should be a deal breaker – I can’t find anything bad to say about this case. This is going to continue to be my every day protection until something can top it.

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Agent 18 Limited Edition Digital Plaid for iPhone 3G/3GS


The Agent 18 Limited Edition Digital Plaid($29.95 @ http://www.agent18.com) is one of the newest cases to their limited edition lineup.  Agent 18 was kind enough to send me one for review and have had a good chance to test it out.

I was really impressed with the presentation of the product. They have taken an Apple-esque approach in how they package everything. Inside you get the following:

limited edition case

table stand

protective Shield

I really like that they included a table stand as it comes in handy when your watching movies, browsing on Safari/Twitter/Facebook, or just having your phone upright so you can see notifications.  Unfortunately, the way it’s designed you can only charge/sync your phone in the horizontal position while using the table stand.

The case itself is a hard plastic shell that snaps in just like other snap on cases. Being a hard plastic shell, it doesn’t offer any shock protection against falls. It has a soft touch finish which they don’t indicate on their website, so I was surprised and excited to find out that it was as I love the soft touch feel. The benefit to the soft touch cases is that it gives you that added grip and sense of security when holding your phone. I had no issues taking the phone in and out of the pocket with the case on and is not tacky as to attract lint or dust. The case was a bit of a tighter fit to install as well as remove, maybe due to being a thicker hard plastic unlike the Incipio Feather or Switcheasy Nude. but  in no means though is this case thick. I found the tight fit to keep dust from getting in the back, which usually happens with most cases regardless of the design. I have mixed thoughts about the protection. Unlike the Feather and the NUDE, this case offers slightly raised lip for a lay on the table design. The chrome bezel is still exposed, but having that lip allows for you to place it face down on the table worry free.  The bottom is completely open as well as the side for the volume/rocker panel. I wish they had made a cutout instead of leaving the side open entirely to protect the chrome a bit more. It does however provide 100% access to the buttons so there were no issues there. The power button as well as the headphone jack have generous cutouts so I had no issues with different headphone plugs.

Overall, this case is designed with moderate protection in mind, protecting you from basic bumps and scratches on the back and sides. I really liked that they included the raised lip but felt that if they would have made a cutout for the rocker/volume, it would have made it better. Having the soft touch finish made for a comfortable use and didn’t feel bulky in any way. If you’re looking for a case similar to the Incipio Feather or the Switcheasy NUDE, but want a little more that just a different color, this case is for you. They offer a variety of different designs and remember, be sure to grab one of these quick, as they’re limited!

COUPON CODE: A18Aut ( I will take this down once it is no longer valid)

Agent 18 has also given a coupon code for you readers for 15% off any purchase of $10 or more. This coupon code cannot be combine with any other code or offer!

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Switcheasy NUDE for iPhone 3G/3GS


The Switcheasy NUDE(available at switcheasy.com for $19.99) first show at CES 2010, is one of Switcheasy’s newest cases. It comes in a total of 6 different colors. I ordered this case from Switcheasy and while the shipping to Canada was a week, it was definitely worth it! Let’s start with whats inside. Switcheasy has been known for including “everything but the kitchen sink” and while the NUDE doesn’t include the typical things, they still give you some extras. They have included 2 screen shields, a squeegee and microfiber cloth, which I think show’s that a company really cares about the consumer.

The design of the case is very similar to other cases such as the Incipio Feather, Power Support Air Jacket and others. The difference however, is that Switcheasy has raised the bar. They start by making this case so thin that truly feels like there’s nothing on the phone.  This is the thinnest snap on case on the market right now(0.8mm) and you can definitely tell. I have a white iPhone, so I opted for the white and the two colors match up so closely at times I really forget there’s a case on here.

Where the case excels in size, it lacks in protection. This case offers the most minimal protection. The bottom, side volume/vibrate button’s and top of the chrome bezel are exposed leaving nothing there to protect. Also, while this case is so thin, that leaves no shock protection as well. It has no lay on the table design, which I didn’t like and thought they could have raised the sides up a bit more to protect the rest of the chrome. The cutouts for the camera, headphone, power, and volume/vibrate buttons are very precise. It has a “Revolutionary Duo UV Scratch Resistant gloss coating”, unlike the Feather(soft touch coating), and have yet to put a scratch in it.  Another thing I really liked about this case was the semi-transparency on it. The Apple logo shows thought faintly, which makes the iPhone feel even more like there’s nothing on it.(I was unable to get an image to come through on the camera of this!)

Overall, while this case really only offers back scuff protection, I really like it!  If you aren’t prone to dropping your iPhone and are usually careful where you put it(as most of us are!), I would definitely recommend you check it out. I love the feel of a naked iPhone and the NUDE come’s as close to that feeling, without sacrificing protection.

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Mophie juice pack air for iPhone 3G/3GS


Mophie’s juice pack air(available for $79.99 @ http://www.mophie.com) is the newest solution to the Mophie lineup. It is the slimmest 1200mAh rechargeable battery case on the market and comes in a variety of colors, Red being the newest with a soft touch finish. I have been using this case for a few weeks now and have some good and bad things to say about it.

First, lets see what you all get. Inside the box you get:

– juice pack air

– Micro USB to USB cable

– Instruction manual

Thats it! I was disappointed to find out that they didn’t include any screen shield and felt that after paying $80 for a case, it would have at least included one.

But for not having included a screen shield with the case, they have included a lot of great features into the product. They have a battery status indicator on the back that allows you to see the remaining charge that is in your battery pack and is easily accessed by the push of a button. They have also included a few new features with the juice pack air. An on/off switch that allows you to choose when you want to charge your phone. I thought this was a great feature as I could charge my phone when I wanted to and could reserve the battery for later if desired. Another new feature on this case is the two piece design.While using this as an everyday solution is great in theory, I found the bulkiness of this case to get in the way of everyday use. Keep in mind, while this is the slimmest case on the market that includes a battery pack, it still is quite large. I found it uncomfortable to wear in my pants pocket and while wearing it in a fleece jacket pocket, it pulled to one side. I would have also liked to see a bit bigger of a cutout for the volume and vibrate switch as I had to use my nail to flick it from vibrate to on. One last thing about the design is that it has no lay on the table design. There are no raised edges and the chrome bezel is completely exposed to scratches.

Charging the Juice Pack Air is very simple. I’m not sure why they decided to use a Micro USB as oppose to a Mini USB, a standard that has been used for most small devices for quite some time. Charging it for the first time I found to be a lengthy process. I contacted Mophie regarding this and they informed me that when the iPhone is connected, it maintains a 70/30 charge ratio; 70% being the iPhone and 30% the Juice Pack Air. This for me meant that I would usually end up charging the pack before I went to bed. If you have no problem taking the case out to charge it by itself every time, it does charge faster, but defeats the purpose. The status indicator on the back blinks as it charges and will display a solid 4 bars when it is full. Being a 1200 mAh battery, on one full charge of the case I was able to recharge the iPhone from dead back to 100%. This allowed me to use the phone almost an entire day without needing to worry about charging it up. A feature I really like that they included is their ‘Pass-through USB’ design. This means that you to to sync to iTunes of your Mac or PC without having to take off the case.

I’ve had a few questions regarding the signal/call quality with the pack. Others have reported that they have lost a bar or two or had dropped calls. I found that in areas where I had a strong signal, I had no difference in signal strength as well as no dropped calls. The weak signal areas however showed me problems, it would show ‘No Service’ or ‘Searching’ with the Juice Pack Air on where I normally would have one bar. Call quality was acceptable as long as I had a signal and callers on the other end said they had no problem hearing me. I never had the dropped call issue.

While this case does have its good and bad points, the good definitely outweigh the bad. This is a solid ‘all-in-one’ solution for traveling and Mophie has included a lot of great features with this case that make it a highly recommended purchase.

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