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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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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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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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