[Review] SPIGEN SGP Neo Hybrid iPhone 5/5s Case [Video]

Many smartphones accessories these days are trending towards minimalistic and simple designs, including SPIGEN SGP’s Neo Hybrid ($29.99, Spigen | $19.99~, Amazon). It’s simple in the sense that it consists of a simple TPU case with a plastic band (or “bumper”) that keeps everything together.

Video Review

Photo Gallery

Written Review

Included in the [rather unnecessarily large packaging] is the Neo Hybrid itself, as well as a set of three jelly home button covers. Expecting one of SGP’s well-known scree protector to come included? Unfortunately, your expectation wasn’t met. And to be honest, the jelly home button cover, while seemingly giving the home button extra feedback when pressing it, is more trouble than it’s worth. In order for it not to look odd, you have to rotate and install it as perfectly as possible. If you make a mistake and try to take it off of your home button, the jelly portion of the cover could come off, but the colored sticker portion might stay put. So, if you want to try it out, really take your time on installing it. I had issues with both the black and white ones, giving up altogether.

Fortunately, the case itself is quite good. As mentioned earlier, the Neo Hybrid is a two-piece case, consisting of what’s practically a great little TPU case on its own, as well as a plastic “bumper,” fitting around the TPU case, to keep everything together. This combination works rather well, and looks good at the same time. Unfortunately, where this setup really lacks is in the grip area — there’s practically none of it whatsoever. Unless you have a natural death grip when holding your phone, you might run into some trouble where this case is too slippery, especially with the smooth TPU back.

Going over the rest of the case, you’ll find the featureset to be quite nice. The two volume button nubs as well as the power button cover all have a fairly tactile feel when pressing them. While they look like metal, they’re really just plastic with chrome coloring. The silent switch cutout is somewhat long, but it’s deep, so getting into it will require you to most likely use your nail. The Lightning port and headset jack cutouts along the bottom of the phone are larger than on most cases, so using oversized plugs should work fine. The design of the microphone and speaker cutouts are unique, and don’t block any sound going in and out of the respective cutouts. Lastly, on the back is, of course, the super-smooth TPU material. The camera cutout is pill-shaped, conforming to the overall shape of the area itself, meaning it’s not some oversized/huge cutout like on many other cases. There’s a black lining around it, so you shouldn’t be running into any flash problems.

As noted above, the real dealbreaker for me is the severe lack of grip with this case. However, if you can look beyond that, everything else about this case is fantastic. The design, craftsmanship, quality, and materials all make for a great case that those who buy it will most likely enjoy.

Feel free to follow Brian and Gadget Unit on Twitter.

, , ,