[Review] EMPIRE MPERO Embark Recycled Wood Case for Galaxy S4 (Video)

EMPIRE has a number of cases for the Galaxy S4 that feature a recycled wood panel on them, priced at just $9.95 each (EMPIRE | Amazon). Given their price, what can you expect?

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Video Review

One thing to note is that you don’t get any extras with your purchase, but rather just the case itself. Given the price of the case, that’s not shocking, but there are cases under $10 from others, including EMPIRE, that do offer at least a screen protector.

To start, these cases are your typical snap-on back shell type of case. It installs easily, quickly, and works generally well. If you’re looking for protection, though, you’ll want to look elsewhere, since that’s not necessarily what these cases offer, partly because the top and bottom of the case are both completely open, covering nothing. That’s par for the course for these types of cases, however. You’ll still find cutouts for your volume rocker and power button on the sides, as well as the camera/LED flash and speaker on the back.

What you’ll actually buy one of these for is the back panel, essentially a wooden sticker slapped onto the back of the case. Several different design choices are available using different types of wood. EMPIRE claims that these are made 100% from recycled wood. While I can’t claim that these are, there’s no reason to disagree. These panels are perfectly aligned with the back cutouts and are adhered very well, so it won’t be coming off anytime soon.

All told, these are fine, simple and straightforward cases for the Galaxy S4. Given their price, they’re worth looking into. If you can look beyond the lack of real protection, you might be happy with what you’ll be getting.

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