Did Santa bring you a shiny new smart phone in your Christmas stocking? You might be in the market for a case to protect that present. With thanks to MobileZap, DigitalReviews is happy to bring you our impressions of the Spigen SPG Neo Hybrid Case.
When I was offered to choose a case for review, the Spigen SPG Neo Hybrid was on the top of my wish list. One of the features that attracted me to the Neo Hybrid was that it fully encloses the edge of the phone yet not add too much bulk or weight to the unit.
Spigen markets the Neo Hybrid Case on preserving the original design of the Nexus. The hybrid part composes of UV coated hard polycarbonate frame and a high polymer coated soft premium back cover. The aim is to maintain a bumper style look whilst providing strong protection. Overall the case adds a measly 30 grams to the phone and just a fraction bigger in every direction.
Putting the case on was a no brainer. It took me all of a couple of seconds to push my Nexus 5 in and off I go. Actually, when I said off I go, I actually took it on a plane and flew up to Daydream Island for a couple of days. Nothing like a good road test. I am happy to report that no sand got inside the case, the phone was more than adequately protected on the coral beaches, the teensy weensy strip of sand amongst other holiday hazards. More importantly, it survived being manhandled by a 3 year old toddler multiple times.
I am also happy to note that the Qi Universal Wireless Charging Plate - reviewed in December 2013 works perfectly through this case.
A case is a case is a case right? I do have a few gripes about the Spigen SPG Neo Hybrid.
Personally I found the back cover to be too smooth and it feels like it will slip out of my hands easily.
If you use a screen protector, I suggest you apply it after the cover goes on. If the screen protector is too close to the edges, the case will pinch in and create air bubbles. Not a problem limited to the Neo Hybrid case, just something that will happen in general.
The buttons can come out of the frame by accident. I lost the volume keys in the dead of the night on my son's bed (luckily found them the next day).
The cutout for the USB port will not accommodate larger USB plugs. The slimmer plugs have no issues, but my travel one has a larger head and it meant I had to pop the phone out of the case for a cabled charge whilst I was away.
A case is a rather personal choice. I had some issues with the Spigen SPG Neo Hybrid, but the main issue is that I did not particularly like how smooth the back cover is. The pads of my fingers tend to be quite smooth so I think this combination led to me not bonding with the case so to speak. That said and done, the phone was dropped a few times onto tile floors and survived perfectly every time.
I do really like how the frame encloses the edge of the phone so that part is well protected. All the other gripes I had can be easily mitigated, including the one about buttons. That was an issue that I encountered because I had to pop the phone out of the case to charge at night. I would expect in general use that once the case is on it stays on.
If you don't have the same smooth finger pads as me, the case is well worth considering. The Nexus 5 version is available here for AUD$30.99 in choices of Metal Slate, Satin Silver or Champagne Gold. Other phone models versions are also available.