Monday, November 11, 2013

SGP Spigen Neo Hybrid for LG Google Nexus 5 case review

SGP Spigen's Neo Hybrid is one of my favourite cases for smartphones. Each time a new phone is announced, SGP will normally be one of the first port of calls where I would search for a compatible case. It isn't surprising then that when Google and LG announced the Nexus 5 that I quickly ordered a Neo Hybrid case.

The Nexus 5 isn't exactly a looker, so covering it up in a case is a no brainer. The Neo Hybrid is a two piece hybrid case. It comes in two separate parts: an inner layer which is made of soft flexible TPU, and a polycarbonate skeleton bumper frame, which is designed to go over the silicone bit. It is available in dark grey, silver and champagne gold, which is a bit of a bummer as I would have preferred to get one in yellow.

Simply slip the silicon case over the phone and once that is fitted, you then slot the outer glossy skeleton frame over it. You would not want to be removing this case often as the case is very tight. Not that you would need to as the Nexus 5 has no expandable storage option of accessible battery compartment.

The case is stylish which is a slight improvement over the Nexus 5's functional but boring design. The smooth matte texture of the silicon case is nice to touch though I did find that the smooth bumper frame to be incredibly slippery, unlike the version for the Galaxy S4. All four corners are covered and thus protected. This is important as, structurally, these are probably the weakest spots on a modern smartphone. Sadly, while previous Neo Hybrid cases for other phones were comfortable, this model just doesn't feel quite right.
The Neo Hybrid case retains access to all of the Nexus 5's hardware controls and ports. You will find cut outs for the camera lens, flash, speaker grills and micro USB port. The volume and power buttons are covered with plastic but still retains the same good feedback as if the phone is naked. As the case is raised by about 0.5mm, the display of the phone is protected from dirt should you ever place it face down. This is the same case for the camera module. Sadly the headphone socket cut out is rather deep and narrow, and I had trouble plugging in a couple of headphones, as is the case with the micro USB cut out which only allows narrower plugs.

The Neo Hybrid case wouldn't provide sufficient protection against extreme cases of accidents (you need an Otterbox for that), but it will offer good enough everyday protection. But it isn't perfect. SGP would have done with better with a wider colour variety, offering a none-slippy glossy version and widening the headphone cut out.

At £17.99, the Neo Hybrid isn't pricey considering the level of protection coverage it offers, but it does have its drawbacks. Check to see if your accessory fits before you commit.


James Peterson said...
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Anonymous said...

headphone is not working properly with neo hybrid case.....not fit phone