Friday, July 29, 2016

Cases on phones: cannot live with them–cannot live without them

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I bought a new phone that means I have to do something to protect... my precious. That's why I ordered a new case for the phone. The case was a Spigen branded one as they were regarded highly for the build quality of their cases. The model I went with was the Slim Armour.

I ordered it from eBay Australia and the seller was a local seller called ProGadgets -  in fact only about a couple miles from my apartment. I ordered on the 18th night and it was delivered on the 21st. I could have simply went and picked it up in-store but shipping was free, so I didn't have to.

It cost my $19.99 for the case although the recommended retail price (RRP) was $39.99. I am not sure why they were selling it for half the price but all I could find was that they were an authorised Spigen reseller. So they most probably sold legitimate products.

ebay

The case didn't come with any accessories. Just the case and the receipt. I wish they bundled a screen protector with it as well, given the price.

The case looks gorgeous. This is the best looking case that I've ever owned after the iFace case that I had for the iPhone 5S. It nicely augments the Galaxy S7. It's not just the looks: the build quality is amazing too. But I think this is where it should be for a case that retails for $40.

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The metalic area does catch fingerprints but nowhere near as bad as the naked glass back of the Galaxy S7.

I'm unsure if the phone was more slippery without the case or not. But I feel that the bumpers make it a bit easier to grip compared to aluminum frame.

The problem with elegance is, unless you are paying heavy money, you get a fragile product. I'm not sure how tough this case is, but I'm not planning to find out any time soon. But what about the scratches? I'm sure it will eventually happen because this is not a diamond case. The case doesn't have any scratches on it at the moment but it is more of a "when" than "if". I know I will feel bad if it gets scratches because it is really a very nice case.

The bumpers are actually hard plastic and feels harder than the ones on the iFace case. It's not necessarily a good thing because the bumper can easily and permanently get deformed. If it was more rubbery, then it could return to its usual form. A little more of a rubbery touch would have made me feel better.

The case has a kickstand too. But it's not as heavy duty as the one on the case that I had on the Nexus 5. It just lacks resistance in the hinges to keep it in-place at a middle position. You either have to have it fully retracted or fully open. But there is a problem with the placement of the kickstand. When you place the phone on a surface with the kickstand open, the phone is in such a way that the volume control buttons are on the bottom; the power button is on the top. That's stupid; I need more frequent access to the volume control buttons than the power button.

Kickstand

Or perhaps I wasn't using it as it was normally intended to. Because if I place it on the desk like in the image below, I can use the volume buttons just fine. To be honest, if you place it on the desk while you are seated, this angle feels more natural. But I have to use the other orientation as well because I still watch YouTube videos while having a shower (yes, that habit is still there, and with water proofing in the S7, it makes more sense) while placing the phone on the windowsill.

Kickstand2

In addition to the placement of the kickstand which may or may not be a problem to others, I have one major gripe with the case. The case goes over the stock hardware buttons of the phone as well. Basically, the original hardware buttons are covered by the case. It is necessary for the protection of the buttons but the buttons on the case are flushed with the rest of the body, which means you cannot easily feel them. They don't protrude at all. So I have to look at the buttons before pressing them more often than not. Probably things will get better when I get used to the hardware button positioning of the phone. They could have made the surface of the buttons more pronounced or slightly protrude so that one can feel them with his fingers. There is a small carving on each of the buttons however they cannot be felt by -  my fingers at least. I understand that this design looks nice but lets not try to be like Apple shall we? Function over form, please.

It's still a very nice case and it doesn't take away the original glory of the S7. At 19.99 it's a steal  up I'm not sure if it is at $39.99. I would have considered a different case if it wasn't available for $19.99.

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