Is it as good as it looks?
One of the first cases that caught my attention browsing through forums just after the Samsung Galaxy S4 was released was the Spigen SGP Slim Armour Case. It is certainly a looker, and given my experience with Spigen SGP in the past my expectations were high. Available in a range of cool colours it certainly brings a vibrant style to the phone.
It is made from two layers: an inner rubberized TPU, and outer polycarbonate shell. Putting it on the phone can be done in two ways: either slap the two pieces on as one, or put on the inner layer first before applying the outer shell. I found that regardless what method I used I had trouble getting the outer layer to get completely flush with the inner. This is felt on the back, as the edges between the layers are apparent. Especially on the lower back where the edge can be quite sharp.
For protection it provides great impact resistance due to the dual layers. The screen is only protected by a quite small lip, and I would not advice placing it face down on an uneven surface without a screen protector. Even with Gorilla Glass 3 the screen is not invulnerable, and a single piece of sand can harm it if you aren’t careful.
All functions are available inside the case, and I actually found the volume and power button to be much easier to use than in any other case I have tried. They are easy to find, and have small cutouts around them making them easier to operate.
For grip I found this to be a two-sided affair. The parts covered with rubberized TPU are excellent at providing grip. The hardshell on the other hand is glossy, and really slippery. For most uses the hand still manages to grip on the TPU parts for example when playing games in landscape mode. Those who hold the around the middle of the phone with one hand while typing with the other will find it slippery.
The look of the case is awesome, especially if you have contrasting colour to the black TPU. It is worth noting however that as soon as you touch it you will have smudges, and fingerprints on the glossy back.
Inside the packaging you also find three jelly bean buttons that can be used to spice up the home button. A quite cool addition to the case that makes the button easier to find. If you don’t want it anymore it is easy to remove, and doesn’t leave any glue residue.
The Slim Armour from Spigen SGP has some cool features such as a striking profile, and slim design. Some issues with getting the layers aligned, the fingerprint magnet glossy finish and minimal lip protecting the screen limits the overall impression slightly. It is still a great case providing ample impact protection without adding bulk.