ZooGue S3 Case Review
I have owned this case for several months, and have only sparingly used it. But recently, I have fallen in love with a few of it's very specific attributes and I cannot ignore the ZooGue any longer. Being passionate about my smart phone accessories, and being a real stickler for good design and maximum efficiency, this cheap (if not free) case really won me over. Therefor you may find this review slightly biased.
13.8mm Length 5.5 inches
7.4mm Width 2+15/16 inches
11mm Thick 7/16 inch
Not sure...very light though. Probably as light as it gets for this type of full case.
(Following 3 photos slightly enhanced to show closer to true colour which is BLACK or CHARCOAL GRAY, the darkest of the set in the photo above.)
ZooGue vs the competition
I recently bought a UAG case (the Blue one, AERO) and I think the workmanship is outstanding, to the eye of the beholder...it's beautiful looking, and it really has a super solid precision fit which will surely offer edge to edge protection. (not direct face plants on jagged rocks) BUT....I am contemplating staying with the ridiculously cheaper Zoogue (not really in the same class) for a number of reasons. It's a give and take, but I am trying to pick my battles so to speak, and decide what is at the TOP of my LIST for a case to protect my beloved S3.
My top 3 wants: in a case
1] SLIM: as possible while offering good fall protection.
Some cases fall off the phone when they drop but I don't think this one will. Some, like UAG/Outerbox etc., offer shock protection at the expense of moderate to high bulk. Also, very important to me, is one handed operation.
2] GRIP: easy to hold non slippery yet easy to pull out of pocket.
It seems that so many cases are either slippery or sticky, both of which can increase the rate of dropping your S3!
3] Esthetics: I prefer it to compliment the style quality of the S3 itself or actually improve upon it.
The Zoogue Advantages
- Price: got it for free + shipping = $7cad (I've seen 99cents advertised too) But that's not why I bought it. I bought it because I had an inkling that it was good simple case design.
- Slim: as thin as should be for the protection offered. As low pro as it gets really.
- GRIP: ***ribbed edges*** this is one of the best feeling side grips ever. So simple. Rear side is neither sticky nor slippery. In stiffness, the material feels like somewhere between a rigid soft plastic and stiffer than TPU. It hugs like much firmer than any silicon case I've seen, but still flexible if you pull on the edges with your finger. It's a strange composition.
- Contouring: curved edges, forming to the curves of the S3 and allowing maximum secured one handed reach. Also there is a low profile semi rigid lip that hugs around to the front edges of the display, allowing you to place the S3 face down without damaging the screen. (that obviously also keeps the S3 from popping out)
- Menu Button: the lip of the case near the menu button is slightly beveled out to allow your finger more room. Subtle Genius!!
- Colour: many to choose from. I have the Black one on a BLUE S3.
- Logo: decent logo on the back in beveled gloss black (not cheesy looking)
- Buttons: Stiffer covered power and volume buttons which I prefer. I mostly power my S3 on with the MENU button and power off with a gesture. Still, they are not stuck or broken...just more rigid.
- Docks: uniform edge dimension ensures one handed sliding compatibility with charging docks like CraigsDocks. Also, this case should fit most desk docks that are designed to hold S3 with slim cases.
- Lint and Finger Prints: so far not bad at all. Hardly any lint whatsoever...and definitely no finger prints. I wonder if the Zoogue will get a bit less powdery feeling over time. (my TV remote was like that and went smoother, nicer over time)
UPDATE: that powdery almost SANDY feeling is starting to dissipate nicely just a few days later.
- Weight: not much at all.
- Fire Proof: really? no. Just seeing if you are paying attention.
If I could snap my fingers
...and make the Zoogue better for my liking, I would:
- Sticky Back: add a pattern to the back of the case to allow more grip when laying flat on a table. It's not bad, but perhaps a strategic smoothened out strip or logo would help there. (the UAG has feet for this) I plan on testing it with a strip of Egrips that I ordered from the internet. Stay tuned.
- Colour: it's a matte black, and the deepness of the black is not near as rich as my Nillken slim minimalistic case.
- Holes: the cutouts for all the holes are not bad, but definitely not nearly as precise as the UAG. There are workarounds for this if need be.
- Shield: I don't use a screen protector, but from what I hear, it may be a hit or miss whether it will work in harmony with this case. Customizing the shield usually works too.
I would love to see a case like this that was part of a hybrid design.
So lets say I was going fishing, I would slip on an outer hard shell shell specifically made for this slim softer shell case and have perhaps water resistant properties.
It's a cheapo Charlie case guys. Nothing fancy. But sometimes that's what hits the mark better than complicated designs. There are many simple cases out there that probably share similar dimensions and thickness etc., but many are shiny lint, dirt and finger print magnets. The simplistic yet strategic design of the Zoogue may just satisfy my need for a non bulky, light weight, protective, easy to hold and use, decent looking case for my S3. My reasons for liking it may be different than your reasons for liking a case.
All in all, I give this would be 5/10 case...a more deserving 8.5/10. It works for me. So now the moment of truth. Will I be able to keep this case on for 30days without feeling the need to go back to my UAG? Stay tuned...
UPDATE Feb 4 2013:
I ordered another one tonight. The website says $9.99 but I inserted a free shipping coupon and a 20% off coupon and it was $7.99cad total. That's only about a dollar more than I paid for the first one months ago. I couldn't resist. Here is the coupon page. (I used a hot solder iron to melt a bigger headphone jack area since I have several headphones that have fat plugs. I wanna try to do a better job with the next case. Also, I ever so slightly increased the mic holes. I also want to try to put a dab of nail polish or paint on the buttons for feel. (the braille effect) And Lastly, when my Egrips come in, I am going to try putting a thin strip on the back.