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IN-DEPTH REVIEW: Spigen Neo Hybrid vs. UAG vs. Otterbox Commuter vs Otterbox Defender

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(Last edited by mattt33; 5th July 2014 at 09:55 PM.)
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I'd like to say that I appreciate all the thanks from those who have commented on the helpfulness of my review. I figured if I was interested enough in finding the right case for myself, others would also benefit from it.

Up to this day, my preferred everyday 'go to' case is the Commuter, and I do put it in the Defender here and there when I want to change up the feel (still gotta love the amazing grip the outer rubber offers on the Defender) to reintroduce the 'new case' feeling.

The Spigen Neo-Hybrid has been used much less than I had expected, but I justify keeping it for the occasions when I want the slimmest profile in a phone with a less plastic look - when wearing a suit/tux dressed more formally.

As for the UAG, I sadly have not found much use since the initial couple months of rotating my phone between the four cases. It's not a bad case per se, but considering the size is not much smaller than the Commuter, I prefer the extra protection the Commuter offers for an everyday case.

Originally Posted by snapper11 View Post
Wonderful review. After endless hours of research on cases, I thought I had narrowed my choices down to Trident AMS Kraken (since it had a kickstand as well) and the Ballistic Tough Jacket Maxx but this review completely changed my perspective. As such I am now highly considering the Otterbox Commuter. Although I prefer a kickstand, protection supersedes it. I just have a few questions for those who have used or have this case.

1) Are there any overall issues or concerns any of you that have or had the case?

2) Ease of access to the ports (i.e. being able to charge the phone?; being able to plug the 3.5mm earphone jacks in?)

3) Any concerns as far as rubber expanding (when phone heats up), not sitting tightly in place?

4) Any issues in conjunction with the use of a glass screen protector? I know the OP has one but the review was only for a week after, I'm concerned about longterm effect such as if its too tight bubbles may start to form.
The glass screen protector I have had since day 1 is still holding out perfectly. No signs of bubbling, peeling or lifting at the corners or edges, and practically no scratches (the micro scratches present are so tiny you really need to hold the phone under a lamp at the right angles to see them). Mind you, these are the miniscule scratches I am talking about where you must hold it inches from your face to see.

I have been using the GLAS.tR slim protector from Spigen, and so I speak for my experiences with this particular protector only. I have not tried any others (nor have I seen any others physically), so can't really compare products. Overall, the $39.99 price tag is much more than what some others on here have quoted for alternate glass screen protector options (some people got theirs for as low as $10 apparently), but I had a $10 Amazon gift card so that was just enough to sway my decision to go with the Spigen screen protector.

5) The lip on the front side is much higher than the other cases. Does that affect the usability of the phone or cause any other problems?
I am not sure if you're asking specifically about the commuter, but the front side lip (that is in fact a bit higher than the other cases) does not hinder functionality in any way. Personally, the initial appeal of the rubber lip was the extra protection it would offer when the phone was placed face down. While I don't make use of it this way, I can see some people utilizing the extra bit of raised lip for additional grip.

Originally Posted by Morningstar View Post
I have the Otterbox Defender, rather than the Commuter, but I believe they're similar enough for my answers to be helpful....

5) Don't quote me, but I think the lip on the Defender is slightly deeper than on the Commuter, and it hasn't caused me any problems. In fact, it does wonders for protecting the screen when placed face down. If you regularly use the Touchwiz feature that lets you take a screenshot by sliding the side of your hand across the screen, it makes doing so a little difficult in portrait orientation, but that's really just nitpicking.
I noticed this post just after I wrote the response to snapper11 above.

Out of curiosity, I just swapped out my phone to put into the Defender to find this out for myself. The lip on BOTH the Commuter and Defender come up above the screen just a hair less than 1/8 of an inch. Keep in mind, this is with my glass screen protector on the phone.

So for people using the Commuter with a regular (or no) screen protector, that lip will be closer to 2.5 sixteenths of an inch higher than the actual screen. For those using the built in screen protector with the Defender, the edge is closer to 1/8 of an inch from the screen since the built in plastic protector it is attached to the underside of the inner plastic layer of the case against the screen.

While very similar, the height of the Defender's lip is less pronounced due to the fact that it slopes down gradually with the slanted plastic edge going in towards the screen. On the Commuter, you do not have the plastic inner layer, and thus you only feel the rubber lip that comes straight up (since the plastic is outside the rubber).

Overall, for anyone concerned about the lip, it is really not noticeable with day to day use. If anything, the slight lip on both really is more of practical value in terms of protection.

p.s. now that I have my phone in the Defender, will likely give the Commuter a break for a couple weeks. Always forget how nice the extra grip is on the Defender, although at the slight expense of compactness - but I usually carry my phone in hand during the day so not overly concerned with fitting the phone in very tight/small pockets.
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I've always had the Otterbox Commuter for all of my Galaxy devices since the S3 and now that I'm getting the S5 some told me to take a look at the Spigen offerings. Got some hands on and wasn't quite a fan but "in-depth" reviews like yours help tremendously in my decision making process. I've ordered the Commuter and decided to just stick with what works. Many thanks for taking the time.
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Got a question for you, for neo hybrid case, i got the Sen365 headphone with L-jack, does it fit with this case?
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Originally Posted by thinhletien View Post
Got a question for you, for neo hybrid case, i got the Sen365 headphone with L-jack, does it fit with this case?
The headphone jack opening of all the cases included in the review fit any sized headphone you may have.
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