I have been a fan of Case-Mate Tough case, used it on my Note 2, and reviewed it in the past to share my experience about it. One of the selling points of Tough case for me was it's very slim profile while still offering a decent drop protection. Once I got S5 for my wife and knowing she might not be a fan of bulky cases, I decided to get a review sample to see how it will look with S5. But here is a twist. Since this is technically not my phone, I figured it would be nice to look at some cases with a more flashy appeal for the ladies in our community who consider a smartphone as an accessory thus dressing it up accordingly. Since I got a lot of review samples and have a ton of pictures to share with you, I will try to be brief with my write up and let the pictures do the talking, but will offer my comments as well.
Let's start first with a Refined Collection samples. Just like the name states, it's more "refined" with a flashier look and more expensive material used to make each one stand out in it's own way. They each have a similar 2 piece design with a backplate piece which has a layer of thin shock absorption material and raised edges where you place your phone, and a frame piece you apply from the top which latches securely to backplate and holds S5 in place. Each design has it's unique back finish where Caliber (more appropriate for guys) uses some fancy material made out of GIO Ballistic Composite, Glam has a shiny sparkly finish under laminating anti-scratch cover, and Brilliance uses genuine crystal pieces (very securely glued to a surface) and leather. The rest of the material is plastic. They all have identical precise cutouts for all the ports, where Brilliance and Glam also offer metallic looking physical buttons for power and volume while Caliber has it in matching case color. I also have to note that a design gives S5 a squared off look in iPhone style. In my opinion it offers a level of protection for your phone to survive a drop, but with an exception of Caliber, it's hard to tell how much of a damage it will cause to a fancy backs of Brilliance and Glam. Furthermore, I noticed the case design wasn't too friendly with my tempered glass screen protector, where the edge of it was lifted off, but it shouldn't be a problem with a regular PET film screen protector. Obviously, the intention of these cases is to make a bold statement rather than being used while you are hiking outdoors or working on a construction. In addition, although Case-Mate is very well known for their super-coupons where you can save a lot of money, I would always start by looking on Amazon where you can find a better pricing for these.
Here are the pictures.