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Case Review: Spigen SGP Neo Hybrid and Ultra Capsule for the Galaxy Nexus

The fine folks at Spigen SGP sent over their series of Galaxy Nexus cases to review and we came away fairly impressed with all of them for the most part. They included three different types, but our focus was on the Neo Hybrid and Ultra Capsule cases. These both fit nicely onto the LTE Nexus even though Spigen designed them initially for the GSM version. And actually, I prefer the fit of these cases on the LTE Nexus over the GSM variant. Jump below to see our hands-on time with both. 

Neo Hybrid

The Neo Hybrid will give your phone a 2-tone look and a bit of added protection while keeping your device slim. It is a 2-part case – one half is a rubberized cover, the other is a plastic outer sealer of sorts. The rubberized backing is not as sticky as you would imagine, but the device still manages to have enough grip that it shouldn’t slip easily out of your hand. I was able to get this to fit over the extended battery and still work, however, it was not built for anything but the standard battery. I would not recommend this for extended battery users. For $24.99, this is a solid option. There are 5 different color combinations.

Ultra Capsule

The Ultra Capsule is your standard plastic/rubber case, only it fits incredibly well on the LTE Nexus. It matches up almost perfectly to the edges of the device rather than overlapping like many of your other popular cases. It’s glossy, yet plain, and will definitely not slip out of your hand. This case did fit nicely over the extended battery. For $16.99, this is a great option. There are 6 different color variations.

Video:

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Contest:

We have a total of 10 cases to give away to the amazing Droid Life community. Look for a contest post to go live some time tomorrow morning. Oh, and following us on Twitter is also a great way to keep up to date.

Spigen SGP store.

  • Wes

    I got the blue Ultra Capsule case.  The fit isn’t perfect, but it’s pretty close with both the extended and standard battery.  What I am disappointed with is the glittery finish of the color.  It sparkles like Richard Simmons’ short shorts.  Several people made jokes the first day I had it.  My self esteem has dropped a couple notches…

  • Smr561

    No Red?

  • Wade Wilson

    I really really like the Neo especially considering it has so many options as far as colors but I wish they would make it atleast specifically for the LTE, not to mention LTE Extended battery. That being said yes I realize it CAN fit or I could remove my battery cover, but I really am just not comfortable leaving the back off of my phone.

  • Josh

    What wallpaper is that on his Nexus? It’s sleek.

  • http://twitter.com/savagejeep SavageJeep

    Still looking for that must have screen protector. Not happy with mine currently.

  • HollywoodWebber

    that white ultra capsule case looks sharp. I could definately see my Gnex sporting one.

  • jjrudey

    “This product is not compatible with US-Verizon LTE version.”

    Therefore, I don’t want one.

    • MekoSuka

       Kellex says it works fine on the LTE version and he actually prefers it.  Whether or not that sways you only remains to be seen.

      • MustProtectNexus

        I couldn’t get it to fit perfectly on my LTE G’nex…Wouldn’t fully come down over the top edge.  Bought it because of Kellex’s review.  Returning it because of …reality.

  • Dbarden31

    Anyone know if NFC works with a case on your phone. I have the Otterbox Defender series.

  • Jttallman

    I have been looking for good looking case for the Nexus. Pretty nice.

  • http://twitter.com/vt_thomaso Thomas O’Brien

    I’m not big on neo cases…it seems to pick up dust/lint too easy…

  • http://twitter.com/vt_thomaso Thomas O’Brien

    Any thoughts on the utlra hybrid series?

  • http://profiles.google.com/adamtruelove Adam Truelove

    Why, oh why, would you put your Nexus face down?  It pains me to see that.

  • Gottheguds112

    Kellex, I’m very interested in the leather pouches! What do you think about them? Can I get your comments or info on them? I sprung for the pogo dock which is necessitating me to ditch my cruzerlite case. A freebie would also offset those 90 bones :P

  • cashhuge.com

    to all….

    my c0-w0rker’s m0m br0ught home $13327 the pri0r week. she gets paid 0n the lapt0p and b0ught a $436500 c0nd0. All she did was get f0rtunate and set to w0rk the tips sh0wn on that site ab0ve

    • Just_Some_Nobody

      OMG! I’m totally going to do this!  Get rich quick while sitting on my butt, here I come!!!

      /s

  • Stephan

     SGP also offers a case called Ultra Hybrid, which seems to be a even little better than the Neo Hybrid. Does anyone have experience with that?

  • dns2k

    Kellex

    Will you try the Neo without the phones back on? See if it fits better?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=566373996 John Nguyen

    How does theUltra Capsule work with extended battery? good or no?

  • NemaCystX

    I got the Reventon Yellow for my i515 it fits great aside from the top of the phone and the buttons being slightly mis-aligned because of the size difference pulling on the silicon cover.

    here’s my post about it (with pictures too!

    http://forum.xda-developers.com/showpost.php?p=22330429&postcount=31

    http://forum.xda-developers.com/showpost.php?p=22596835&postcount=43

  • http://twitter.com/JsinLegacy JsinLegacy

    One of the reviews states the Ultra will pop off every so often.  How snug does it sit on the device?  

  • acuraspeed

    Can we get a better image of the top lip of the neo hybrid. Does it completely wrap around the full edge of the screen?

    • NemaCystX

      This is how it looks on my Verizon Gnex, I also removed the battery cover to make the case fit better

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_MIAH5BAZ3W2S34DVET6QLQZTTQ bob

     I was just looking at white cases last night and this is one of the few i saw and liked. this just helped make the decision easier and i just ordered the white ultra capsule.

  • Liderc

    White case actually looks nice.  I bought the Seidio case for my Nexus but I just missed the feel and size of the naked Nexus.  It’s too nice to cover up. 

    It’s like asking Miranda Kerr to keep her clothes on when she insist on removing them, it’s just not right.

    • 1bad69z28

       I agree, I like the naked feel of my Nexus but have been giving some thought of a nice cover thats differnt to protect my device. There are times when I am in the bath room for example shaving or other wise and my phone is sitting on the sied of the bathroom sink.

      or in the kitchen, my little girl had her cup of juice in the living room and sat it next to my phone I didn’t realize that her cup fell and I saw a little bt of OJ moving about 1/2 an ” to my phone. 

      Times I think about a protective cover of some sort lol especially if you have kids :)  

  • Justin Koch

    Did they send any sgp ultra hybrid (one piece) cases?  Or has anyone tried it with the verizon nexus yet? I like the hybrid cases (tpu bumper hard back) but I don’t want to pay $22 and have it not work lol.

  • Ignitros

    I have the extended battery from Samsung btw.

  • Ignitros

    I bought the Damian red one and love the fit and finish! The back is a little slick for my taste but definitely worth every penny!

  • Kisuk3

    Just ordered white ultra capsule, can’t wait!

    Any word on the GLAS.t screen protector Kellex?

  • http://twitter.com/booted Matt Schultz

    Although I’m usually a leather slip case kinda guy, that white ultracapsule case is kinda sexy.

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/PP2KC2NKYXJ5AUNAJWRZTBRPUA Matty G

    I bought the Incipio 2 piece case and LOVE it!

    • http://twitter.com/vt_thomaso Thomas O’Brien

      Picks up dust/lint…how do you keep it looking clean?

      • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/PP2KC2NKYXJ5AUNAJWRZTBRPUA Matty G

        I usually take it out of the case at night.  Not sure why I do since I don’t have a dock, but its like there’s something in my subconscious that signals the official end of the day when I do that and hop into sweats/gym shorts.  Anyway, usually coincides with cleaning it off in the morning before the case goes on

  • SirVeza

    It’s about time! Most of the reviews out there show these cases on the gsm version so I’m glad I get to see it on the lte gnex. Especially since SGP states for the neo hybrid:  “This product is not compatible with US-Verizon LTE version”

  • THERAZRSEDGE

    What ever happened to DROID LIFE???? I have a “DROID” Razr and would not trade it for a truck load of cheap construction Samsung nexus. I like my phone to feel like a phone instead of a lego. Hey dont get me wrong the nexus is nice, but if a phone does everything you need it to do you don’t need a unlocked boot loader. Not being a hater but i would like ample coverage for other devices. I don’t mean to be critical but just wanted to voice my opinion. And that is what it is my opinion.Still read this site every day and will as long as it lives. LONG LIVE DROID LIFE. :)

    • cooksta32676

      Didn’t you read, this is now NexusLife. Yes it’s quite annoying….

      • http://brgulker.wordpress.com/ brgulker

        Derps for both of you.

    • Paul Weller

      What is there to say about the Droid RAZR that hasn’t been written about already?

      • EC8CH

        They can run another story on it when VZW releases a green one next week.

    • http://www.jaxidian.org/update teh Jax

      So Kellex gets an opportunity to give away free things and you’re all up on his ass because he does? Really?

    • http://twitter.com/fritzo2162 Doug Zbikowski

      The Nexus has all the cool stuff going on right now. When the Razr finally gets ICS, I’m sure it will have its day (unless the Nexus has moved on to Android 5.0 by then).

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=25001493 Hank Godwin

       You annoy me.

  • http://twitter.com/BlackTaxi2d Henry S

    Kellex i just found a great idea, if you have the extended battery, don’t use the back plate, just use your case. it makes the phone as thin as it was before.

  • guest

    Would you recommend this case over the one you reviewed a few weeks ago? And what clock widget is that?

  • http://quiklives.tumblr.com quiklives

    One question: are they lint-magnets?

  • Nader Elkurd

    Kellex if you don’t mind, could you share your setup with us in a future video?

  • Stephen D

    Love the Neo Hybrid case, but I’m leaving my GNex naked for now. It’s far too beautiful and slim to want a case. 

  • Bigsike

    Hey K is there any word on any case options for that giant Seidio extended battery I would like to get it but only if there were some cases available.

  • Marvin de Pano

    Why do these companies keep on making cases for the standard battery cover? There are already plenty of them out there and we actually need one that would fit the extended OEM one.

  • Michael Forte

    I really like the Neo Hybrid, but once you said not for extended battery users, UGH :(

    • TheKaz1969

      According to some on XDA, the Neo Hybrid fits decently with the extended battery if you leave the battery door off.

  • knick4life

    I got an Incipio Silicrylic case. Loving it, soft to the touch but the hard shell gives me piece of mind in case I drop it. And loving the Nexus (which I just got this weekend). I was all set to walk into the Verizon store and walk out with a Razr Maxx, but I noticed some occasional lag when using it. This phone is so smooth. I just lightly use the phone during the work day and my extended battery was still showing 70% by the time I was leaving. Call quality is just as good as my OG Droid so far. The only criticism I have is that the speakerphone could be louder, but really, that’s it.

    • Skylordusa1

      Root the phone and then install volume + on it. You can make the speaker louder. I actually hated the speaker on the phone untill I found volume +. Works perfect now.

      • Liderc

        He can probably just wait for 4.04 OTA now, should be out the first week of march is what we’ve been hearing.  Solves the low volume issue.  

        • Kaufkin

          then all of us w/ Volume+ will get one hell of a shock if we don’t remember to crank that bad boy down when the upgrade comes.

  • ERIFNOMI

    Wow these are priced pretty damn well. I might order one and see how well it works. For $17, what’s to lose? I might finally grab a screen protector, if I can find a review of a few.

    • Calculatorwatch

      The xo skins screen protector is quite nice. It’s really easy to put on and I barely notice it except that it seems to allow dust to stick to the screen a little easier. Mine also came with an annoying little nick in the corner but the nice thing is they have a lifetime replacement warranty if it ever even gets scratched so I’ll find out how well that works when I actually have time to ship it back.

      • ERIFNOMI

        I can’t think of any screen protector that doesn’t come with lifetime replacements, besides the cheap things that Verizon try to sell you. I can’t decide between wet application which always line up nice but end up orange peeling, or dry which are a bitch to get on but are basically invisible.

        • Liderc

          I went with the dry application one from Steinheil, it’s very nice.  It leaves about 1mm of an edge on the screen not covered though.  Apparently the dry application protectors would bubble if they go all the way to the edge because of the curved glass.  I love the Steinheil Ultra Oleophobic though, it’s very nice, feels just like glass. 

        • Calculatorwatch

          Yeah this is the only screen protector I’ve bought besides the cheap Verizon ones so I wouldn’t know. I can say that so far I haven’t noticed even the slightest sign of orange peel. With the screen off the reflection looks just like plain glass without any of those weird little bumps. The feel is definitely a little more tacky than naked glass but it actually feels pretty nice when typing.

    • D3fault121

      I personally went with the XO Skin this time around and couldn’t be happier. No orange peel effect like you get if you use a Zagg.

  • Guest

    jesus christ… is the video in 2x speed?  gives me a headache watching it, seems like this is too fast or kellex moves way to fast and or is on something while showing these cases.

    • Liderc

      kellex snorts adderral. 

    • https://plus.google.com/114483312559013915960/ Timoh

      If he let it roll at normal speed his voice would be so deep and sexy your head would explode.

      • 1bad69z28

         LOL  “The most interesting man in the world”

        “Stay Android my Friend”  :) lol

    • WCDave

      Are you on acid? It seems perfectly normal to me!

    • Tweekex

      I said the same thing when first coming to this site. I thought he had ADHD, ha. But that is just Kellex and something you will have to get used to.

  • webby

    The case I have on my G-Nex, a Diztronic I bought on Amazon, is not flush with the screen.  It sticks up just a bit from the screen.  

    Actually, I would not want a case that was even with the screen as this one in the video is.  The reason is, we all know in case of an accidental drop, the screen always ends up face down.  With a slight lip, there is a better chance the screen doesn’t shatter.

  • saimin

    How do these compare to the $5 or $10 cases on Amazon or EBay? Some of the cheap cases on Amazon are getting a lot of positive reviews.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Sasank-Aramandla/100001251341506 Sasank Aramandla

    does it cover the screen? my galaxy nexus has a few minor scratches that are simply killing me

    • Chris Pinola

      mine too, really wish they would’ve gone with gorilla glass :(

      • Guest

        get a screen protector?

      • ERIFNOMI

        Gorilla glass doesn’t mean anything. I went like a week without a screen protector on my TB and got a little scratch on it. I’ve gone without a screen protector for my nexus and no scratches.

        • velocipedes

          Gorilla Glass 2 would have meant a lot.

        • Rsmith Nikon

          Both my wife and I just upgraded to the SGN from the original Moto Droid.  After almost 2 years both phones glass were in perfect condition without the need for screen protectors.  My 3 year old has been using our phones as full time media players since we upgraded and still the phones have perfect glass.  After only a few weeks I have 2 small scratches on my SGN glass.  Obviously something is different.

          That said… my sister in law broke the glass on her Moto Droid 2 about 3 months after getting it… so apparently the glass on the OG droid was just better.

          Either way… now I need to go buy some bull crap screen protector for my phone.

          • ERIFNOMI

            I know how to explain this: the OG Droid was a tank. I have one and it was solid as a rock for the year I had it then when I got it back from my sister after ~6 months it felt like someone tried to rip it in half. That phone was a great phone….

  • Zxc3424

    “I was able to get this to fit over the extended battery, however, it was not built for anything but the standard battery.”
    So what do you mean? Was it too tight for extended battery?

    • kidtronic

      I really need to know this before I order one. That’s why I’ve been holding off. 

      • http://www.droid-life.com Kellex B

        I should probably rephrase that. It definitely fit, although it took some work to get it on there right. 

        • mjmedstarved

          I wonder if it is like the otterbox in a sense that when I take off the batt cover.. she fits perfect with the extended??

          • NemaCystX

            Otterbox works with the extended batt even with the cover, I have one that fits perfectly

          • mjmedstarved

            Strange, because mine does not.

            It will fit… but the corners don’t stay flush between the hard plastic and soft silicone; I know others have agreed on this with me here before also.

          • NemaCystX

            You have to make sure your plastic pieces are snapped together in all 4 snaps before puting on the silicon, after that, its nice and snug, I have pics of this as well.  Otterbox confirmed this after I sent them my findings a few days before it came out since I managed to get it earlier than the public.

        • NemaCystX

          Kellex, what I did was remove the battery cover and use the silicon cover as the battery holder, with the plastic on the sides, it keeps the silicon tight against the battery.  see my pics in this thread

          http://forum.xda-developers.com/showpost.php?p=22330429&postcount=31

          That is with the extended battery and no battery cover, battery is nice and snug with no power offs

        • Gottheguds112

          Kellex, I’m very interested in the leather pouches! What do you think about them? Can I get your comments or info on them? I sprung for the pogo dock which is necessitating me to ditch my cruzerlite case. A freebie would also offset those 90 bones :P

    • kcmanuel

      I was wondering the same thing.

      So is it good to go with the extended battery?  Don’t mind it fitting tight.  I’m looking for something new to use besides my Otterbox Commuter case