There's about a month left until the iPhone 6 is released. I most certainly will be getting whatever Apple graces consumers with next month. Until then, I am continuing to soldier on with my trusty iPhone 5S. With the knowledge that I will be getting a new device next month, why would I consider purchasing a new case for my "old" iPhone? Perhaps because I have an uncontrollable fetish for iPhone cases? Perhaps. After a rather bad experience with the Verus Aluminum Frame bumper style case (signal issues), I decided to re-visit the SPIGEN Neo Hybrid case for the iPhone 5/S. I have had several SPIGEN cases in the past, including a Neo Hybrid. I wasn't expecting much but upon receiving the case in Champaign Gold, I am very happy with improvements in the quality of the case and have no regrets with the purchase this late into my iPhone 5S' life.
The Neo Hybrid is a dual layer case with a TPU inner cover with a polycarbonate external bumper. The TPU inner portion is a more rigid piece of kit in comparison to the previous generations of Neo Hybrids. This is a good thing not just from a protection perspective, but also from a quality prospective. The older generation TPU covers would sag over time, creating a "give" that would flex if any pressure was applied by your fingers making for a flimsy feel of the case overall. Based on what I have seen from the newer version of the Neo Hybrid, the rigidness of the TPU layer has increased the protection level as well as the feel of the material. The polycarbonate outer shell slips over the TPU to provide the case with the final look. The fit of the outer shell is tight and has not experienced any slippage off the TPU cover when pulling the case out of my pockets.
The Neo Hybrid now also comes with metal covers for the side volume and top sleep buttons. The metal buttons are a tremendous improvement over prior generation plastic covers which adds substantially to the overall look and quality of this case. The press of each button provides a tactile feedback similar to the native iPhone buttons.
The cutouts for the vibrate switch, the Lighting connector, and headphone jack are sufficiently large enough for easy access. I have had no issue connecting my Bose Freestyle headphones into the audio jack. In terms of docking the iPhone with the Neo Hybrid, it all depends on how the dock positions the lightning connector. If the connector is raised sufficentily on the dock, the Neo Hybrid will to dock the iPhone properly to allow charging. I am using the phone with both a first-gen Belkin and a Everdock Duo which have no issues charging the phone.
Overall, I am very impressed with the latest generation of Neo Hybrid case. It offers comprehensive protection in a very slim form factor. I chose the case in Champaign Gold which provides a look very similar to Apple's Gold look on the iPhone 5s. The case is available multiple of colors including red, satin silver, slate, yellow, and white. I highly recommend this case to anyone who wants to protect their iPhone 5 or 5S in a great looking package. The Neo Hybrid lists for $29.99 direct from the Spigen site but can be found on Amazon for $24.95. I am glad I ordered this case even if I will only have my iPhone 5S for few more weeks.
- Great protection in a slim form factor.
- Metal buttons for volume and sleep button enhance the look and quality of the case.
- TPU under layer has been significantly improved over previous generations of Neo Hybrid improving protection and quality.
- Lay-on-table design that can accomodate glass screen protectors.
- Champaign gold looks great. Available in a wide variety of colors.
- Cutouts for Lightning connector and audio jack may not accommodate some docks and/or headphone connectors. YMMV