Earlier in the week, I reviewed the Body Glove protective cover for the HTC One S on T-Mobile. I called it “my favorite case for the phone yet,”  but I still wanted to take a quick look at another case that T-Mobile is selling right now. I headed over to my local store to play around with the Incipio protective cover – a case that’s the exact same price as the Body Glove.

But how well does it protect the One S? And is it really worth as much as its competing case?

At first glance, like the Body Glove, you’ll notice that the packaging is quite standard – cardboard and clear plastic, nothing special. In fact, the packaging is nearly identical to Body Glove.

Upon opening it up and taking the case out, my first impressions were that it certainly looked nice and appeared expensive, but in my hands it felt cheap. I do have to admit that the brushed metal design on the back was a very nice touch, and the gray/silver color matched the phone perfectly.

However, dust collected on it very easily, even as I stood there looking at it in the store. Additionally, it seemed like it would be very easy to scratch; I’m not sure how durable that brushed design really is long term. I also noticed that it was absolutely a terrible fingerprint magnet – just in handling it for a few short minutes, it was covered and I had to clean it. Neat freaks like me would go crazy over this.

The case did snap on perfectly, although I fear that as time goes on and it conforms to the shape of the phone, it may stretch slightly and not be quite as snug. At that particular moment, though, it was just fine, and fairly easy to take back off the phone, too (although it was a little tricky at first).

The cut outs are all correct for port and button access, and this was the only case I saw at T-Mobile that left the volume keys uncovered. I actually prefer this, because the previous two cases I reviewed at T-Mobile (both the Body Glove and the D30 flex protective cover) covered these; as a result, they were much more difficult to press – especially in the case of the Body Glove. However, this wasn’t a problem here.

The top buttons and headphone jack are also exposed, which I also prefer.

However, because it leaves so much uncovered on the sides and front, you would have to be extra careful – the front of the phone is largely exposed to damage, especially if you drop it. (The D3O can’t be beat if you’re a frequent dropper.) This is especially true along the bottom of the phone, which tends to be more prone to chipping and scratching from drops (at least in my experience).

If you’re concerned about thinness and weight, this one can’t be beat. It’s extremely thin so, while not completely flush with the camera, it still might be a little more vulnerable than it is with a case like the Body Glove. As an added bonus, it weighs almost nothing.

However, for the money, I’d recommend the Body Glove over this one. You’ll get much better protection, and I think you’ll generally be much happier with your purchase.

The Incipio protective cover for the HTC One S is available at T-Mobile stores for $29.99.