Spigen SGP Ultra Hybrid for Google Nexus 5 review

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It’s the holiday season: time to start thinking about what we’re going to give to the loved ones in our lives – or what we’ll splurge on for ourselves. One such splurge for me was a new Google Nexus 5 by LG, and so I immediately began looking for something to protect my new investment. Luckily, my friends over at Mobile Fun were able to send me a brand new Spigen SGP Ultra Hybrid case for me to try out, although they’ve got a bunch of other Nexus 5 covers to select, as well.

Spigen 2This particular case is similar to a bumper that allows you to show off the Nexus 5’s good looks (it is a nice looking phone, after all), but it also protects the back at the same time with a clear plastic shield. In fact, that’s specifically what I was looking for: something that protected my phone from dings and scratches, while still letting others see the beauty in its design. Too many other cases completely block the back, and that’s not what I wanted here.

Spigen also says that this case features  “Advanced Shock Absorption Technology” with its four air-cushioned corners, although I’m not sure if that’s just marketing-speak for smoke and mirrors. In any case, I’ve dropped my phone a few times already, and this case did a good job at protecting it, air-cushioned or not.

The case also has a raised bezel that protects the screen on the Nexus 5, although it also comes with a screen protector should you choose to use that, as well. I didn’t – the included screen protector did not include a cut out for the front-facing camera or the proximity sensor, both of which I wanted, so I spent a few more dollars on a separate screen protector that did. However, if you’re extra paranoid about microscopic scratches that could affect your camera or proximity sensor, then the included protector fits the bill.

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While the Spigen SGP Ultra Hybrid does allow for easy access to all ports and phone controls, I do have one complaint: the design makes it fairly difficult to press the volume or power buttons. Since the case covers these buttons, I don’t feel the same satisfying click that I did when pressing these buttons before I used the case. I’ve also found myself sometimes accidentally hitting the power or volume buttons when I didn’t intend to; I wish that the case would have just provided cutouts instead.

That being said, the case fits the Nexus 5 perfectly. There’s no extra wiggle room, but it’s also easy to remove when necessary. It keeps the entire package as slim and light-weight as it can, especially compared to some of the bulkier cases on the market. I’ve been using it for a couple weeks, and I’m much more confident now that my phone is able to withstand some typical, minor, day-to-day abuse.

Spigen 4For the price, it’s also hard to beat. I have only two tips: First, before you worry about scratching the clear plastic on the back of the case, remove the two clear protective layers – they’re on both the inside and outside of the case. Before I did this, I thought I did some serious damage with just my fingernails! Second, make sure you really scrub the back of your Nexus 5 and the interior of this case before you use it. Dust and hair seem to be magnified, and it’s really annoying to see that through the case!

If you’re able to get it on your phone before any dust gets in, this is case to get – especially if you’re looking for inexpensive but quality protection for your Nexus 5.

The Spigen SGP Ultra Hybrid for the Google Nexus 5 is available for £14.99 from Mobile Fun.

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John F

John was the editor-in-chief at Pocketables. His articles generally focus on all things Google, including Chrome and Android, although his love of new gadgets and technology doesn't stop there. His current arsenal includes the Nexus 6 by Motorola, the 2013 Nexus 7 by ASUS, the Nexus 9 by HTC, the LG G Watch, and the Chromebook Pixel, among others.