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This is the third case I’ve tried for my Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge – a fragile but beautiful smartphone that needs a case that protects it from screen-shattering impacts, yet looks good enough to hide the fact you’re covering up its sexy glass back. This is also the second plastic-over-silicone style case I’ve tried, which happens to be a general design scheme that I’m really not all that fond of, regardless of its protective qualities.
This case fits the S7 Edge well and doesn’t add much thickness or bulk to the phone at all. The silicone part slips over the edges of the phone itself and the plastic backing lightly but firmly snaps into it, holding it together. One issue I’ve had with all the cases I’ve tried on my S7 Edge is some minor edge slippage when it goes in or comes out of my pocket, and this case is no exception. That said, it’s not constantly slipping off, or doing so more than slightly over one edge. Compared to the other plastic-over-silicone case I’ve tried, the plastic stays attached to this case better, and it doesn’t feel or look so much like it’s a separate part that’s removable. While the fit is nice overall, the edges of the case and the lip that raises the phone’s screen off the table when it’s face-down could be a little more pronounced. It feels like the edge protection of this case are pretty slight and could be improved without adding bulk or sticking out.
The back of the case being plastic, the grippiness of the case isn’t as good as one that has more of a rubberized or silicone back. That’s not to say this case gives you the feeling that it will fly out of your hand either. The texture, which almost looks like chainmail, gives a little bit of something to grab on to and feel good in the hand, but the height of security it’s not. It very well could slip from a hand if you’re not careful slipping it out of your pocket. The one feature of this case that I really like compared to the other plastic-over-silicone model I’ve tried is the diagonal cutouts in the back. It’s a little design feature that actually may serve a purpose. With cases like these with two layers over the back, they tend to trap in some heat. On the other similar model I’ve tested, I would get a fair amount of “cool down” periods and noticeable heating moments. I can’t say for certain, but it seems to dissipate heat better. The back doesn’t feel warm like it did with the other case, and I don’t get nearly the same number of “cooling down” messages anymore. So hooray for that. The case seems to work well with my fast wireless charging pad, and doesn’t slow down the charging at all – something one of my other cases did.
So what are the tradeoffs for the better cooling this case offers? For one thing, I don’t know exactly how much I trust the edge protection of this case – both the actual edges along both sides, and the four corners. A fall on an edge would hit both silicone and plastic, and neither feels very substantial. Also, the covers over the side buttons are a little shallow so it’s not as easy to find the volume buttons when the phone’s in my pocket. The button covers aren’t impossible or inconvenient, but they definitely could be improved. The cutouts on the bottom could also be widened a bit. I have a slim 3.5mm audio cable, and I still have to push firmly on it to seat it into the jack fully with this case. Also, I have to change out a couple of my micro USB cables I’ve had since my HTC Evo days, as those bulkier connectors will not fit in the narrow cutout this case allows. Only slim micro USB charging cables need apply with this case. Forget about using the micro USB-to-USB adapter that came with the S7 Edge with this case still on the phone, but that’s likely true of any case. The microphone and speaker cutouts are placed well and don’t seem to affect performance at all. The raised cutout around the camera and LED light is also well cut, but the raised nature of it hinders the use of the pulse reader a little in some orientations. This was also true with my other plastic-over-silicone case.
Overall, I would call this a decent mid-range case for the S7 Edge that offers a good – but probably not great – level of protection. With this phone, any protection helps, but a few little design tweaks could make this case a solid, affordable alternative to pricey cases like Otterbox.
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