Oh, the Galaxy S7 Edge, you are a fragile piece of work. You will shatter simply from an off-putting look. So it’s vitally important to protect your Galaxy S7 Edge with a quality case. We should know – we shattered one of our two brand new S7 Edges that didn’t yet have a case on it. It fell out of a pocket and struck the linoleum kitchen floor on its edge. A mere two-and-a-half foot drop sent spider cracks through that gorgeous AMOLED screen.
Luckily for me, I had ordered my Spigen Neo Hybrid case before my phone even arrived, and it went in right as I took it out of the box. I’ve had a couple minor drops – we all do. The bigger and glassier they make these damn phones, the more we seem to drop them. Up until now, this Spigen case has protected it admirably.
It offers a lot of protection, especially on the corners. This is crucial, because these are particularly vulnerable places for your phone. The case wraps around the phone nicely keeping it very protected while not obstructing the gorgeous curved screen. The back is texturized rubber which adds much needed grip to this otherwise soap-slippery phone. The port access is ample and I haven’t had any of my headphones or USB cables hang up on the case. I like the overall hand feel of this phone. The slightly bumped out edges of the case keep my fat palms from errantly touching the curved edges of the screen. With the plastic edge of the case, it’s not totally grippy like the back of the case, but I haven’t felt like holding the phone by the edges would result in the phone slipping out of my grasp.
At first I thought the depth of the bottom of the case obstructed the speaker, but I discovered the speaker on the S7 Edge is of middling quality out of the box. (Helpful hint – you should enable equalization in the phone’s settings to smooth out the sound of this speaker, but don’t expect miracles.)
Now let’s get to the elephant in the room – the durability – which is the reason I downgraded this case even though just yesterday I would have given this case highest marks. This is a two-piece case. There’s no getting around that. The plastic edge (I guess we’ll call it a bumper) that wraps around the rubberized bulk of the case is not only meant to absorb shock, but by design keep the case locked onto the phone. It’s as much protective as it is structural. So one should treat this phone case as one would treat an infant car seat – if you get into an accident, you’re very likely going to need to replace the case. You’re not – I repeat, not – going to be able to just remove the bumper and use this as a silicone case. It will not stay on the phone without the plastic bumper.
How do I know this? I broke my bumper. I didn’t drop it on a hard surface on its edge. I didn’t accidentally smack it down on a desk. All it took to break the plastic bumper on this case was to keep it in my pocket without any bending or stressing whatsoever. From time to time in my pocket, one edge of the phone will pop out, and it firmly slips in without much issue. That’s a good thing – it’s usually very secure. But very occasionally, the plastic bumper will very slightly slip off the silicone and need to be re-seated. It doesn’t happen often, but it does. Apparently this time when it did, it was just enough to split the bumper, rendering the case pretty much unusable. I have just tried to super-glue it back together in a feeble attempt to get another week’s use out of the case while I search for a new one, but I don’t expect the repair to last as the break didn’t occur in a seam or other joint – it split in the middle of one of the long sides.
I really liked this case yesterday. I really did. I had high hopes for this case being a great long-term protective solution for the virtual breakaway glass on the Galaxy S7 Edge, but the design of this case is intended to fail and be replaceable. The bumper’s material is just too weak to last. It is intended to do one job – absorb shock and crack when the phone is dropped so your screen does not. I just hoped it would last longer than a couple months.