Here is my review of the Casemate Tough cover for the Samsung Galaxy S GTI9000. I'm not a professional reviewer, so please bear that in mind while reading
A quick apology before I start - the only decent camera I have is the one on my Galaxy S, so I apologise for the quality of some pictures, they were taken with my daughters Samsung C3050 phone.
The case came in a pretty sturdy cardboard box (from play.com who give free delivery in the UK)
It fitted through the letterbox with the normal post and didn't require a signature. Inside the box, along with my receipt was the retail packaging for the case..
Inside the pack the case comes in 3 parts; a high quality screen protector, complete with wiping cloth...
...and a two part case...
I didn't use the screen protector as I already have a pretty decent one fitted, but upon laying the new one against the screen, it covers right up to the edges and has pre-cut holes for the speaker and home button. There is also a notch cut out for the front-facing camera. I must clarify that the upper cutout for the speaker is in fact a hole and not just a large notch like you get with a lot of screen protectors.
The silicon part of the case is injection molded to a really high standard of quality. All the cutouts are in exactly the right place and there are no molding artifacts around any of the edges. It is matt Black in colour (the only colour available at the time of writing) and is quite flexible. It's the kind of silicon that drags a bit if you run your finger over it, but isn't sticky enough to pick up bits of hair. However, really small particles of dust and lint would stick to it I'd imagine.
The "inner skin" as I call it fits beautifully around the phone and sits sweetly and evenly up against the AMOLED screen, completely covering the shiny bevel.
*note - The screen protector in the picture below is my existing one, the Casemate one has a hole cut out for the speaker rather than a notch like this.
The cutouts for USB, Headphones, Loud speaker, Camera, Strap mount and Microphone couldn't be any more perfectly aligned. The shiny chrome bezel around the camera is still visible.
The volume and power buttons are molded as part of the inner skin, and sit over the top of the real buttons - more on this later.
The "outer case" is made of a high quality rigid plastic, again injection molded perfectly with no blemishes or artifacts from the process. It has the words "case-mate©" on the back, along with the "CM" logo. It is mainly covered with an anti-slip texture in the form of a criss-cross pattern of small rectangular dots.
It's a little fiddly to fit the outer case over the inner skin, the trick is to align the volume button side of the phone first, then ease the hard case on, taking care not to damage the silicon power button of the inner skin. Once you get past a certain point, the hard case snaps into position and seems to become one with the inner skin.
It's so good a match that if I were a gambling man, had I not known, I would have put money on the two skins being one piece. It goes without saying that the various cutouts are perfectly aligned.
The sliding USB port cover is obviously now a little more recessed than it would have been, but this doesn't hinder the accessibility in any way. I have very short nails and I can slide the door open and closed with no problems.
Now back to the buttons. I was a little wary of the way the volume and power buttons had been implemented because I've seen similar things in the past. The slightest misalignment of the case would make it awkward to operate the buttons underneath. I am glad to say that the system used by the Casemate Tough is absolutely fine. The inner skin has molded buttons which sit over the top of the actual buttons, so any pressure applied transfers through the skin and onto the button beneath.
The buttons sit flush with the hard outer casing therefor making them harder to accidentally push, yet easy to use when you actually intend to do so. This is especially useful if you use a ONE CLICK UNLOCK APP like myself.
There is not much more to say other than my personal view on this case. I paid £14.99 for this from play.com and I have no complaints. It is a really well made and robust case which allows me to feel confident about putting my phone down on hard surfaces without fear of scratching it. As the corners are well protected and the screen is now slightly more recessed, I daresay the phone could handle quite a knock before suffering any damage, but this forum doesn't pay me enough to do a drop test
I can't give you any detailed weight information other than the phone still feels lighter than an iphone, even with this case fitted. I will update this review after testing the case with real-world use for a couple of weeks.
Well I have been using the phone in a real-world scenario now for a couple of weeks, and I can safely say that this case is one of the best investments I've made.
If you read the posts beneath this review you will see that I raised a concern about the top lip of the case "rolling up" if you don't grip the phone properly when removing it from a pocket. Well this worry turned out to be unfounded. After a few days I found myself pinching the phone a little tighter to lift it, this was a sub-conscious decision, I didn't do it intentionally, it just comes automatically somehow . Of the 10 - 20 times I did roll the lip up, the case sprang back into shape instantly and there is no deformation of any sort there now.
The parts of exposed soft rubber I thought might pick up dust particles - don't.
I've been having a play with the firmware and the other night I had to drop the battery out for something (I screwed up...) so obviously I had to remove the case. It was a little tight to get off, but came off with no problem. But wow! - the phone felt so flimsy and fragile without the case on! Yes, it's sleek and shiny but my concerns of dropping or scratching it instantly resurfaced and to be honest, I couldn't wait to get the case back on again!
So my final conclusion:
Pros - Great looking, very grippy, confidence inspiring, highly protective (especially of corners - the primary drop targets!), solid, feels military, doesn't pick up bits of dust.
Cons - Quite bulky, adds a bit to the overall weight, bit tricky to remove, top and bottom lips are a bit flexible compared to the side edges.
I would definitely recommend this case to anyone who uses their phone in an engineering or active environment (or someone who is a tiny bit rough/clumsy with their gadgets )