Fresh from reviewing the cheap and cheerful FlexiShield case for the Galaxy Nexus, we’re back with another protective offering from industry veteran Case-Mate. Although this particular product retails for around the same price as FlexiShield’s TPU option, it’s quite a different proposition.
Review submitted by extremely patient retro gaming advisor Damo.
As the name suggests, this is one seriously slender case. It’s fashioned from rigid plastic rather than TPU or soft-touch silicone, and comes covered in that slip-resistant rubberised coating you often find on the back of phones from HTC.
When you ‘snap’ the phone into the case one of the first things you’ll notice is that it doesn’t actually cover all of the edges. At the top and bottom of the case there are large cutaways which expose all of your important ports and connections, with the rather unwanted side-effect of leaving lots of your Galaxy Nexus exposed to the elements.
At the bottom of the case this is especially noticeable, and if you were to drop your phone on this particular area, it would literally have no protection whatsoever. ‘Barely there’, indeed.
In fact, we’d avoid dropping the phone regardless, as this case doesn’t really seem to have been designed with impact protection in mind. Although it’s marketed as being impact resistant, the solid plastic doesn’t look like it’s up to the task of withstanding a huge drop, and we dare say that a particularly catastrophic fall could result in the phone ‘snapping’ out of the case altogether. Oo-er.
However, one thing this case does have in its favour is its slim nature. Once applied, it’s almost unnoticeable; it adds little to no bulk to the phone itself, and therefore presents the best option for those of you that hate chunky cases but still desire some scratch protection for your beloved Google phone. It’s also much less weighty than some other options out there.
It’s also worth noting that unlike many TPU or silicone cases, the Case-Mate solution has cut-aways over the phone’s buttons. We noticed that with the FlexiShield case, a firm grip would sometimes accidentally press the volume control. There’s no such issue with the Barely There case, and it feels good to actually interact directly with the phone’s physical inputs rather than having to awkwardly prod them through a silicone barrier.
In summary, this is a perfectly decent case which will keep your handset free from bumps and marks, but if you’re especially clumsy you may want to opt for a sturdier option – such as the Case-Mate Tough Case. The Case-Mate Barely There case for the Galaxy Nexus is available for £15.95 from Mobile Fun.