INCASE SNAP SMOKE vs INCIPIO NGP MATTE SMOKE vs BELKIN SHIELD MACRA CLEAR

Discussion in 'iPhone Accessories' started by applekiwipeach, Sep 1, 2010.

  1. applekiwipeach macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2010
    #1
    Now my bf and I have tried the following these 3 cases and would love to provide a comparison. Hope it can help some of you out there looking for a case. :)

    The Incase and Belkin were from the free case program. We both LOVE the Incase Snap smoke for its style and material and resent the Belkin Shield Micra clear for its material. Bf picked the Belkin and couldn't stand it. I heard good things here about the Incipio Matte from Walmart and bought it for bf since it looks similar to the Incase we love and costs a lot less. Took some pictures (bottom of the post). Here's what we think now:

    On a scale from 1-5

    Incase Snap (Smoke)
    Style: 5 star
    Protection: 3 star
    Fit: 4 star
    Material quality: 5 star
    Camera cutout: standard oval cut with black paint to reduce flash reflection
    Retail price: $34.95 (including a transparent plastic stand)


    It's a minimal case. SO thin and transparent, though its in smoke color - preserves the i4 style superbly. The sides don't wrap around the front screen, only snaps onto the metal band. Slight raised above the screen so that the front screen wouldn't touch the surface when faced down.
    Some ppl say it provides zero protection. It is simply exaggerated. The back and sides are very well protected. Only top is open. (bottom open for every case anyway) It is a very precise cut. wouldn't fit with protective shields on. However, it's a perfect fit without the shields. The power and volume buttons are cut out and harder to press than without the case, but not too bad.
    We can't praise enough about the high quality of the material used. It's a special texture between hard and soft, matte but of a smooth touch. It doesn't grip much to the hand, but is pretty much dust, oil, minor scratch resistant. It's "expensive" looking. Doesn't grab lint, easy to take out the pocket. The stand was OK. doesn't do much but is good to have.
    The retail price is crazy, esp. with about $9 shipping via Incase homepage, that's making it $45 in total, 1/4 of a 16g i4 for something so minimal (though good-looking).


    Incipio NGP Matte (Smoke):
    Style: 3 star
    Protection: 5 star
    Fit: 5 star
    Material quality: 4 star
    Retail price: $19.88 (in Wal-mart, including a front screen shield)
    Camera cut-out: larger oval cutout. Gives ample space not to interrupt with the flash)


    The price-quality ratio is unbeatable here. It's somewhat similar to Incase with its between soft&hard material and smoke/grey color. However, it actually has a significantly different look. While the Incase looks more elegant and sleek, this one looks cuter and rounder. It somehow reminds me of soft candy cubes. =) It's way thicker than Incase, but way more protective. It wraps around the edges of the front screen and covers the top. Fits easily. The power and volume buttons are all covered and very well designed - easy to press. The material looks matte and feels sandy, thicker and softer than the Incase. It doesn't grab lint either. Though we only tried it on for a short while, we could tell that it's a durable case. Dust and oil resistant. Probably not easy to scratch either. Something extra worth mentioning - the front screen protector included is of very good quality. We both have the SGP Oleo. From the look, the included shield looks the same as the SGP oleo, though we didn't put it on. Overall, it's a good case, but it distorts the i4's original style by adding significant bulk and rounding off all the edges.



    Belkin Shield Micra (Clear):
    Style: 5 star for front, 1 star for back
    Protetction:3 star
    Fit: 2 star
    Material quality: 1 star
    Price: $24.99
    Camera cut-out: standard oval


    Don't have many good things to say about it. It's a joke for the price. The front and side actually looks great. The same cutout as the Incase, but different material used. It's also a precise cut. Maybe even a bit too tight. Since it's clear and thin, it preserves the i4 style well. The sides snap onto the metal band and don't rise above the front screen, so the front screen would be touching the surface facing down. The inside edge that snaps onto the iphone band is very rough and could easily scratch the phone. The worst is the back of the case. It's made of such cheap plastic that it's not even flat. Because of the unevenness, some places press against the phone so tightly that they leave marks (like traces of water beneath). No matter how many times we try, the marks won't go away. We didn't use back protector and the phone def. wasn't wet or damp. You can also see rainbows all over the back plastic from certain angles. It's made of the cheapest plastics Belkin could ever find... The case's also terribly scratched up in 2 weeks. However, without looking at the back, and without taking it on and off (to more easily scratch the i4), the case is great.

    End of the story is, bf wants the i4 to look as close to naked as possible with some protection. Though Incipio NGP is a great case, it does look a lot bulkier and toy-like. So we are going to return the Incipio NGP smoke and just bought another Incase Snap Smoke from Ebay - about $25 including shipping. Now that is a reasonable price.

    Some photos:

    Incipio NGP VS Incase Snap
    [​IMG]
    Incipio NGP VS Incase Snap
    [​IMG]
    Incipio NGP VS Incase Snap
    [​IMG]
    Incipio NGP VS Incase Snap
    [​IMG]
     

    Attached Files:

  2. applekiwipeach thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2010
    #2
    Incase Snap
    [​IMG]

    Incipio NGP
    [​IMG]

    Belkin Shield Micra
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    (I wasn't talking about little rainbows you can see from this photo, but huge ones i couldn't capture in this angle.)
     

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  3. lao3hero macrumors member

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    Aug 2, 2010
  4. chanerz macrumors 6502a

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    Jul 7, 2010
  5. asleep macrumors 68040

    asleep

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    Sep 26, 2007
  6. deeddawg macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2010
    Location:
    US
    #6
    Same here. I've been using one of those cheap ebay Replicase cases and it's okay if you never use the flash.

    Not sure whats taking to long though -- received the shipment notification for my Incase Smoke last week and it's still only showing as "Manifested" on the DHL status page. :(
     
  7. Godzirra macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2010
    Location:
    Somewhere on Salisbury plain, and Apple, UK
    #7
    Nice job on the reviews, and I'd have to agree with you about the Belkin, and would like to add a few extras about it....

    Mine arrived today and first views are it's not worth having. A right git to get on the phone as it's so tight, attracts dust and finger prints straight away, and the description on the Belkin website, was that it was 'flexible'. It is only just and only to get the case on the phone.
    It's a solid plastic with no shock absorbing qualities at all, and after 3 hours, the back has tiny scratches on it already, and it's only been in my fleece pocket and the car seat.
    The volume buttons are difficult to use as well, as the cut out is rather close and the sides of the case are thicker. Good for protecting them, but not for ease of use.
    The front lip clips onto the metal bezel, and by the looks of it, will be too tight for a screen protector as well. I'd prefer to have the lip raised at least 1mm above the screen for that little bit of 'screen down and off the table' protection, but this doesn't have it.

    There is no way this should cost what it does, but being free from Apple, i'm glad i didn't pay for it.
     
  8. duction macrumors 6502a

    duction

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2010
    Location:
    U to the K
    #8
    i too would agree, i have just got my belkin free case and it blows, seriously. if i had paid for this id be crying right now lol.

    side dont pertrude so no front protection, ok maybe 1/2 mm but thats nothing!

    i have 3 cases and i hate them all, apples bumper, belkin case and a chinese knockoff bumper, although my phones been dropped and i should of had a case to stopt he bezel scuffing, i just cant have a case that makes it feel bulky and less sleek! meh.. whats insurance for.

    1 out of 5 for the belkin case.
     
  9. applekiwipeach thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2010
    #9
    I was also staring at the "manifested" for days and wondering what it was doing, but it was delivered to me exactly on the "estimated delivery date" shown in the shipment notice email. So I guess it's just a cheaper shipment method that doesn't provide full tracking for every stops of its trip.
     
  10. applekiwipeach thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2010
    #10

    Agree. The volume buttons on Belkin was even harder to press down than the Incase smoke cos the side is thicker. Ours was scratched all over the place in a few hours too. Just gonna toss it away after we receive the new case.
     
  11. applekiwipeach thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2010
    #11
    lol... i meant marks that looks like there's water beneath. lol. changed the wording :p
     
  12. Resist macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2008
    #12
    While I like the minimum design of the Incase I don't like how the Incase Snap leaves the top and bottom open. I prefer the Incase Slider case, but since it isn't part of the free case program I will have to decide on something else. The case choices in this program are terrible.
     
  13. ohla313 macrumors 6502a

    ohla313

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2010
    #13
    this may sound kinda dumb, but how the hell do you take off the incase smoke case from your iphone? I got one on mine as well and LOVE IT! used it today in the city and it handled it like a champ. Was wondering how to take it off correctly though...I tried to take it off but then heard a crack :eek: so umm I hope its not something I broke cuz there's no signs of damage on the phone or case.
     
  14. applekiwipeach thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2010
    #14

    i take it off with a thumb pushing through the camera cutout while the other fingers (fingernails) holding on to/slightly pulling the edge of the case. i can usually take it off and put it on pretty easily.
     
  15. crunchymilk55 macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2009
    #15
    my incase snap smoke is the nicest case (imo) I've owned for any of the iphones. The material is excellent.
     
  16. ihonda macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2009
    #16
    snap smoke would be nice if it didnt have the flash issue :|
     
  17. crunchymilk55 macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2009
    #17
    It doesn't
     
  18. CDutch macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2009
    #18
    From my experience, it indeed does.
     
  19. plusonechoi macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2010
    Location:
    San Francisco
    #19
    does the Incipio NGP really make it that much bulkier? I was hoping it was somewhat thin
     
  20. applekiwipeach thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2010
    #20
    It IS thicker, but not much. I think it just looks a lot rounder and thicker because it wraps around the edges of the front screen. =) They're also made of different materials. The somewhat sandy surface of Incipio also adds tiny bit of bulk to it.
     
  21. applekiwipeach thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2010
    #21
    It doesn't have any flash issues for me. I took photos to compare and couldn't tell any difference.
     
  22. chanerz macrumors 6502a

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    Jul 7, 2010
  23. crunchymilk55 macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2009
    #23
    Odd, I tested it with no difference, as have others. Does yours have an inner black ring? May want to ask for a replacement.
     
  24. plusonechoi macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2010
    Location:
    San Francisco
    #24
    ic, i just picked up the Incipio NGP today. this case does offer very good protection and definitely feels very sturdy and strong. this case does make it feel quite a bit bulkier compared to just the bumper and it is making my phantom skinz bubble up in the corners.

    overall i do like this case a lot, sturdy, good overall protection. this material is great because it provides some grip but does not get caught coming out of my pockets.

    i have also tried the incase snap in and did not like it very much, seemed like it would pop out too easily if it were to take a fall. in addition, it got too oily too quick and was too slippery IMO
     
  25. CDutch macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2009
    #25
    It has the black ring. Just received it last week directly from InCase. While this isn't the exact same photo, they were taken last weekend at a bar where the lighting wasn't great. Maybe it's not quite as noticeable as I thought. Here are the examples though.

    The photo with the woman with the mullet and wearing the Michigan gear was taken with the case on. The other is without.

    As a side note, why do the pictures rotate horizontally when I export them to my PC?
     

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