Incipio NGP Matte "Soft Shell" & Casemate Screen Protector iPhone 4 Combo Review

Discussion in 'iPhone Accessories' started by iPhoneDoU, Jun 25, 2010.

  1. iPhoneDoU macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2010
    #1
    Introductions Aside

    Scroll below the squiggle break to skip the back story.

    I hope you've been enjoying your new iPhones as much as I have. In the last two days, I have so appreciated all the buying advice I've taken from the forum -- mostly what NOT to buy -- that I felt compelled to take these pictures and register just to say thanks. Despite being a veritable tech junkie, I've never been a forum guy, so forgive me if my thread unravels with verbosity, or if I use an emoticon you don't like. :D

    I understand all the hullabaloo about screen protectors, and phone protection in general, I really do. But if you love your phone as much as I do, and consider its retail price and contract more than slight financial burdens, you probably don't see protecting it as optional. So, you're looking for the best way to secure your phone, or maybe just make it a little more "i" -- or "u" as the case may be. <---- iPun :apple: But seriously folks, as far as this iPhoner is concerned, we have a winner, at LEAST in the case.

    If you are checking your local AT&T store for these accessories, they are in generic AT&T packaging, labeled, "Incipio Soft Shell," and "Screen Protector 3-Pack," respectively.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Material

    I picked up the Incipio NGP Matte at my local AT&T store on launch day. When I got home, I removed the packaging and experimentally tried to gouge the inside of the case with my thumbnail. I couldn't even mark it! I was thoroughly impressed.

    The NGP stands for "Next Generation Polymer". Maybe they thought it sounded cooler than Thermo Poly Urethane, but this is actually the same TPU material you'll find on most semi-rigid shell cases. Without the slickness and sheen associated with TPU, though, the "Next Generation" claim is slightly bolstered by the awesome matte finish. It really does have a look and feel all its own, which is growing on me. There are one or two slightly glossy SEAMS on the case that don't seem to belong there. These are the only things even the OCD'est of perfectionists could point out to call the case's build quality any less than aesthetically flawless. To the very tip of your finger, the case feels texturally somewhere between paper and rubber. It's tough to describe, but easy to hold on to.

    [​IMG]

    Fit
    Next, I would say the fit is about 90% perfect. I do not mean I'm 90% satisfied with it. I mean it's 90% flawless. Because this one piece case has to bend over the corners of the iPhone, a tiny bit of play is required by design. Incipio either got lucky with how well they applied the dimensions they had, or they built this case around an actual iPhone 4. (Don't say "No duh". Many of the cases available this first week were manufactured based on rumored or approximate dimensions.)

    [​IMG]

    With the NGP Matte, though, Incipio has built that mandatory amount of flex into the best possible place. The top (as in headphone/power button top) and bottom (as in 30 pin bottom) feel rock solid, and fit like a glove. Also, when you've applied the case, you can pinch it and feel that the flat back of the iPhone is laying flush in the case. Still with me? When you grip the case firmly on the sides -- but toward the back -- there is still not a millimeter of play. They've built it into the very front (as in screen front) of the case's bezel, as if the TPU flares just slightly up and out. This "design choice" -- what else would one call it -- is PERFECT for screen protector use.

    [​IMG]

    Screen Protectors
    Just today, I got my hands on a 3 pack of Casemate screen protectors at AT&T. They were my Wally World standby for the 3G, and I was happy to find them in stock. The protectors do scratch easily (I replace mine every 2-3 months), but they are pretty cheap, and, most importantly on this phone, crystal clear. Note: They are in generic AT&T packaging. I cannot speak for the quality of the similarly packaged "mirrored" or "anti-glare" protectors, so proceed with caution. Rest assured any fuzziness in this photo is due to my amateur photography skills and not the shield.

    [​IMG]

    I am not without gripes for these new Casemate protectors, however. Remember when I said that many cases were manufactured to rumored dimensions? It appears these launch week Casemate screenies are likewise plagued. I'm also very skilled at applying these; I could install them so perfectly on the 3G they were almost unnoticeable. Same brand, presumably same model. Today, despite my best efforts (and one wasted film), this was simply not possible.

    [​IMG]

    I sincerely hope Casemate addresses/has addressed the fit issue, as when Wally sells these for $7.99, they're a great (local) option for me.

    Wrapping Up
    The case does not attract fuzzies in the pocket. Speaking of pockets, it slides in and out way nicer than grippy silicone. I've also dropped my phone once already on hardwood from about waist level. I was handing it off nonchalantly, and it hit the floor with just a neat little "thud," 100% unscathed. Take a look at the pics and let me know what you think. I'm completely satisfied, save for the crappy cutouts in the protector. Sorry for the wordy writing -- it's in my nature to over-explain things, especially things I've put this much thought and time into. To reiterate my thanks, though, I read so many great threads on the forum this week, I figured the more someone can learn from my post, the better. Cheers!

    - Andrew :cool:

     
  2. jeff_siler macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 4, 2005
    #2
    Nice case. My local AT&T store did not have it. Any places online to pick this up?
     
  3. CJisohsocool macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2009
    #3
    I think this is going to be my case if i end up getting the new iphone

    By the way can you show pictures of the "glossy seams"?
     
  4. RYANL27 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2009
    #5
    Nice review. I just picked up the same Incipio case at my local AT&T, and I can echo everything you said. It's definitely the best case I've found to date. Superb fit and a surprisingly nice material.
     
  5. subtleknife macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2008
    #6
    Thank you for the review and tipping us off to this. I was actually just able to pick up one of these at my local AT&T store after reading your review, though another location was out of stock. Unfortunately they didn't have any non-mirrored screen protectors available.

    I just slipped it on and I have to say I like the look of it. I got a Belkin Vue case yesterday and it was all right, but I guess I just didn't like the frosty nature of it. I think I would have preferred it to be clear. Also I just noticed that the dock connector cutout is larger on the Incipio than the Belkin, which I personally prefer because some third-party USB connectors are larger than the standard Apple one.

    At any rate, I think I'm going to keep the Incipio case and return the Belkin Vue shortly.
     
  6. iPhoneDoU thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2010
    #7
    After my shining review, you ask me to see the "glossy seams"?! I said SLIGHTLY GLOSSY! :mad: I'd so ridicule you if I wasn't exactly like you. Having rifled through the Incipio rack at AT&T in search of matte seams, I might actually be worse. Alas, I think they all look this way from some part of the molding process. As soon as you put it on, it's effortless to ignore. Just wanted my review to be thorough. A++

    I really do have a case of OCD, though -- Obscene Concern for Detail.

    Cheers!

    [​IMG]
     
  7. CJisohsocool macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2009
    #8
    Oh that isnt that bad lol I think I can deal with it :p

    Also have you ever used a regular glossy TPU case? Is that what this case feels like? or is it kinda grainy?
     
  8. iPhoneDoU thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2010
    #9
    I've never used one, no. But I saw the Belkin Grip Vue that subtleknife referenced above, which I think is also TPU. It was sealed, so I didn't get to touch it, but it looked glossy and grippy by comparison. Not sure where I'm going with this, but I guess "grainy" is an appropriate word, sure. If you enable private messaging in your settings, I'll send you links to higher res photos if you'd like.
     
  9. CJisohsocool macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2009
    #10
    It says its enabled, With regular TPU cases their totally smooth theres no texture at all.
     
  10. glen e macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2010
    Location:
    Ft Lauderdale
    #11
    Thanks - I'll get one of these...I like the industrial look...
    looking for Xgear to do a carbon fiber one and Countourdesign to do a dockable poly carb case and I'll have what I want.

    Funny, the NGP's are at ATT, yet their site says "not avail yet"....this rollout has all the supply lines confused...
     
  11. jeff_siler macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 4, 2005
    #12
    Just picked one up at the At&t store today right as they were putting them out. I love it... except i have a blemish similar and a bit worse than yours.

    Im thinking about contacting incipio for a replacement. Anyone have any luck with them in the past?
     
  12. falconeight Guest

    falconeight

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2010
    #13
    I used two for my bold 9700 and the paint started coming off in a few days.
     
  13. subtleknife macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2008
    #14
    Yes, the Belkin Vue is an example of a TPU case that is pretty smooth. I wouldn't say that your phone in the Vue would slide all the way across a table without giving it a good shove though. Despite being smooth, it does have a slightly rubbery texture.

    The Incipio definitely has a unique texture to it. The "matte" description accurately applies here, but it's not super rough. Another thing I've noticed about this case that I like more in comparison to the Vue is that the volume buttons are dramatically easier to press. With the Vue you really had to press them down to get them to be responsive, but with the NGP they respond very easily. Also, I'm speculating that the Vue (because of its smooth texture) would start to show scratches a lot more readily than the NGP.

    I'm sure if you went to an AT&T store that had them in stock they would let you take it out of the package and try it out. The package opens up very easily and so even if you didn't purchase it, they could put it back and on the stand without a problem.
     
  14. CJisohsocool macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2009
    #15
    Alright thanks :)
     
  15. falconeight Guest

    falconeight

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2010
    #16
    I used two for my bold 9700 and the paint started coming off in a few days. i have used incipio, ifrogz, and case mate. Only the case mate did not lose paint. But I like the fit of all of them.
     
  16. 8mpg macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2010
  17. T4R06 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2007
    Location:
    CT
    #18
    The phone looks like a 3Gs now.. Ill pass

    Thanks for the review
     
  18. psychonaut macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2008
    #19
    This ismy question as well. Does this case interfere with the flash-washing out the picture?
     
  19. Bill Gates macrumors 68020

    Bill Gates

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2006
    Location:
    127.0.0.1
    #20
    What's the SKU for the Incipio NGP? To confirm, is it 74181?
     
  20. iPhoneDoU thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2010
    #21
    That's it.
     
  21. myphone macrumors 6502

    myphone

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2008
    Location:
    USA
    #22
    For me, it looks like android phone. I'll pass too.
     
  22. Brien macrumors 68020

    Brien

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2008
    #23
    I certainly hope a set of cheap front & back protectors finds it's way to Walmart/Target soon.
     
  23. iPhoneDoU thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2010
    #24
    I'm looking forward to taking more pictures with the great camera, but I've taken very few low light photos heretofore. I shot these in a dimly lit corner of my room just now so you can decide for yourself.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  24. CJisohsocool macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2009
    #25
    Geez it looks like the flash didnt even work...
     

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