Signal and Case Review: Spigen Neo Hybrid Metal/Ballistic tungsten

Discussion in 'iPhone Accessories' started by Trebuin, Oct 5, 2014.

  1. Trebuin, Oct 5, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2014

    Trebuin macrumors 65816


    Jun 3, 2008
    Central Cali
    I received the Spigen Neo Hybrid case today and decided to check out the signal issues I've heard about. Since I have another case on, I figured I'd compare it to one made out of only plastic an rubber (Ballistic Tungsten slim). This covers cell signal which the best I can get is usually 3 bars in my house, and it covers the wifi signal using an asus AC router, from a near and far distance as well as a laying flat, 90 degree turn to the right, standing up like you are using it, and 90 degrees turned to the right, all in reference to the router. The far distance has a floor between the router and about 20-30 ft distance

    Ballistic Tungsten:

    Cell//wifi near//wifi far


    flat -95//-52//-72
    flat 90 degrees -97//-58//-73
    standing -104//-56//-77
    standing 90 degrees -97//-55//-75


    flat -95//-52//-71
    flat 90 degrees -95//-58//-70
    standing -106//-62//-74//
    standing 90 degrees -101//-58//-69


    flat -111//-52//-71
    flat 90 degrees -104//-60//-71
    standing -104//-59//-74
    standing 90 degrees -104//-59//-73

    The Signal is stronger when the negative number is closer to zero.

    The cell signal is impacted most significantly when the cell phone is laying flat. I'm assuming because the antenna is located on the back and will only be blocked when the band is directly between the tower and the cell, which when standing, only can occur in two directs. When laying the phone flat, the aluminum now blocks from a 360 degree perspective. the max signal blockage was about -15db from a -100 prospect(db is logarithmic), which is not very significant in my opinion.

    The wifi signal seems to not have been impacted according to some of these numbers and actually shows an improvement...this was something I did not expect. When testing, I was able to see the signal change with a quick refresh and found my hand was the biggest obstacle for the 5GHz Signal from my AC router.

    By using Ookla's speedtest, I had 50Mbps down/6Mbps up, which is no loss on speed at a 10 ft location.


    As far as the design between the Ballistic and the Spigen, the Ballistic clearly offers more protectional at the cost of doubling the thickness of the phone. The rubber lip doubles at the smallest clearance point and triples at the largest. The surrounding protection offers approximately .8-.10mm of rubberized protection with air. There is a hard plastic along the back, but it is reinforced by that .8-.10mm rubber as well.

    The Spigen offers a thin metal band which will help to distribute an impact along a larger, but thinner rubberized area. The rubber at the thinnest point is approximately .2-.4mm thick and this occurs along the outermost curved portion of the phone. The back provides thicker protection than the sides while the sides provides more reinforcement over a larger area with the metal band. The weakest point of the phone would be at any corner at 45 degrees tilt, the second being the corners at a 90 degree tilt for drop impact. I do not think the spigen will provide the same drop height protection as the tungsten clearly would.

    I personally like the spigen better because I can swipe the corners more easily. The Ballistic would need the lip to start flat then curve out to make this more possible.

    Removal of both proves difficult with the Spigen being the most difficult, though possible. The metal bends the most at the bottom, so start inserting it from the buttons at the top and end with the bottom. To remove, you have to get a good grip with one of the two corners, get the entire bottom moving off, and then pull it towards the back. You can also remove it using the holes used for the speaker and the headset jack.

    The mute button has been another discussion. The Ballistic case provides a much larger hole, almost the full size of the aluminum band the spigen case has. That makes it easier to flip the button, though both make it a bit of a challenge to flip.

    The more protective spigen Neo Hybrids provide an .8mm lip while the tough and slim armors provide a .6mm lip. This plays a role with the screen protection with glass screen protectors. .4mm glass protector would only allow .2mm clearance before it provide absolutely no shock protection on a face drop.

    The spigen case has the advantage to allow a full screen protector on the phone. Currently, there are only wet or soft protectors that fit this. The iLoome currently is the only talked about tempered glass protector that fits the edges and may fit this protector just fine. The lack of protection around the sides will clearly allow my keys to scratch the sides of the glass. The Ballistic uses that gap and provides a much better screen coverage and I will continue to use that until I find a better glass protector.
  2. Eckscaliber macrumors 6502a


    May 30, 2012
    I came here looking for pics, but there aren't any. Unless you said you'll post them later. I didn't read any of your post.

    Spigen has been my primary case maker for over 2 years. I was looking at either this case, Tough Armor, or Slim Armor. I'm 99% sure that I'm going to get the Slim Armor in gray. I love the way it looks, and it reminds me of the first iPhone.
  3. Trebuin thread starter macrumors 65816


    Jun 3, 2008
    Central Cali
    I'll post them later, I need to get ahold of my wife's phone to get some good pics. I've bought their cases for my last two iPhones and they have been great. I would highly encourage you to get the neo or any of their cases that has .8mm or more of clearance to protect your screen more.
  4. Eckscaliber macrumors 6502a


    May 30, 2012
    Is this the only case Made by Spigen, that you have for the iPhone 6? I read that the bottom lip on the Slim Armor I planned on getting, is very flimsy. I had that problem with the Slim Armor S, but not the original Slim Armor, for my iPhone 5. I have a Neo Hybrid on my iPhone now, and it's rock solid all around. Is the iPhone 6 version pretty solid, or did they cheapen it by cutting back on the amount/quality of the material(s) used?

    My choices for a case are now this one, Tough Armor, or the Unicorn Beetle by Supcase. I do not plan on going nuts trying to find a case for my iPhone 6 like I did with my iPhone 5. I literally bought & tried 15 different cases, until I settled on one. That was the Slim Armor, and the first time I ever heard of Spigen.
  5. Trebuin thread starter macrumors 65816


    Jun 3, 2008
    Central Cali
    I don't have their slim armor nor have tried that for the iPhone 6. I have heard some manufactures have skimped around the docking area and I'm surprised spigen would have done that to the 5s. The iPhone 6 neo hybrid is solid around the edges. I think that the rubber protection might be a bit thin for my tast, but the metal band around the side really helps. I'm hoping someone wealthy enough will drop test this case.

    I just looked at the Beetle and that reminds me of one of the otter box designs. That will definitely be solid enough to protect your phone. It would definitely beat the Neo Hybrid at the cost of size.
  6. Eckscaliber macrumors 6502a


    May 30, 2012
    I decided to buy the Slim Armor. I love the design and color scheme. I will try the Ultra Hybrid, once I get sick of, or if I'm not satisfied with the SA.

    The design of the iPhone 6 is by far my favorite. I love the rounded design.

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