Every Man Jack Tech Reviews: Incipio DualPro Samsung Galaxy S4 Smartphone Case
Protection for the Minimalist
Often the biggest issue for consumers when purchasing phone cases is a desire for both durability as well as minimal size increase. All to many of today's phone case options weigh too heavily on one side of the equation focusing only on protection or style, rather then finding a unique combination of protection and style. Having waded through many different products, however, I have discovered that there is a slim market available, that adequately meets both of these consumer needs.
One of Incipio's premier offerings is in the DualPro series smartphone case offered both for iPhone and Galaxy phone systems. This case, which comes in two separate varieties, the DualPro and the DualPro SHINE, combines a sleek modern look with a layered protection design. Today we are going to delve into the Galaxy S4 iteration of the DualPro in order to break down what the case has to offer. We will specifically look into the categories of style, features, protection and price. Let's take a look!
Bringing Sexy Back...
Incipio's DualPro series phone case is a minimalists dream. The case adds little to no extra bulk to the already slim Galaxy S4 and allows the phone to remain very light. When holding a non-cased S4 in one hand and in the other a DualPro cased phone, there is almost no noticeable change in feel. This allows the phone to slip easily in and out of a pocket while remaining user friendly no matter what level of multitasking one is doing.
Stylistically, the phone, for lack of a better term, looks modern and sexy. The standard DualPro series has a matte finish to the hard shelled exterior and is set off beautifully by the silicon insert's accent colors. This standard variation comes in Cyan/Gray, Cherry Blossom Pink/Charcoal Gray, Black/Black, and White/Gray color schemes, all of which look gorgeous for both male and female owners. The SHINE version adds a sleek, brushed aluminum dimension for a couple extra dollars, and is available in Silver/Graphite Gray, Silver/Black, Optical White/Hot Pink, and Black/Black color sets.
While the matte finish looks awesome, giving a contemporary edge to this slick design, I will warn that via wear and tear, as well as excessive dropping, the finishing can start to fade away, leaving a standard glossy hard shell veneer in place of the smooth matte coating. In addition to this issue, the shell is prone to smudges and can pick up some staining from soft objects like pencils or erasers. The SHINE, though safe from these issues, does suffer from occasional scratching, which for some, can ruin the style.
A Simple Kind of Case
Though Incipio's DualPro oozes of style, it somewhat lacks in features. The case has the standard cut-outs for the charging port, headphone jack, TV sensor, camera and rear speakers. In use, none of these areas are effected at all from the cases extra size. The rubberized buttons on the side feel natural and remain both responsive and easy to press. The case comes with a plastic detachable stand, that for me holds little value, as it is flimsy and sort of an after thought. This, however, is where it ends. Incipio hasn't tried to add any fluff to their case; their is no belt clip; no clever use of the S-View feature;absolutely nothing extra to distinguish itself from other cases on the market. While technologically disappointing, as a user, it is kind of refreshing to have a product that is so streamlined and straightforward. Incipio isn't trying to win us over with clever novelties but instead with a solid, well-built case. The DualPro adds minimal size without hindering the phones functionality and instead becomes more of an extension of the phone itself.
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I'm a Survivor!
I was skeptical when I started using the DualPro. I had been used to Otterbox, MightyVault and Lifeproof caliber cases; big, bulky, behemoths built for bashing and bruising. The DualPro, in comparison, was not a titan but instead dainty, sleek, sexy and comfortable. After the case was on my phone, I wondered just how soon would I find myself with a shattered screen or inoperable device. I couldn't have been more wrong.
The DualPro series case is a two layered system; on the inside is an impact resistant silicon sleeve that adds an impressive layer of cushion against dropping. On the outside is what Incipio calls a Plextonium shell, which for everyone else is a fancy way of saying hard shell plastic. In tandem, the two layers provide admirable protection in a compact configuration. The phone has been dropped numerous times, some by myself, others by my fiance' and even more from my myriad of nephews. It has seen falls upwards of four to five feet, onto wood flooring and concrete, and still has miraculously suffered little to no damage. A beveled edge around the screen is raised just enough to avoid contact with surfaces, and protects against scratching and cracks.
This lightweight, compact protective shell, while nothing I would run over with a car, preforms beautifully for everyday hazards, and is clearly a suitable replacement for the much bulkier systems available on the market. However, there are some drawbacks. While fitting the phone in the silicon sleeve is simple, fastening the shell over top of it can be troublesome. The reason for this is that the sleeve is made of very soft rubber and stretches too easily as you try to line everything up. This issue also cause minor stretching throughout the life the case, typically noticeable at the top and bottom of the phone where the rubber sections are mostly unabated. Still, the stretching does little to affect the functionality and protection of the phone and is mostly a cosmetic complaint.
Comes in many varieties, each exuding with class. Compact. Lightweight.
Ample cut-outs, responsive buttons, and very little excess fluff.
Dual layered protection in a slim, compact, lightweight design. Minor stretching with use in sleeve.
$29.99 or $34.99
The Final Verdict
This is honestly one of the strongest competitors on the market for the Samsung Galaxy S4; it is protective like an Otterbox, compact like a Speck CandyShell, and stylish like the Sonivo Sneak peek. As a minimalist, this case was truly a dream come true, providing the perfect mix of both major categories, while being simple enough to remain streamlined. Acting as an extension of the phone rather then feature filled outer covering, the DualPro is unmatched when it comes to sleek design and reasonable performance.
The only real complaint I have is that other less quality cases have forced Incipio to charge a little bit more then I personally thought the case was worth. Don't get me wrong, the product is exceptional, and is clearly worth more then other offerings in the market, yet still the simplicity should have translated better to the pricing. Nonetheless, ringing in at $29.99 retail for the standard DualPro and $34.99 for the DualPro SHINE, this phone is comparable in price to similar styles of cases, yet manages to offer considerably more protection against drops, cracks and other impact based hazards. This product is definitely a buy if you are looking for a balanced phone case at a reasonable price (at least based on the current market standards). Well done Incipio, well done indeed. If you any question, concerns, or comments, please feel free and welcome to leave them below. Happy hunting, friends! Cheers, folks!
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