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Every Man Jack Tech Reviews: Samsung Galaxy S4 Sneak peek Smartphone Case

Updated on March 27, 2014
The Sneak Peek sports a classy leather design with built-in stand and S-View capabilities.
The Sneak Peek sports a classy leather design with built-in stand and S-View capabilities. | Source

For the Man That Can, But Won't Choose Just One

Choosing a phone case can often be a daunting task. The myriad of brands, styles, features and levels of protection can become extremely overwhelming to the layman consumer. Some people want nothing but style; others need the absolute best in protection; and then there are those that crave balance when choosing a product. Balance is one of the harder feats to achieve when constructing a smartphone case. Most products available on the market, unfortunately, are only able to answer one of these vital needs. Protection, typically requires bulk, making it very difficult to keep style and functionality at a high level. For the Samsung Galaxy S4 owners out there, however, Sonivo has balance in their minds with the latest iteration of their Sneak Peek Case for the Samsung Galaxy S4 smartphone system. Looking at four basic criteria -- Style, Functionality, Protection and Affordability -- I hope to provide you all with adequate knowledge when considering smartphone case options.

I'm Too Sexy For My Phone...

The Sonivo Sneak Peak Wallet and Stand Case is a leather bound wallet-style case sporting the use of Samsung's innovative S-View System. The product comes in black and white varieties through Sonivo's website, however they do develop a dark brown variety as well as other various colors that are available through other dealers. Stylistically the case looks fantastic, exhibiting a strong mix of class while remaining practical enough to fit everyday attire.

Sonivo has tailored their case to fit a classy variety of smartphone owners. The high-quality leather can fit well with wallet, belt and even shoe styles, making it perfect for both casual fashion choices as well as formal, suit and tie ensembles. The only downfall I would present is that the leather style is more suited for male smartphone users, and doesn't quite reach for the flashy, cutesie designs female users tend to lean towards. The Sneak Peak is more geared for elegance and class rather then standing out as a fashion statement.

Samsung's S-View feature shines behind this strong hard plastic shield, while your camera remains clear for perfect pictures and video.
Samsung's S-View feature shines behind this strong hard plastic shield, while your camera remains clear for perfect pictures and video. | Source

I Can See You!

As previously stated, the case does utilize the S-View feature with a clear plastic shield covering where the phones display shows through. The feature works well, allowing a viewable clock, as well as phone calls and text messages to show through without ever opening the screen cover. For those who are in a hurry, driving or are otherwise occupied, the ability to quickly see phone notifications without fumbling around can be invaluable. The leather cover also adds a bit of privacy to your phone, blocking background images and anything else other people may be able to glance at.

Though the feature works well in the beginning, i will warn consumers that as the case gains some wear, sometimes the screen cover starts to lose its tight fit. The Leather stretches and the magnet loses its strength, allowing the screen to raise ever so slightly. This unfortunately, causes sporadic functionality with the S-View feature, making the clock flash on and off randomly and causing a brutal game of cat and mouse as your finger chases the answer button when receiving phone calls.

In addition to protecting the phone screen, and allowing the S-View functions, the screen guard is also able to be folded around the phone creating a nifty built-in stand.The weight of the Galaxy S4, paired with the friction heavy leather, allows the phone to be stood up in numerous configurations. The feature is very useful if showing a video to a small group of friends or simply to set up on your desk while you work.

There are also cutouts on the back side of the case to leave ample space for both the camera lens and the speakers, each of which, when tested, proved to be unhindered by the cases added size.the edges of the phone have small spaces in the hard plastic holding shell for the volume buttons, charger, headphones, on/off button and also the television sensor. When the case is closed, users are not given access to the on/off button, stopping random phone shutdowns.

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I Won't Back Down...

As a protective case, Sonivo has done an admirable job in mixing style with protection. The phone is held in place by a hard plastic shell which fastens the Galaxy S4 in tightly. As previously stated, there are cutouts at the bottom and top for headphones and the charging cable, as well as respective cutouts for volume and the on/off buttons on the side.Still the hard shell casing is thick enough to provide some space between surfaces and the actual smartphone. The leather is considerably thicker then Samsung's standard S-View Case, providing extra cushion when dropped. A magnetic clasp holds the case together decently firm, although, as I pointed out earlier, with wear and tear, the leather on the case stretches and loses some of this integrity.

Having dropped my case numerous times in the last six months of use, I can tell you I have suffered zero damage to my device. However, just recently the hard shell that holds the phone in place cracked and in the process I lost one of the corner hitches. Regardless, the phone still stays in the case firmly and has shown to be minimally affected by the loss. Being that the case only adds close to a millimeter of bulk, this performance is phenomenal, providing a nice bit of protection from a case that focuses more on style.

This is not a protective case; It isn't an Otterbox, or a MightyVault or even a Lifeproof model. Still, the amount of protection the case does provide, stands well above other wallet style cases on the market, and definitely is more protective then both a shell or rubber sleeve. The coverage provided has to be at least as good as it gets for a case of this size.

In Summary

Sleak, classy and rugged leather design. Geared more for masculine fashion sensibilities.
Built-in Stand, S-View functionality and plenty of cut-out space for buttons, cameras and speakers. Minor stretching causes sproadic S-View functionality.
Durable, tough leather, with decent cushion. Hard shell in-lay with minimal size increase. Case is held firmly in place.
Retail $24.99

Phone Case Rating

4 stars for Sonivo Sneak Peek Flip Case

Final Thoughts

Through the first 6 months of use, the case holds up pretty well, only losing some of its integrity after heavy amounts of use with a frequency of about one drop a day from medium height. The phone itself, amazingly, has remained in good condition. Nonetheless, the Sneak Peak does suffer from minor leather stretching and the magnetic clasp tends to leave scrapes on the front side of the leather. Considering that the Sneak Peek Galaxy S4 case comes in retail at a reasonable $24.99, the minor drawbacks are forgivable. Once again, this is not a protective case; I would not suggest a construction worker bring it on the job site; I would not run outlandish tests where you drop it off of a balcony. This stylish case is, however, a perfect negotiation between style and protection for the more timid of working man. For those looking for balance and affordability in their case, while trying to accentuate their more classy side, I recommend this strong product from our friends over at Sonivo. If you have any further questions or comments please feel free and welcome to leave them below. Cheers, folks!



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