Spigen SGP Ultra Flip & Slim Armor iPhone 5 Cases Review

Spigen, one of the leading accessory makers for Apple’s mobile devices, has sent us two of their latest iPhone 5 cases for review. We were fortunate enough to receive their Samsung Galaxy line of flip style cases called the Ultra Flip. Also sent out for review was a two-tone colored case called the Slim Armor series. We've always admired Spigen's affordably priced, solid case and various accessory offerings over the years. Just a few months earlier we took a look at the illuzion series leather flip case for the iPhone 5, which of course we recommended to our readers. Hit the jump and let’s take a look at Spigen's latest to see if they are truly worthy of your money!

People who are actually case a holics will know that Spigen SGP produces top of the line accessories from cases to screen protectors. In all likelihood the most popular case maker that is not found in a Best Buy or Walmart type atmosphere. Unfortunately both cases we received do not come with screen protectors or any other accessories.  Since the Slim Armor case comes in under $20 and the Ultra Flip protects the screen with the flip part, we can understand the reasoning behind not including anything inside the packaging.

I was always interested in a flip style case for the iPhone 5, but never had the opportunity to review one. Most I’ve seen were too bulky and considered actual wallet cases that so happen to hold an iPhone too. The Ultra Flip case is the first case to quickly remind me of the Samung Galaxy S III flip cases. They look great on the S III and Note II, but how would they look on an iPhone? First impression instantly screamed quality and had a wow factor. Very simple, sleek, and sophisticated looking. The color I received looks flat white, but in all honesty, it’s more a cream off white color. Still looks very clean and classy looking.  

The inside of the case is actually one of their satin silver Ultra Thin Air cases that is glued to the flip part of the case. To take one case and make it into another style seems cheap, but it’s very well made. The cover is made with a synthetic leather that is slightly textured on the outside to provide some grip. It feels great in the hand and never felt like it would drop out of my hand. The inside is lined with soft microfiber material to prevent the screen of the iPhone 5 from scratches and scuffs. Taking a closer look inside the case shows the actual serial number of the case. With so many counter fit cases being made, it’s nice to see Spigen taking their manufacturing a step further and proving its genuine.

Along with the slim, streamlined look, the Ultra Flip also features a slot on the inside to hold an ID or debit/credit card. However, it was very disappointing to find out it wouldn't hold standard size business cards. However, the problem with most wallet style cases is the flip cover never sits flush with the phone screen. Maybe Samsung went cheap with their flip case, but it always would lay flat against the SIII screen.

Still excited about the case to see what it’s all about, I put my ID in the slot to see how it looked and felt. The top pic above shows what the case looks like with no card and the bottom pic shows how it looks with the card inside the case.  As you can see, the case doesn’t sit flush both ways, but understand the photos make it look overblown and not a dealbreaker. The case still felt great in the hand and taking phone calls with the flap closed didn’t make the case feel bulky.

On the flip side (no pun intended) the Slim Armor case is more your common all around protective iPhone case. The TPU, which is some of the best around, features shock absorption on the top, bottom, and all four corners of the case. To compliment the TPU, Spigen incorporates a polycarbonate shell to the middle backing of the case. It might look like some sort of metal, but don’t be mistaken, it is simply plastic. I found the Slim Armor case to actually not feel slim at all. They need to make a new Slim Armor Slim case. It felt too long, too wide, and the polycarbonate shell gave the phone a very slippery feeling. Adding to the disappointment was finding out the back scratches really easily. Maybe this case needs a case to protect it? Not sure, but it was not expected from a Spigen product.

The negatives I just wrote about can all be simply personal preference. Some viewers will definitely like the wider feel of the case and the slightly bulkier feeling. I’ve personally tried multiple cases that feel bulky but also make a great everyday case. On a more positive note about the Slim Armor, the case had outstanding tactile covered buttons. Might be the best pressed buttons I’ve tried on a phone case. That’s how good they are. Both cases have generous cutouts for the mute/silent switch and were very easy to toggle. Like all Spigen cases, they have the perfect camera cutout. A simple pill shaped cutout that doesn’t expose the aluminum part of the phone. Sorry, it’s a personal annoyance when you can see a huge camera cutout on phone cases.

Spigen's Slim Armor Color series offers a wide variety of vibrant color options and choices other than the original metallic-style color scheme.

Both cases that we reviewed from Spigen had their own unique features. From the slim flip case to the two-toned hybrid case, these cases were a joy to use and quality cases. I personally enjoyed using the Ultra Flip case a little more than the Slim Armor. The Ultra Flip was thinner, felt more comfortable in the hand, and just seemed different over your standard TPU style case. This is not to say the Slim Armor isn’t recommended, because it still is. If you can look past the fact that it’s prone to scratching and a little bulkier than your average “slim” case, it’s still a great purchase at just $18. I would bet the Slim Armor case can take some serious impact off the floor, but we all know any drop can warrant a shattered screen. Both cases come in multiple colors with Spigen also just announcing its aforementioned Slim Armor Color series for the same affordable price. If you're looking for a low-profile flip style case for under $40, please look no further than the Ultra Flip.