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[Review] Bear Motion Premium Folio Case - Giveaway
Amazon Link Amazon.com: Bear Motion Premium Folio Case for Samsung Galaxy Note 2 Note II N7100 with Snap Button Closure (no magnet anywhere) - (Black): Cell Phones & Accessories
When I first viewed the picture of this case on Amazon, I had thought this was a great idea. A case for my phone that will double as a wallet. What could be better? After all, if we have to carry around a large phone like the Note 2, we might as well be able to lose some back pocket space.
There should have been some red flags in my head upon reading the comments from other buyers. The first productions of this case had it secured by a magnet instead of a snap button. Many reviewers complained, stating this magnet caused damage to their Note 2. The magnet caused problems with S-Pen detection, and overall use. Some even complained this case damaged the way the screen looked. Upon reading this magnet was removed and replaced with a snap button, I placed an order.
My new folio case came a few days later. The seller had packaged it in one of those tan shipping envelopes. Upon opening it up, there was the case in "retail" packaging. This consisted of a clear plastic bag and a cardboard flap on the top, secured by staples. The packaging looked real cheap, which is about right for the price of this case. I opened this up and had a look at the folio itself. It didn't feel particularly cheap or awesome either way. Faux leather stitched around the edges covers the outside of this case. There are three cutouts on the back for the camera/flash, speaker and S-Pen. On the inside there are three pockets on the left side for ID, credit cards and the like. To the right of them is a long pocket, presumably to put cash in. The tray for the phone is affixed to the right side, next to the flap the button is on. The tray has a groove on the left for the volume rocker, and hole on the right for the power button. The tray mirrors the cutouts on the back, and there's the slightest little dip on the top where the 8mm jack goes.
Having not had a case since I purchased the Note, I was anxious to get something on it. The phone snapped into the plastic tray with a little effort. It was clear there wouldn't be any accidental removal of the device from it's protector. I emptied the essentials from my wallet into the other side, and noticed you really have to make some decisions about what's essential and not. The things I needed to use for day to day life would not all fit. After putting in only what's necessary I went about my normal business.
Having no wallet in my pocket was a great relief. I hate carrying that thing around, and usually feel like George Costanza in that episode of Seinfeld. I do realize that's an extreme exaggeration of my situation but it feels like that. My first text message was received. I unsnap the button, flip the case open and grab my S-Pen. The opening in the back just isn't sufficient to slide the pen out. I should say not to have a human finger slide the pen out. My 3 year old could probably get it out, but not me. I don't even have sausage fingers. Writing the message was easy enough, as it felt like you're holding the phone on top of your wallet and writing. After replacing the accessory I closed the case and put it back in my pocket.
Pocketing this thing isn't too bad. My handset is always in my front left pocket, and it fits very well in there with this case. I went to work the next day. On the ride there the phone was plugged into a car charger, which worked just fine. No interference. When I got to work I set the Note on my desk with a podcast playing before I got down to real work. Having that cutout for the back speaker was handy, and everything could be heard loud and clear. My boss wanted me to send him a picture of something, so I flipped the case open and went to fire off a picture. The first one I took was just black. This was my fault as there's no cutout in the front part of the case for the camera, so when you flip it behind you are unable to take any photos. This proves annoying. Every time you want to take a picture you have to have this flap hanging open. Getting on with my day, I wanted to watch a video of something. The folio case sort of doubles as a "stand" if you will for landscape mode. You can fold it a certain way and it'll work, but not amazingly well. The button flap hangs over the screen and you have to fight with it to keep it out of your way. Even when you do, the first person to walk by will generate enough of a breeze to foil your plans. You might as well just watch the button. A few more texts and emails later and I gave up on trying to get the pen out. It was far too annoying. I switched keyboards to Swiftkey Flow and dealt with it. After a frustrating workday (from the case) I went home.
As soon as I get in the door I have to send a text. Figuring I'd give the pen another try, I fight with it a few seconds to get it out, write the message and file it away. Putting it back is easy, getting it out not so. I receive my first phone call. I open the case and answer the call, but there's no good way to hold this thing. It's very awkward to try and talk on the phone. No matter what way you try to fold it there's no comfort for your hand. Further, anyone around you can see the contents of your wallet. This probably shouldn't be a big deal, but it is for me for some reason. It's like your underwear, everyone knows you're wearing them but no one should be seeing them. Seeing as I couldn't use this phone as a phone, I gave up on the Bear Motion case.
I tried to get the device out of the plastic tray, and the case fought me. It didn't want to give the Note 2 back. I tried to grab it by the "leather" part, which started to separate from the tray. A few minutes later I finally had my phone out.
-Replaced my wallet
-Snap and overall construction are good
-Opening and closing this case every time you use your phone is annoying
-Accessing the S-Pen is annoying
-Making calls while holding this thing is ridiculous
-Taking pictures is frustrating due to the hanging flap
-Watching videos is frustrating due to another hanging flap
TLDR: This thing is a waste of time and money. The cons far outweigh the pros. You'd be better off with just about anything else.
That said, I'll be giving this thing away if anyone wants it. I don't know why you would. If anyone wants it leave a post in here and I'll PM whoever is randomly chosen and get shipping info.