1. Superskull85's Avatar
    Hello,

    I was wondering if anyone knows of a good case for the Galaxy Note 2 that has rubber-ish bumpers to prevent the case from cracking after a couple of hits. I would also like it to have a flip cover that would protect the screen.

    The Samsung cases are notorious for cracking because of the hard plastic. I am not looking for something as durable or as much padding as an Otterbox but not as rigid as the Samsung cases either. Having a kickstand would be a bonus but not necessary.

    Does anyone know of a case like this or am I asking for too much?

    Any suggestions are appreciated.
    11-07-2013 06:06 PM
  2. gdanonym's Avatar
    I have this one and it's awesome:
    Dual-layered Hybrid Case for Galaxy Note 2 - Terminator Tough!

    but no cover for the screen, so you need a screen protector. The kickstand is for both portrait as for landscape.

    On amazon:
    Amazon.com: HyperGear 12412 Terminator Dual-Layered Cover for Galaxy Note II* - 1 Pack - Retail Packaging - Red: Cell Phones & Accessories

    I don't like a front cover. Because you will fold it back and than it's all so much more bulky, i can't hold the phone anymore in one hand.
    It gets worse if the case is also a stand.
    11-12-2013 03:26 AM
  3. DesElms's Avatar
    DISCLAIMER: The maker of this posting has no commercial or other interest, whatsoever, in any product listed, mentioned or even recommended herein... or any other product, anywhere else, for that matter. This is simply a posting by a member of these forums who's also a consultant who sometimes gets paid to evaluate products (usually responding to and/or evaluating for a client big proposals in response to RFPs, but in other situations, too); and so who is simply providing some of that wisdom here for others' benefit. No links to products, herein, are affiliate links, or anything of that sort; and in fact, all links have been examined by the poster, and sanitized of any affiliate encoding that might have happened to be present in them.

    I was wondering if anyone knows of a good case for the Galaxy Note 2 that has rubber-ish bumpers to prevent the case from cracking after a couple of hits. I would also like it to have a flip cover that would protect the screen.

    The Samsung cases are notorious for cracking because of the hard plastic. I am not looking for something as durable or as much padding as an Otterbox but not as rigid as the Samsung cases either. Having a kickstand would be a bonus but not necessary.

    Does anyone know of a case like this or am I asking for too much?

    Any suggestions are appreciated.
    Okay, for starters, Samsung phones are not really notorious for cracking because of the hard plastic of the phone-itself's case. That's the sort of thing that someone selling an HTC phone tends to misleadingly say; and many TV commercials for HTC phones with metal cases went out of their way to foster than myth. Samsung phones -- not all of them, mind you, but most; and I'll explain what that means in a moment -- are durable as hell in a fall or drop, notwithstanding the plastic. In fact, the Note 2, specifically, was built to use its plastic as stress relief, and to distribute the shock impact of a drop out to its back cover and even its battery. That's why a Note 2, when it drops without any kind of cover on it, will tend to sort of "explode" its back cover and battery across the floor. That's deliberate...

    ...a lesson learned by Samsung after the S3 became notorious for literally exploding into pieces -- its glass in shards all over the place -- when dropped onto a hard surface from only waist height (so this, then, is the part that I wrote, above, I'd explain in a moment): The S3 is a great phone, but is fragile as hell in falls/drops; and needs some kind of augmented edge protection more than any other Samsung phone. You can take a box full of S3s and drop 'em from waist height onto concrete at almost any angle so that all different parts of the phone impact the floor, and the vast majority of them will smash to bits. But you can do the same with a Note 2 (and most other Samsung phones, truth be known), and barely a one will even crack its glass. That's not an accident. The S3 taught Samsung much. The S4, as a consequence -- especially the "S4 Active" -- is, by comparison with the S3, virtually indestructable. That's good engineering on Samsung's part, plastic and all.

    However, none of that means that a Samsung phone -- actually, pretty much every phone, regardless of brand -- shouldn't have a case on it of some kind. Whether it needs to be the kind of case which has a "flip cover," as you call it, though, is another matter, entirely. I'll explain, herein, why such a flip cover might not really be necessary (though they're out there, of course; and my opinion doesn't mean you shouldn't get one if you really want one).

    I am, if I say so, myself, something of an expert on cases (and screen protectors, too) for smartphones. When I got my very first one a few years back, I made it my mission, one weekend, to by golly understand all that was out there, and what's good about each type and thing. It subsequently led me on a secondary mission to understand just who's making these things, and why so many of them are so similar, despite all the different brand names.

    Turns-out that a tiny handful of Chinese manufacturers are making pretty much all of them; and then the various big brand names are OEMing them with their logos on them (or not; some of them put nothing on them). That said, Otterbox, specifically, uses its own design (though one Chinese manufacturer it used allowed knockoffs without Otterbox's brand on them, to hit the market; to which Otterbox put a quick and ugly end). There are other brands that use their own designs, too; but, for the most part, a tiny handful of Chinese factories are making the various cases for everyone. So once you find a design you like, it can sometimes pay to look for a much cheaper version.

    That said, the photos on such as Amazon can be very misleading, sometimes; and so you have to be really careful. There really can be a difference in quality in the bigger brand named cases, even though the really cheap versions seem identical. I've seen, for example, sellers of cheap Chinese knockoffs of higher-end cases use photos of the bigger brand name cases in their Amazon listings... cases which fit really well and have nice button covers and stuff; but what they actually ship isn't quite as good... maybe the cutouts don't really align right; or the nice button covers shown in the photos on Amazon are just a slight thickening of the case, with a pattern embossed on them, but not a fully formed button like in the picture. It can be very frustrating. It doesn't mean you have to only buy the big brand names (although for the little more you pay, it can be worth it so you don't have to mess with knockoffs), but it can help to learn which sellers can be trusted, and at least try to stick with them.

    You used the word "rubber-ish," so let me cover, here, the really only two types of rubbery material found in smartphone cases. They are: Silicone, and thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU). Some vendors think (or maybe they're trying to make us think) that they're the same. Don't be fooled. More on that in a moment.

    Silicone is softer and will stretch, hence the reason it's usually the far less expensive type of case. TPU, on the other hand, is firmer, and will hold its shape; and so tends to be a bit more expensive (though, truthfully, they can both cost just pennies on Amazon, especially if they're for a phone no longer popular, or even made anymore). The most expensive that a case -- particularly a TPU case -- ever is tends to be right when the phone for which it's made is new. That's when we can see prices be over $20 or more for some of the TPU cases; but then, in almost no time, we'll see prices drop to $10, maybe $8 for the brand-name ones, and as little as a dollar or two (I've even seen sixty cents; even a penny), plus around $3 shipping, on Amazon for the no-brand-name equivalent ones.

    Here's an example of a cheap, really awful, just-plain-silicone case for the Note 2.
    This one costs, at this writing, around six bucks, but that's highway robbery since they cost about a penny to make; and can be purchased by vendors from China in boxes of a hundred for maybe five to ten bucks. They come in every possible color. They're soft, and always dull finish. Over time, as you swipe the screen from side to side (or even up and down) and your finger drags across the silicone sides that wrap up and over onto the edges of the glass screen, they stretch and eventually get floppy. If they're made poorly enough, they can even fall off the phone altogether after a while. They're just awful. If a phone vendor throws-in a free case, it's usually one of these super-cheap, godawful silicone ones. Yes, they're better than nothing... but only barely.

    Silicone, in fact, is just soft enough that it doesn't really have good impact resistance; and doesn't really protect the phone in a drop/fall as much as one might think. Any case around a phone needs to have some kind of reasonably firm aspect of it to absorb the impact into the thickness of the case and distribute it out to the rest of itself in the microseconds before said (hopefully by then significantly reduced) impact is finally transferred to the phone, itself. Silicone, alone (and the operative word is "alone;" see the later, herein, discussion of "hybrid" cases), just doesn't have that kind of firmness.

    TPU, though, does; and only a surprisingly very thin layer of it can provide a whole bunch of drop/fall protection. This case...


    ..is made of TPU, and that "S" pattern on the back is one of the more common designs. That particular one is kind of clear or smoked color; but, believe me, they're available in every possible color, both transparent/translucent, and solid/opaque; and either with or without some kind of pattern or design. An "X" pattern is the other (in addition to the "S" design) common one with TPU cases...


    ...and they can be either matte finish (like what's to the left of the "S" curve in the two-impages-above photo), or shiny (like what's to the right of that same "S" curve). Even shiny TPU is pretty grippy, too... more so than Silicone; so even if there's no pattern, or if the TPU case isn't matte finish, it's pretty easy to not lose one's grip of a phone with even a shiny TPU case on it. The shiny ones do show fingerprints, though, for whatever that's worth.

    What sets TPU cases apart from silicone ones is that TPU is much more firm, and won't stretch at the edges around the screen, no matter how many times you drag your finger across them. In fact, unlike silicone, those TPU edges pretty much won't really even move as you drag your finger across them when swiping. TPU's made to bend however one wants, yet completely retain its shape; to snap-back to its original shape, no matter what.
    Yet they're still plenty rubbery -- but in a firm way, unlike silicone -- to absorb and distribute the impact of a drop/fall from not only waist height, but, heck, I've tested 'em from my arm's length above my head (using a phone that I've long ago retired to my desk drawer, of course; and not the one I'd use for two weeks if my Note 2 ever had to be shipped back to Samsung for repair; but, rather, the now-never-used one before that!).

    Either case can have either cutouts for the hardware (power and volume rocker) buttons, or have said buttons covered, as, if you look closely at the immediately-above photo, is what kind of case you see being bent, there: the kind with molded hardware (volume rocker and power) button covers. The kind -- be it silicone or TPU -- which covers the phone's volume rocker and power buttons is better because if those buttons are not covered, then, over time, dust, mixed with sweat, mixed with body oil, mixed with skin cells -- mixed with whatever else from the world around us -- gets cakes/compacted down in and around those buttons, inside the case, and eventually causes them to stick.

    Better than 90% of the time when you read in a forum someone complaining that their phone is in a "boot loop" wherein it starts to boot-up okay, but then pauses and restarts, over and over again, until it finally, after many tries, finishes booting-up normally...

    ...any time you see that, the cause is usually the power button having so much crud caked-up in and around it inside the case that it's just sticking; and when the phone finally boots properly after however many looping tries, it's because the button's spring finally slowly returned said button to its fully-out position. Using either a silicone or TPU case which covers those hardware volume rocker and power buttons is best because it'll keep all that crud out.

    Remember that. A lot of case makers/sellers either don't know it, or think it doesn't matter; or that the better way is to make it so that the user can actually touch the hardware buttons through cutouts in the case.

    TRUST ME ON THIS: it's better for the case (be it silicone or TPU) to cover the hardware volume rocker and power (and camera, and whatever other) buttons (on the phone's sides) to keep all the world's (and your fingertips') crud from becoming caked-up around the button's innerds, down inside the case. Seriously, this might be the best advice in this whole posting!

    Sadly, the design trend, these days, is to have the phone's HOME key be electromechanical (instead of lighted capacitive touch, on the glass, like the BACK and MENU keys); and so that HOME button, too, will eventually get crud caked-up in/around its innerds because there's no case or screen protector that covers/protects that button. That's sad. It's quite likely what's causing the problem we see in this video...


    ...though the original Note owner demonstrating it to us likely doesn't, at the point that video was made, realize what's really going on. Sadly, because we Note 2 owners can't really cover our HOME buttons, either, we may all end-up suffering this fate (unless maybe we get into the habit of wiping our fingers somewhere on our clothing or something to remove the body oil and whatever else before each touching of it... which would be inconvenient and weird, to say the least). Though just cleaning the button is likely enough to fix the problem, the phone must nevertheless be disassembled to get to it; and by the time one either goes to all that trouble (or pays someone to), one might as well just replace the HOME key assembly with a whole new one, given how inexpensive they are. Hopefully by the time any of our Note 2's get to that point, we'll have upgraded to the hopefully-by-then-seriously-price-reduced (because the Note 4 is about to be released) Note 3! [grin]

    In answer to the thread-starting post's question, yes, there is such a thing as a TPU (not silicone, but at least TPU) case which has some kind of flip screen cover...



    ...also available in every conceivable color, with and without patterns on their backs, and either translucent or opaque. But they're not common; and most of the reason you don't see them on Amazon, for example (although you can find them), very much, is because the hinge eventually wears out and breaks off. They're just not terribly well made; and part of the problem is that the flip part that covers the screen is often -- especially if it's translucent/transparent -- made of polycarbonate... which is a hard plastic. The manufacturing process tries to connect the polycarbonate with the soft TPU hinge, and it usually fails.

    I just could, then, not more strongly recommend against such cases. However, because the part around the phone is really TPU, believe me, you won't need, as you wrote, "rubber-ish bumpers" around the phone, at the corners or anywhere else. The TPU, alone, is all you really need to protect the phone from the most comman kinds of usually-waist-height drops. Even a very thin (most of them are only around 3 to 6 mm thick) TPU case provides unbelievable protection.

    However, there are some interesting leather (or, far more likely, leather-looking-vinyl) cases which have flip-over covers, but inside of which are TPU cases for the phone to sit in.





    They're even more uncommon, though; but they're out there. Most of them, though, just have some kind of clips at the corners, or along the sides of the phone, inside. If the phone in such a case drops, and the snap keeping the cover close should happen to fail, the phone can pop right out of the corner/edge clips. Some, though, are very nice; and are more like real wallets which can old drivers license or ID, a credit card or two, etc.



    Samsung also makes a nice flip case for the Note 2...
    ...but it's not made of TPU; it's a harder plastic, and opaque across the screen, with inadequate protection for the back. You can, though, talk on the phone with thhe cover over the screen because there's an earpiece cutout in the part that covers the screen. That's kinda' cool. Ss cases of that style go, it ain't half bad, as my ol' man used to say. Comes in several colors.

    My introducing the harder polycarbonate into the mix opens the door for what are called "hybrid" cases, of which the Otterbox is just one. A hybrid case usually has a layer of soft silicone next to the phone, with some kind of polycarbonate on the outside, either as an entire layer, or as a clamp-on sort of thing. Though silicone, as I earlier herein explained, tends to be too soft to do much good, alone, as a case, in a fall/drop (because it's just not firm enough to spread the impact across the entirety of itself before said impact finally penetrates through to the phone), silicone is excellent as the shock-absorbing layer next to the phone, with a hard polycarbonate layer atop it.

    Ohboy, that's the killer combination, as the folks at Otterbox figured out! The polycarbonate is so hard that it instantaneously distributes the initial impact across the entirety of itself, and then transfers that now-diminished-in-any-one-place-on-its-surface energy down into a much larger area of soft silicone; and so said silicon can actually absorb it and transfer far, far less of said energy to the actual phone's actual case. It's a pretty smart design, I must say. And as long as the silicone is the highest possible quality (so that it's not mushy, like the super-cheap silicone cases), and the polycarbonate is not made so that it's more brittle than flexible, then it really works! It needn't even be the Otterbox to really work: To Otterbox's chagrin, several competing hybrid cases are really excellent; and cost a whole lot less!

    Super-high-quality silicone can be so good that people who don't know any better can mistake it for TPU, as we see in the incorrect description of this very well-known, big-name-branded, direct-competitor-of-the-Otterbox hybrid case...


    ...which its seller describes as "Ballistic SG1072-M385 SG TPU Case for Samsung Galaxy Note 2 - 1 Pack - Retail Packaging - Black/White". Trust me when I tell you, though, that that description is just plain wrong. The soft, black bumper parts of that case are silicone, not TPU. I see the mistake, all the time. Sellers either don't know the difference, or are hoping maybe we don't.

    Just remember: Silicone is not TPU, and TPU is not silicone. Period. Don't confuse them.

    And very high quality silicone, such as is used in the immediately-above Ballistic, or in the Otterbox, or in the Incipio cases, or in any of the bigger name brands, can easily be mistaken for TPU. Once you really see and feel and play with real TPU, though, even the super-high quality silicone won't fool you. How it fooled whomever wrote the description for the above Ballistic, I'll never know. Throughout most of Amazon, it's described correctly, as being silicone, which is what it actually is.

    But learn from this example: Sometimes they call it TPU when it's really silicone. And virtually no hybrid case is made from TPU! Virtually all of them -- including the Otterbox -- use polycarbonate as the hard plastic outer layer, and silicone as the soft rubber inner one.

    As long as we're talking about mislabeling silicone as TPU, I must call your attention to this product, because it may actully be exactly what you're looking for...


    ...but it, too, is silicone, not TPU, contary to its description on Amazon. Still, it could be exactly what you had in mind. Of course, it comes with a whole bunch of other stuff which doesn't have anything, really, to do with just the case with some kind of flip cover, that you wanted. But, still, its relevant, here, both because it might be what you seek, as well as that it's yet another excellent example of vendors wrongly saying something made from TPU when it's actually made from silicone (or in the case of this case, silicone plus polycarbonate).

    I mentioned the Incipio brand hybrid case a moment ago. I want to now use it to call another thing to your attention that you need to keep in mind when shopping for hybrid cases. Remember that a hybrid is an inner layer of silicone (next to the phone) with an outer layer of polycarbonate cover it. That layer may cover the entirety of the silicone (except for the buttons, and the screen edges), or it may be more of a partial cover that sort of clamps or "claws" onto the silicone.

    The hard polycarbonate of the Otterbox Defender, for example...


    ...covers pretty much all of the silicone next to the phone except the silicone that covers the hardware buttons on the sides, and the silicone right at the edges of the screen. That's the best way; but the earlier-pictured Ballistic, the polycarbonate of which more "claws" onto the silicone, and doesn't completely cover it, can also work quite well; but only because, just look at how much thicker the silicone is at the corners in order for it to actually protect the phone.

    The truth is that having the hard polycarbonate cover most all of the silicone, so that it can instantaenously distribute the force of the initial impact across the entirety of itself before finally allowing it to penetrate down to the silicone below -- no one part of which silicone, because of said distribution, takes the entire brunt -- is better. With the ballistic, even though those silicone corners are thicker, they don't benefit from having the hard polycarbonate spread-out the force of the impact, first. The truth is, though, that the Ballistic's way of doing it is probably good enough for more phones and most falls/drops. But I'm just sayin' that the physics of all of the silicone being covered by hard polycarbonate is more sound... for whatever that's worth. I'd not hesitate to buy the Ballistic, though, either... or any of its similarly-designed competitors. But, you can certainly see why the Otterbox costs so much more! Whether the Otterbox is really that much better (to make the extra cost worth it) is another question, entirely. I'm thinking probably not; but there's no question that the Otterbox is pretty much best-of-breed among hybrid cases. That said, there's at least one competitor -- actually, it's a case made by a Chinese factory that, in turn, is sold by at least two companies on Amazon -- that's just as good, for a lot less money. More on that later.

    But, getting back to the earlier-mentioned Incipio brand hybrid caes, whose polycarbonate doesn't cover most of the entirety of the silicone: The Incipio's hard polycarbonate components don't wrap up the sides of the phone far enough to give sufficient support to the naturally soft and stretchy/floppy silicone around the the screen's edges...
    ...and so side-to-side (or even up/down) swiping which results in fingers dragging across said silicone will eventually stretch it and make it floppy, exactly the same as if it were a super-cheap, basically worthless silicone-only case, as shown in the very first photo in this posting. In the above photo of any Incipios Note 2 case, the pink part is the silicone, and the charcoal gray part is the hard polycarbonate. Just look how said charcoal-colored polycarbonate fails to wrap up the sides from the back, up toward the front of the phone, to give support to that floppy pink silicone along the sides of the screen!

    Now compare that with the aforementioned Ballistic.

    Forget, for a moment, the Ballistic's ugly, bulging silicone-only corners (truth is, the Incipio, with hard polycarbonate covering its corners, is better in that area than the Ballistic; though the Ballistic's thicker silicone on its corners probably compensates). Look, instead, at how much further around from the back the hard white polycarbonate wraps toward the front of the phone, and supports that charcoal silicone around the screen's edge! When one swipes from side to side with that case, and accidentally drag's one's finger across the charcoal silicone, said silicone doesn't so much as move because of the hard white polycarbonate supporting it.

    When shopping for a hybrid case, one must be mindful of such things because silicone just isn't strong enough, on its own, to keep from stretching and eventually becoming floppy. It just isn't. Only TPU can withstand that; and no one makes a hybrid case which uses TPU as the soft material next to the phone, with hard polycarbonate atop it. I'm not saying that the solution is a Ballistic brand case. Other brands also support the silicone aroun the screen by extending the hard polycarbonate up and around the sides. Incipio just happens to be one of the hybrid case makers which doesn't; I'm simply saying to watch-out for that sort of thing.

    Your thread-starting post also included the word "bumper." That word happens to describe a type of combination TPU and polycarbonate case, though not a multi-layered hybrid one. Rather, a "bumper" is a case that has TPU around its sides, but has a transparent or translucent polycarbonate back.



    However, the term "bumper" is also sometimes meant to describe a (usually metal) additional edge frame that can be put onto the phone...
    ...simply to protect it in the event of a drop on its edge. Because of its inherent fragility herein earlier described, every Samsung Galaxy S3 should have, at the very least, one of those metal frame bumpers on it because it is that phone's edges which are its Achilles Heel. The Note 2, though, doesn't really need that kind of bumper; I mean... it won't hurt to have it, but I'm just saying it doesn't really need it. Neither does the S3, really, if you use, instead, a good, high-end hybrid case like the Otterbox Defender, or one of its direct competitors. The S3 is sufficiently fragile, though, with respect to its edges and corners that a TPU case (or bumper), alone, probably isn't good enough.

    However, a Note 2 could definitely use the other (TPU on its edges; polycarbonate on its back) kind of bumper; and the truth is that though it's normally more expensive, Samsung, itself, probably makes the nicest bumper of that type for the Note 2, the "Bumper Cover Plus"...


    ...which has the TPU edge, but with a translucent polycarbonate back; in white, black and pink; and, yes, it covers the hardware power and volume rocker buttons. Indeed, other manufacturers make other ones, without the "Samsung" and "Galaxy Note II" already imprinted on them (but since their backs are almost clear, one can see those markings on the phone's actual case through said backs) which have always been -- at least until now -- less expensive. But, since the Note 3 hit the market, the actual Samsung-made bumpers for the Note II are now as cheap as the aftermarket ones. I, personally, am not wild about any of the "bumper" style cases, but to each his/her own. They'll protect well enough in most cases. A TPU case covering the whole phone (except the screen, obviously) -- or, even better yet, if you're okay with the added bulk, a hybrid case -- is better than a bumper.

    One of the things that's nice about TPU is that it's so firm, and so holds its shape and won't stretch like silicone (yet is still rubbery enough to both distribute and absorb shock in a fall), that some makers of TPU cases are able to put fold-out polycarbonate stands onto their backs. We see this especially with the "S" design backed cases...
    ...but in others, as well. As in the immediately-above photo, when it's one of the "S" design cases the part into which the stand is hinged tends to be clear (or some other translucent color), and the rest of it tends to be shiny black (or the shiny opaque version of whatever is the aforementioned translucent color). While the entire case is TPU, the stand is always polycarbonate. I don't like them, myself; and the stand sometimes pops-out/loose; but some people like them a lot. Again, to each his/her own.

    Many hybrid cases made with soft silicone next to the phone, and a hard external polycarbonate either layer or clamp-on section, also have a polycarbonate stand hinged into the hard polycarbonate layer...




    ...or the polycarbonate clamp-on-over-the-silicone, claw-style portion:
    The hybrid cases with a hard, polycarbonate external layer are actually quite good... hence, again, the reason the Otterbox has been so successful; and also why it's able to show that famous video of the iPhone dropped to the concrete next to a pool in an apartment complex from however many stories up, and the iPhone's fine.


    The impact spreads across the entirety of the hard polycarbonate layer first, before said entirety finally then allows the impact to penetrate down to the silicone layer, no one part of which gets the full brunt of it anymore because of the aforementioned spreading. Therefore, no one part of the phone takes the entire brunt of the impact, either. That technique, it turns out, works really well.

    In fact, even if the case is entirely polycarbonate -- the two-piece snap-on style, with no silicone underlayer -- such as this one...


    ...can so absorb and spread over the entirey of the case initial impact (even though it'll almost certainly break the case) that it can nevertheless be effective... at least if the drop is only from waist-high, even onto concrete. The problem, though, is that without something like silicone to cushion, a simple snap-on hard polycarbonate case just isn't quite enough. Plus, notice that there are cutouts for the hardware buttons, which we've agreed, here, are bad. So, across the board, snap-on covers without silicone -- covers, other words, which which aren't hybrid because they're just hard polycarbonate -- are probably a bad idea.

    There are, however, some amazingly nice-looking hybrid cases with hard polycarbonate on the outside, and a layer of silicone on the inside, next to the phone; and which cover the hardware power and volume rocker buttons. This style is one of my hands-down favorites...


    ...and notice that it covers the silicone underlayer with an outer layer of polycarbonate in much the same manner as the Otterbox Defender, yet, at $28 at this writing, it's much less expensive than (about half the price of) the Otterbox Defender!

    It irritates me, though, that it even costs that much. And that's because the exact same case, under a different brand name (and with said brand name even silk-screened onto it), routinely sells for one-third the price. It's yet another example of how one manufacturer in China makes a certain case for very little money, but others then OEM it as their own product, and charge for it whatever they think the market will bear. None of that changes that fact, though, that that one, in my opinion, is probaby the best looking (and performing) hybrid with a soft silicone-underlayer, and hard polycarbonate outer layer case which competes favorably (in terms of effectiveness in a drop) with even the Otterbox; and looks even better. It is, no doubt, that fact which makes the vendor think he can get away with charging $28 for it.

    That immediately-pictured-above case is also fairly slender, though still thicker than a TPU case. The thickness and bulk of the case can play a role when and if one wants to carry one's phone, while in its protective case, while also in some kind of belt-attached pouch, like this vertical one, for example...
    ...or this horizontal one...
    ...or any of the other styles, including canvas and nylon ones...


    ...the not-pictured-above HSINI, in my opinion, being one of the best of the canvas or nylon type.

    Many of those kinds of pouches are made to fit a Note 2 exactly, with no protective case on it; and so if you put even only a thin TPU case on it, it won't fit. Some though, are intentionally made bigger, like this one which is actually intended to receive a Note 2, even with a bulky Otterbox case on it. This brown horizontal pouch is one of the ones that I use...


    ...and it turns-out to be large enough (though just barely) to handle my Note 2 with this TPU skin/case...


    ...on it (and I have an identically-sized black horizontal pouch, as well). Note that the TPU skin/case covers the power and volume rocker buttons with beautifully-formed buttons built right into the TPU case. Its sides are also precision shaped to not wrap up and over the edge of the screen glass because the Note 2 is unique in how the edges of its screen glass are formed. Its edges are actually beveled a bit, and the overall surface of the glass is actually a tiny bit higher, when the phone's lying on its back, than the plastic screen-surrouncing bezel of the phone, itself.


    Therefore, if you put a clear screen protector on the Note 2, which protector really and truly goes all the way to the screen's edge (at least within maybe a millimeter of when the bevel begins), then any other TPU case would wrap its sides up and over onto the glass, and push-up the screen protector's edges and corners and keep them from lying properly flat. But, wait, in my case, it gets even worse because I use a Realook brand 3D screen protector that's actually made to not only go all the way to the Note 2 screen's edge, but to actually accommodate its beveled edge and even wrap over it.
    If my black TPU case's sides wrapped up and over and touched the screen glass's beveled edge, I would not be able to use that Realook brand 3D screen protector. But this one that I have is made to perfectly accommodate that protector... or, really, any one that is employed. Many of the TPU cases' sides wrap up and over and loop back down onto that glass, touching it, and messing-up the edges of any screen protector that happens to be installed there.

    And speaking of screen protectors: a really good one (and so many of them are awful, so be prepared to spend a little money to get an actually good one) can nearly completely eliminate that need for a flip-over screen cover as part of the case. Two posts down from this one, I answer the question of why; so please see that posting.

    As to getting a truly good screen protector: I've looked far and wide, high and low, and I'm convinced that only the dry-apply protectors made from high-quality, multi-layered, polyethylenephthalate (PET)...

    ...such as those made by Realook or Spigen (but I, personally, prefer the Realook) are worth purchasing and using. I'm also becoming increasingly impressed with the iSmooth. And there are some others; but, again, be careful: The cheap ones will show artifacts and other imperfections (more on that in a moment).

    That said, the more expensive wet-apply protectors, like the ones made by Skinomi or Zagg, for example, can also work-out well, too. The wet-apply ones, though, are never really as smooth and glasslike as the dry-apply PET protectors; but the wet-apply, once you get the hang of it, can be far easier to apply (dry apply, if you don't become obsessive about dust control, can be downright nightmarish to apply).

    It's true that the Note 2's screen is made of Corning "Gorilla Glass," but that doesn't mean it can't be scratched (and it definitely doesn't mean it can't be broken). Watch this video to see how tough is Gorilla Glass.


    However, while most everyday things one might find in one's pocket or purse (such as coins, keys, a pocket knife, etc.), won't scratch Gorilla Glass, there's one thing in most everyone's pocket or purse that will: Sand... at least if it has a high quartz content. Quartz is hard enough to scratch Gorilla Glass, and quartz is found in most sand, and sand is found in many people's pockets and purses (and drawers, and glove compartments, etc.).

    And so, then, every phone -- heck, even one with a case with a flip-over screen cover on it -- needs to have a screen protector!

    The high-quality dry-apply PET ones are the best, in my opinion... the ones most likely to be truly invisible, no matter how the light shines on or reflects off of them. The wet-apply ones, though, can look pretty good, too... though if you hold them at just the right angle, you can usually see an almost "orange peel" kind of textured surface to them. The good ones, though -- be they wet- or dry-apply -- won't show any other artifacts, including the classic artifact that cheap screen protectors show: the blue, purple, green swirl similar to what gas or oil droplets from a car look like when they're sitting atop a puddle of water.

    If ever there were a product where the old "you get what you pay for" adage is true, it's with smartphone screen protectors. Spend the money for a good one, or you'll surely regret it.

    If you have a screen protector on your phone, then, honestly, you don't really need a flip-over screen cover case (again, see two posts down for why). You do need a case or skin, though; and my recommendation is a simple, thin, hardware-button-covering TPU case/skin. Yes, a hybrid case with a layer of silicone against the phone, and an outer hard polycarbonate layer, like the Otterbox (or any of a number of others) is technically better; but they sure can be bulky. And the truth is that for most phones (except, seriously, the S3), a TPU case is enough to adequately protect from a typical waist-high drop/fall to a concrete floor. Add to the TPU case a good, dry-apply PET screen protector, like what Realook makes, and your phone will be as protected as it probably needs to be, yet it will still fit into most horizontal or vertical belt-attached carrying pouches.

    In closing, I just realized I forgot to mention one thing that might be a worthwhile purchase for anyone who can't decide exactly what kind of case to get. Because the Note 3 has come out, and because Fosmon would like to get rid of as many of its Note 2 cases as possible, it has bundled its five most popular Note 2 cases into a single pack costing only $13.00...


    ...and it includes, as you can see, several of the basic kinds discussed herein. I'm not personally wild about the black TPU one with the "S" back on it (second from bottom), though, because it has such a large cutout for the camera and flash. The ones I prefer have separate, just-right-to-fit cutouts for the camera lens and the flash. But that TPU case is still pretty nice. I also don't like it when manufacturers put their logos and/or names on the backs of their cases, like Fosmon does; but, hey... for a lousy thirteen bucks for five cases, one can learn to live with it, I suppose.

    That said, be sure to perform your due diligence and really research the best case (and, hopefully, screen protector) for your phone. In this posting, I've simply tried to save you a little time with that.

    Hope that helps!
    gdanonym and Shuckster like this.
    11-15-2013 03:44 AM
  4. gdanonym's Avatar
    Very nice answer.

    How does screenprotectors protect the screen from falling?
    11-15-2013 04:35 AM
  5. DesElms's Avatar
    How does screenprotectors protect the screen from falling?
    Gorilla Glass is actually so tough that it can withstand most drops/falls... even if it comes directly into contact with something on the way to the floor.

    One might as, "if that's true, then why does the Gorilla Glass break virtually every time the S3 drops to the floor?" And the answer is because of the way the edges of that phone are made; hence the reason that every S3 should have some kind of metal bumper-type frame at bare minimum; preferably a nice hybrid case. With the S3, a TPU case might actually not provide quite enough protection, simply because the S3's case, itself, is just not made right.

    And the reason the Gorilla Glass of an S3 breaks virtually every drop/fall is because of how the case allows the impact of the fall/drop to go directly to the edge -- and that's the key word: the edge -- of the Gorilla Glass. Glass is weird. Even it it's tempered and has high impact strengh (and will even flex) if something or someone hits its surface, it can easily be shattered if its edge is impacted... or even only nicked.

    If you have tempered glass shower doors, for example, you may notice that you can really push on their middles and get a lot of flex; and a child -- or even an adult -- can accidentally fall right into one, and it'll stay together. But if you remove one of the aluminum edges from the shower door, and take a simple flat screwdriver and put a good nick in the edge, it'll burst into a gabazillion pieces all over the bathroom floor.

    Glass -- even Gorilla Glass -- has its tempered flat parts that are meant to withstand great stresses, but also have their weak edges. In the case of Gorilla Glass, the top surface of it, nearest to outside world, is harder because of a process called "ion exchange," in which the glass is placed in a hot bath of molton salt at a temperature of approximately 400 degrees C. Smaller sodium ions leave the glass, and larger potassium ions from the salt bath replace them. These large ions take up more room and are pressed together when the glass cools, producing a layer of compressive stress on the surface of the glass; but it also enables the potassium ions to diffuse far into the surface, creating high compressive stress deep into the glass. The result is a surface that's so highly resistant to scratching that it takes quartz, minimally (or anything harder), to actually scratch it; however, beneath that surface is just enough ionization down to about half to two-thirds the thickness of the glass that even impact resistance is increased.

    Therefore, not only will Gorilla Glass not scratch from most of the normal things it would tend to encounter in every day life (except, of course, for sand with a reasonable quartz content, which pretty much all sand has), but as the earlier video shows, it's pretty darned both impact and continuous-stress resistant...

    ...that is, as long as none of that scratching and/or impact and/or continuous stress happens at its edge.

    When an S3 falls, the impact is transferred from the too-weak phone's case edges straight to the edge of the Gorilla Glass, hence the reason it breaks nearly every time. With the Note 2, though, that impact is distributed to the entire phone, bursting its back cover off, and firing its battery across the floor; and the glass, most of the time, isn't harmed one single bit. Most other Samsung phones are that way, too. How Samsung happened to goof-up the S3, I'll never know; but you can bet it'll never do it again. In the meantime, any S3 user can more-than-adequately protect his/her S3 with a simple case of either the "bumper" style, or, better yet, the hybrid style, so that drops on the phone's edge no longer send the entire brunt of the impace straight to the edge of the glass. If ever a phone needed an Otterbox, then, it's the S3.

    Most other phones can get away with little more protection than a good TPU skin/case can provide. Of course, stepping-up to a thicker hybrid case is always better, if one can live with the additional bulk. And, also, if one -- and I should have covered this in the above posting -- if one gets a hybrid case that is designed so the hard polycarbonate sides wrap up far toward the front of the phone far enough to give support during swiping to the soft, stretchable silicone when figers drag across it. Yes... you know what.. I need to go back and add that to my above long posting... along with correcting a gabazillion typos I've spotted in it this morning. Thanks for reminding me (without realizing you were doing it, of course) of that additional factor. The Incipio brand hybrids, for example, all fail on that score; yet the Ballistics do really well. Yes, I think I'll circle back and add that to my above posting.

    Anyway, your question, I think, has to do with what happens if the glass is impacted, directly, by something, on its way to the floor; and how a screen protector could possibly help with that. That's a great question.

    And the answer is that the screen protector -- especially the harder, slightly thicker, dry-apply PET protectors -- provides just the tiniest bit of impact resistance; and takes nearly the entirety of the brunt of whatever might have become a scratch in the glass had there been no screen protector, and had whatever the screen hit been as hard as or harder than quartz. But the screen protector won't really provide too terribly much more actual impact resistance than does the Gorilla Glass, itself. The thing is, though, that Gorilla Glass is so tough that that's almost good enough, as long as there's a case to protect Gorilla Glass's vulnerable edges from absorbing any of the impact.

    So I guess I'm saying that it's really the Gorilla Glass that kinda' protects itself if directly hit in a fall; augmented by a shock-absorbing case of some kind to keep any of the impact from going to Gorilla Glass's admittedly-vulnerable edges. Beyond that, the screen protector provides only the almost imperceptibly bit more impact resistance (but not really so's ya'd notice, to be honest... it's really Gorilla Glass's properties that do all the heavy lifting on that); but if whatever hits the Gorilla Glass in the fall/drop might have put a scratch in it, the screen protector will positively help to stop that. Yes, the screen protector may, at that point need to be replaced, but that's better than having to replace the Gorilla Glass. It is, surprisingly, not necessarily cheaper, though, since just the Gorilla Glass with its bezel, as a part, is actually pretty cheap... only around twenty bucks (usually far less), sometimes including the entire kit with adhesive and tools. It's only if the digitizer beneath the glass is also damaged that things start to get expensive, typically costing around $190, at the very least (and, of course, at that point, it might just pay to get a whole 'nuther phone).

    I guess I'm also saying that, yes, I suppose some kind of flip-over cover would, indeed, protect the glass better than just Gorilla Glass's impact resistant properties, augmented by a good PET screen protector. But at what cost, I ask. The whole flipover thing, in my opinion, just makes the whole phone weird and unweildy... to the point that it's kinda' not worth it to fiddle around with it... at least not considering how that between a good TPU case, and Gorilla Glass with a PET screen protector on it, the phone, at that point, can pretty much take most anything in normal, everyday use that one can throw at it. If you also keep the phone in a leatherette or canvas or nylon pouch, on top of everything else, then it's pretty darned protected!

    I'm mindful of all this because, you know, I just dropped my Note 2 for the first time the other day. Dropped it pretty good, too... onto a hard tile floor... bounced high enough that I coulda' drop-kicked the darned thing. Scared the hell outta' me. But it was wearing its TPU case, and its screen protector, and it didn't show so much as a scratch or misbehave in the least. And even though it came to rest (not "landed," but just "came to rest") face down, the edges of the TPU case kept the screen, wearing its Realook 3D PET protector, from even touching the tile... kept it lifted-up just a millimeter or two above it. It was only a waist-high fall, mind you... but I'm 6'1", so my waist is higher than many; and a tile floor is as hard as concrete. So I was impressed.

    Of course, as I earlier wrote, I extensively tested a TPU case on my old Samsung Captivate. I must have dropped it two dozen times, from every possible angle, even from my full arm's length above my head (I've got a nearly 37-inch sleeve length, and can almost touch an 8-foot-high ceiling flat-footed, so we're talking pretty much 8-foot-high falls/drops). That phone's working just fine, today. Yes, one of the falls deeply scratched the screen protector, but I had one left-over from the Realook two-pack, so I just went ahead and removed the old one after testing, applied the new one. That Captivate, today, is plugged-in to one of our TV sets, and is used, via WI-FI (even though there's no SIM card in it) to bring Netflix and other web contents to that particular TV!

    So, anyway, hope that helps!
    11-15-2013 11:41 AM
  6. JasW's Avatar
    {snip}
    So, anyway, hope that helps!
    Hard to say, he might prefer to wait for the movie version.
    tony bag o donuts likes this.
    11-15-2013 07:25 PM
  7. Andy847's Avatar
    I have this one and it's awesome:
    Dual-layered Hybrid Case for Galaxy Note 2 - Terminator Tough!

    but no cover for the screen, so you need a screen protector. The kickstand is for both portrait as for landscape.

    On amazon:
    Amazon.com: HyperGear 12412 Terminator Dual-Layered Cover for Galaxy Note II* - 1 Pack - Retail Packaging - Red: Cell Phones & Accessories

    I don't like a front cover. Because you will fold it back and than it's all so much more bulky, i can't hold the phone anymore in one hand.
    It gets worse if the case is also a stand.
    I bought this case at the mall, because nobody, even Best Buy, had any decent cases for my Note 2 the night I was going to buy it. I love how protective the case is, but just needed a case in a pinch to throw on my Galaxy Note 2 until I got one on amazon that I wanted. The case is also bulky and kind of slippery. I ended up getting the Acase Superleggera pro case, which is the same case I had on my Galaxy S lll. It felt bulkier on the S lll, not so much on my Note 2. I like it though, because it's not as big in my hand as the one with more bulk. Both are nice cases though.
    I do agree the Front Cover isn't really ideal, with my Note 8, I have a folio case and hate folding the front flap behind when using it. Just makes it harder to hold.
    11-15-2013 10:37 PM
  8. gdanonym's Avatar
    I bought this case at the mall, because nobody, even Best Buy, had any decent cases for my Note 2 the night I was going to buy it. I love how protective the case is, but just needed a case in a pinch to throw on my Galaxy Note 2 until I got one on amazon that I wanted. The case is also bulky and kind of slippery. I ended up getting the Acase Superleggera pro case, which is the same case I had on my Galaxy S lll. It felt bulkier on the S lll, not so much on my Note 2. I like it though, because it's not as big in my hand as the one with more bulk. Both are nice cases though.
    I do agree the Front Cover isn't really ideal, with my Note 8, I have a folio case and hate folding the front flap behind when using it. Just makes it harder to hold.
    Yes it is kind of slippery. But i changed this by adding some glue with my fingers and dry it out. Making it more grippy.
    Every case i get, is not perfect, so i change it myself.
    11-16-2013 05:14 PM
  9. techitrucker's Avatar
    Here's the one I bought. Incipio Legend. It worked nicely though I ended up replacing it with and Otterbox. http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B009ZW...cUvbUpU3252574

    Posted via Android Central App
    11-19-2013 02:33 AM
  10. Superskull85's Avatar
    DesElms thank you for that detailed information and everyone else for your suggestions. I haven't read them all (especially DesElms as it is on the lengthier side, though very appreciated, I just need some time to read it ).

    The reason I want a flip cover is because I sometimes play videos that are more podcast like (so I only need to listen to them) but I am unable to put the phone into sleep mode because they are videos. Depending on the app it is much easier to use a case that would touch the screen equally thus not pausing or interacting with the video. I am using the Samsung case because of this but the hard plastic has cracked around the edges from falls and because of this the case is looser on the phone though still in place.

    I don't mind a more limited selection on the case as long as I find it somewhere. I saw some ideas in DesElms post so once I can fully read and look into those cases I will probably have some more questions or comments. Thanks again.
    11-19-2013 05:17 AM
  11. DesElms's Avatar
    The reason I want a flip cover is because I sometimes play videos that are more podcast like (so I only need to listen to them) but I am unable to put the phone into sleep mode because they are videos. Depending on the app it is much easier to use a case that would touch the screen equally thus not pausing or interacting with the video. I am using the Samsung case because of this but the hard plastic has cracked around the edges from falls and because of this the case is looser on the phone though still in place.
    Well, of course, you don't really want the phone to be in "sleep" mode if you're playing a podcast. You just want the screen to be blank; there's a difference between screen-off-and-locked and merely screen-blank-or-off. There are apps which only blank/turn-off the screen; and there are also apps which so dim the screen that you'd likely not mind that it's still on. Also, as long as all features of the phone which are sensitive to the phone's orientation are turned-off, there isn't a reason in the world why you couldn't just lay it on its face while listening. The speaker, after all, is on the back of the phone, so that makes more sense in any case. However, because the screen's glass is actually higher (when the phone's on its back) than the case bevel around it, you'd need a TPU case on the phone, the sides of which extend up (from the back, when the phone's on its back) higher than the plane of the glass. If you had such a TPU case on the phone, and if the phone would not think that you want it off or sleeping or anything by the mere fact that you've laid it down on its face, then said TPU case would keep the glass from actually touching the desktop or tabletop or nightstand; and it would also seal the light from leaking out.

    Based on your need, then (which I wish you had been more clear about in your thread-starting post), my one and only case recommendation is the very one that I use; and my one and only companion PET screen protector recommendation is the "3D" one that I also use. Between the two, your phone will have all the protection it needs; and the case's edges around the glass will keep light from the screen from escaping into a darkened room if the phone is laid on its face during podcast listening.

    I saw some ideas in DesElms post so once I can fully read and look into those cases I will probably have some more questions...
    Which I'm both here, and happy to answer.
    11-19-2013 02:48 PM
  12. Superskull85's Avatar
    Hi,

    So I have done more reading and I have come to some conclusion which may change some of the answers (I did not post them before because I didn't think I would care about these things when I first posted). I want to thank everyone for posting though because you have provided me with some good information which I have bookmarked for future reference.

    First I realized after taking my Galaxy Note 2 out of its case to put in a new microSD card that I don't like how thin the phone is. I bought a Note 2 because I don't like small devices so it seems only fitting that I also don't want to have thin devices as well (this is mostly in relation to mobile devices). Some of the thin cases I saw video reviews of turned me away because of this.

    Second a pouch =/= a flip cover. In theory this works great but it is an added step to housing my phone and a lot of the pouches focus on belt attachment instead of just casing. This is fine for some people but not for me.

    Third while I do want a kickstand I wouldn't use all of the the time so having it apart of the case was not a necessity. I thought of using an external stand such as the Funlounger Portable which would actually give me angles than a kickstand on a case.

    Fourth I did not think about using screen lock apps like DesElms mentioned. When testing some of the options I was hesitant because some apps just don't like to be interfered with, at all, but I did find one and it works great. I don't usually watch video podcasts while sitting down much (I usually don't even watch video podcasts instead I listen to them like audio podcasts) so while a lipped edge would be nice it too is not necessary for a case.

    With that in mind I was actually thinking about an Otterbox and the Funlounger stand above. The price for me is fine for what I get: a thicker case with really good protection, a screen protector (that I would have to buy any way and an adjustable stand for those times where it is useful (which I can easily store in my backpack that I usually carry with me). Combine this with the screen lock app I have already installed these products seem to fulfill my needs. As an extra bonus I do get a carry case with the Defender series of Otterbox if I ever do have a desire to use it. I would like the community's opinions though before I buy them.

    DesElms did mention that silicone cases may stretch a bit. Is this also true with the Otterbox outer layer? Or is that a better make of silicone compared to silicone only cases?

    For the stand I have also found this stand that is more compact, cheaper and seems to fit any size phone. I worry, though, about the reliability of the stand. It looks like it would snap more easily on the hinge. Compare this to the Funlounger one which seems bigger and looks like it can endure more stress. The difference between the prices of the two I listed is $6 USD though. I also wonder if the Otterbox case would fit well enough on the Funlounger stand. Anyone have any experience with these stands or have any better solutions?

    Lastly this is more of hack but because I do already have a flip cover with my current case how easy would it be to attach by gluing the cover to the silicone layer of the Otterbox? I have heard 3M contact glue might be able to do this. The cover I have is more of a pleather material and not actual leather. I would bet not one has actually tried this but if anyone has I would be like to know what your experience doing this is. I don't mind adding something like to the Otterbox outer layer as I don't intend to give the case away and it always be in my possession. I thought of this last idea because it would give me everything I wanted if the Otterbox turns out to be a good choice.

    Thank you again for the information. Any feedback on this proposed solution would be great.
    11-24-2013 06:34 AM
  13. Superskull85's Avatar
    Hey! Just wondering if anyone has any input on what I posted above?
    11-29-2013 07:47 AM

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