SGP Neo Hybrid EX II: Round Two (Review)

Austin Morrow

Feb 4, 2011
This is using my new review system. I look at the most important aspects of the product, not in a linear way. Tell me what you think!

Well, look what we have here, yet another SGP product. This is their newest case, the Neo Hybrid EX 2. In case you didn’t know, the original Neo Hybrid EX had a number of problems that people reported, ranging from broken dock connector openings, to extremely difficult installation, the list goes on and on. SGP realized this and has now released the second iteration of this case with almost the exact same look, the only visual difference being the volume button coverings and the Neo Hybrid 2 logo. With that being said, did SGP improve on many of the problems of the original EX? Let’s find out.

The Original Problems
I probably won’t be the first one to admit this, but there were a plethora of problems present with the Neo Hybrid EX. The most annoying (at least in my opinion) was the difficulty of the installation, which literally took people forever to get on, and if they didn’t go slow enough or gentle enough, the fragile bottom piece located on the dock connector opening would snap in half. If you take a visit to the original MacRumors forum about the original, you can see a ton of examples of all the dock connector pieces snapping. Small ports and non third party accessory compatibility was also one of the many problems.

The New Updates
Thankfully though, SGP has realized all of the complaining people wanted an updated version, and here today among us is the second iteration of the Neo Hybrid EX. There are a lot of updates, some very apparent, and some not so apparent. The case is a bit looser, so it’s a lot easier to install. It only took me about a half a minute or so. If you take a little deeper look, you may also find it apparent that both the volume rockers and the sleep/wake button are a bit thicker and stick out of the openings a lot more, which makes for a more responsive and tactile feel.

The New Problems
Even with the new updates to the original EX, the EX still has some letdowns. The first being the ports and the openings. While it is nice to have some fresh, and more responsive buttons, it doesn’t mean you have to leave all of the other ports out as well. The dock connector and the headphone jack still don’t feature support for third party accessories and will only work with Apple branded products. Actually, I found that even Apple’s own dock connector was a rather tight fit. So you are going to need something very, very small for this to work. Did I mention how small it needs to be? Alright, there is one more problem, probably more of a nitpick, but it will annoying to some people. The sides, bottom and top all creak like crazy for me and seem to flare out slightly from the side. Even the slightest pull on the sides will make the case un-adhere from the sides of the phone.

The Design
Well, let’s stop with all the whining and the amending. The design of the Neo hybrid EX II is actually very cool looking in my opinion. While it certainly isn’t the most fancy case in the world, it gets the job done in terms of style, simplicity, and ease of use. Since the case is very thin, you shouldn’t notice it very much. Also, the case comes in a plethora of different colors and looks, so if you ever want to switch and swap colors, SGP sells the frames as a separate bundle, with including matching port protectors! Lastly, if you have the white iPhone, you will be in for a treat if you get the Infinity White version of the case, which basically blends in with the white iPhone 4’s glass and adds a little bit of solid bumper protection overall.

SGP’s Ultra Crystal Screen Shields
There is one last little thing I would like to touch on, and that is SGP’s screen shields that come with the case itself. You get both a front and back (that’s a really good deal) and are, in my opinion, some of the best screen shields available. Instead of going into installation, let’s talk about everything else. They feel great, to say the least, super smooth, with absolutely no reduction in clarity. If lined up perfectly, all the cutouts are spot on, the front facing camera now features its own cutout, unlike the older versions I have tried. Also, since this shield does not extend all the way to the edges, it leaves room for third party cases.

Final Thoughts
Well, I do have a few mixed feelings for the new Neo Hybrid EX II. While there are a lot of good and rather substantial updates over the original, there are a still a few problems that need to be addressed with the case. If you aren’t planning on using any third party accessories with this case, want a simplistic, protective, and stylish companion for your iPhone 4, and need something in a bumper style design, this may just be the case for you. Also, don’t forget that this comes with both front and back screen shields, so you’ll be in luck if you need some glass protection. The Neo Hybrid EX II is available for $31.99 (which may be a tad bit expensive). Follow the links for more info.

Rating: 3/5
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Aug 9, 2010
It's funny, I had the original version, and had several people inquire with great interest in it. When it broke at teh base where the charger is installed, cretouch would have nothing to do with me.

For what they want for parts/replacements it's just not worth having.

I now use a switcheasy capsule rebel and frankly, it's a terrific case that does not bulk up the phone. The top is a slight bit saggy (maybe 1 to 2 mm) but that's it.

Thanks for the review on the improved model.