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Old February 12th, 2013, 12:04 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Case Mate Tough Case Review w/lots of pics

Today I got my Marine Blue/Titanium Case-mate Tough Case (http://www.case-mate.com//samsung-galaxy-note-2-cases/case-mate-samsung-galaxy-note-2-tough-cases.asp) and so far very impressed with it!!! You don't realize how light and slim this case is until you hold it in your own hands. You almost get fooled into thinking how such a slim case claims to be "tough" and offers you a protection? Make no mistake, it does! I always believe a picture is worth a thousand words, so I included a ton of those below, from every angle and inside-out. Also, want to add a few of my thoughts about the case.

Unlike a lot of other dual layer cases, case-mate came up with an original design of a inner rubber bumper (not the full shell) and outer plastic shell. Bumper is made out of hard TPU material that fits very snugly around the phone, and when assembled with a plastic shell - has zero pull around the edges. Inner plastic shell has an extra cushion lining in the middle which aligns perfectly with a bumper cutout which explains how they were able to make this case so thin. Plastic shell itself has a nice grip and a cool textured design. The textured diamonds are very subtle and the surface is easy to clean, as I found out within minutes after my 4 year old grabbed it with his pizza hands The lip, as I tried taking a close up in a few of the pictures, is not as high as on some other cases with silicon lining, but due to TPU hard nature of the material it will serve its purpose on par, if not even better, than other cases with a higher lip made out of soft silicon that pulls away. Every cutout is precise and generous. S-pen is easy to access, headphone jack has wide enough opening to accommodate different options, micro-usb port is wide enough for any after-market plug, and mic and speaker openings wide enough for a clear sound going in and out. Volume and power buttons are clearly marked and very easy to locate just by feeling while sliding your finger along the edge. They also have a click feedback when you press on it. It's true these are not easy to press, but I personally don't mind that because in my previous case with silicone inner shell I had a lot of accidental power on hits. Camera and led flash opening has a slight raised edge which I not sure the purpose of, but it flattens out; I took a close up picture of that as well.

It's hard to say which case I would compare it to because I think it's in a class by itself. It's like a hybrid between Commuter and slim TPU case since it's that thin and yet offers a decent level of protection. As I mentioned before, and as always - just my own pesonal opinion which you don't have to agree with, Touch Case and upcoming UAG (will review it once I have get it) are two of the best solutions if you are looking for a slim case with a decent level of protection.

...
EDIT. a few more comments. I would like to add that package it came in is actually very high quality and that shiny top is made out of real aluminum, not some cheap foil (I'm talking about the box this case was packaged in). Also, unlike other vendors, it didn't include any screen protector which is common with other higher quality cases. Not sure if its even necessary since those are typically not high quality sp anyway, just a bonus. But still wanted to point out because people asking me if it came with any other goodies lol! Furthermore, the phone is very balanced once on its back, no wobbling or rocking - important if you are using it on flat surface to type/browse. Also, it does offer some grip with a surface once you lay it down on the screen or the back - important detail so the phone will not slide freely if you bump it on the table.
...


OK, here comes the pictures!

















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Old February 12th, 2013, 01:15 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Awesome review!
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Old February 12th, 2013, 02:36 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Case Mate Tough Case Review w/lots of pics

Excellent review and fab photos. That case looks ideal
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Old February 12th, 2013, 02:48 PM   #4 (permalink)
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what camera did you use to take those pics??
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Old February 12th, 2013, 04:22 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Just ordered this case as it looks nearly ideal for my needs. I hope to be able to do a mod to the outer shell to attach an elastic strap.

Code VDAY30 gets 30% off at the Case-Mate website, bringing the price down to $28.
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Old February 12th, 2013, 04:26 PM   #6 (permalink)
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what camera did you use to take those pics??
Just an old Canon PowerShot Elph 310HS, with flash turned off.

Btw, for some weird reason I put a direct link to the case, but when I click on it I get redirected to their main site, instead of Tough Case page. The direct link is: Case-Mate Samsung Galaxy Note 2 Tough Cases (Case-Mate NOTE2-TUF), Samsung Galaxy Note 2 Cases, Covers, Accessories by Case-Mate | Case-Mate

Also, wanted to mention, because the case is so slim, I was actually able to fit it into my holster from my previous cheap ebay case. It's not very tight, but in vertical position works really well. I will take a few pictures and post it later tonight.

Furthermore, I will be getting Case-Mate Pop! case too and review it as well. That case supposed to be slim as well, offer a similar level of protection (although I believe Tough supposed to be "tougher"), and provide a kickstand.
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Old February 12th, 2013, 08:28 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Since I mentioned I was able to fit Tough Case into a holster from another case, here is more info about it. I had a cheap ebay case for under $7 which came with a holster (Best case for note 2?). I tossed that holster aside until I just realized that it can be used with Tough Case. Its a generic slide-in holster which I have seen bundled with other ebay cheap cases. The only issue, it would be safe to carry the phone in it only in portrait orientation; maybe some landscape as well but as long as it doesn't point down because the fit is not 100% tight. I don't know what you want to call it, maybe just a mod of Tough case since you can combine it together. I took a bunch of pictures to show you how it looks with that holster, where the phone fits ONLY with a screen facing the holster thus providing extra screen protection. Perhaps, if belt clip is removed, you can just use it as a protective screen slide-in cover if you need to throw you phone in the bag or a pocket and want extra screen protection. I was also wondering if Seidio Active holster will work with this case as well, since it has a spring-loaded latch. But anyway...

Here are more pictures, including a close up of the gap.

















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Old February 13th, 2013, 12:44 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Case Mate Tough Case Review w/lots of pics

Really great review! Actually thanks so much for all your reviews. They have helped me in my research soooo much and have probably saved me a ton of money! I'm really liking that Casemate Tough case with the holster mod. That looks like it would fit my needs perfectly. I thought I'd miss a kickstand, but I never use one now on my phone. If I watch a movie or slingbox, it's usually on my tablet. Thanks again!
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Old February 13th, 2013, 11:55 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Really great review! Actually thanks so much for all your reviews. They have helped me in my research soooo much and have probably saved me a ton of money! I'm really liking that Casemate Tough case with the holster mod. That looks like it would fit my needs perfectly. I thought I'd miss a kickstand, but I never use one now on my phone. If I watch a movie or slingbox, it's usually on my tablet. Thanks again!
If you want to wait a few days, I'm getting Case-Mate Pop! stand shipped to me and will review it probably by Friday. It supposed to have a slim design and a kickstand. The level of protection should be on par with Tough, but I assume a notch lower. I will do a detailed review with pictures once I get it.
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Old February 13th, 2013, 12:03 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Just edited my review at the top with an additional comment.
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Old February 13th, 2013, 01:10 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I love that grey bumper.
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Old February 15th, 2013, 03:16 PM   #12 (permalink)
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A tough decision now between Tough and UAG cases. Per my review of UAG case I just posted, you can see that I'm equally excited about both lol!!! But for sure, those two are in a different category.

Tough is overall slimmer, more rounded, and a little bit lighter. UAG has a little better protection, especially corners, with a thicker bumper/lip. Tough offers a more sophisticated cleaner design, while UAG is more urban style. Both styles are bold and stand out. Overall, quality of Case-Mate is ahead of UAG - you can see that in fitment and other details. UAG is ahead of Tough in terms of better drop protection.

At this point, I'm using BOTH - Tough for the times I'm inside with less exposure to outdoor elements, and UAG for those times when I'm more outdoors.

Here is a few shots comparing one next to the other just to give you a scale/dimension comparison.






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Old February 15th, 2013, 04:15 PM   #13 (permalink)
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UGH, thanks to you I'm waiting for two Casemate Tough cases to be delivered today!!! As if I don't already have a drawer full!! Pretty kitchen, BTW!!!
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Old February 15th, 2013, 04:27 PM   #14 (permalink)
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UGH, thanks to you I'm waiting for two Casemate Tough cases to be delivered today!!! As if I don't already have a drawer full!! Pretty kitchen, BTW!!!
I gotta talk to Case-Mate how to sign up for commission lol!!! Got Pop! today for review. Will post it over the weekend.

Btw, funny you mentioned a kitchen. Just got yelled at by my wife for taking pictures in our kitchen on the island with all the crap (and kids stuff) in the background. I would do it in the basement on a table next to the wall, but lighting is not as good.
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Old March 13th, 2013, 11:18 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Btw, got an email from Case-Mate.com about March sale promo with 30% off coupon MARCH30 - expires at midnight, March 18th.
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Old March 26th, 2013, 09:24 PM   #16 (permalink)
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If there is a match made in heaven for a case and a holster - it will not get any better than Case-Mate Tough and Seidio ACTIVE holster!!!!

Don't take my words for it, check out the pictures. Seidio holsters are by far the only quality holster I would consider for any case I want to keep secure only belt. Their design of bottom corner protection and spring loaded latch are top notch. This combo fits like a glove!!!!! And what's great, the holster itself could be purchased separately (SEIDIO | ACTIVE Holster for Samsung Galaxy Note 2), just has to be ACTIVE holster, not SURFACE.

Here are the pictures:



















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Old March 26th, 2013, 09:34 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Does the corner peal back easily? I wonder if the Seidio SURFACE holster would hold this case?
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Old March 26th, 2013, 11:17 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Does the corner peal back easily? I wonder if the Seidio SURFACE holster would hold this case?
SURFACE holster too small, CONVERT holster too big. ACTIVE is just perfect! I have all 3 holsters

Corner of Tough peal back? NO, there is no pulling anywhere because this is not a silicone inner lining but hard TPU bumper.
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Old March 27th, 2013, 05:14 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Thanks so much for the reviews. Very much appreciated. I am on the verge of buying either the Case Mate or or the UAG but can't get both. Which case has more of a lip for front protection? I guess I am really worried about cracking my screen.
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Old March 27th, 2013, 06:15 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Thanks so much for the reviews. Very much appreciated. I am on the verge of buying either the Case Mate or or the UAG but can't get both. Which case has more of a lip for front protection? I guess I am really worried about cracking my screen.
Those are two of my favorite cases. If better lip/drop protection is your highest priority and you have to choose one, go with UAG.
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Old March 27th, 2013, 06:32 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Thanks for your response, sold! Just ordered. I think I will get the other case too when I can. I can see why you like both. I can't thank you enough for your thorough reviews and pictures.
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Old June 4th, 2013, 12:53 AM   #22 (permalink)
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Default Casemate compared to Seidio Active?

Mates--
i enjoy my active which evidently is close to the same size as it's holster fits the casemate almost perfectly.

the casemate looks attractive and it's slimness might real be a design illusion as the holster just fits so well.

please has anyone seen them both together. protection. size?

i actually use the kickstand on the seidio, but the kickstand is no deal breaker. is the casemate speaker port flush against any flat surface it is resting on, back down? blocking or muffling sound from speaker?
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Old June 4th, 2013, 06:15 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Go with Casemate!!! It's super slim, lays flat on the back, has acceptable lip for screen protection, easy in/out of the pocket, and because of inner tpu ring (rather than soft silicone) - it gives a good drop protection. No sound muffling. I personally use UAG case because I need extra bumper protection, but out of all the cases I have tested for Note 2, Casemate Tough is my second favorite. Very good grip too, not as wide as UAG which some people prefer.
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Old June 4th, 2013, 07:50 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Great job on the pictures!
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