I have been on a quest for Apple Bumper alternatives since day one. Not that I was unhappy with my pink Apple Bumper, but I wanted variety. I thought it would be fun to have Bumpers in multiple colors that I could change daily. At $29 a pop and with Apple’s bright pastel line, they were not going to get it done for me. I’ve searched, I’ve read reviews, I resorted to regular cases, and I’ve even purchased a few different alternative Bumper models. Until last week, I had yet to find something I liked as much as my Apple Bumper. Then up pops the SGP Neo Hybrid EX case. I actually came across a little sidebar ad for it right here on macgasm. The colors are what grabbed my attention. In the end, I opted for the Satin Silver thinking maybe it would look a bit like my iPhone was nude. Shipping was fast—it was in my hands in just a few short days.
At $29.99 each, I won’t be living out my iPhone case wardrobe fantasies any time soon. I can say that it does feel solid. There are two pieces to this case. First you have the soft rubbery “High Polymer coated soft Premium Silicon” that fits around your iPhone. It overlaps the front and back glass panes just as much as the Apple Bumper. This is not something that would ever be a standalone case though, as it is too loose. Second you have the hard “Polycorbonate Frame.” Now this piece is very snug going on. With as tight of a fit as it is, I was a little surprised that I was still able to pull the sides out and see the metal rim of my iPhone when it was finally in place. It does however feel more sturdy than my Apple Bumper. It also comes with a clear front and back protector film and a little microfiber cleaning cloth. I didn’t test the film as I don’t like screen protectors and have a custom GelaSkins on the back.
How does the Neo Hybrid EX compare to the Apple Bumper?
The Neo Hybrid is not as grippy as the Apple Bumper. So far this is a plus for me, but others might like the more rubbery feel of the Bumper.
I wish the Neo had the metal button accents like the Bumper, but it’s not a deal breaker. The lines are clean, and it appears to be the product of quality manufacturing.
With both cases I am easily able to access the mute switch, headphone insert and 30 pin connector. Like the Apple Bumper, the Neo also can’t be docked or use the older 30 pin cables, although it was enough of a difference at the 30 pin opening that it did recognize and start charging when plugged into the cable that came with my Apple Bluetooth headset. I was excited at first, but then it started throwing up errors on my iPhone about compatibility and causing oddness. It just wasn’t seated deep enough.
In all fairness, the Bumper had nearly a 6 month run vs. my week of the Neo. In the first week of use with my Apple Bumper, I got a small tear. It was my fault as it slid across a table at high speed. I removed the little loose flap, and it has never gotten worse or had any other tears. My pink Apple Bumper has taken on a blue tinge from residing in the back pocket of my jeans (oh, I’m super girly). I’ve cleaned it with rubbing alcohol, but this is a permanent stain. The area around the headphone insert has also gotten a bit stretched out—again, it’s been really used. With only a week under my belt with the Neo, I can’t really tell you much as of yet. I did get a white scuff on the Silicon part that doesn’t seem to be able to be cleaned off.
If the Neo Hybrid EX holds up as well as my Apple Bumper after a month, I will be going back to get the red one. I’m really pleased with my purchase as of now and find this to be an excellent alternative to the Apple Bumper with a better color range to choose from.