The Incipio Silicrylic case is built out of a silicone skin, hard plastic outer casing and screen protector to keep the display from suffering any dings. All of the hardware buttons, inputs, microphones, and cameras remain full accessible in the the Silicrylic case, while those more concerned about looks will be happy about the wide variety of colors available.
The overall design of the Silicrylic case is great. There are lots of soft but defined bevels around every opening. The silicon logo that pokes through the hard case on the back isn’t too obnoxious and is generally pretty easy to ignore.
The outer hard casing can be removed if you need to shave off a millimeter or two of thickness, and the skin doesn’t look entirely out of place on its own (though you do miss out on some fairly key corner protection. When fully assembled, everything fits snugly; the loosest part is where the silicone meets the front of the device along the sides, and even that’s not too bothersome or unsecure.
One of my favorite aspects of the Silicrylic case is the matte feel. Glossy finishes don’t tend to age gracefully, and you can make just as much of an impact with the right color scheme. I was using the black/grey combo, which was subdued, but still stylish. There are options for straight black if you want to be even more discreet, or black and white, pink and white, and purple and black for those looking for something a bit more vibrant. The silicon inner skin adds excellent grip on the sides - right where you need it the most.
The screen protector posed the most challenge in the looks department; it can be tricky squeezing out all of the air bubbles, especially when a speck of dust manages to find its way underneath despite ardent wiping before application. Still, most of the edges of the protector are hidden by the silicon skin.
The earpiece, rear speakerphone, camera, and dual microphones on the Galaxy Nexus were fully open with the Silicrylic case installed. The micro USB port and headphone jack had ample room around them for larger plugs. The screen protector provides an opening for the earpiece, front-facing camera, light and proximity sensors, though it can be tricky applying the protector without at least a little bit of overlap on the camera. It doesn’t effect camera quality at all, but it can certainly be distracting. Ideally, the opening would be made a little bit wider to the right in order to give users some wriggle room.
I was especially happy with the responsiveness of the keys through the silicone skin; on some cases it’s too thick to get proper tactile feedback, making it hard to know if a press was registered or not.
In terms of protection, I was generally happy with what the Incipio Silicrylic case had to offer - the inner layer provides a decent amount of shock absorption while the hard case can take the brunt of high-impact drops along the corners and offer decent scratch protection. I was least happy with the screen protector, which was quickly marked up by a loose headphone jack. I’d be confident that the naked screen could handle the same scratch on its own, but for more trying situations, it’s better to have a screen protector than not - even if it means dealing with a slightly distorted display until you get your hands on a new protector.
- Subtle but pronounced style
- Easy access to all components
- Screen protector was generally a hassle
Between the bubbles, the iffy degree of protection, and applying it so the front-facing camera wasn’t covered, the screen protector was by far the biggest hassle of the case. Still, those are issues that apply to most screen protectors, and overall I was really happy with the Silicrylic case from Incipio. It offers a lot of protection without adding a ton of bulk, and in the end, $29.99 isn’t a huge investment to protect your $500 - $800 phone.
I was testing on the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, but there’s one available for the Samsung Galaxy S 3 as well with a few more color schemes. Interested? You can pick up the Incipio Silicrylic case in the ShopAndroid store (currently 10% off).