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Rearth Ringke Slim Case Review

Specifications

–          Compatibility: Google Nexus 4

–          Slim profile 0.8mm thickness

–          Weight 14 grams

–          Premium SF Matte Finish

–          Impact resistant polycarbonate

The Basics

Rearth was established back in 2003 and since then they have become one of the words leading lightweight phone case manufacturers. Rearth rely on their creditable reputation to produce high quality products along with their outstanding customer service. This was recently proven after the release of the Ringke Slim for the Nexus 4, with the first batch of cases being shipped out for delivery with a manufacturing defect, this caused customers to experience an issue with the fit of the case around the volume rocker. Rearth where quick to respond to the negative feedback and promised to replace any defective case with the revised version free of charge.

Rearth's Eco-friendly packaging

Rearth’s Eco-friendly packaging

The Good

Rearth have pulled this case out of the bag, with very few case manufactures offering cases for the Nexus 4, Rearth where quick to respond releasing the Ringke Slim a mere 4 weeks after the release of the flagship Nexus. The case arrived sooner than expected and was delivered in their eco-friendly packaging to help reduce their impact on global warming; something that I feel all businesses should be doing in the near future.

The case is made from impact resistant polycarbonate with a soft feel matte black finish that feels spectacular in the hand and fits the ergonomics of the Nexus 4 almost too well, to give it an almost nonexistence feel. Although I am not as pleased with the grip of the matte finish as I would like to have been, it is far better than the glass finish on the back of the Nexus.

The case is one of the slimmest as well as lightest on the market at an impressive 0.8mm thick (the thickness of an average credit card) and weighing in at 14 grams. I felt that the case provides sufficient protection for a slim fit case; the face is protected with the raised corners along with the back being completely covered. The case has discrete branding positioned at the bottom of the case, this gives that stylish look that is hard to find in many cases that cost as little as the Ringke Slim.

The last and possibly the most important factor when purchasing a case – price, retailing at $9.99, the Ringke Slim is a great choice of case for users on a budget, managing to maintain that premium feel. This case has very few competitors at this point in time with very few case manufactures willing to produce cases for the Nexus 4, so unfortunately this gives me very few products to compare.

A brief outline of Rearth as a business

A brief outline of Rearth as a business

The Bad

Rearth are very good at listening to customer when it comes to the design of their cases, but this does not avoid small problems arising. The major floor with the Ringke Slim was the manufacturing fault with the first version, but saying that this issue was quickly resolved and has not caused any issues since. When I first purchased this case I was unsure if I had received the defective version or the revised version, but there are a few subtle differences to tell the two cases apart, here are some simple checks:-

Version one (Defective) –

–          All edges of the case are symmetrical

–          The case has a significant gap on the volume rocker side of the case

–          The back of the case does not sit flush with the back of the phone, causing a creek when holding the phone firmly in one hand

Version two (Revised) –

–          The top left corner of the case is noticeably larger

–          The case should have a snug fit on both the power button and the volume rocker side

–          The case should not creek when gripped firmly in one hand

One feature that I feel lets down the Ringke Slim is the lanyard cut out on the bottom right corner of the case. I am not a fan of lanyards myself but I obtained a couple of these to use for the sake of the review and to give my feedback on these, but to my disappointment the two I had planned to use for testing did not fit the cut out provided. This leads me to suspect that most lanyards would not be suitable for this case, resulting in me feeling that Rearth should have left this feature out to maintain the sleek design of the case a little better.

The availability of the case outside the US is also a little disappointing having to pay extortionate prices to have it shipped from US or paying a premium to obtain the case off a reseller that has already done this to avoid the hassle. It would be nice to see Rearth setup a distributor in Europe to meet the demand of the European market, and keep the costs to a minimum for all of their customers.

The inside of the Ringke Slim

The inside of the Ringke Slim

The Bottom line

Over all I would suggest this case to all users looking for a smart, minimalistic case that provides essential protection for their Nexus 4. It would be a lie to say this is the best case on the market, but it certainly does the job intended while looking and feeling like a premium case. If you have a spare $10 you could not spend your money more wisely, if you either need a low profile case for day to day use or a spare, then this is a nice option to have lying around, even if it not used all the time it is fairly inexpensive and is always available if its needed.

Back of the Ringke Slim with branding

Back of the Ringke Slim with branding

Category

Comment

Rating /10

Build Quality

 – Good build quality but signs of injection molding visible

– Good fitting case as long as you have the revised version

7

Ease of use

– Easy to apply the case and a good tight fit when in place

– Can be a little hard to remove but better than having a lose case

8

Protection

– This case does not provide the best protection for your Nexus 4, but what do you expect when buying a slim case

7

Value

– This is a great value case, for $10 you cannot go wrong along with the premium feel to the case

9

Colors/Textures available 

– These case is available in 4 diffident colors:

SF – Matte Black

SF – Matte Grey

SF – Matte Navy

LF – White

– It would be nice to see some colorful cases available

7

Overall – Overall this case is lovely, the feel, build quality and the business themselves have great ethics. If you are looking to purchase a cheap, lightweight and slim case then this might just be the case for you. 8
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