Earlier this week, I had the accident every gadget owner fears: my Samsung Galaxy Note II fell from my shirt pocket, and the screen cracked. It still works, but I now have lovely cracks all over the screen. Fortunately it is insured and will soon be repaired. So to make sure the same thing didn’t happen again, I though what best than to start trialling cases. Gearzap has once more allowed us to review one of their products, so I browsed their cases and decided I would look at the Zenus Neo Vintage Diary Case.
The design quality of the Neo Vintage is clear from the moment you open the box. The smooth grain tan leather and metal stud decorations are all sourced from good materials. The dark and shiny metal studs set off nicely next to the tan leather which has been scored with lines to give grip and add style. At the top, a cut out for the ear piece which has a small mesh netting to prevent anything from slipping through the hole. On the bottom right corner, a decorative Z has been placed for decoration. The stitching looks of high quality and is uniform throughout the design of the case.
Opening the snug clasp, which feels very durable, allows you to look inside and see more of the same style, plainly laid out. There is three card slots on the back of the cover as well as a billfold for room fo 2-3 notes. This clearly isn’t meant to be a wallet replacement, but you could comfortably keep your major cards with you plus a couple of notes, or even several important business cards from people you meet out and about.
The housing for the Galaxy Note II is built of the same leather surrounding it, but has been made stiffer to hug the device comfortably. The back of your Note II will rest happily against plush brushed Nubuck with grooves to allow ventilation to the back of the device. When placing the Note II into the Neo Vintage, place the left hand edge in first, then lay it flat till the leather moulding hugs the device. The grip is surprisingly strong. I shook it upside down, and the device didn’t budge. That doesn’t mean it’s difficult to get out though. Firm pressure on the middle of the back whilst holding the case and the phone pops out quite easily.
Using the Neo Vintage every day is excellent. After getting used to the slight size increase, you wouldn’t notice it there. If carried in a bag, the case will protect the Galaxy Note II well against scrapes, knocks and shocks and with the added card sleeve, you can have everything you need within arms reach when going out: cards, phone and cash. Don’t forget to be vigilant of phone/wallet snatchers. The Neo Vintage does come with a handy wrist strap, which helps keep your possession a little more secure.
All the Galaxy Note II’s functions can be used without having to remove the device from the case as there are cut outs for the buttons, ports, pen and speakers, microphones and cameras. Unlike some cases which are rushed out using guess-work and images, the Neo Vintage has clearly been designed round the actual device. Every cut out is precise and doesn’t impede function at all.
There is one word of advice I would give you, is to increase the intensity of your vibration alert as the case will deaden the sensation a little. On full intensity, however, you will still feel the device buzzing in your pocket.
It is possible to use the case to prop the phone up in a standing possition, although the case wasn’t designed for this. Once the leather has been worn in, the angle may get a little better.
Zenus Neo Vintage Diary Case conclusion:
In short, this case is of excellent build quality made with high-end materials and will give your Galaxy Note II all the protection. It’s the case I should have bought before my screen was smashed, but we live and learn, and I feel certain that once it has been repaired, my phone will be safely protected in this, or any Zenus product. Buying from Gearzap will mean fast deliver. If brown isn’t your bag, then there are several other colours, all with the same design (yet slightly different styling) to choose from.