August 30, 2014

Review: Incipio ATLAS Ultra-Rugged Waterproof case for Galaxy S4

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Overall Score

3.56

Value

Usefulness*

Options

Warranty

*While we loved the concept, build quality, and overall design, we had a hard time with callers hearing us clearly.
Review: Incipio ATLAS Ultra-Rugged Waterproof case for Galaxy S4 Reviewed by on . Rating: 3.5

Incipio, one of the more popular brands in the mobile accessory space, has been putting out products for many Android smartphones. Some products have even passed through here; check out our reviews of the various HTC One cases. We recently had a chance to review the Incipio ATLAS Ultra-Rugged Waterproof case for the Samsung Galaxy S4.

The case is made up of four layers which provide superior defense against shock and drops all the while remaining lightweight. One of the best things about this case is that it’s really slim, yet it’s waterproof, dustproof, shockproof; thanks to Tempered glass, rigid Plextonium Polycarbonate, supportive TPU, and shock absorbent silicone. It’s a mouthful to be sure, but they combine to create quite the protective shell for your device.

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For a rugged case, the ATLAS Ultra-Rugged Waterproof case is quite good looking. It’s quite easy for a rugged case to end up making your phone look like a brick but this is not the case with Incipio’s design. Your phone stays relatively slim yet it feels solid as a rock.

While there are a lot of good things about this case, there was one issue that really bothered me. Sure, we use phones for all purposes (browsing, messaging, emailing,etc) but the most vital feature is making and receiving phone calls.

We found that with this case on our Galaxy S4 our callers complained of not being able to hear us loudly or clearly. Moving it closer to your mouth and speaking loudly helps, but it’s not our natural tone. Yes, we could go with a Bluetooth headset or hands free device, but that’s another product and more money. Perhaps the model we tested did not have a complete cutout for the microphone. We’ve not run into this issue with other Incipio products so we’re willing to bet this is an anomaly.

Also note that if you have a screen protector on your Galaxy S4 you might run into issues with display sensitivity and touch response. We had one in place ahead of our review and found that the screen did not respond to our touches quite like we hoped.

Generally speaking this was not Incipio’s best work but we still found it to be a better than average unit. If you work in a field where protection is a must (or if you are Bear Grylls) then this case will keep your Samsung Galaxy S4 clean as a whistle. And dry as a bone.

The Incipio Atlas Ultra-Rugged Galaxy S4 case retails for $89.99 and comes in four color options. You can also find them at Amazon for as low as $73.95, depending on the color you want.