You may not have heard of Booq, a company mostly known for making laptop sleeves and cases, but they’re venturing into the smartphone world with “Complete Protection Kits” for various devices. I had the chance to use their Complete Protection Kit for the Galaxy S4, which includes a hard shell case, a tempered glass screen protector, and two adhesive home button covers. There are some major pros and cons to the kit overall, so let’s start with the good news.

CPRKS4-CLR7The tempered glass screen protector is absolutely fantastic. I had no issues applying it, and managed to do so without any air bubbles. One of my biggest pet peeves with normal screen protectors is that they usually just look cheaply applied because of the air bubbles. The tempered glass screen protector included in the Complete Protection Kit takes care of this, and gives the Galaxy S4 a classy, simple layer of screen protection. It’s very easy to clean, and is quite smudge-resistant. Obviously the tempered glass gives a strong level of scratch protection as well, which is always a plus.

The home button covers were somewhere between great and useless for me. I understand their purpose (to compensate for the raised edges of the screen protector around the home button), but the practicality just wasn’t there. Booq gives users two adhesive home button covers with the Complete Protection Kit, but I found them to be more frustrating than useful.

CPRKS4-CLR8For starters, it’s nearly impossible to peel off the adhesive paper without getting fingerprints on the underside of the button covers. And since they’re transparent, my home button was more or less a permanent fingerprint showcase. In addition, the button covers themselves are ridiculously hard to apply correctly. After multiple attempts that resulted in countless instances of crooked home button covers, I just gave up and removed them.

While the screen protector is great, the Booq Complete Protection Kit does have a major downside: the case. Included in the kit is a slim, hardshell plastic case that’s offered in either black or clear (I received the clear variant). The back of the case is slightly frosted, although still mostly transparent. It snaps on fairly easily, and keeps a minimal profile. I don’t doubt that the case itself offers a fair level of drop protection, but there’s a major downfall to its design.

Buttons, buttons, buttons

CPRKS4-CLR3The button cutouts on the Booq case are just downright bad. For some reason, the power and volume cutouts are incredibly thin, and the raised plastic edges surely don’t help. I found myself repeatedly attempting to press the power button to lock my Galaxy S4, only to find that my index finger or thumb just wouldn’t fit into the cutout. The volume buttons are just as irritating, which makes me wonder why the case was designed this way.

Along with the cutouts, the edges of the case are actually somewhat sharp. When swiping on the screen, my finger hit the edges quite a few times, which is not helpful to the overall experience.

CPRKS4-CLR11In the end, the Booq Complete Protection Kit for the Galaxy S4 has its strong and weak points. The tempered glass screen protector is great, but the hardshell case leaves a lot to be desired. I probably wouldn’t recommend the case to anyone, but the screen protector gets a strong thumbs-up. Still, that case might be a deal-breaker for some users.

You can pick up the Complete Protection Kit directly from Booq for $34.95. Justifying that purchase might be hard for some users, given that the hardshell case isn’t the best. With that being said, tempered glass screen protectors aren’t exactly the cheapest of accessories, so that price might be worth it just for the screen protector.

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