The Spigen Tough Armor case line is one the company’s most popular series for good reason; it offers the rugged on-the-go protection of an Otterbox case without the associated bulkiness and high price tag. So when Spigen released a custom fit version for LG’s latest flagship phone, the G5, we had to give it a try.
The Tough Armor is a two piece shell case consisting of a flexible TPU rubber base and polycarbonate back plate for added durability and style. The rubber base features a spider-webbed interior which aids in shock absorption and incorporates Spigen’s Air Cushion technology. The tech uses small air pockets at each corner to absorb and disperse force from impacts and drops.
While the case doesn’t come with a built-in screen protector, the front of the case has a raised bezel for lifting your phone’s screen off flat surfaces to prevent scratches. The rubber rim is also placed flush with the screen’s edge, making the case compatible with most plastic film and tempered glass screen protectors, including Spigen’s Crystal PET film protector. The back plate on the case has a nice looking matte finish, though it doesn’t provide nearly enough texture to add any significant grip. We also noted that the sharp boxy angles on the sides don’t contrast too much from the natively sharp edges of the phone, however, this was certainly a missed opportunity to add a more pleasant rounded edge.
Getting the phone in and out of the case is fairly easy, and you don’t have to remove the back plate to do so. Wide cutouts for the headphone and USB-C port accommodate even the largest of headphone jacks and cable connectors, but also clog up more easily with dust and pocket lint. The two mics, speaker, and IR blaster have more precise cutouts that don’t interfere with any of those features. On the side, the fully covered volume buttons are easy to press allowing smooth access to shortcuts like camera and QuickMemo+.
On the back, a deeply recessed cutout for the camera protects the lenses from picking up scratches and the one for the power button allows the fingerprint sensor to be used without a problem. We prefer having these two fitted cutouts for this phone over a single, large triangular cutout, like on the Otterbox Defender, because it provides more overall protection.
Also on the back is a small kickstand, so you can prop your phone up at two viewing angles in landscape orientation. However, the kickstand doesn’t work for portrait mode, and we did find the thin plastic of the kickstand a bit flimsy and it often fell out when the two pieces of the case were separated.
Overall, the Tough Armor is a sleek yet durable case that provides good protection against daily bumps and drops. The only minor inconvenience is having to remove the phone from the case to change the battery or use a module like the Cam Plus. However, we haven’t seen a case yet for the LG G5 that can avoid this problem. The Tough Armor is available from online retailers like MobileFun and BestBuy for around $30.