This year’s Google I/O 2023 conference has come and gone, but we got a slew of brand-new hardware announcements coming from Google. This includes the Pixel Fold and Pixel Tablet. However, there was also a new addition to the Pixel smartphone lineup that you can buy right now — the Pixel 7a. This is the budget version of the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro, though you can still buy last year’s Pixel 6a as well.
Despite being the most affordable of the new Pixel lineup, it’s always a good idea to keep it safe in a case. But with so many options of great Pixel 7a cases out there, which one should you pick up? If you’re a techie and appreciate a teardown of the devices that you’re using (without actually tearing it down), then you should check out Spigen’s new Ultra Hybrid Zero One case for the Pixel 7a.
A teardown without the actual teardown
From the front, the Spigen Ultra Hybrid Zero One case looks like a transparent smokey gray case. But when you see the back, you’re getting a fun little teardown of the Pixel 7a.
On the back of the Ultra Hybrid Zero One, you get a birds-eye view of the inner components of the Pixel 7a. Though you don’t get to see every single component in great detail, you can see the general gist of things — from the wireless charging coil in the center to the battery behind it, as well as the motherboard and all the small chips and sensors. If you check out a full teardown video on YouTube, you’ll also know that there are a lot of tiny little screws to get to everything on the inside, and these screws are shown on the Zero One case — making it feel surprisingly authentic.
None of the parts are labeled, so unless you know about the inner workings of a phone in great detail, you may not know what everything is. But that’s fine — the point of the case is to make it feel like you can see the inside of the Pixel 7a, as if the body of the phone were transparent plastic, like the Nothing Phone 1. Personally, I would love to see more phones have transparent bodies, as it takes me back to the colorful iMacs of 1999.
Of course, the layout of things may not be 100% accurate, as Spigen does label some things with its Player Zero One branding, like the little “chip” under the camera lenses. You also have the Spigen logo and “Pixel Edition ZeroOne” printed underneath the wireless charging coil. Again, it’s not a 100% accurate teardown, but it gives you the main idea of where the inner components are and what it looks like.
If you’re the kind of person who likes to nerd out over things like this, then this case is perfect for that.
The Zero One case is also very protective
But the Spigen Ultra Hybrid Zero One is more than just looks. It’s also quite protective, much like Spigen’s other cases.
It’s made from polycarbonate and thermoplastic polyurethane materials, so it’s pretty rigid but flexible enough to get on and off easily. There are raised edges for the front and around the camera bar, providing extra protection for the display and cameras, and the cutouts for the charging port, speakers, and microphone are precise. The buttons are also covered, but there’s very nice tactile feedback when pressed, and the power button has raised ridges to make it easy to tell them apart from the volume buttons.
I’ve used several Spigen cases in the past, and they’ve all been pretty tough and durable. Though I haven’t dropped my Pixel 7a in the Ultra Hybrid Zero One a million times on the ground just yet, I can tell that it will keep my Pixel 7a safe and sound with military-grade drop protection with Spigen’s “Air Cushion Tech,” as the company calls it.
Though the Pixel 7a has a glossy plastic back like the Pixel 6a and is quite comfortable to hold, I prefer to use a case for that extra peace of mind. I have one of Google’s own Pixel 7a cases, but I dislike it because it’s that sticky silicone material, which makes it hard to get out of my pockets without getting lint all over it. The Spigen Ultra Hybrid Zero One is much easier to slide in and out of pockets, and the blend of PC and TPU materials gives it extra grip in the hand.
The best part of the Spigen Ultra Hybrid Zero One? You can grab one for just . It’s also available directly on Spigen’s website but for $40.
Spigen also has other Zero One cases for the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra, iPhone 14 Pro Max, iPhone 14 Pro, iPhone 13 Pro Max, and even the AirPods Max.
- I have to stop using the Pixel 7a — but I don’t want to
- Google can create the perfect Pixel phone — if it changes one thing
- This tough camera comparison is bad news for the Pixel 7a
- 4 things I love about the Pixel 7a (and 3 things I hate)
- Our Pixel 7a vs. Pixel 7 camera test has a surprising winner