The Samsung Galaxy S4's 5-inch 1080p display is about as good as it gets when it comes to smartphone displays. Despite having Gorilla Glass 4 to keep it safe, a decent drop will still result in a smashed screen and a hefty repair bill from Samsung.
Plenty of case manufacturers promise to save you the hassle with bulky protectors that keep your smartphone safe, but put a big bulge in your pocket. Tech 21 has an entirely different approach, adding minimal size and weight to your Galaxy S4, while keeping it as safe as possible.
The combination of the clever Impact Shield adhesive screen cover, with this Impactology case, results in about as drop-proof a Galaxy S4 as you can get, while the case adds only about a millimetre of thickness to the back. You do have to deal with some bright orange bumper touches around the edges of the phone, although there is a smokey version of the case that is less over the top. Personally, we quite like the eye-catching looks of the Impactology case. It really is as orange as it looks in the pictures.
The case itself fits very snug to the Galaxy S4, although locking and unlocking the phone requires you to give the button on the side of a case a fair old squeeze. As for keeping your phone safe, we dropped the handset from waist and head heights and it survived - although we wouldn't suggest trying any higher, as the glass on the SGS4 is fragile.
The Impact Shield cover is quite clever, combining three different layers of what Tech21 calls BulletShield as well as a BASF-produced layer in the middle. The result is something that is very hard to scratch, yet keeps the screen as safe as a thick plastic cover would. Application is easy as well, much more so than the usual screen protector/air bubble mess.
As for the case, the orange parts we mentioned consist of a material called D30, which basically hardens on impact and absorb the force of a drop. It's all very scientific and as we said earlier, results in some real world safety without any of the nasty bulk. A worthy purchase for Galaxy S4 owners, especially if you don't want to worry about damaging that bright and beautiful screen. The Tech 21 cases are available now for £29.99