iSkin Vibes and Aura case review for Galaxy S III – halfway to an ideal case [Accessories]

July 23, 2012 | by Andrew Kameka

Android App Reviews, Cases


The Samsung Galaxy S III is large, slim, and light, meaning there’s a chance that you might mishandle the grand device and drop it on the ground. If you don’t want to end up with a dented, broken, or scratched device, you may want to consider one of the Galaxy S III phone cases developed by iSkin.

The iSkin Aura and Vibes Galaxy S III cases take very different approaches to protecting your phone. The Vibes case uses distinguishing colors and designs to engulf your phone and cover every millimeter, while the Aura has an airtight design that only covers half of the phone. Both cases could stand to take a lesson from the other.

iSkin Vibes

The iSkin Vibes case for the Galaxy S III is very noticeable. It ships in the bright Lunar Blue or Cosmic Pink, and the darker Ultra Violet Purple or Gravity Black. Every color model features what looks like a design of interlocked circles stenciled onto the rear. While this may please the eye, it doesn’t please the hand. The portion of the case displaying the circles is a scratchy surface that doesn’t feel very good. The Vibes elevates on the bottom half of the case, so you’ll rarely touch the rougher portions of the case, but it’ s a tiny annoyance that will pop-up on occasion.

A thermoplastic build material makes the Vibes case flexible and easy to encase your phone. The plastic is very soft and scratch resistant, so the damage that would have happened to your phone is instead absorbed by the case. The only negative to this set-up is that a thin layer of plastic covers the power and volume buttons, so users have to apply extra force to use those buttons.

The Vibes case is good for people who want solid protection of their phone and don’t mind the soft plastic feel. It comes with a clear screen protector included and costs $29.99.

iSkins Aura

The iSkins Aura is a more solid but dangerous option to protect a Galaxy S III. The solid aspect comes from the wonderful feeling that comes from touching the snap-on case. A blend of rubber-coated polycarbonate and two-tone aluminum makes the case very light and comforting. The rubber polycarbonate edges are soft yet secure, and the back has a brushed metal appearance with silver accents. The color combinations include red and black, blue and black, or pink and white.

The danger comes into play because the Aura is not a complete case. The snap-on perfectly protects the rear and side portions of the case but leaves the top and bottom of the phone exposed. The metal rim and plastic on those areas could easily be scratched if dropped at the right angle, which makes me wonder why bother with this case at all? The look is stunning and it provides about 70 percent of the protection you need, but you’re playing a dangerous game by not compensating for that remaining 30.

The iSkin Aura is a case for people who want a thin and solid protector but don’t mind running the risk of a scratch or two on the top and bottom portions of their phone. There’s barely any additional thickness added with this case; even with the case on it’s thinner than other phone models. A screen protector is included and the case retails for $39.99.