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Samsung Galaxy S3 Urban Armor Gear Case Review

Extreme durability with more designs than you can imagine

When I first tried out the Samsung Galaxy S3 I was a little skeptical because the only phone I ever had before that was the T-Mobile G1, one of the first Android phones on the market. Needless to say the G1 had glitches and bugs that are expected from devices that lead the way. Fortunately, the Galaxy S3 served the Android name well. It was also one of the first Android phones that really started seeing a strong case, app, and accessory market. Not that previous phones didn’t have cool items to go along with them, but the market was still being developed.

A case is essential for the protection of my phone because I like to get active during the Chicago summers. The dirt from softball games and sand from the beach are not friendly to my Samsung Galaxy S3. So I needed a case to keep out contaminants. A while back we highlighted the best Samsung Galaxy S3 covers and cases, but one stood out from the pack: The Urban Armor Gear Case. So I wanted to share my thoughts on the best Samsung Galaxy S3 case by pushing the buttons, sliding it on the phone and dropping it on the ground. Let’s take a look.


Our Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Amazon Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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The Good

The Urban Armor Gear case comes in a whopping 33 different colors and designs. The designs aren’t just standard colors, but artistic graphics for different personalities. It fits nicely in the hand with bumper edges and rigid designs. The built-in screen protector keeps the screen clean and scratch free, and it also includes huge button covers to easily push buttons and navigate through your phone. I love the big buttons because it allows me to easily root the Samsung Galaxy S3add plenty of custom ROMs and reset the phone when needed.

The Bad

When you opt for one of the unique designs it only comes with a smooth finish, so you don’t get the grip and cool rigid design if you want an interesting picture on the case. The case adds a small amount of weight to your phone. It takes a little jiggling to fit into media docks. This obviously depends on the dock, but it was pretty snug in my car player.

The Bottom Line

The Urban Armor Gear case is the best Samsung Galaxy S3 case option and honestly one of the best cases I’ve ever used on any phone. Although it’s unfortunate that you don’t get the cool rigid designs when you buy one of the options with an image on it, the case keeps just about all contaminants out and protects the phone from different angled impacts. The case isn’t too bulky and it’s pretty nice holding it your hand.


Style

urban armor colors

The Urban Armor Gear case comes in 33 different styles and colors, giving you tons of options. I chose the orange case because I didn’t want to sacrifice the interesting edges and grip that comes with it. You’ll notice in the photos that when you choose a style like the Campbell’s Soup case it doesn’t have the indentations to help with grip and protection. Unfortunately you only get three colors that come with the original UAG case, but the charcoal, white and orange options at least look nice.

One thing I enjoy about the Urban Armor Gear is that it has a somewhat futuristic look, and the outside bumpers are typically a different colors which adds a bit of contract to the mix. It’s not often you find style like this from the best Samsung Galaxy S3 case options.


Durability

The Urban Armor Gear case is built with an armor exterior and soft interior. This is great for when you drop the phone because it doesn’t seem to make a scratch. I’ve slammed it on my desk several times and even dropped my phone on accident along the sidewalk, and each time it came out unscathed. The built-on screen protector is where the case really excels. I usually notice dirt and grime after a while with built-in screen protectors, but this one seals the phone completely so it’s pretty darn clean when you take it off.

Keep in mind that the case meets military grade drop tests, so although I don’t work in the military or on construction sites, your phone is safe with this case. I like the durability because I tend to go hiking during my travels to other countries, so if I drop it in the sand or on a rock I know it’s safe. Just remember to unlock your phone before you go abroad.


Functionality

With heavy-duty phones I tend to find that the buttons are difficult to press, but the Urban Armor Gear case includes oversized buttons so that your power, and volume buttons are easily pressed. The only qualm I have with functionality is the screen protector. It seems to work fine most of the time, but on occasion my swipes or clicks are not recognized. I always have trouble with this when I have a built-in screen protector, and this case’s screen protector actually works better than most, but it’s something to think about before purchasing.

A huge part of protective case is how easy you can take the phone out and put it back in. I once bought a case for my old iPad and it took a screw driver, hammer and about twenty minutes to get the case on. The Urban Armor Gear is just about the opposite of this situation. It slides right on without any tools and I can tell it protects the phone well because there is little room for anything else to slip in. When I show the case to friends it takes just a few seconds to slide it off and pass it around.

My Urban Armor Gear came with the rigged exterior which makes it great for holding in your hand and walking around with it. It slides nicely into my pocket and I never feel like I’m going to drop it. I can’t say the same for the cases that come with pictures on them because of the smooth finish.


Value

The Urban Armor Gear case starts at around $35 on Amazon, but I’ve seen it go as low as $20. I like to compare this case to OtterBox cases, except the Urban Armor Gear case has buttons that are easier to use. That said, OtterBox cases are usually sold at about twice the price of this case, making it a steal. With two layers of protection, plenty of design options and a pretty nice screen protector, this case is a steal and the best Samsung Galaxy S3 case option on the market.


Conclusion

My favorite feature on the Urban Armor Gear case is the screen protector because it’s tough to find one that doesn’t completely screw up your navigation possibilities. I also like that it looks somewhat futuristic and you have plenty of color and design options if you really want them.

Let us know in the comments section if you have tried this case for your Samsung Galaxy S3, and share you thoughts if you think it’s the best Samsung Galaxy S3 case out there. You might even be interested in upgrading or downgrading your S3 to further customize your phone.

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