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A few days ago, Google added a line of official snap cases to the Play Store for the Nexus 5. Some readers may be yearning for a closer inspection of Google's late-entry accessory, which - at first glance - looks a lot like the myriad cheaper options available online, so we're going to give it a quick look.


To tell the truth, the selection of snap cases online isn't separated from the official case by much. A large part of what differentiates this case from others is the Google logo on the back. If you're into official accessories, that may be worth it, but otherwise the distinction largely lies in small design differences. Let's get straight to it.

Fit and Finish

As seen above, the "Aqua" case is a kind of minty blue color (much bluer than the image on the Play Store). Happily, the outside of the case has a soft, matte finish. This appears to be true for all variants except the "clear" option. The consistency of the surface texture isn't quite the same as the Nexus 5's own back - it's slightly stickier, but the case felt a lot better after maybe a day of use.

Speaking of the back texture, it doesn't really stick to the charging orb. At all. So, if - like me - you're still using the charging orb to charge your N5 during the day, you'll likely be out of luck with this case.


The inside of the case, which you'll never see when it's applied, is glossy smooth. The case itself wraps up slightly around each of the four corners, so while the top and bottom edges are exposed, they aren't totally unprotected.

I actually find the top and bottom exposure convenient - there's a small ridge around the exposed 3.5mm jack, leaving ample room for plugging in even the widest of auxiliary cords.


There are beveled cutouts surrounding the power button and volume rockers. The case is thin enough that pressing buttons isn't a challenge, and I prefer this solution to the less-than-ideal buttons on the official Nexus 5 bumper case.


And that's pretty much it - the case is a piece of plastic with a matte finish that squeezes around the Nexus 5. If you have any other questions about its design or functionality, drop them in the comments below.

The Price

So, is the case worth its price? If you're just looking for a thin snap case for your Nexus 5 and aren't particularly attached to Google branding (it would be great to see a Nexus logo on this case instead), the official snap case isn't really worth the extra money. There are similar options all over the place (perhaps the best analog being Ringke's case) at much lower prices. But if you've got $30 to burn, and you do want to get your hands on an official snap case, just hit the link below.

Google Play

Liam Spradlin
Liam loves Android, design, user experience, and travel. He doesn't love ill-proportioned letter forms, advertisements made entirely of stock photography, and writing biographical snippets.

  • Steve Jobs

    Way too expensive for what it is

    • brkshr


      • Brittany Lawrence


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    • anmolm97

      Says the guy who is responsible for Apple's overpriced products/accessories......

      • Krzysztof Jozwik

        Yes, that's Jobs posting from hell.

        • takpro

          iMessage just works! >:-)>

  • nfcec

    I've got a Spigen Ultra Fit Case that is very similar, has better looking cuts for the buttons (I don't like these rounded as they are) and it only costed £7.99 half a year ago. I don't get the prices on these official covers.

    • MyLeftNut

      Exactly, the Spigen Case is closer to this case aesthetically than the Ringke Slim Case. May not be that much of a difference to most considering the Ringke is cheaper but it matters to some people--the separate precision cutouts for the Camera and flash are one of the reasons I chose Spigen over Ringke.

    • ssj4Gogeta

      I have a similar Capdase case I picked off Ebay for $2.

  • alamarco

    Question, how smooth is in the inside? Will it potentially mark-up or scratch the Nexus 5? Ringke for example has plenty of reviews on Amazon for the SLIM case that it scratches the Nexus 5. Can you go a little further with exactly how smooth the inside is?

    • http://AndroidPolice.com/ Liam Spradlin

      The inside is completely glossy, with no elements that could scratch the N5. I just took mine out of the case and don't see any scratches, and the edges of the case are slightly rolled over, so they aren't sharp.

      • alamarco

        Terrific; very good to hear. I'll definitely be grabbing one now. Thanks for the good review and for detailing the inside.

      • andy_o

        I don't think the inside is what the reviewers complain about. The common complaint for both the Ringke Slim and the Spigen one is the corners. When you take the case out, it can scratch the soft corners of the N5.

        • http://AndroidPolice.com/ Liam Spradlin

          All the same, I can't find any scratches on my N5's corners (except the corner where I recently dropped it, without a case), and the edges of the case are curled over slightly, so I doubt it'd scratch.

    • 4wallz

      My Ringke hasn't made a mark on my Nexus 5 and it just went for a ride on the pavement after I dropped it off my motorcycle.

  • Hossam

    I don't know if google thinks the n5 owners stupid enough to buy such piece of plastic with 30$ , the main reason to buy a nexus is the price .. and they sell the cases with incredible price !

    i have nillkin case with 7$, and it has nice cut edges and nice texture

    • David Li

      I believe they sell nexus devices with little to no profit, if not at a deficit. They need to make back the loss somehow. Oneplus will be employing the same technique: selling accessories for profit.

      • Granit

        Yeah, like google is hoping on making its profit on cases!

        • David Li

          Then why are they selling them at such high prices?

      • sidmanjax

        Dude your crazy if you think the cost to manufacture this thing is over $30. They are making a killing and they're selling them all over the world because its an unlocked international phone.

        • David Li

          Yes, the cost to manufacture nexus devices is over $30 per device. I believe it is even over $100.

      • Dave White

        One plus may not be selling anything their name is the same as the tool company ryobi one plus. I know for a fact this is being looked into by ryobi. Do a Google for ryobi one plus.

        • David Li

          The tools manufacturer? Their trademark is on "One+"

  • Jaymoon

    I know that there are similar cases for much cheaper, but I have a question regarding this snap case by Google. How well does it work with the official Google Wireless charger?

    I really enjoy the magnetic "lock" with the Google wireless charger, and so far with 3 different random Nexus 5 cases, they all break that magnetic grab. It still charges wirelessly, but where I keep my charger (on my bed), I need it to "grab" the phone and not let go.

    • http://AndroidPolice.com/ Liam Spradlin

      Unfortunately I don't have the newer wireless charger, so I'm not really ready to answer your question. If it helps, I tried the case with an average refrigerator magnet and wasn't able to get it to stick, so I think it may break the attraction from the charger.

  • moelsen8

    i recommend poetic slim case:

    light, thin, and grippy. works well with n4 charging orb. it at least used to be prime shipping, when i got it it was $4.95. i also have the ringke slim, but it's too smooth on the back for my liking, not to mention looks like quality control issues on the one i have as some of the button cutouts have very sharp edges.

    • 4wallz

      Thanks for the recommendation. Just looked at it on Amazon and it is on sale for $0.01 so I ordered one.

  • John Tasoulas

    I don't know if this case worth the money, but the Official LG Quick Cover/wallet case is absolutely incredible. Feels very premium, doesn't add bulk to the the phone and is my everyday case.

  • Rob

    Too expensive for what it does. I have the Spigen Neohybrid Case for Nexus 5 and it's wonderful. I believe I paid less than $20 for it. http://www.amazon.com/Spigen-Neo-Hybrid-Case-Nexus/dp/B00EV8Y684

  • ROB

    Seidio. Case and holster for that price.

  • Jeffrey Fazal

    Absolutely agree with you! The official case isn’t really worth the extra money. Instead of purchasing this snap case, I am looking for wireless charger in order to keep my phone fully charged without messing up with wires anymore.

  • jer85008

    I have a similar case on my N5, eBay generic for $1.99.

  • namesib

    I don't understand the appeal of cases with open tops/bottoms.

    • 4wallz

      Check out my case pictured in this discussion. It's an open top/bottom design and yet it saved my Nexus 5 as it slid across the pavement after I "flung" it accidentally from my bike at 25 mph.

  • 4wallz

    I just flung my Nexus 5 off my motorcyle's handlebar mount at 25 mph. It landed screen down and slid to the curb. I ran back to retrieve it before any cages ran over it. Between the Ringke Slim case and the Best Skins Ever screen protector there was no damage to the Nexus 5 at all. Plus 1 for the cheap Ringke case and the BSE screen protector. I'm going back to Amazon to buy another one.

  • elliot mane

    I got mine from Dbrand, haven't regretted it at all