I'm not much of a case person. I was never very clumsy with my gadgets and didn't think the added bulk was a worthy trade-off for the added protection, especially in the day and age of ultra-durable plastics and Gorilla Glass screens. But on both fronts, that's changing; it's a lot harder to guarantee the safety of my gadgets when I've got kids (we're both likely to drop things) and there are some very sleek cases on the market. Enter the $20 Spigen Ultra Thin Air case for the One X.

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The Ultra Thin Air is, as one would surmise, very thin and very light. Handling the plastic gives the same impression as the plastic back on the Galaxy devices - there may not be a lot to it physically, but it's undoubtedly flexible and has an impressive history of durability. It adds little bulk to the phone, though the added size becomes more pronounced when handled side-by-side to another device. Still, all told it's not a case I'd shy away from by any means, in large part thanks to how little it adds.


The case is offered in white and black, both of which are highly glossy. The black, which I received for review, is very deep and looks nice, but I'm not sure why they opted for black when the phone is grey. An odd choice, and while it doesn't look bad on the phone, it would look better if it was color-matched. The white makes a lot more sense since it would match the white of the One X, and protect against the weird color-swapping problem.

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That's not to say things are perfect with the Ultra Thin Air, though. Aside from the oddity of having a case that's a different color than your phone, the glossy back belongs in the Guinness Book of World Records for just how much of a fingerprint magnet it is. Also, despite having slots where the speaker sits, the case also distorts audio a bit.


The case also ships with a screen protector, and it's exactly as wide as the screen; put it on even a half millimeter to one side or the other (as I did, below), and you'll be forever distracted by the visible line on the screen where the protector ends. It also picks up scratches unbelievably easy, which wouldn't be a problem except it results in severe discoloration along the scratch itself. Put another way: I've had the X for about 2 months now, and have used it without a screen protector until a few days ago. The screen has 0 scratches. Within 1 hour of putting the screen protector on, it had already picked up a substantial (and distracting) scratch.

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But hey, you're not buying the case for the screen protector - you're buying it for the case. With today's ever-thinner phones, a case may not be such a bad idea. And while the polycarbonate body of the One X is very, very tough and durable, the camera bump is much less so. Given that bump, a case makes a lot more sense, and the Ultra Thin Air case is a good choice for those who don't want to add a lot of bulk.

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