I've been meaning to post this here for a few weeks now but as always work gets in the way but here we are, finally
This will be a quick review, there's only so much you can write about cases but at the end I will round up with long term use thoughts as I've had them for a couple of months+ now.
I received the Tech21 and Flexishield from Gearzap. I've added the other two cases as a means of comparison, the more the merrier, right?
LEFT TO RIGHT: Nillkin - Flexishield Clear - Samsung Protection+ - Tech21 Impact Snap
Tech21 Impact Snap
Note II, no case:
Nillkin (Under £10):
Looks and feels the best of the lot and is also the thinnest. Ultimately it offers the least protection as I have found just this very week and the half mm chip from my bezel/screen edge will forever remind me of this. As careful as I am with our things things, accidents do indeed happen sadly. The Nillkin has excellent grip.
All of the buttons are very easy to press, no obstructions or issues.
This one is quite flexible and offers some impact protection around all edges. It looks the cheapest though and feels like an eBay case. It does the job but won't make a phone like the Note II, something that otherwise looks very professional, any favours for style. Not as grippy as the Nilkin but still easy to hold and not worry about slipping.
The power and volume buttons on this case don't give enough feedback. It's hard to tell if you've pressed a button or not through it.
Samsung Protection+ (£14.99):
This looks quite good and doesn't make the Note 2 ugly. It feels good as well and has a slightly bigger screen lip for protection. The back is all glossy and because of that I found fingerprints and smudges plastered all over it even with the lightest touch. It will also get that cobweb look over time as it's hard plastic. I feel it offers better all round protection than the Flexishield but it is a bit thicker than the Nilkin.
Grip levels aren't as good as the Flexishield on this sadly because the surround is soft flexible plastic but not matte enough to have decent enough grip. The glossy back helps here though as it's not slippery and your palm sticks to it in a way during use.
All buttons have excellent feedback using this, I was able to press buttons to change track through my front jacket pocket on the way home from work without fail. Samsung have put more effort into this case unlike the Flexishield and others like it.
This looks good and feels good but offers no grip, the whole case is course matte plastic except for the absorption pads on the inside. I've seen youtube videos of how this material reacts to impacts with impressive results.
The Tech21 is a bit thicker than the Nilkin but protects the side bezel only like the Nillkin and equally like it, there are no issues pressing any buttons. This case sits tighter around the phone as well and combined with those pads should hopefully mean it doesn't ping off in the event of an accident.
I actually prefer this case over the Nilkin even though it's less grippy I like the way it feels and those absorption pads may become useful.
Long term results
The Tech21 has lasted the longest. The Nilkin case received a 3 foot drop whilst walking up the stairs at work and a corner snapped off whilst the official Samsung one now has a scuffed back due to being glossy and the Samsung printed logo has worn away.
Tech21 case adds a bit more thickness and some will feel that the Note 2 is already quite big but I've been using this case daily for some weeks now and haven't really found it to be a problem and knowing that should it drop the phone is protected from impacts due to the cushioning technology is peace of mind.