I'm a big fan of neoprene cases. Soft cases using other materials usually require a break-in period before it becomes easy to slip your phone in or out. Neoprene cases have an almost "lived in" slack, allowing you to adjust them to align with your phone perfectly without much of a fight. Neoprene is also extremely light, while offering more than adequate protection for a soft case.
My all-time favorite case for the Centro is, in fact, a neoprene model, the Body Glove Scuba Case for Centro, so I was curious to see how the Cellet Stingray Case reviewed here would stack up. Let's find out.
Design and Usability
Unlike Body Glove's case, which has separate windows for the screen and keyboard, the Stingray has a single transparent sheet of PVC protecting the front. As I removed the case from its plastic container, the package grazed the front of the case, and it now has a permanent scratch that looks like a strand of hair trapped inside. I've had the Body Glove for nearly a year, and it has yet to register a scuff.
The advantage of the full frontal window is that it looks more like your Centro is "naked," while still being protected around the edges and in the rear. The Centro is secured by the top flap, which snaps shut instead of using Velcro like the Scuba. In keeping with wet suit conventions, the case sports a thin gray strip around the edges. For the most part, the stitching is fairly subtle, but I didn't care for the seams in the back that flare out a couple of millimeters. In fairness, they do help your Centro lie flat on a table if you have no clip mount attached.
The fastener for the clip mount was a little awkward to use. Some products are child proof. I would call this fastener "adult proof." The fixed clip and the swivel clip mount have grooves along the edges that slide into the fastener, but they have to be at just the right angle. I found that I had to push into the bottom edge of the fastener with the index finger of the hand opposite of the one that was holding the clip mount.
One nice extra with the Stingray is the inclusion of two clips: a fixed clip and a ratcheting swivel clip. Cellet could have just gotten away with the swivel clip, since it does stay in whatever angel you set for it, but the fixed clip has far less bulk, and it's the type I prefer in the first place.
The cutouts line up well, especially since the Neoprene gives the case enough play to make the proper alignments. Cutouts are provided for everything except the IR port and the microSD slot very common omission on Centro cases of all types.
I'm still partial to the Body Glove Scuba, since I prefer the dual-window look, and really like the Scuba's kickstand swivel clip. But you might prefer having a completely sheer front, and having a choice of two types of clips. Most people get cases to keep scratches from their phone, not from the case itself, but I was a little annoyed that it took so little to permanently scratch the front of this case. Otherwise, it's a good case. It feels terrific in the hand, soft with plenty of traction, and it's thin and light enough to carry in your pocket almost as comfortably as the phone without a case.
Neoprene exterior has a nice grip and texture
More flexible than most soft cases, allowing for small adjustments
Includes fixed and swivel clips
Transparent front gives full clearance for keys and buttons
|Large seams in the rear
Transparent front scratched easily
Clip fastener in back of case makes removing clip slightly awkward