Top positive review
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Lots of potential, but no functionality! **UPDATED** YES FUNCTIONALITY!
on July 3, 2014
[Original Text] For what it's worth, the product arrived six days after I ordered it. The estimated time was 2-3 months or something when I ordered it but it was nowhere close to that. I see now that it appears to be available right away on Prime so it's probably a non-issue now, but if that changes in the future back to how it was, mine came in about a week for anyone wondering.
I got this to use with my Galaxy Note 3 while running. I haven't actually run with it yet but just from playing with it at my desk at work, I'm not thinking it will be feasible. The case is spacious enough...I was actually able to squeeze the Note 3 in with my shockproof case still on it...but as others have said, a) the window is far too small because of the border around the case (the commenter about the size being reduced to an iPhone is being generous) and 2) there is just too much space between the phone screen and the plastic cover of the case to use it. It doesn't sit flush against the screen. Even with the band on my arm (which is supposed to push the phone into the case on the device description) there's a good quarter to half an inch space between my phone screen and the case cover. I put the band on my arm and opened my run app to see if I could at least use the basic functions of it and wasn't able to. If I can't use the thing sitting at my desk, I doubt I'll be able to while I'm running!
The only other minor issue is that, with the headphone jack on the Note 3 being at the top, I wasn't able to use the hidden headphone hole on the sleeve. I tried to run the headphones up through the compartment and connect them into the jack and zip over it but there wasn't room. I'm able to just zip around the overhang and have a small part of the plug hang out of the case as I've had to do with some other cases so it's not a huge deal in that regard, and another pair of headphones with a smaller plug would probably work, but I figured I would mention it.
Other than that, this case is awesome. It's got the credit card pouch and enough excess in the case (even when I had the Note 3 with case inside of it) for keys and another small item you may need. With all this space, the case is honestly not as bulky as I expected which is a pleasant surprise. It does have bulk, but not in excess like I thought could be the case.
The armband fits snug but comfortable. Feels sturdy too, so I'd imagine it will last a while.
My favorite part of the case is probably the velcro on the left that holds the excess headphone cord. Can't tell you how many times I've had part of the cord hit my phone screen while I run and change a song or pause a session. No doubt I won't have to worry about that with this. It's a small but important feature to me.
The plastic cover of the case is good. When I use both hands to contort the screen of the case around my phone, it responds to touch just fine (to the part of the screen that is actually visible) but that space between the phone screen and the cover just makes this a tough task.
I should also mention, as others have, that if you are looking for something to just HOLD your phone/keys/credit card etc. and maybe listen to music with, but not necessarily something where your phone has to be functional, then this is absolutely what you're looking for. The case itself is amazing. The functionality is the issue.
It's disappointing because the case has so much potential with the extra space and features of it, but the one (ignoring the headphone thing, as it's not that big of a deal to me) issue is a huge one. I will try a run with it eventually and see how it goes and change my review accordingly but I really don't see it being functional during a run.
Hopefully the manufacturer can make a few tweaks and get it right because I think they are onto something here, but the one flaw blows it for me.
[End Original Text]
UPDATE 1: 21 Aug 2014 - I would like to note that I did as the company instructed and e-mailed them with my issues with the product and they responded almost immediately stating that all the changes had been made and they would send me another one to test once it was available. They did a great job with communicating and working to resolve the issue which was pretty cool and something you don't see often. They followed up a week later to say the item had shipped and sent me the tracking number to keep up with it. While I've been waiting for the updated case, I have actually used the product (Note that since the product has been updated, I believe the "OLD" case that I was using for this update is referred to as the under 4.3" screen option) on a run a couple times now and it was pretty much as I had anticipated. It fit very snug on the arm and I never had issue with it slipping down or anything like that. It did it's job as far as holding the phone and head phone cord without any issue. (I removed my phone case and zipped the zipper around my headphone cord to plug in headphones and it worked pretty well) I didn't have anything else in the pouch on these runs so I can't speak to whether things bounce around in the case or not. The functionality was an issue as I'd expected though. It was difficult to do anything on the touch screen such as switch songs or function a running app or whatever you would need to do. There's just not enough of the screen visible to do anything and there was too much space between the case cover and my phone screen. I use an app to monitor heart rate as well and my quick stops to try and switch to that app were more lengthy than I'd hoped trying to work with the limited screen. I had the issue of my phone running hot when I took it out of the case (as another reviewer mentioned) but it was about 85 degrees when I ran that morning and don't necessarily fault the case, but figured I would mention it to see if others had a similar issue with this. So like I said earlier, this original armband *almost* serves its purpose. It holds your phone and a few extra items while you run, and if you need it to do that and nothing else, then this is a winner. Can't do much with the phone though.
UPDATE 2: 26 Aug 2014 - The updated case (now the "BLACK" option in the product listing on Amazon) came last night with these changes made:
The visible part of the screen is way bigger and I can operate the whole touch screen on my Note 3. The center button is easy to press as well even though part of it is covered by the stitching so this is not an issue either. The back and menu button are covered a bit too but I don't have a need for those buttons when I run (and I was still able to operate them most of the time anyway).
I figured the screen size would be fixed with no problem but I was concerned the space between the phone screen and case cover would still be an issue and am happy to report that I was wrong. The case is not as bulky which I think is what caused that issue. This might seem an issue in itself as there isn't as much space to store extra stuff but I was still able to fit my Note 3 (with a thick rubber case still on) as well as an ID and another card and a house and car key on a small ring. I don't know what more one could possibly wanna stuff in there but it fits that much and that works for me.
The headphone hole that was on the bottom left of the "old" case is joined by another on the bottom right which I was able to access on my Note 3 by inserting the phone upside down. It wasn't a big deal having to zip around it but it's nice to have the whole thing enclosed with the zippers secure...that's one less thing that can bounce around during a run!
The armband seemed to have a little more grip to it too. I didn't have a fear that the "old" one would slide down or fall off but I KNOW this one won't. I think my arm would fall off before this armband loses grip and slides down.
The changes make all the difference in the world. I put my phone in it right away and was able to do everyday tasks with it...texting, email, browsing...anything. At one point I forgot the case was even on there. So the functionality is there with this one.
I ran with it this morning this time with the aforementioned cards and keys in the armband and had no issues with them jingling around or anything like that. I was able to tuck the zippers and headphone cord away so nothing on the case itself could bounce around. I was able to stop a couple times and quickly check my HR with no issue whatsoever. Using the case upside down to accommodate the headphone hole wasn't an issue either, it fit on my arm the same way in either direction. So I don't see any negative with the headphone hole situation anymore either. I would also like to note that with this case, the phone didn't feel hot after my run, but it was high-70s this morning versus mid-80s, so I think it is just something to watch when you're using it in high temperatures. I will update again if I have further issues that make me think otherwise.
I don't have anything to complain about with this case anymore. Somebody might complain about there not being as much room as there is in the "old" case but I don't know how much more room you could need. I guess it depends on need, which is good because now there are options.
In a nutshell:
I would 100% recommend the new "BLACK" option of the case. It is way better as far as my needs go and it addressed lots of the issues of functionality and screen size in the critical reviews here on Amazon.
If you have a smaller phone and are more concerned about space than the functionality of the case, maybe the older model will suit you better. I saw an earlier review mention a can of mace so the older one may be better for that...I don't know how big a can of mace is, just trying to cite an example. But at least now there's more than one option and we can choose based on our needs.
Lastly, if any of the previous negative reviewers didn't contact the company and just chalked this case up as a loss, I would definitely get in touch with them. I'm confident they'll resolve your issue as well. They did a great job communicating and putting out a great product and I appreciate that!