Review of Griffin Survivor Case for Samsung Galaxy S5

Today on the examining table is the Survivor Samsung Galaxy S5 case by Griffin. It seems these days a lot of companies are make tough and rugged cases. Is it us as a society that is getting more clumsy without technology or is our technology able to take less of a beating than it used it. Food for through, but that is a discussion for another forum. This survivor case is an all-inclusive case that protects all sides of the phone, including a special screen protector for the screen, if you happen to be one of those clumsy people who is looking for extra protection. However if you find that I just insulted you by calling you clumsy and you are not, I would still read on and disregard my comment as this case is even for those of you who are not clumsy, but are looking for extra protection. The survivor case is living up to its name in overall protection for your S5. Take a look below…





The sturdy case… comes in a sturdy box. The thick box is made of cardboard with a plastic front so you can see the color of the case and has a cutout toward the top right where you can feel the case inside the box.



On the back you will find a brief description of the features of the case. The description reads that the case meets or exceeds U.S. Military standards that may affect your Galaxy S5. It is rated for shock drop (six feet), sand, dust, wind, rain and vibration. More on that soon.



I’ve included pictures of the side of the box to give you an idea of how thick the box is, and subsequently how large the actual case will be when out of the box

3 4


Inside the box you will find the case comes in a cardboard sleeve, with the belt clip attached to the cardboard sleeve. You will need to press on the belt clip hinge as if you were trying to get it off of your belt to get it out of the case.

5 6


Once you have it free, you will notice that it is actually three parts. Part one, the actual case, is a combination polycarbonate, silicone and foam construction to allow it to withstand some heavy duty use.



Next you will find a screen protector, that is different than I have seen in other cases. This particular protector does not stick on to the screen, as with the many other peel and stick types.

This cover snaps onto the case and is supposed to create a barrier between the elements and your phone.

8 9


The last part of the case is the belt clip. This is an interesting clip in that it serves two purposes, the first as an actual belt clip and second as a kickstand.

10 11



There are also two pieces of paper inside the box. One is instructions on how to put the phone in the case and the other is a warranty policy card.


Specifications and Features

Griffin Survivor Case for Samsung Galaxy S5

Ridiculously over-engineered? Or the perfect case no matter where you’re headed?
We think it’s a little bit of both.

Simply put, Survivor is the most protective case we’ve ever built. Designed and tested to meet or exceed US Department of Defense Standard 810F, Griffin’s Survivor Extreme-Duty Case is built from the inside out to protect your phone from extreme conditions … dirt, sand, rain, shock, vibration and a host of other environmental factors.

Survivor is built on a shatter-resistant polycarbonate frame clad in rugged, shock-absorbing silicone. A built-in screen protector seals your Multi-Touch display from the outside environment, while hinged plugs seal the dock connector, headphone port, hold switch and volume controls. A detachable heavy-duty clip secures your phone to a belt or bag strap.

How well does Survivor perform? You can view the entire Survivor line online at

Designed and independently tested to meet conditions outlined in US Department of Defense MIL-STD-810
Integral Display shield deflects wind and rain (Test: up to 200 mm/hr for 1 hour)
Rigid internal frame protects against shocks and drops (Test: drop on flat concrete surface from 6’/1.8 m)
Sealed ports block blown sand and dust (Test: up to 18 m/sec for 1 hour)
Silicone cladding blocks vibration (Test: 18 hrs at 20 to 2000 Hz)
Multi-position clip attaches securely to pack strap or belt

Price: $49.99 (from Griffin at time of review)


Testing and Usage

When I initially saw this case, I thought to myself, wow this is thick and is going to be cumbersome. But I was surprised by how overall lightweight it was. The thickness part still leaves a little to be desired, but this is more of a personal preference because I just like thinner cases more than the thicker ones

Now if you are someone who is looking for a great deal of protection for your phone, say someone who works outside and is looking for something that can withstand the elements then this case may be what you are looking for.

The phone is very easy to get into the case, once you remove the front face shield the phone slides in and sits very snug. No room for movement.



What you’ll notice about the case is that it is sturdy. The body of the case as I mentioned earlier is made of a combination polycarbonate, silicone and foam. There is a hard inner shell that the phone rests in that is covered by the silicone material. Inside you will find two pieces of foam that help shockproof the phone.

These pieces are already together and you do not have to do anything other than just use the case. You can, however if you are really into that sort of thing, remove the silicone from the hard inner shell. To say clean it if it ever gets dirty.

It is easy to take apart and just as easy to put back together. If you do decide to take it apart, be sure the pieces fit back together tightly or it will not work very well to keep it rain proof.

14 15



As I mentioned earlier this case comes with a screen protector, but it is not a typical protector that is peel and stick. This one is part of the actual case and snaps onto the case, encompassing the phone.



You will find two notches at the bottom and 5 clips, two on the right and left and one at the top. The top and bottom are differentiated by the notches on the bottom and the larger black piece of plastic for the navigation button.



The top has the clip and has the smaller mesh covering where the speaker will sit. So this means there is only one way to place this covering on the phone.



The bottom part of the face plate, with the two notches slides into the bottom of the case first and then you will begin to snap the rest of the cover to the case.

19 20


I recommend going clock or counter clockwise to snap the plate on. Once all together you will find that it fits very well and provides a seamless protection from the elements.



There is a slight gap between the screen and the protector once the protector has been placed on the phone. The gap does not interfere with the functionality of the screen, but it can take some time getting used to when you first start using it. It will feel like you have pressed it, if you are used to pressing your screen lightly.

I found one issue with the case. It does not allow you to use the finger print scanner function, if you happen to use that as a way to open your phone. When attempting to open it that way, the screen prompts you to “swipe the entire pad.”

Due to the bulkiness of the case and the way the screen protector fits onto the screen it does not allow you to use the finger print scanner function because you are unable to swipe your finger all the way across the screen due to the construction of the case.

Looking at the back of the case, you will notice that there are cut-outs for the camera, the ear piece at the top left and for the speaker at the bottom left.

22 23


Also there is a cut out for the charging cable at the bottom. The silicone piece on the phone opens easily to get to the charging port, but the once concern I have is that there is not a lot of room to maneuver the plastic piece that comes equipped with the phone to make it water tight.



If you have small hands, it is very easy, but it if you have larger hands, it will take some work to get it out.

The cases cut outs for the camera, earpiece and charging port, all close using the silicone pieces attached to the phone. You will notice that when closed correctly they will offer a barrier to the elements this case is supposed to protect against.

The cut outs are also large enough that they do not interfere with the flash and heart rate monitor of the phone. And you can easily plug in a headphone, even one with a 90 degree angled plug.

The case also has access buttons to the power and volume buttons on the phone. They are attached to the phone case and line up correctly with the volume and power buttons. It is easy to toggle the volume up and down and power on and off.

At the top of the case there is a non-removable clear plastic piece that allows you to use the infrared function of the phone and what can only be described as a hole in the case, that is covered from inside with a piece of mesh, to make it water tight.

This hole is for one of the many sensors on the Galaxy S5 (I leave this vague because through my research I have not been able to identify which sensor it is…).

The case also comes with a belt clip. The clip rotates a 180 degrees. And the phone can be placed on the clip from either end.

The belt clip can also be used as a kickstand. It takes some pressure to snap it into place. You will hear an actual snap once it is in to let you know that it won’t move. To get it out of kickstand mode you need to lift the clip that snaps it in place. Relatively easy to do, but it very study when it is snapped in place.

25 26




So in conclusion, I like this case. I don’t like this case for me, because I mentioned earlier I like thin cases, but I like this case in general. Very sturdy and rugged. The case protects against all the elements if you are working outside or in a job that you get dirty.

The case allows for almost all of the functions of the phone. The only drawback is that it does not allow the use of the finger print scanner. It does however allow the use of the NFC and does not interfere with the camera and heart rate sensor functions. The belt clip function is great and the added feature that allows it to be used as a kickstand is a plus.

If you are looking for a comparable case to the Otter Box, I would recommend this one. It is also comparable in price so that is a plus.

The downsides are the difficulty with opening the charging port, the finger print scanner incompatibility and the slight gap between the screen and the protector. After using it for a few days you will notice that you will adapt to the screen protector and it will work fine. Otherwise this is a great case for anyone who is looking for an overall protective case.

The case is available in three different colors: black on black, pink and white and black and blue.



+ Tough, Rugged and Sturdy
+ Belt clip doubles as kickstand
+ Makes the phone even more water proof
+ Case easy to grip and handle, won’t slide out of your hand
+ Comes with a screen protector and offers 100% protection for the phone

– Bulky (a negative for me)
– Finger print scanner incompatibility
– Gap between phone screen and protector

Grades: 9 out of 10
Overall score-9-10
Design / Aesthetic score-9-10
Value / Price score-9-10
Performance / Usage score-10-10

To learn more about our review policy please visit this page HERE.

  4 comments for “Review of Griffin Survivor Case for Samsung Galaxy S5

Comments are closed.