This is a hard plastic shell, you can rattle your fingernails on it. It is minimalist in design and looks good on the Note, almost as if it were not there looking from the front.
I doubt it would offer much protection if I dropped the phone - probably it would fly off on first impact and see the then naked phone hit the ground on the rebound.
Since it is hard it also tends to rub in any grit that gets trapped behind it. leaving a tide-line at the edges. Best to remove and clean regularly.
It does protect the camera lens from being scratched against surfaces, and the makes the buttons less prone to accidental activation.
After having used a gel cover for ages, it took a while to get used to the feel of this case, and the fact that it creaks if you squeeze it. But the gel case made the phone look very ugly.
All in, it looks good and offers a minimal level of protection.