Case round-up: Galaxy S8+

It's another case round-up, this time for the Samsung Galaxy S8+ - Mobile Fun have again come up with the goods and again I try and pick winners and losers.

The S8+, like many modern all-glass phones, simply can't be used naked, so a case is downright essential. Here are six of the best:

Olixar X-Trex Rugged Hard Case

The toughest case in this bunch, this follows the usual tough case mantra of inner and outer shells, though the inner one isn't as rubbery as you usually encounter and rather hard - not very impact absorbent.
There's a kickstand folded away into the back, as shown here - it works well enough, though is very plasticky and it's tough to click back into place afterwards.
More worryingly, there are design issues, like the aperture for the USB Type C, which wasn't quite large enough for my test cables and so the phone wouldn't charge.
Finally, the volume button covers are poorly made and I found it hard to change volume.
Overall, I can't recommend this, especially at £15 - it's too large, too plasticky, and too quirky.

Score: 5/10

Olixar X-Duo Carbon Fibre

A very slim two-piece in-situ case, this adds a nicely grippy back and gives the S8+ a much more secure feel in the hand. You'd have thought that the metal-effect outer rim, not in contact with the phone at all, would be made of something really substantial, but - disappointingly - it's very thin and weak plastic.
I realise that weight is important here, but I'd have liked to have seen a thicker and tougher rim. Still, the back is so well done, with the camera and port cutouts nicely sculpted and with a protective rim.
The feel in the hand is largely what counts, of course, and I had no complaints here. And, like all the cases here, the top and bottom front lips extend beyond the phone, so that a face-down drop won't impact the phone screen immediately.
Not bad, though less substantial than I'd have liked - an extra 5g of plastic would have done the trick, Olixar...

Score: 7/10

Obliq Slim Meta Gun Metal

Now this is what I call a tough case. Despite only adding a few millimetres in thickness, this two part affair looks the business and does it too. The back shell, with its chain mail effect texture, is really, really tough and durable, while the front half/inner is slightly softer and more absorbent.
The fit and finish and sculpting around the ports is first class too. Your Galaxy S8+ will be both protected and pretty, though as with most of the other cases here, you don't actually to get to see the £750 of high tech in glass that you originally paid for. Still, we can't have you dropping it and breaking it, can we? 8-)
Again, as with the other cases here, there's front protection in case you should happen to drop the phone face down:

Score: 9/10

Samsung 'Playful' 2 piece cover

The odd one out here by a million miles, this is left field thinking of the wackiest order. You know that ultra sticky/grippy rubber that you find on car dashboards and the like? Where anything just stays put, yet you can wipe it clean with soapy water?
Well, Samsung just put this inside a pair of plastic end caps for the S8+ - you literally pop them on the ends/backs, give them a bit of a squeeze and they - amazingly - stay on. Most of the time.
They're perfect if your goal with a case is to protect the phone when sliding it in and out of pockets or putting it down on rough and dirty desks, that sort of thing. But - somewhat obviously - they're no use at all if your goal is to protect the phone when you drop it onto a pavement or similar.

At the first impact, the end caps will come off - you may achieve some protection, but don't bank on it. Still... they look fun and I applaud the innovative thinking.

Score: 6/10

Olixar Leather Executive Wallet

This is the real deal, at least if you love leather and like folio-style cases, though it does come with an obvious caveat and a related, though not so obvious one.
The fit and finish is excellent and the leather is real, though not perhaps of the very highest quality. Cards fit in the front flap, the phone goes in its receptacle and you know what to do from there. Wallet and phone in one pocketable gadget.
What's not so obvious is that there's a hidden flap behind the clear phone receptacle - you can see it on the right in the photo above - this props the opened case up for media watching, as shown below.
The system works splendidly and keeps its mechanism and magnets away from your cards under the front flap, which is good.

What's not so good is that the receptacle, the extra flap and mechanism, and the back leather, all make for a case that's so thick that the camera and sensor island is deeply recessed:
The problem here is that it's hard to get your finger onto the fingerprint sensor - now this is partly Samsung's fault for putting the sensor in a stupid place, but it does mean that for this particular wallet case you'll have to rely on iris recognition or one of the other authentication mechanisms.

Score: 8/10

Ghostek Cloak 2 Silver/Gold

Another two piece design, with great materials (plastics, but dense and grippy/rubbery where needed), this comes with scratch protectors from the factory, i.e. to stop micro-scratches during packing!
The metal effect on the main gold back section here is simply stunning and makes this a premium option.
In terms of protection, this case is nigh on perfect. [On the box, it even declares that it comes with an 'explosion proof screen protector', presumably in the wake of Galaxy Note 7 woes. But I'm not a believer in screen protectors, I want to feel the phone's oleophobic screen under my fingers.]
I did have one issue - on the review sample case the volume buttons (shown below) didn't quite mate up properly, but I'm sure that this was a one-off production issue - the design looks top notch overall.

Score: 8/10
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A handy selection of cases to protect the Galaxy S8+ then, but I'm going to declare the Obliq Slim the winner here - I realise that cases are very much a personal thing, but this one hits everything out of the park for me.

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