Case round-up: Samsung Galaxy S9

In for review for The Phones Show, I couldn't resist reviewing the various case options for the Samsung Galaxy S9, the 2018 'flagship with everything'.

The cases were supplied by Mobile Fun, see here for their full Galaxy S9 case line-up.

Spigen Rugged Armor, £18



I'm starting out with my favourite - the Spigen Rugged Armor (yes, USA spellings) is, hands-down, the best combination of fit, protection and grip, to the extent that, when fitted, you forget that the phone is cased and the Galaxy S9 becomes this rugged, grippy object that's a pleasure to handle.



This all sounds like hyperbole, but I'd challenge you to grab this and not be impressed.



The fit and finish over the phone's buttons, the fit around the ports, the textured panels, everything's top notch, yet you still get access to the S9's curved front screen edges, thanks to the case's sides being 'lower', yet with protective raised portions at top and bottom, to protect against a face-down drop.

In short, I can't praise this highly enough. My Galaxy S9 went in this minute one, day one, and I haven't looked back.

Score: 9/10

Having said that, I did break away to try some of the competition(!):

Official Samsung Protective Stand Cover Case, £35


The official Samsung cases are always priced at a premium, unfortunately, but they do all fit perfectly. This is a new Samsung design, incorporating what is normally reserved for third party cases - a fold out stand, for when watching media.



It's nicely made, the stand is nicely sprung, and there's great protection all round. But the ribbed (for your pleasure!) styling didn't do it for me. It's all very grippy again, but the combination of texture, colour and extra thickness all put me off.



Happily, you can also get this in black, and I think that would help slightly.



Score: 6/10

Official Samsung Hyperknit Cover Case - Red, £26



Samsung does love experimenting with materials - anyone else remember the 'Elastoplast' Galaxy S5? The Hyperknit series here, as the name suggests, feel exactly like your granny has 'knitted' you a case for your phone.

Feeling material in your hand rather than tradition TPU or leather is... odd, but not unpleasant.



The fit is good, though there's not the same attention to detail applied to the button covers, so you're relying on the flexibility of the hyperknit material to transmit button presses.



Yet again there's extra thickness at both ends (just corners at the bottom, though), to protect against face drops.



I enjoyed using the Hyperknit case, though I worry about discolouration and wear in long term use.

Score: 7/10

Olixar Sentinel Case and Glass Screen Protector, £25



This is Olixar, so we're talking cheaper materials now, the TPU is thinner and less flexible. But you do get a very attractive (faux) brushed metal finish on the back, you do get the raised ends for protection, and you do get a toughened glass screen protector.



I'm not a big fan of the latter generally, since they're hard to apply perfectly, but with care and attention this might be just the job for the paranoid, not least because the Galaxy S9 screen is prohibitively expensive to repair, so you're going to want to do something to make sure it doesn't get damaged.



One of Olixar's better designs and, overall, a good kit for someone who wants both back and front of the S9 fully protected.

Score: 7/10

Olixar ArmaRing Finger Loop Tough Case, £15



Oh come on, what the heck is this? There's a ring pull in the case's back! It turns out that the idea here is that you hold the phone with a finger through the ring, giving extra security from drops (or muggers). Which is a little tenuous, but there's also the side effect that, rotated sideways, you can use the extended ring as a make-shift stand.



Just not a very strong one, the slightest push and it collapses in this mode, so 'make shift' is about right.

The case itself is two part, with hard outer shell and slightly softer inner, and also surprisingly well made - for Olixar. The styling apes the established Spigen designs but pulls it all off.



Ultimately, though, there's just too much thickness added to the svelte S9 for not enough gain - I think I'd rather my 'make shift' stand be an orange or salt cellar or whatever's to hand, and then have my main phone slim and manageable.

Score: 6/10


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