News: Hands-on with Samsung's Official OEM Cases for the Galaxy S9

Hands-on with Samsung's Official OEM Cases for the Galaxy S9

The Galaxy S9 is now in the hands of millons of excited users. Getting a new phone is always fun, but it's important to think about protecting your device. Perhaps the most popular cases for the Galaxy S9 are the official OEM options from Samsung. There are a plethora of cases, whatever your preference and needs may be. Let's take a look at each case individually, along with the pros and cons.

With each Galaxy flagship, Samsung offers a slew of OEM covers at launch. This year we have quite a selection for the Galaxy S9/S9+ combo. In addition to past fan favorites like the LED and Clear-View covers, the new Hyperknit and Protective Covers join the lineup. Many of these official cases have unique features, but also carry a high price tag.

Silicone Protective Case

By far the most basic case in the Samsung lineup, adding minimal bulk to the S9. The Silicone Case is a simple one-piece case made with a grippy silicone material. This case provides sufficient top and bottom lips around front, protecting the infinity display from scratches when the phone is placed face-down.

The protection from this case is middle of the road. You will get shock absorption from the silicone, but the bottom of the phone is exposed. The Silicone Case does accommodate a number of tempered glass screen protectors, a great option to improve the level of protection.

  • Price: $29.99
  • Pros: Cost effective, minimal bulk, works with most tempered glass protectors.
  • Cons: Not a maximum protection case, no added features, exposes bottom of the phone.

Alcantara Case

Another simple one piece case, but with a more luxurious feel. The soft Alcantara fabric covers the inside and outside of this case. The buttons are much improved over the Silicone Case. Tactile and responsive, the buttons on the Alcantara are more enjoyable to use.

Protection is slightly reduced here with the less shock-resistant Alcantara material. With a more expensive price tag, the Alcantara is all about the luxurious look and feel, if that's not your thing, it might not be the case for you.

  • Price: $49.99
  • Pros: Soft and luxurious feel, extra grip, slim and minimal.
  • Cons: Expensive, but not maximum protection. No added functionality.

Rugged Protective Case with Kickstand

If you're out to find maximum protection, this is the case for you. The Rugged Protective Case features a hard shell on the back with shock-absorbing TPU material on the inner lining. Samsung states that the case meets the MIL-STD 810G standard for drop protection.

In addition to the excellent protection, the case also features a kickstand feature for watching media. The kickstand is incredibly sturdy and should prove useful when traveling. Perhaps the only concern here is the textured back, while providing nice grip, it can be uncomfortable to hold at first. If you can overcome this minor annoyance, this case is one of the best in Samsung's OEM lineup.

  • Price: $39.99
  • Pros: Great protection, excellent kickstand, extra grip.
  • Cons: A bit uncomfortable to hold at first.

Hyperknit Case

Molded in the same shape as the Silicone and Alcantara covers, the Hyperknit Case adds a grippy knit material to the outside of the phonee. Button covers are very similar to the Alcantara cover, with a metallic appearance and tactile response.

On the Hyperknit cover, the buttons seem almost too responsive, occasionally activating Bixby or volume controls on accident. The knit material also accumulates lint when stored in a pocket for a long period of time. This is not a deal breaker, but something worth considering. With the protection is nearly equal, the Alcantara cover seems like a better option unless you absolutely prefer the knit texture.

  • Price: $34.99
  • Pros: Minimal and slim, extra grip.
  • Cons: Not maximum protection, knit accumulates lint, over-responsive buttons.

LED View Wallet Case

With a $65 price tag, the LED View Wallet Case packs a number of unique features. The front cover displays LED notifications, time, alarms, and lets you dismiss or accept incoming calls. With a front speaker cutout, it's incredibly easy to take calls without opening the cover. You can create custom LED icons for contacts, apps, and alarms. This feature allows recognition of notifications without opening the cover.

In terms of build quality, the LED Case features a textured material that adds to the grip of the phone. Protection is sufficient, but the bottom of the phone is exposed. The interior card slot is quite small, so fitting more than one credit card is very difficult. It's hard to fit tempered-glass screen protectors with this case due to the closing mechanism. In addition, the front cover will easily swing open if dropped.

  • Price: $64.99
  • Pros: Extra grip, stylish, bevy of customizable features.
  • Cons: Expensive, not maximum protection, screen protectors unlikely to fit.

Clear S-View Case

Many of our comments on the LED Case carry over to the S-View. The case is expensive at $60 in the US. For this price, you get a number of unique features. The S-View cover displays notification icons, allows access to the Always On Display, and offers music controls. You can also accept or reject calls with the cover closed.

The bottom of the phone is once again exposed. Interior lining is soft and does a nice job of protecting the screen from scratches. Screen protectors are still unlikely to fit with this case. Around back, the matte finish is resistant to scratches. Unfortunately, the clear front is very prone to scratches and will likely lose its attractive appeal over time. Choosing between the LED and S-View cover is mostly an aesthetic matter, but the LED Case is likely to age better over time.

  • Price: $59.99
  • Pros: Stylish, bevy of customizable features, access to Always on Display.
  • Cons: Expensive, not maximum protection, front cover scratches easily.

Choosing a case for your new phone is always a personal decision. Samsung offers a number of great options to accommodate any taste, though some of them are a bit pricey. If you're more interested in third-party case options, we'll have a full roundup and review of those soon! Let us know in the comments if there are any particular cases you would like to see us review!

Cover image and photos by Jeff Springer/Gadget Hacks

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