So we took it out of the box only to discover that the Samsung Galaxy S4 S View Cover has a lot in common with the official Flip Cover by Samsung, which we examined not long ago. It is made of two pieces connected firmly together, one of them being a replacement for the smartphone's stock back plate, while the other is a flippy cover that protects the handset's entire front side. Putting the accessory on requires the removal of the phone's standard back cover and snapping the S View Cover in its place – a straightforward process that took us a few seconds to complete.
What instantly caught our attention was that the Samsung Galaxy S4 could detect when the S View Cover was closed or open. Flipping the cover open instantly turns the phone on and then closing it puts the phone back in stand-by mode. In other words, there's a lot more thought put into this accessory than it seems. On top of that, you get a handy transparent window where information, such as the current time and date, is being displayed. Incoming call notifications are shown there as well – you can even reject or pick up the call and carry out a conversation without opening the cover. Still, it would have been much nicer if the window's functionality was implemented further into the phone's interface. It won't let you view text messages, for example, neither access the playback controls when music is playing in the background, nor snooze the alarm without having to flip the cover open.
Even after using the S View Cover with out Samsung Galaxy S4 for a few days, we didn't notice any immediate signs of wear and tear, which is a sign that bodes well for the product's longevity. The plastic back piece feels durable, resists fingerprints, and looks good as it is visually identical to the smartphone's original back plate. But one thing that bothers us is that the flippy cover tends to attract pocket lint easily, especially in the area behind the plastic window. Another annoyance we can't overlook is that when the flip cover is folded around the phone's back, it is difficult to access the volume rocker on the phone's side.
All in all, official accessories for high-end phones are always expensive, and the Samsung Galaxy S4 S View Cover is no exception with a suggested retail price of $60. But as pricey as it is, the accessory could prove useful as it protects the front side of the Galaxy S4 without adding any excessive bulk to the device. Besides, chances are that if you do a little digging on the internet, you'll be able to find the S View cover on sale for at least a few bucks less. Don't hesitate to check it out if all you require is some basic, lightweight protection for your Samsung Galaxy S4.