Samsung Galaxy Note 7 S-View Standing Cover and wireless Backpack battery case hands-on

Samsung Galaxy Note 7 S-View Standing Cover and wireless Backpack battery case hands-on
Samsung's Unpacked events are some of the most eagerly anticipated platforms for launching new devices, and while they regularly introduce us to the latest Samsung handsets, they're more than just an opportunity to meet the manufacturer's new smartphones. Unpacked also brings us Samsung's latest accessories and related mobile devices, and between the Gear Fit 2, Gear 360, and the latest-gen Gear VR with support for the Note 7's new USB Type-C interface, that's adding up to a metric boatload of hardware.

But while most of that stuff will work with any of Samsung's recent flagships, this week's Unpacked also included a healthy smattering of all new accessories purpose-designed for the brand new Galaxy Note 7. A lot it's just new versions of stuff we've seen before, but Samsung's still doing enough new with some of these entries that we thought they were worth a closer examination. Let's lean in for a quick look at the new S-View Standing Cover and Backpack wireless charging case.



S-View covers have long offered a nice balance for users who want both the body of their phone and its screen equally protected, while also keeping things quite slim and putting an emphasis on usability. Everything you've known about previous S-View covers is just as true for the Galaxy Note 7, but for this new edition Samsung's making one important change, giving the cover a built-in stand.

Simply pivot the Note 7 up on its right-hand side, and the S-View Standing Cover's front panel quickly becomes an impromptu stand for the phone, nestling in to a matching slot on the handset's left edge. The result is a stand that keeps your phablet securely positioned upright, in a configuration ideal for watching videos on the Note 7's new HDR-enabled AMOLED screen.

On the plus side, that design gives the S-View Standing Cover a nice, solid feel – you're not going to worry about tapping on your propped-up Note 7 with the phone's S Pen and be worried about knocking it down. But at the same time, one angle doesn't always fit all, and we can understand how some users might prefer an adjustable design – or at least one that let us choose between two options.

Still, we suppose we have to credit Samsung with restraint in not over-complicating the cover's design, resulting in a simple, functional case we imagine a lot of users will get plenty of use out of. Right now, Samsung's got the S-View Standing Cover listed in its online store in a selection of four shades (to match Note 7 hardware colors), priced just under $50.


Samsung's new Backpack battery case is also very similar to accessories we've seen before, with previous versions of the product landing for the Galaxy S7, S7 edge, and even last year's Note 5. But just like the new Note itself, the latest generation of this case picks up some tweaks that make it a much more attractive accessory.

The gist of the Backpack is that it's an extended battery for the Note 7, but rather than interfacing with the phone through any kind of wired interface – be that USB or some series of purpose-engineered charging pins – it contains its own wireless charging coil, letting it beam power straight over to the Note 7.

That offers a few benefits, first of which is that it keeps the phone's USB port free for interfacing with other accessories. And since there's no power flowing around through any wires, Samsung was able to build the Backpack to be IP68 water-resistant, just like the Note 7 itself. The result is a charging solution you can feel comfortable using in pretty much any environment.

Compared to earlier wireless charging cases, the new Note 7 Backpack keeps a whole lot more of the phone exposed, not covering up any side buttons with awkward plastic extensions. Instead, it simply grips the Note 7 at its corners, helping to keep the phone's attractive design nice and visible, and also making installation and removal a breeze.

While this is a 3,100mAh component, don't think that it's going to nearly double the Note 7's battery life (with a 3,500mAh internal battery). Perhaps due to losses inherent to the wireless charging process, Samsung instead advises that it's more like adding an extra 50% to the Note 7's battery life. That's a bit less than ideal, so keep your expectations in check.

Pricing is also a little on the steep side, with Samsung listing the Backpack for nearly $90. Considering its limited ability to recharge the Note 7, we'd be more comfortable with a lower figure, but its waterproof build still makes the accessory an interesting add-on to consider.


Related phones

Galaxy Note 7
  • Display 5.7" 1440 x 2560 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP / 5 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 820, Quad-core, 2150 MHz
  • Storage 64 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 3500 mAh

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9 Comments

1. talon95

Posts: 1002; Member since: Jul 31, 2012

Is wireless charging efficient enough for this, or are they losing 30% of the battery pack's power in transmission loss?

2. Clars123

Posts: 1078; Member since: Mar 16, 2015

Who are you asking? Surely you'd have to test the battery case to find out

5. talon95

Posts: 1002; Member since: Jul 31, 2012

I'm asking the electrical engineers. We know Qi charging is only 60-70% efficient normally. But I suppose when the coils are very close together and perfectly aligned maybe that can be increased. At any rate the battery probably has to be 20% thicker than the Moto battery pack to supply the same power. In addition it probably isn't fast enough to allow a phone that has just hit 5% to continue playing a game since the game uses more power than is supplied and it will still shut down. Maybe there's a Samsung engineer around here with all the answers.

6. xq10xa

Posts: 810; Member since: Dec 07, 2010

Good question. Someone smarter than us answer this man.

10. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

thats still "good enough" efficiency.. since regular battery juice or powerbank efficiency isnt much better than that

3. pankajxdx unregistered

I wonder if the battery pack cover allows for path through charging. Probably not I guess, since even fast wireless charging from samsung is slower than QC 2.0.

4. sarcastic_nerd unregistered

The wireless battery case is present since the note 5. They just didn't advertise it very well last year. And it wasn't available in a lot of places too.

8. joevsyou

Posts: 1093; Member since: Feb 28, 2015

I have never seen a battery case that charges a phone wirelessly. all battery case i have ever seen is connected to the port

7. SupermanayrB

Posts: 1188; Member since: Mar 20, 2012

1 of the 2 accessories I won't be getting. I'll stick with my holster shell combo & get the silicone gel skin case. I'll see how the phone performs before I consider the Backpack.

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