Just like any other year, Samsung has an excellent selection of fresh new cases to complement its latest flagship wares: the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+. As you might expect, the protective accessories are all high-quality ones and are certainly a perfect match for the premium devices which look and feel great in hand but can definitely use some protection.
With that in mind, let's overview all the official cases Samsung has released and talk highlight the strengths and weaknesses of each and every one of those.
Samsung ClearView Standing Cover
This kickstand case for the Galaxy S9 and S9+ is one of the more functional offerings Samsung has come up with, but it definitely does have its set of quirks that peculiarities that might not float anyone's boat. For starters, the case is a slightly on the bulkier side, bordering in size with your regular rugged case. Made of cheaply-feeling and slippery plastic, the accessory does little to add up to the overall premium feel of the device itself and we'd lie if we say that it's a joy to use.
Up at the front, we have a mostly-transparent frosted plastic window that allows you to check out your Always On Display notification icons and widgets, but we can wholeheartedly say that you will be just as good if you disabled Always On Display altogether - even at maximum brightness, it's almost always too hard to discern the individual icons, often requiring you to take a second gander to double-check the displayed information. This issue is more prevalent on all color versions of the case and seriously downplays the usefulness of the Always On Display feature.
When you fold away the front cover to support the device in kickstand cover mode, another flaw becomes evident - there is but a tiny lip where the front cover rests, making the whole installation easily prone to toppling down. Sure, with some fiddling you can sort of make the whole thing stable, but its overall sturdiness will be seriously challenged once you try to reposition it or even touch it in a non-gentle way.
The volume and Bixby buttons on the side provide very good tactile feedback, but you wouldn't be able to guess their locations by touch alone. Luckily, the clear markings show their locations rather clear. Also, while Samsung boasts that the front cover features an anti-fingerprint coating, in our experience it still attracts greasy fingerprints and smudges, making for an unsightly appearance. Speaking of fingerprints, the rather small cutout for the fingerprint scanner at the rear makes interacting with the sensor extra hard and definitely not a joy to use.
Overall, the case is a good option if you're on the market for a kickstand case, but overall, we wouldn't recommend it. You can have this one in black, blue, purple, and soft pink colors.
Good overall protection
Makes for a flimsy kickstand
Attracts lots of finger smudges
Tiny fingerprint sensor cutout
Always On Display barely legible
Plastic at the back feels cheapish
Samsung ClearView Standing Cover for the Galaxy S9 and S9+
The LED View Cover wallet case for the Galaxy S9 and S9+ sets itself apart from all the others with its dynamic LED window that display any vital incoming alerts, like calls or pending notifications. Upon closing the lid, time is briefly displayed, too. As an added bonus, users can customize what static or animated icons should appear for specific callers or apps thanks to the LED Icon Editor app. Samsung even allows you to draw and color your own icon for an extra layer of customization, which is pretty cool and makes the case all the more intriguing. Best thing is that when the LEDs are inactive, the case maintains a stealthy presence.
But back to the basics: the LED View Cover case features a super-grippy hard canvas-like plastic material that feels funny to the touch at first, but would most probably quickly grow on you as it did with us. It feels adequately premium and lives up to the high design standards set by the devices themselves. The case isn't much bulkier than necessary and offers more than enough protection, especially in the corners. There's a raised lip at the top part of the case, but fortunately no such features can be observed to the sides - normally, we'd love such an added level of protection, but raised lips definitely don't play well with Samsung's curved displays.
The inside of the LED wallet case features a soft finish as well as a small pocket for a single, regular-sized credit card.
The buttons to the side are similar in execution to the ones found on the ClearView standing case and offer a great clickyt feedback, but then again, the lack of any tactile markings make it hard to make out the volume rocker or the Bixby button by feel alone and require you to almost always double-check what you're clicking. That's a minor gripe, but is still worth pointing out.
Finally, the case cutout for the fingerprint scanner is quite adequate and doesn't prevent your fingertip from getting into as much contact with the sensor as possible. However, have in mind that due to one reason or another Samsung prevents you from taking selfies by tapping the sensor with this case on.
This rather regular looking case is definitely the hidden gem in Samsung's latest case lineup. It's pretty standard as far as cases come and really doesn't stand out with anything in particular... except for the superb soft silicone material that makes this one possibly the best new official case in Samsung's lineup.
The silicone that makes the gist of the protective accessory is silky soft and feels great to the touch, making us not miss the feel of naked glass not one bit. While we've seen slimmer cases, by most standards this one should also pass as such because it hardly adds any excessive bulk to the overall device, which is especially welcome on the larger Galaxy S9+. The softness of the silicone material is not the only redeeming factor in play here: the case is also moderately grippy and wouldn't just slip off of your hand in the worst possible time, all the while being hardly susceptible to retaining fingerprint smudges. Still, you should have in mind that more potent oils and greases might stain it.
When it comes to overall protection, the case doesn't feature raised lips on the side that would protect the display, but this doesn't mean that you will be putting your screen in danger when you place your phone display-first on a flat surface. See, both the top portion and the two bottom corners of the case are raised a millimeter or so and prevent the screen from ever coming into contact with any surface you might place it onto.
The built-in buttons of this case feature great tactile feedback and will hardly make you miss the feel of the Galaxy S9's regular buttons.That's pretty good as fas as we are concerned since silicone cases often tend to feature rather lackluster buttons that feel super-mushy in comparison.
The case is available in black, gray, minty green, and soft pink colors.
Silicone as soft as baby skin
Protects the display from scratches
Hard shell for added protection
Great button feedback
Can be easily stained by sweat or more potent oils
Samsung Silicone Cover for the Galaxy S9 and S9+
Samsung Hyperknit cover
The Hyperknit case definitely feels like a mix between Samsung's silicone case we reviewed above and the LED wallet one even earlier. It features a faux knit-like finish that is mostly similar to concurrent fashion trends that glorify knit-like patterns and materials. For one, the slightly rough and crude finish is an intriguing design twist that capitalizes on the otherwise-elegant aesthetics of the Galaxy S9. Even though similar cases have been around for a while, it's still gleefully exciting to experience one of those for the first time.
In terms of fell, the Hyperknit accessory is easily one of the grippiest cases you could ever get. Accidental slips are highly unlikely as your hand will almost stick to the encased device, which is in great contrast to the super-slippy nature of the naked device itself.
Just like the stock silicone case, the Hyperknit one features a raised top lip and more pronounced bottom corners that protect the device from face-front damage when placed screen-first on a flat surface. This is particularly important as screens can still easily get scratched by the occasional grain of sand.
As far as the buttons of the case are considered, they are easily the best ones among all new Galaxy cases that we reviewed. They are super-clicky and provide excellent feedback making them a joy to use. The same applies to the case itself - it's easily the best "traditional" case you can get for your Galaxy S9 or S9+.
And yet, it has some shortcomings. In particular, the red Hyperknit is susceptible to getting dirty, especially if you have the habit of slipping your encased phone in your jeans' pocket. The corners of the case can get stained and almost resemble overused upholstery, which is quite unsightly. Rest assured you probably wouldn't have this issue with the gray version of the case.