Galaxy S10, S10 Plus & S10e official cases review: leather, silicone, rugged, LED, folio
The options for cases out there, especially for popular models like these, are more than abundant, but the manufacturer's own cases are always of particular interest. Common sense would lead you to believe that Samsung-made cases would be the best fit with Galaxy smartphones, and for the most part that is true, though we should forget such abominations like yesteryear's 2-piece Pop Cover case for the Galaxy S8 and Note 8. We're still having nightmares about those.
This year's selection is way more down to earth, and that we like. Still, there are some peculiar options in there, such as the mesmerizing LED cover, which imitates a night sky full of stars and draws its power through NFC. Cases don't get more complex than that!
Galaxy S10e Pattern Cover
Let's start small, with the S10e options. Most cases in the selection are available to all three GS10 models, but the Pattern Cover you see here is unique to the smaller S10e. We really like the looks of this one! The material itself is a thin, light, unassuming plastic, but the dotted pattern gives the case a fresh and distinquishable look.
The Pattern Cover is mostly convenient to use, and we appreciate the off-beat look Samsung is offering here. The one thing we don't like about it is that when stuff gets in those holes (and it does), it can be difficult to get out without removing the case.
Galaxy S10, S10 Plus, S10e Silicone Cover
Samsung's basic silicone case is about as horrible as Apple's. Remember when some companies used to build their phones out of this thing? Anyway, the silicone case comes in a bunch of pleasant-looking colors, but the feel will make you want to cry (in a negative way). Even if you seem to like the soft, rubbery silicone finish, you won't like the amount of dust and other useless stuff that sticks to it as soon as you put it in your pocket. Not only that, but it's HARD to take out of your pocket, because this particular type of silicone finish tends to stick to surfaces and fabrics.
Galaxy S10, S10 Plus, S10e LED Cover
Here comes the fancy LED Cover! This technologically advanced case is available for all S10 models, and comes in black (more like very dark blue) and white.
The LED cover is interesting because it draws power from the S10 via NFC. This allows it to display either a flickering-star kind of night sky, or a very low-resolution emoji of your choice. The emoji can be set to be displayed while the camera is in operation – we guess the goal is to display a similing emoji to promt a smile in the person that you're taking a photograph of. However, if you've changed the emoji to something else, for example – beer, that's what will be shown when the camera works, which is rather weird. How much battery all of this pleasure sucks out of your phone is unknown at the moment, hopefully it's not much.
There are some other problems with the LED cover. For example, the phone's NFC cannot be used for other purposes in the meantime, and you can't use the Wireless Powershare feature of the S10. If you place the phone on a wireless charger, it does charge, but it also automatically disables the LED effects of the case, and then it doesn't reenable them as you finish charging – you're left to do that manually.
The LED cover case may be fun for a while, but of course, the effect quickly gets old. Not only that, you kind of only see it when the phone is placed face down on a surface, but the case itself isn't designed to protect the front, which is more or less counterproductive. Thankfully, if you don't use the LED effects, the case itself is rather nice and offers more than adequate protection. However, the LED shenanigans have added to the cost of the product, so we'd say the $55 Samsung is asking isn't worth spending on a simple plastic shell case.
Galaxy S10, S10 Plus, S10e Leather Back Cover
And here is the venerable leather case! Available for all three S10 models and coming in a bunch of fine colors, the $50 leather case adds premium protection to your premium smartphone. What's not to like?
Well, the leather case is somewhat slippery, but that's about the only problem we can find with it. Aside from that, it looks and feels good, which is all we want from a nice leather case.
Galaxy S10, S10 Plus, S10e S-View Flip / Clear View Cover
Another interesting proposition is the S-View aka Clear View case. This folio cover is made from quality materials, but makes the side buttons harder to use. It also means the left-side buttons (volume and Bixby) are no longer tactile. The inside of the front lid has that heavily rubberized feel which does extremely well in attracting all kinds of crap, which we're no fans of.
One of the big troubles with this folio case is that there is no mechanism that holds the lid closed, so you're left with a lid that flapps around uncontrollably, which is never fun. The special trick here is you get to see the always-on display info through the front lid, which is a nice touch, although the imagery appears a bit blurred. Flipping the lid all the way to the back when you want to actually use your phone works well and isn't too uncomfortable.
Galaxy S10, S10 Plus LED Wallet Cover
Samsung's other folio option is different in that it doesn't just let light from the always-on display pass through the lid, but the lid itself display information via built-in LEDs. As a folio, the LED Wallet cover suffers from the same issues as the S-View Flip, like no mechanism to keep the lid in closed position, and buttons that lose their tactility. The other problem, which is more unique to this case, is that it takes your slim and light S10 and tranforms it into a thick and bulky phone (which you can no longer tell the make of).
The key feature here is the LED display, which can show you the current time, and also display different icons depending on who calls you or which app delivers a notification. You can choose from a predefined set of icons, but you can also draw your own. You can't get too wild with the designs, because the resolution is really low. Not enough LEDs in there!
The troubles with the LED Wallet case don't end there, unfortunately. As you flip the lid all the way to the back, which is what you do when you want to use a phone that's in a folio case, the lid turns out to be too wide, so it makes the phone really inconvenient to hold and use. Purchase at your own risk!
Galaxy S10, S10 Plus, S10e Rugged Protective Cover
Surprisingly, the rugged case in Samsung's line-up does a much better job at what it's supposed to do, and at a lower price. The case itself isn't too thich or bulky, but still offers an above average protection levels. The ribbed design of the back gives it an interesting look, while the dark blue and grey colors the case is available in make for an overall classy appearance.
An added convenience feature of the Rugged Protective cover is the built-in kickstand. However, Samsung obviously couldn't decide on the right angle for the kickstand, which is why it put a total of two kickstands – one for a higher, and one for a lower angle. The latter could be used if you happen to be exceptionally short, or a looking a it from further away.
The only real problem we have with this case is that it makes the physical buttons of the phone very stiff.
Warm thanks to our friends at MobileFun for supplying the cases; check these and many other case models for the Galaxy S10 series at the MobileFun store!