The Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus were announced at Mobile World Congress last week and both will be available everywhere on March 16. The new flagships look similar to last year’s Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus, but they aren’t identical. The rear fingerprint sensor on the new phones has been centered. And the Galaxy S9 Plus is the first Galaxy “S” smartphone to have a dual camera system. So if you were planning on swapping your old case and putting it on your new phone, like you could with the iPhone 7/7 Plus to the iPhone 8/8 Plus, think again.
Editor’s Pick: Samsung LED Wallet Cover
The good: Samsung makes a lot of cool cases, which you can check out on its website, but the LED Wallet Cover is a classic. It adds extra screen protection while still enabling you to always see the time thanks to those LED lights. You can also read notifications — like texts and alarms — directly on the cover. It adds a small measure of drop protection as well. It has an interior card pocket for cash and cards.
Watch out for: The LED lights on the cover don’t support a huge number of apps, such as Spotify or Google Play Music.
Who is it for: Anybody who wants a folio case with a unique design, that also adds screen- and drop-protection.
Transparent: Spigen Liquid Crystal Clear
The good: The Liquid Crystal adds a layer of protection without looking like a conspicuous case. It doesn’t add much girth, so you won’t have to worry about it being any more difficult getting in or out of your pocket. It’s easy to install and is compatible with Qi-wirelesss chargers. Inexpensive.
Watch out for: The case offers no screen protection. Even though it’s shock absorbent, it doesn’t offer as much most drop-resistant as other more rugged cases.
Who is it for: The person who wants a little bit extra protection but doesn’t want their phone looking like it has a case on it.
Thin: Peel Super Thin
The good: Peel is notorious for its ridiculously thin cases. This one is 0.35mm thin and will protect your S9/S9 Plus from the scratches it would naturally pick up — the phone is glass, after-all. It basically doesn’t add any bulk to the phone.
Watch out for: Only available in two colors: black or silver. Offers virtually no protection from drops. There’s no screen protection, either.
Who is it for: The person who doesn’t want to cover up any of the phone’s beauty, while still protecting it from the inevitable scratches of everyday carry.
Rugged: OtterBox Defender Series Screenless Edition Case
The good: The Defender Series is OtterBox’s classic rugged case. It has a multilayer design — polycarbonate shell and a synthetic rubber slipcover — and is really the case you want if you’re prone to dropping your phone. It protects all the ports, too, so you don’t have to worry about dust or sand or anything else getting in them. It has a built-in belt clip, which is great for people who don’t want to keep digging into their pocket. And this belt clip also works as a hands-free kickstand. It’s available in several colors, too.
Watch out for: No screen protection and it’s bulkier than most other cases. The port covers can get a little bit annoying because you’ll have to deal with them every time you want to charge your phone or use the headphone jack.
Who is it for: Anybody who needs a rugged phone case. And because it has a belt clip, it’s great or those who work outside and need quick access to their phone.
Folio: Nomad Clear Folio
The good: The Clear Folio case adds a little bit of ruggedness and functionality to the S9/S9 Plus. It’s half high-grade polycarbonate and half Horween leather, the latter of which will patina over time. It’s compatible with Qi-wireless chargers. It can hold three credit cards and some spare cash.
Watch out for: The brown leather will patina over time, so don’t expect it to stay the same exact shade of brown. Card and cash pockets are slim and won’t hold much.
Who is it for: Those looking for a folio case with a little extra flair.
Screen Protection: Zagg InvisibleShield Glass Curve Elite
The good: This is a screen protector, not a smartphone case, but it works with any case and adds a level of scratch resistance to the screen.
Watch out for: It’s just as expensive, or more, that more most cases. Requires some skill putting on the screen to prevent bubbles.
Who is it for: Everybody with a Galaxy S9/S9 Plus, even if they don’t put a case on their phone.