Samsung has just launched the Galaxy Note8, one of the most impressive smartphones on the market. It’s big, beautiful and packed full of handy features, but fears have already been raised over its potentially fragile design.
It combines lots of glass – including that stunning 6.3-inch screen – with metal, very much like the Galaxy S8, which was described as “extremely susceptible to cracking” earlier this year. While it may feel slightly wrong to wrap such a great-looking gadget up inside a case, doing so could save you a major headache down the line.
Here is the best of the cases we’ve been able to get our hands on for review. Many of the other big players still aren’t in stock, but we’ll be adding more as they become available.
1. Samsung Galaxy Note8 Clear Cover Case: £19, Samsung
Close behind Tech 21's Impact Shield (reviewed below) in terms of subtlety, is the Clear Cover Case, which is very much built to show off the Note’s looks. It’s thin and light but reassuringly rigid, and has a grippy surface that makes it nice and easy to hold onto. At £19, it’s far cheaper than some of the other options out there too, which is a big factor, though it does pick up fingerprint marks pretty easily.
2. Samsung Galaxy Note8 Clear View Standing Cover Case: £35.43, Amazon
The Clear View Stand cover – part of a new range launched by Samsung to coincide with the phone’s launch – is definitely one of the flashiest options out there. It’s so shiny it doubles as a mirror, and you can also view the time, battery life, incoming calls and messages through its front cover. The built-in viewing stand function is really handy for when you want to watch a film, and it also keeps the Note’s buttons easy to access. It is, however, fairly thick, and all of that gloss means you’ll have to be weary of noticeable fingerprints.
3. Tech21 Evo Wallet: £44.95, Tech21
Tech21’s Evo Wallet case prides itself on its toughness. Impressively, it should be able to protect the Note8 from falls of up to 3m, and its grippy surface will ensure you don’t drop it when you’re out and about. It’s got a card slot too, and is definitely a good choice for anyone with a history of damaging phones. Unfortunately, it isn’t the most attractive case around, which is a shame because the Note8 is one of the best-looking handsets on the market.
4. Samsung Galaxy Note8 LED View Cover: £59, Samsung
Samsung’s Galaxy Note8 LED View Cover case is like the Clear View Stand’s quieter sibling. Its soft-touch, synthetic leather design is pleasingly low-key and simple, and it manages to stay slim despite squeezing in a credit card slot. The cut-out around the back makes the fingerprint sensor really easy to find, and its LED front cover displays useful information including the time, calls, messages, and battery status, without the need to flip it open.
5. Tech21 Evo Tactical: £34.95, Tech21
The Evo Tactical is like the better-looking, slightly pared-down version of the Wallet. Like its pricier sibling, it can also protect the Note from drops of up to 3m, and has a textured, grippy surface that’s unlikely to slip from your fingers. It’s scratch-resistant too, so it should stay looking as good as new, much like your phone will beneath it.
6. Samsung Galaxy Note8 Alcantara Cover Case: £44, Samsung
The Alcantara case is very different to the ones above, as it doesn’t have a screen cover. That keeps the Note8 nice and slim, but at the expense of screen protection. If that’s fine by you, the Alcantara is one of the best-looking Note8 cases around. It’s also nice and soft to the touch, doesn’t obstruct the curved bits of the screen, and ensures the phone’s buttons remain really easy to press. It’s scratch- and stain-resistant, too.
7. Tech21 Impact Shield: £29.95, Tech21
This isn’t technically a case, but we had to include it as it’s the best option if you’re determined to cover up as little of the Note8 as possible. Tech21’s Impact Shield is scratch-resistant, covers and sticks to the entirety of that edge-to-edge screen and is designed to absorb impacts (in fact, it apparently uses some of the same materials used in bulletproof glass). It doesn’t cover the back of the phone though, which is a risk – although if you’re really keen on keeping those looks on show, it might be a risk worth taking.
8. UAG Plyo Samsung Galaxy Note8 Tough Protective Case: £29.99, Amazon
The translucent UAG Plyo case is one of the best-looking “rugged” options out there. Despite its relatively thin profile, its reinforced corners are designed to protect the Note from 4ft drops. The TPU case covers and protects all of the handset’s buttons too and has a grippy coating that’s easy to keep hold of.
9. Olixar Armourdillo: £12.99, Amazon
The Armourdillo is quite possibly the most rugged-looking rugged case out there. The look of that bold, chunky, bumpy polycarbonate shell is definitely going to be divisive, but it makes the Note extremely grippy and should keep it safe from drops and bumps. Its button covers are a little hard to push, which is a slight pain, but it comes with a very handy flip-out viewing stand to help you make the most of the Note’s massive screen.
10. Olixar FlexiShield: £4.99, Mobile Fun
If you’re looking for something cheap, the Olixar FlexiShield could be just the ticket. It’s like the Clear Cover Case, but a fraction of the price. Its minimalist design helps show off the Note’s best bits, it’s also grippy and ensures all of the phone’s buttons remain easy to press. It does pick up fingerprints easily though, and its super-slim profile means it’s unlikely to protect the handset from major falls. For a little more protection, look at the £7.99 ExoShield.
The Verdict: Samsung Galaxy Note8 cases
It isn’t the very toughest one we’ve featured, but Samsung’s Clear Cover case marries protective features with both good looks and an attractive price tag.
IndyBest product reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to bias our coverage. The reviews are compiled through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing.