SLIM - Ringke Slim
- RUNNER-UP - RhinoShield Crashguard
GRIP - Speck Presidio Grip
- RUNNER-UP - Patchworks Mono Grip
TOUGH - RhinoShield SolidSuit
- RUNNER-UP - Mous Case
CARD - VRS Design Damda Folder
- RUNNER-UP - Spigen Slim Armor CS
WALLET - Speck Presidio Folio
- RUNNER-UP - Nomad Clear Folio
CLEAR - X-Doria Defense Shield
- RUNNER-UP - Spigen Ultra Hybrid
FOLIO - OtterBox Strada Series
- RUNNER-UP - Samsung Clear View
SLIM: Ringke Slim ($10)
The Ringke Slim Case is made of a very thin and light plastic in a one-piece design with a matte finish that you just can't resist touching, holding, and just sleeping with on the first date. A bezel to cover that new fancy camera, complete cutouts for all the buttons and a tiny detail I really appreciate is the separator from the Bixby button. My finger basically knows how low it's legally allowed to go to avoid it.
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RUNNER-UP: RhinoShield Crashguard ($25)
It just wraps around the edges of the Samsung S9, the RhinoShield CrashGuard Bumper Case leaves the backside completely exposed and if you're a true minimalist, this is the one to go for. Add a back skin and screen protector and you'll be surprised how the 360 degrees of coverage protects your phone.
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My favorite grip option for any device, the Speck Presidio Grip Case. Rubber strips run throughout the back and sides of the case giving your fingers something to grasp onto. Paired with their Impactium, basically, air pockets lined on the inside and thick rubber bezels around the front of your screen, you're covered if you ever manage to actually drop this case.
RUNNER-UP: Patchworks Mono Grip ($13)
For an affordable textured option, the new Patchworks Mono Grip Case is a quarter of the price, not as geometrical looking, but just as grippy, in a different way. They've opted for a sandy matte feeling that's way better than a smooth finish, complemented with much smaller finger ridges to grasp onto. It's not as satisfying as holding the Presidio Grip, but this all around texture is still comfortable and has a much cleaner aesthetic that may appeal to more users.
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STYLE: Incipio Esquire ($35)
This one that looks like recycled dress pants - very fancy - the Incipio Esquire Case has a soft cotton finish With an elegant interior lining to top the look off. I can verify it is a real cotton-like feel but whether it's ultra soft like their description says is up for negotiation. Although super stylish and realistic, just remember cotton does soak up all that chicken wing sauce and may not wash out as easily.
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STYLE: Seidio Provectus ($30)
The Seidio Provectus Case is a very slim shell with carbon fiber patterning throughout the whole case and although great to look at, it nonchalantly has this dotted texture along both sides of the case that makes it feel like a tactical weapon. Combine that with the lack of actual buttons gives this case a super stealthy vibe.
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STYLE: Samsung Hypeknit ($35)
What I call the Addidas Boost, it's the Samsung HyperKnit Case, which also sounds like it could be a shoe I can't afford. It has a knitted back texture like if your grandma knitted you a case, this is what she'd come up with. The texture provides a grippy surface and the metal looking buttons top off that premium touch to the case.
TOUGH: RhinoShield SolidSuit ($30)
Now here's what most of you need and my pick goes to the RhinoShield SolidSuit Case. With several back finishes, tactile buttons, all within a very slim case for the amount of protection it offers. Their honeycomb patterned liner that's designed to handle up to 11-foot drops while feeling sleek in the hand still thanks to the slimmed down edges.
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RUNNER-UP: Mous Case ($60)
A slightly thicker and pricer option is the Mous case. Offering a few more back options with real materials such as carbon fiber or bamboo, it's a smooth and sleek finish, so don't expect anything super grippy. Button and camera coverage throughout the case with lips around the front screen, I've thoroughly tested this case in my Mous Case review for the iPhone X and can confidently say this will keep your device safe.
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The VRS Damda Folder Case basically transforms your S9 into a flip phone. By no means is this a slim case but it can proudly hold up to 6 cards but could also accommodate other small objects, like SD cards or if you're normal, a condom. Not a super protective case, it's got a thin lip around the screen, but it's thick back cushions drops quite a bit.
RUNNER-UP: Spigen Slim Armor CS Case ($60)
If you carry less than what feels like a gazillion cards, then the Spigen Slim Armor CS Case may be the sleeker option. A hidden sliding door compartment that locks in place to hold up to 3 cards and Spigen's staple matte black finish that feels really good in the hand.
WALLET: Speck Presidio Folio ($45)
Now if you're into hiding stuff, the new Speck Presidio Folio Leather is my favorite wallet style case. It's got a locking plastic door on the front cover that can fit 3 cards comfortably without anyone knowing. They've included their Impactium defense and the case also doubles as a stand.
RUNNER-UP: Nomad Clear Folio Case ($60)
Utilizing Horween Leather, the Nomad Clear Folio Case has the traditional 3 standard card slots with a larger side pocket you can fit extra cards or any flat object in. It starts off fairly bulky, but you have to give the case time to break in and loosen up. Give the case some time to grow some character through every drop and scratch and you'll have a one of a kind case in no time.
CLEAR: X-Doria Defense Shield ($30)
Now depending on how big of a showoff you are, you may just want a clear case, with my favorite going to the X-Doria Defense Shield Case. It's got a damn aluminium frame strapped around a clear plastic back sheet so at least now you can constantly see how much money you wasted on a super badass looking case. You'll definitely catch some attention with this baby.
RUNNER-UP: Spigen Ultra Hybrid Case ($14)
A tried and true case through the test of time and every device I've ever owned the Spigen Ultra Hybrid Case. It's a case that just works, at a really good price point, and air cushions in the corner for light drop protection, but by no means is this a tough case replacement.
FOLIO: OtterBox Strada Series ($50)
The OtterBox Strada Case has a card slot component but can really only carry 1 card making it a terrible choice for the wallet category. The leather feels great in the hand and will patina well over time, thick shell for the Samsung S9 to sit comfortably in, but it's the magnetic closure that takes the trophy for me. Flexible, easy to use, and most importantly it actually stays in place.
RUNNER-UP: Samsung Clear View Case ($47)
The official Samsung Clear View standing Case has a see-through cover, the soft cushiony material around back, and stays as slim as possible for a folio case. The coolest part is the front clear cover is interactive, giving you the ability to swipe left and right for different widgets - you can control music and even answer calls directly without ever opening the case.
This video is sponsored by RhinoShield but all opinions expressed are based on my own experience.