The Galaxy S9 is still a beauty in 2019. Samsung sure knows how to contort glass and metal into a sleek smartphone, but as pretty as all that curved is to look at what a shame it would be if it got scratched or smashed up. If you’re concerned about dropping and damaging your phone — perhaps you know that you’re prone to the dropsies — you should invest in a case designed to stand up to abuse.
Most reliable rugged case
OtterBox Commuter Series
Few names are as synonymous with phone cases as OtterBox. They’re built a reputation as a trusted brand by designing really rugged cases and backing their products with superior customer service. We’d recommend the Commuter series case which is a pocket-friendly case that still delivers the rugged protection you’ve come to expect from an OtterBox case. It’s got one big cutout on the back for the camera and fingerprint sensor, and includes port covers to keep dirt out.
Outstanding drop protection
Lifeproof SLAM case
Lifeproof cases typically offer protection from dirt and snow, but the SLAM case focuses exclusively on drop protection. Lifeproof says this case can survive drops from up to two meters (6.5 ft) thanks to the reinforced bumpers. It’s also got a rugged backplate that’s clear to show off the phone’s design and also compatible with wireless charging. While it’s not quite as Lifeproof as you’d expect, it’s also not as expensive as other Lifeproof cases at only $50. Plus, it looks pretty cool with the black and neon green, do you think?
Great value for rugged protection
SUPCASE Unicorn Beetle Series case
The Unicorn Beetle case is one of those phone cases that people buy with every new device. It’s got that classic rugged design with ridges to help with grip and it includes a built-in screen protector to keep your S9 in pristine condition. Port plugs keep dust and pocket lint out of your charging port and headphone jack, and it also comes with an optional belt-clip holster. Rugged enough to keep your phone protected and yet thin enough to work with wireless charging.
Style comes first
Caseology Legion Series case
Caseology makes some pretty cases, and the Legion series of cases for the Galaxy S9 are a great mix of sleek design and rugged durability. This dual-layer case combines a shock absorbing inner sleeve of TPU with a durable outer shell that’s also significantly gripper than the glass body of the Galaxy S9. It’s got a raised lip around the screen, is compatible with most wireless chargers, and screen protectors.
Spigen Tough Armor case
The Spigen Tough Armor case is a great option from a respected brand. It’s a dual-layer case that provides heavy duty protection for your phone while still thin enough to not impede wireless charging. There’s also a kickstand for hands-free viewing on the back!
Includes a free screen protector
Zizo Bolt Series
Made of woven nylon, this case looks brilliant in red with a nice, soft finish. With extra protection in the corner an clean cutouts around the camera and fingerprint sensor on the back, you’ll love the functional and stylish design on display here.
Rugged and stylish
UAG Plasma Feather-Light Rugged
Urban Armor Gear has been making reliably awesome cases for Samsung phones since the Galaxy S6, and it’s really fine-tuned the design for the curved edges of the Infinity Display. There’s a ton of texture on the back and sides of the phone for grip, with reinforced corners that protect from drops. It also keeps the display from touching counter tops or tables. We’ll recommend the Plasma because it’s the most rugged, but check out their other styles, too.
Defend your Galaxy S9
OtterBox Defender Series
This is the prototypical rugged case for the — a multi-layer case design that extra thick with a front bezel that compliments the edgeless screen design and offers dust protection with port covers. We’ve recommended the Commuter Series as our top pick because it’s more pocket friendly, but if you’re down to use the included belt clip holster, you’ll get the best protection from the Otterbox Defender Series.
A clearly rugged product
Maxboost HyperPro Series
A common complaint about rugged cases is that they completely cover up the gorgeous design of your phone. Maxboost offers a stylish compromise that combines a dual-layer bumper with a clear backplate that’s sturdy and scratch resistant. Available in three color styles, this is a great option if you want a case that’s both rugged and minimalist.
Made of aluminum
Tomplus Armor Tank Aluminum Series
This case really puts the heavy in heavy duty. This case weighs in at a whopping 320g almost twice as heavy as the Galaxy S9 itself. It comes with a screwdriver for securing your phone within it’s four layers of protection, and also includes a screen protector for all-around protection that’s available in six different colors.
Straight from Samsung
Samsung Rugged Military Grade
Samsung always offers a solid line of cases for its phones, but they’re always on the pricier side early on in the product cycle. One year out from its release, and this fashionable and rugged case is currently available on discount which is great because there’s a lot to love here. The grooves on the back give the silver edition a retro look, and the branded kickstand can be used in both landscape and portrait orientation.
Minimalist design… with a holster
Trianium Duranium Series
Many rugged case makers like to add superfluous branding and fancy elements to stand out. Trianium offers a no-frills rugged case that combines a TPU encasing reenforced with a protective plate that features the Trianium branding in the corner. The camera lenses are protected with an ample bezel and the display is also protected by raised edges around the top and bottom.
Don’t mess around with phone protection
When it comes to all-glass phones, my best advice is to get a rugged case on that sucker as soon as it’s out of the box. I don’t care if it adds bulk to the phone or covers up the sleek design, not using a case can add cracks and scratches which, I bet you’ll agree, are way worse.
The good news is not all heavy duty cases are designed the same. If you want something that looks bulky and rugged because you need that protection over anything else, I’d recommend the OtterBox Commuter Series because it takes that thick as a brick OtterBox design but slims it down a bit so that it fits better in your pocket or bag. For those who really want a clear case, the Lifeproof SLAM is a sound option. And Spigen offers the best value with its consistently reliable Tough Armor series.