The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 is one of the most beautiful and fantastic looking smartphones currently on the market. Unfortunately, its elegance comes at a price as its almost entirely made out of glass, something that easily scratches and cracks when dropped. Thankfully, there are plenty of rugged cases out there to protect your $1,000 investment. Here are the best…
OtterBox | Symmetry, Commuter, Defender
When most people think of rugged and tough cases, OtterBox is the first case maker that comes to mind. This is partially due to the sheer size of some of its cases, but mostly due to the company’s reputation for creating premium quality cases that have a track record of protecting any and all devices.
The first case for the Note 8 is the Symmetry case. This case, which is the clear option in the below picture, is made out of a single piece of rigid TPU. This makes it easy to take on and off and is one of the thinnest cases offered by OtterBox.
The Commuter series, the case in the middle, is built out of a flexible and soft rubber material that encapsulates the entire smartphone. A second hard shell goes on top of that and protects it from drops. OtterBox advertises dust protection but all that means is that rubber covers shield the headphone jack and USB-C port.
Lastly, there is the Defender Series which is the most protective case out of the three. Just like the Commuter series, it offers a hard shell and a soft rubber layer. Unlike the previous option, the inside layer is a hard plastic shell that clips together. This way, there’s a piece of the case covering every corner of the Note 8.
Once installed, the rubber section then covers the entire hard plastic shell. It can be hard to get on correctly, but with some finagling, it looks and fits the Note 8 like a glove. This case also comes with a belt clip if that is something you are looking for.
Purchase the OtterBox Symmetry series case for $33.
Purchase the OtterBox Commuter series case for $45.
Purchase the OtterBox Defender series case for $54.
Urban Armor Gear | Monarch, Plasma
Out of all of the cases on this list, Urban Armor Gear (UAG) almost always has the best physical button responsiveness. This is such a small detail, but when you use your Galaxy Note 8 with a case on it all day, you grow to appreciate it more and more.
The first case, the Plasma series, is the clear option in the below photo. This case features a rugged design, a hard plastic shell, and soft-touch hardened rubber around the corners. Although the case itself is feather-light, it still offers a MIL-STD 810G-516.6 drop standard to protect the smartphone from minor damage.
The Monarch series, pictured in red, is the Plasma series on steroids. It features twice the MIL-STD standard thanks to its metal and polycarbonate frame. The case itself is slightly thicker, heavier, features real leather accents, and a protective rubber edge that is impact resistant.
Purchase the UAG Plasma series case for $30.
Purchase the UAG Monarch series case for $56.
Incipio | Octane, Dualpro
The Incipio Octane series, pictured in mint below, is a pretty simple offering. It features a hard shell and a rubber bumper that absorbs shocks from drops of up to 6 feet. Lastly, Incipio molded the edge of the frame to make it extremely grippy.
The Dualpro, just like its name hints at, offers two layers of protection for the Note 8. The inside portion consists of a flexible rubber bumper that is used to absorb impacts. The shell is hard, covers all four corners of the handset, and is covered in a soft-touch material that makes it feel consistent with the rubber piece.
Purchase the Incipio Octane series case for $25.
Purchase the Incipio Dualpro series case for $30.
Tech21 | Evo Check, Pure Clear, Evo Tactical, Evo Wallet
First up, are the three Evo series cases: Check, Tactical, and Wallet. Each shares the company’s patented FlexShock technology which should protect the Note 8 from drops of a maximum of 10 feet. This consists of a flexible rubber material with an impact absorbent frame. The Wallet series take it up a notch by including a flap that covers the front of the display. Hidden within are two slots to hold an ID or credit card.
The Wallet series take it up a notch by including a flap that covers the front of the display. Hidden within are two slots to hold an ID or credit card.
The Clear uses a similar technology that Tech21 calls BulletShield, protecting the Note 8 from 6.6 feet drops. This almost lessens the amount of protection by half, but the case itself is extremely light and thin. It will be up to you which is more important, protection or case size.
You can check out our full review of Tech21’s other case options for the Note 8 here.
Purchase the Tech21 Evo Check series case for $45.
Purchase the Tech21 Pure Clear series case for $45.
Purchase the Tech21 Evo Tactical series case for $45.
Purchase the Tech21 Evo Wallet series case for $55.
Griffin Survivor | Clear, Strong
These two Survivor cases are probably the blandest on this entire list, but that isn’t always a bad thing. Both are hard shells that protect the Note 8 from minor damage. The Clear series, pictured as the see-through case below, offers drop protection from a maximum of 4 feet while the Strong will protect from 7 feet.
While neither are flashy, they do their job of protecting your smartphone well and without costing an arm and a leg.
Purchase the Griffin Survivor Clear series case for $20.
Purchase the Griffin Survivor Strong series case for $30.
BodyGuardz | Ace Pro
Last on this list is the Ace Pro, created by Body Guardz. This case uses something the company calls Unequal to absorb impacts on the corners and edges. Supposedly it is a similar material as to what’s found in football helmets to prevent brain injuries. While I found the case to do its job well, I didn’t like the sleekness of the outside. It felt like the case itself could cause me to drop the Note 8.
Purchase the BodyGuardz Ace Pro series case for $35.
Learn more about the Samsung Galaxy Note 8
- Samsung Galaxy Note 8: Best microSD cards
- Samsung Galaxy Note 8: Best screen protectors
- Samsung Galaxy Note 8: How to take a screenshot
- Samsung Galaxy Note 8: How to customize the software navigation buttons
- Samsung Galaxy S8, Active and Note 8: How to disable the Bixby button