Make no mistake, the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 is an expensive handset at over $900, which means if you don’t want an equally expensive repair bill, then a case, screen protector or both might be top of your priority list. Since using the device I have had the opportunity to test quite a few cases and already compiled a list of my favorite cases for the Note 9, but this is all about protecting that exemplary display.
I tested these over a series of weeks. Some are reasonably pricey, some are reasonably cheap, but all options are best suited to one of the best smartphones on the market. Having tested at least 15 screen protecting options, I think I’m now able to give an honest verdict on which are worth buying — I get that this is a little overdue but it was the only way I could give a true verdict.
Another point I feel the need to make: I opted for brands that I have used or wanted to use in the past. That means no 99¢ eBay Chinese knock-offs — although they can be a great buy from time-to-time — I have had bad experiences with these doing damage to older displays being fractured or cracked whilst putting on a case or from a very minor drop.
All it takes is one drop, one scratch or chip and your $900 Samsung Galaxy Note 9 will lose a) a lot of value, b) look and feel less good to use, and c) cost a pretty penny to get fixed via official channels. The repair cost direct from Samsung? $239. Which is nearly 25% of the cost of a brand new model. Give yourself peace of mind, get a solid screen protector.
Spigen is known for a commitment to making the best smartphone cases on the market. If you are planning on buying any Spigen case or product, then the NeoFlex coverage films will have a pinpoint fit. I get that people aren’t often fans of films over tempered glass, but once applied they won’t potentially chip or cause case fitting issues like some cheap 99-cent eBay tempered glass protectors often do.
I like the texture of these plastic screen glass protectors, but the installation process is a bit longer than with a single piece of tempered glass. Using a liquid spray you coat your display, fingertips, and then the TPU screen protector. Once on the display, it’s a case of sliding into position and then spudging until all air bubbles disappear. Some might be present, but after a few hours these tend to dry up and disappear.
The reason I like these screen protectors is that they can take quite a bit of damage, scuffs, dings and scratches and they don’t feel slimy when used. I tried a few of these types of screen protectors, with only the Olixar TPU screen protectors coming close, although they aren’t quite as good. I use Spigen cases quite regularly, so the fact that you can use the screen protector with Spigen cases is a massive bonus.
- Purchase the Spigen NeoFlex for $8.99 shipped.
Now, this was initially my favorite option, mainly due to the fitting process. You simply place two plastic guides on the top and bottom of the phone and then line up the protector with little to no issue. The fit is tight and it plays nicely with every single OtterBox case that I have had the pleasure of trying. I love how smooth the glass feels, it’s really close to the Whitestone Dome Glass in terms of feel, and doesn’t feel any less secure or premium.
Overall I’d say that the OtterBox Alpha Glass is the best value option available on this entire list — even more so if you plan on pairing it with an OtterBox case. I particularly like the edges as they sit so nice and flush with any case I’ve tried thus far. Had I not had more screen protectors to test, I would have just left the OtterBox Alpha Glass option on, no question.
- Purchase the OtterBox Alpha Glass for $25.79 shipped.
These are arguably the most expensive screen protectors on the market — and with good reason. The South Korean-made tempered glass screen protectors use a unique UV light adhesive method, which is said to produce better results. It feels like surgery when placing on your display, but the end result is astounding.
I had no experience with the brand before but had heard of them, so it seemed pretty daunting to fit. But the instructions and the cradle contraption give you confidence that as long as you follow the included guide, you will get a top-notch fit. Pricey they may be, but there is no denying that they offer the most completely solid screen protection.
Having heard good things about the Whitestone Dome Glass both online and offline, I am glad that I left the brand until last, as although I am a huge fan of the ease and fit of the OtterBox Alpha Glass, the Whitestone Dome Glass offers just that bit better protection.
- Purchase the Whitestone Dome Glass for $44.99 shipped.
- Purchase the Whitestone Dome Glass Double Pack for $59.99 shipped.
I appreciate that a cheap $4 eBay tempered glass screen protector might be enough for most, but I would say that spending that little bit more is a sound choice if you want more protection.
Olixar offers this tempered glass option with a few cases, which is a cheaper way to get both a quality case and a decent screen protector. I used this for the first 2 weeks after taking delivery of my Samsung Galaxy Note 9 and found the Olixar options to be great for all types of cases.
Now PanzerGlass screen protectors are what I had always considered a mid-range option, so until trying I had no point of reference. But the overall fit and finish is exceptional. Unlike the cheap eBay alternatives that offer curved edge protection, you don’t get left with any unresponsive spots, meaning typing and swiping is just as responsive.
I would have liked a completely clear glass, but in reality, the black bars at the top and bottom actually help you line it up to get the perfect fit. Once on the display, it feels exactly the same as it does without a screen protector. I also found it didn’t pick up fingerprints as badly as without, I guess, thanks to that oleophobic protective layer.
- Purchase the PanzerGlass Super+Glass for $34.99 shipped.
Read more about Samsung:
- Hands-on with some of the best cases for the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 [Video]
- Cam Compare: iPhone XS Max gives the Galaxy Note 9 a run for its money [Video]
- The Samsung Galaxy A9 goes official, first smartphone w/ four rear cameras [Video]
- Cam Compare: Huawei Mate 20 Pro vs Note 9 daytime shootout [Video]