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Gear Up: Ventev refreshes product line for 2018

Ventev Cables

Smartphone makers, as most of you know, tend to refresh their products roughly once a year. Flagships, for instance, often arrive in the spring from a variety of players, each with new specs and features. It’s also about once a year that accessory makers shake up or refresh their portfolio, to. Ventev is one of those brands.

We had a chance to meet up with Ventev earlier this year at CES where it showed us some of its recently introduced products. We’ve long been a fan of its efforts and liked what we saw in Las Vegas.

A few weeks after we returned home, Ventev sent us a box of some of its newer items. Each is a little different from the other, but all fall under the same umbrella. Moreover, each builds on the company’s previous efforts and does well to represent Ventev as a premier accessory manufacturer.

Below you’ll find details for the products we were sent with corresponding feedback and insight.

Wireless Charging Kit

Ventev Car Mount

It’s 2018 which means that a lot of the phones we buy today feature wireless charging capabilities. This bundle includes a car mount, which attaches to your vehicle air vent, as well as a microUSB charging cable. Together they offer a strong, secure clamp to hold your phone in place and a wireless pad to charge at the same time.

Easy to set up, the mount can be moved to a new location in a matter of seconds. Have a short commute to and from work or school? No worries, the Quick Charge 3.0 speeds mean you’ll still get plenty of juice to power the rest of your day. $59.99 through Amazon

  • 4-product bundle
  • Rapid Charge: 12W (5V, 2.4A)
  • Charges 1 wireless-enabled device
  • Universal compatibility: Qi, PMA, Fast Wireless Charging
  • Quick Charge 3.0: 24W (5V, 3A/9V, 2A/12V, 1.25A)
  • Output: up to 15W (up to 9V, 1.6A) wireless
  • 1-Year Limited Warranty

Wallport pd1300 Wall Charger

Ventev PD1300

Given that so many phones, tablets, laptops, and gaming accessories have turned to USB Type-C, it makes sense to pick up some extra cables and chargers. The Wallport gives you more than enough power to charge up your phone. Got a Pixelbook or Nintendo Switch? The 3A/45W unit is exactly what you need to replenish your devices. $58.99 through Amazon

  • Charges 1 USB Type-C™ device
  • Input: 100–240V
  • Limited Lifetime Warranty
  • Output: 15W (5V, 3A), 27W (9V, 3A), 45W (15V, 3A), 45W (20V, 2.25A)

Chargsync Alloy USB Type A-C 2.0 cable

Ventev ChargeAlloy

Offered in four different colors (Cobalt, Gold, Silver, Steel Gray), this cable is as practical as it is strong. You’ll have a hell of a time tangling it up, thanks to its braided high-tensile wrap and aluminum housing. And, at four feet long it reaches behind desks and furniture with more than enough cable left over.

With up to 480Mbps data speeds, the cable plugs directly into your standard USB ports with the Type-C plug for newer phones and tablets. The attached Velcro fastener lets you wrap things up nice and compact for travel. $24.99 through Amazon

  • Premium braided cable aluminum housing
  • Supports up to 3A
  • Limited Lifetime Warranty
  • Includes cable management wrap

Wireless Chargestand

Ventev Wireless ChargeStand

An excellent desktop solution, this lets you prop your phone up at an angle with wireless charging coming from behind. It doesn’t matter where your phone’s charging coils are, the Ventev gives you control over height placement. Simply snap out the puck and place it in the desired spot.

Use the stand to watch media, take and make video conference calls, or whatever else tickles your fancy. The unit works just as well in landscape as it does in portrait orientation. And, because it has super-fast 15W charging, you don’t have to keep it in place very long before the phone’s ready to go another ten hours. Thanks to the six foot cable you can put the mount anywhere you want. $59.55 through Amazon

  • Charges 1 wireless-enabled smartphone
  • Universal compatibility: Qi, PMA, Fast Wireless Charging
  • Fast charging speed (15W)
  • Input: 100–240V
  • Wireless output: up to 15W
  • Power cord: 6ft UL-certified power supply
  • 1-Year Limited Warranty

It may look like a car part, but this is actually a working artificial heart

Until 3D bioprinting allows us to print fully functional organs to replace damaged or non-functioning ones, scientists and engineers have to explore alternatives. One intriguing concept being developed by researchers at the Oregon Health and  Science University (OHSU) involves a titanium alloy-coated device which looks like a spare car part — but actually turns out to be a potentially life-saving artificial heart.

Its inventors hope that it could one day be the first permanent completely artificial heart, which could help save the lives of some of the approximately 75,000 Americans who die of heart failure each year.

Compared to other artificial heart designs, OHSU’s creation includes no valves and boasts a very simple design, which involves replacing the two ventricles of the human heart with a single titanium tube. This houses a hollow titanium alloy-coated hollow rod that moves back and forth, prompting the movement of blood to the lungs where it can be oxygenated, and continue its journey around the body. The finished model heart will be powered by a combined controller and rechargeable battery pack. In the short-term, users would carry this with them on a belt or in a backpack. Long-term, however, a smaller battery could be implanted beneath a patient’s skin and recharged from the outside.

OHSU/Kristyna Wentz-Graff

“Considering the human heart beats 14 million times a year, it’s crucial that an artificial heart is durable and robust,” Sanjiv Kaul, who is working on the design, said in a statement. “The simple, efficient design of our total artificial heart makes its potential for failure very low.”

The project started out as an invention by the now-retired Richard Wampler. OHSU then created a spinoff company named OregonHeart in 2014, which developed a further two versions of the device tested in animals at the University of Louisville. The first of these models was larger, to demonstrate the design’s proof of principle, and was implanted in cows. The second was the right size for humans and was tested in sheep.

OregonHeart ultimately ceased operations, but OHSU is continuing work on the project in-house. Researchers working on the project plan to carry out more studies involving sheep. If these tests go as planned, they will they request federal permission to run clinical trials on humans using the device.

While it may look unorthodox if this creation works as hoped it could be a game-changer for transplant surgery.

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Scientists propose a counterintuitive way to avoid in-flight lightning strikes

It’s a discomforting thought but commercial aircraft are each struck by lightning at least once per year, according to estimates by aviation experts. Luckily, they rarely compromise flights. As passengers, we may not always notice the event, with our heads buried in airline pillows or eyes glued to a seatmate’s screen but it’s safe to say some inflight chaos would ensue if we were aware.

“[Lightning strikes] are more frequent than we would like,” Carmen Guerra-Garcia, an assistant professor of aeronautics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), told Digital Trends. “Aircraft manufacturers take great care to make the aircraft safe under such an event but embedding all the necessary protection is costly. Also, if struck, the repairs are costly… and, from the airline perspective, more costs are associated with having the aircraft out of service for inspections and repair.”

With their electrically conductive surfaces, planes serve as something like lightning rods in flight. Their amplified electrical fields make aircraft themselves responsible for about 90 percent of these strikes. Planes are usually rerouted to avoid storms and potential lightning, but a new idea investigated by Guerra-Garcia and her colleagues would actually see planes intentionally increase their electrical charge and fly right through the threatening storms.

Although it sounds counterintuitive — or even a bit insane — the researchers demonstrate in a report recently published in the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Journal that there is a sweet spot for an airplane’s electrical charge that that could let it avoid strikes, even in the midst of a storm.

Guerra-Garcia explained, “The idea is to have electric field sensors on the aircraft that continuously monitor the electrical environment the vehicle is subjected to. From these measurements, onboard algorithms would determine the risk of a strike and the net charge level of the aircraft required to improve the situation. The onboard controller would then command the actuators (ion emitters that can charge the aircraft) to drive the aircraft to the optimum net charge level, that which keeps equal safety margins for the positive and negative ‘leader.’”

Leaders refer to electrical causeways that branch out from a plane’s highly conductive exterior. When these causeways reach an oppositely charged region, they form a circuit, and can result in a tremendous bolt of energy hitting the plane. Through mathematical models, Guerra-Garcia and her team showed that changing a plane’s electrical potential, by charging it negatively, significantly reduced the risk of a strike.

Having presented a theoretical study, Guerra-Garcia said the next step is laboratory validation. However, she warned that this method is still some ways away from real-world applications, as it would entail advances in modeling capability that are currently not possible with onboard predictive algorithms.

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China’s giant 200-foot chimney sucks in pollution, spews out clean air

Image provided by David Y. H. Pui

China has a pretty severe pollution problem, with smog in some parts of the country so bad that it can discolor buildings and even blot out the sun. According to some estimates, high levels of air pollution in China’s cities cause up to 350,000 to 400,000 premature deaths each year. But a new project in Xi’an, one of the nation’s most severely polluted cities, aims to help — courtesy of an enormous 200-foot chimney. Unlike most chimneys, however, this one won’t add to the levels of air pollution, but rather act as an outdoor air purifying system, filtering out noxious particulate matter and blowing out clean air into the sky.

The chimney is designed to remove particles termed PM2.5, referring to particulate matter with an ultra-fine mass of less than 2.5 micrometers. This is known to be very dangerous to individuals and can increase age-specific mortality risk, particularly from cardiovascular causes.

“The Solar-Assisted Large-Scale Cleaning System (SALSCS) consists of a circular or rectangular based green house with glass panels that gradually rise toward the center tower,” Professor David Y.H. Pui, one of the researchers on the project, told Digital Trends. “Solar heating warms the polluted ambient air drawn in below the panels, and the warm air rises towards the center tower due to its buoyancy effect. A filter bank is placed around the tower entrance to remove the PM2.5 pollutants, so that only clean air exits the outlet on the top of the tower. By placing the SALSCS near a large city, it will pull the polluted air into the SALSCS and return the clean air to the city to reduce the PM2.5 concentration. The SALSCS glass panels are coated with nanoparticles to remove nitrogen oxides, one of the major precursors of PM2.5 and ozone.”

While results have yet to be published, the $2 million project has reportedly yielded positive results. Pui said that the project’s research group have found a 19 percent decrease in PM2.5 concentrations across a 10-square-kilometer area surrounding the Xi’an SALSCS, compared with other parts of the city.

“It took Los Angeles several decades to achieve today’s [levels of pollution in China by controlling the pollutants at their source,]” Pui continued. “It is likely that China can achieve it in a much shorter time due to available new technologies and the tightening of the emission standards. In a shorter term of 10-15 years, China can benefit from deploying the SALSCS technology for large scale cleaning of urban air pollution.”

Next up, Pui said the team hopes to build a much larger SALSCS in Xi’an, measuring a significantly bigger 1,000 feet. They also want to expand to other parts of China, as well as beyond.

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Finally convert your entire home to LED bulbs with Amazon’s Philips sale

Save money on the purchase and in the long run.


In the smart home era, most people associate Philips with its incredibly popular Hue bulbs, but the company still makes some of the best regular bulbs on the market. Philips bulbs are some of the best you can buy, and right now there are a bunch of varieties on sale at Amazon. This 4-pack of non-dimmable 1500 Lumen LED bulbs is down to $15.95 from a regular price of just over $20, and this 16-pack of 800 Lumen bulbs is only $21.60, which is about $8 less than it normally sells for.

If you need candelabra bulbs, this 12-pack of dimmable bulbs is only $21.38, a savings of around $5. There are a few other options available at discounted prices right now as well so be sure to check them all out.

See at Amazon


How to fix every tracking issue on PlayStation VR


Typically, it all comes down to lighting.

You’ve probably experienced issues with tracking while using your PlayStation VR and whether it’s a feeling of drifting or watching objects around you shake, we’re here to help you find a solution so that your PSVR experience can go back to being as immersive as possible.

Making sure you are set up properly


Always ensure you position yourself about 6 feet away from the PlayStation Camera. Through other tests, we have found that whenever you are changing the settings of the height of your PlayStation Eye Camera you want to keep it at about chest level to anyone playing. This means that someone who is 6feet tall might not have the same tracking issues a 5foot tall person does when the camera is at a 4foot level. By getting a clipped mic stand you can make everything a lot easier for a constant change in where your camera will be should you find it necessary.

Once you have your camera set up and comfortable, go into your PlayStation settings to confirm that you can be seen and are exactly where you need to be!

Press and hold the PS button to open the Quick Menu
Select Adjust PlayStation VR.
Select Confirm Your Position
Center yourself in the area the sceen will show you!

Check your current light sources

Most tracking issues come down from a light source problem. Whether the issue comes from reflections of light or just too bright of a light source it what diving into your settings can help you figure out.

Select “Settings” from your PlayStation menu.
Select “Devices.”
Select “Adjust Tracking Lights.”

From there you wanna make sure all your lights and controllers are in the designated areas they are supposed to be. If you see a dark blob on the screen, that’s a light that is too bright.

Amending your current lighting issues


If you found any dark blobs on the screen while checking for the light sources in your play space then it’s time to make some room arrangements. Here are some helpful tips to eliminate lighting issues.

  • Blackout curtains on windows.

  • Covering reflective furniture like leather couches with a sheet.

  • Put down a floor mat on your play space to cover reflective floors. (This also helps your playspace be safer and more comfortable.)

  • Removing reflective nicknacks and decorations that might be shining light on your camera.

So, while a lot of options require a few dollars to be spent, most can be fixed with spare blankets and sheets! Just do be careful when using floormats. If they don’t have a textured bottom to prevent slipping, order some double-sided tape!

Camera Position


Have you noticed when you take a picture of a person with the sun behind them the camera makes them a dark shadow? The exact problem occurs on the PSVR too. Try moving the camera so it points away from any direct sources if possible. Obviously, this is not possible all the time if you want it near your TV but remember, you don’t need your TV to play VR, so it is possible to move the camera to accommodate that.

Changing the color hue of your room


Recently we’ve tested changing color hues of your VR rooms to help with the tracking on your PSVR. We’ve found that changing the base color of the room around you will help tracking through your PlayStation Eye camera. As the blue light on your headset does not change, a color had to be found that would combat this the most which resulted in choosing a hue of green. Popular speculations have used yellows and found they work well, Green is still the most efficient.

If you have tried everything above to remove your tracking issues with no avail, I definitely recommend changing the hue to the color in your room so that it is more solid and easier for the PlayStation VR to track!

See on the Amazon

Make sure it’s clean


Your PlayStation picks up the colors emitted from your Move Controllers, Headset and Aim Controllers to tell how you are moving so it can plug those motions into the game. If the bulbs on your controllers are dimmed or affected by any layers of dirt or grime go ahead and clean those off to boost their performance!

Use a baby wipe or Lysol wipe to gently clean the surface of the bulb.
Use microfiber cloths to dry the bulb completely before use.

On top of this, ensure that your PlayStation Eye Camera is clean as well!

Take a can of compressed air and gently blow the surface of the Eye Camera to remove dust.
Use a microfiber cloth to clean up other residue and dry it off.

Thoughts and Construction

By building a dedicated VR Room, one with only artificial light sources, you can control every aspect of your VR experience. If you have any tips or pictures of your VR layouts we would love to see them. Leave a comment below and show off your handiwork!

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ecobee Switch+ with built-in Alexa launching March 26 for $99

There’s also support for Google Assistant, SmartThings, IFTTT, and HomeKit.

After making a name for itself in the smart thermostat space, ecobee’s now stepping into the world of smart light switches with its new Switch+. The Switch+ can be installed in your house for easy control and automation of any lights throughout your space, but it also kicks things up a notch with built-in Alexa.


Thanks to its built-in speaker and microphone, you can issue Alexa commands to the ecobee Switch+ just like you would an Echo speaker. This means you can ask it about the weather, your commute to work, change your thermostat, and a ton more. ecobee did something similar with the Ecobee4 Thermostat, and it’s nice to see this feature make a return on the Switch+.

In addition to Alexa, you can also use other smart-home services to connect to and control the Switch+, including Google Assistant, Samsung’s SmartThings, IFTTT, and Apple HomeKit.

Other goodies include daylight sensors that’ll automatically trigger your lights to turn on when the sun goes down and a motion sensor that toggles a night-light on the Switch+ so you can easily control it in the dark.

Pre-orders for the ecobee Switch+ are open now with shipping expected to begin March 26. The $99 and $119 price tags for the U.S. and Canada, respectively, are a bit higher compared to other smart switches, but when you consider that you’re basically getting that and an Echo speaker that lives on your wall, it’s not a bad value by any means.

See at ecobee


Samsung Galaxy S9 vs. Galaxy S9+: Which should you buy?

An easy-to-manage decision.

Samsung’s seen serious success with launching its yearly flagship in two sizes. In the last couple of years, the larger version has become the more desirable model while the smaller turned into the solid, default choice at a lower price.

Unlike the Galaxy S8 release, the Galaxy S9 and S9+ have more differences than just size: you get a few feature and spec improvements as well, offering a bit more to justify the higher price.

So when you go to get a new Samsung flagship, you have a choice: should you buy the Galaxy S9 or Galaxy S9+? Here’s what you need to know to make the best decision.

What’s the same

When it comes to design, Samsung doesn’t discriminate between its two flagship sizes. Whether you get the compact Galaxy S9 or larger Galaxy S9+, the materials and proportions are identical. Neither size has an exclusive color or hardware feature. When it comes to the core experience of using the phones, you won’t notice a difference beyond the size.

The screens are of course different dimensions, but the resolution and quality of the panel are the same. Yes, that means that the Galaxy S9 has a slightly higher pixel density, but in real-world use you’d never notice the difference — particularly if you leave the phones set at the 1080p resolution they are out of the box.

What’s different

The Galaxy S9+’s differences come down to a larger size, two spec changes and a camera addition. The most important ones to consider are about size: moving up to a 6.2-inch display gives you more room to work and play, but also makes the phone larger and relatively tough to manage in one hand. The Galaxy S9+ is about 10 mm taller, 5 mm wider and 15% heavier than the standard Galaxy S9 — that’s nothing to sneeze at.

But to go along with that increased size is, of course, a larger battery, which at 3500mAh can help you get through a full day without worrying about charging. The capacity is over 15% higher than the Galaxy S9’s 3000mAh, but the larger display certainly doesn’t use that much extra power — so you’ll be able to do all of the same things for longer on a charge. Battery life hasn’t really improved from the last generation, so the Galaxy S9 once again is likely to leave heavy users in need of charging before the day is done.

The Galaxy S9+ gets a secondary camera, but it may not be a deciding factor in your buying decision.

The primary camera on the Galaxy S9+ is identical to the Galaxy S9, and that’s a great thing for everyone because this camera is great. But the larger chassis in the GS9+ afforded Samsung the room to add in a secondary camera that mimics the Galaxy Note 8’s. That means it has a longer “telephoto” focal length, roughly twice the length of the main camera. The secondary camera lets you seamlessly zoom in without losing resolution at 2X, and enables Samsung’s “Live Focus” portrait mode that artificially blurs the background behind your subject for a dramatic effect.

The secondary sensor isn’t the same type of “Super Speed” Dual Pixel that the main camera is, so the quality isn’t the same. And as we saw with the Note 8, those extra features of zooming and Live Focus aren’t something that completely changes the camera experience. The main camera’s improvements in this generation are far more important for daily photography — you just have to decide how much you want the zooming and Live Focus, because you just don’t get them on the Galaxy S9.

Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+ specs

The least consequential addition in the Galaxy S9+ is more RAM, which Samsung bumped up to 6GB to match the Galaxy Note 8. Considering it left the standard Galaxy S9 with 4GB, and the two phones run identical software, it’s hard to think that Samsung’s done much optimization to take advantage of that extra RAM itself. But the extra memory will, of course, help you hold just a few more applications in the background, and give you more runway into handling future software updates and more powerful apps. This is absolutely a “nice-to-have” and not a necessary feature.

Bottom line: Which should you buy?

As I said from the start, the Galaxy S9 is the default choice for so many people when they walk in the store simply because it’s less expensive. If you’re unsure about whether you want a “big” phone, start by using the standard Galaxy S9 — you won’t regret the size, and it can do almost everything the larger Galaxy S9+ can.

You’re going to want to start with the standard S9 and decide whether it’s worth spending the extra money on a second camera and larger battery.

But by moving up to the Galaxy S9+, you get a better overall phone. To choose it, you have to know you want a bigger device — maybe you want the extra screen space for everything you do, or need the extra battery life. But you also have to know you can manage the extra size and give up some one-handed usability. If you want to take that trade-off, you then also get the bonuses of more RAM and a secondary camera for extra photography choices — I very clearly put those two additions below the decision regarding screen size and battery capacity, which have clear benefits in everyday use.

Finally, remember the cost involved. To get that bigger screen, larger battery and couple extra features, you have to pay about $120 more for the Galaxy S9+. Over the course of a two-year payment plan, it’s about $5 more a month, which is easy for a lot of people to handle — but everyone has their own threshold for how much they’ll pay for a new phone, especially when it’s just incrementally better. If you can afford it, and your hand can manage the size, the Galaxy S9+ is the better overall phone — and if you can’t, the Galaxy S9 gets you most of the way there for less.

Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+

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Android 8.1 Oreo is now rolling out to all Essential Phone owners

Dear Android OEMs — this is how you do software updates.

No matter what you think about the Essential Phone, one area that it dominates all other Android OEMs at (aside from Google, of course) is with its software updates. Less than a month after launching a beta for Android 8.1 Oreo, Essential’s now pushing the software to all of its users.


This marks the first public Oreo update for the Essential Phone as Essential chose to skip 8.0 after discovering some bugs towards the end of its beta, but even so, Essential’s still beating Samsung, LG, and other big players in these regards.

If you didn’t jump on the Oreo beta for the Essential Phone, you’ll find a lot of new toys to play with, including picture-in-picture, Android’s new emoji design, a dark theme for Quick Settings that changes based on your wallpaper, Google’s Autofill API for faster password entry, and way more than I have time to list here.

Essential says to “check your phone now” for the 8.1 Oreo update, and if you don’t see it yet, you should be able to download and install it over the next couple of days.

If you’ve got an Essential Phone, what are you looking forward to the most with Android 8.1?

Essential Phone users can now join the Oreo beta with a simple OTA update

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Best Buy


Best Galaxy S9 Cases


Find a sleek and stylish case to keep your S9 protected.

The Samsung Galaxy S9 is almost here. Pre-orders have gone live and that means it’s time to ruminate over which accessories to buy.

We’ve already seen some pretty cool cases announced. Not all of them are available to purchase just yet but it never hurts to do some window shopping while you wait for your new phone to ship.

Here are the best cases we’ve found for the Galaxy S9… so far. We’ll be updating this article as more awesome options become available.

  • Samsung S-View Cover
  • Samsung Hyperknit Cover
  • Samsung Alcantara Cover
  • Lifeproof SLAM case
  • Speck Presidio case
  • BodyGuardz Ace Fly clear case
  • Spigen Rugged Armor case
  • VRS Design Clear Slim case
  • Ringke Fusion Clear Case
  • SUPCASE Unicorn Beetle Series case
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Samsung S-View Cover


We’ll start out with some of Samsung’s own cases, although they’re not yet available for purchase.

The first one is the perennially awesome S-View case. This folio-style flip case features a clear cover for the screen that keeps it protected from scratches while also letting you see notifications and accept calls with a swipe. It can also be folded up as a hands-free stand.

Samsung hasn’t listed a price, but the Note 8 S-View cover launched at $60 so we can probably expect similar pricing here.

See at Samsung

Samsung Hyperknit Cover


Google seemed to start the fabric case trend, but we’re happy to see Samsung also embracing it.

Made of woven nylon, this case looks brilliant in red with a nice, soft finish. Everyone’s going to want to see your brand new phone, so why not add a bit of extra flash while keeping it safe? With extra protection in the corner and clean cutouts around the camera and fingerprint sensor on the back you’ll love the functional and stylish design on display here.

See at Samsung

Samsung Alcantara Cover


First-party accessories are always on the more expensive side, so they really need to offer customers something unique. Samsung’s Alcantara covers have been recent standouts, offering a combination of sound protection and a cozy finish for your Galaxy devices.

The Alcantara case won us over with the Note 8, so we’re pretty happy to see it offered by Samsung for the S9. Made of Alcantara, a lightweight material that’s rugged and durable while keeping a slim form factor, you’ll get a stylish and grippy case that won’t add much bulk to the phone. It’s not yet available to buy but would be worth keeping an eye out for.

Samsung offered the Alcantara case for $50 for the Note 8, so we’d expect something similar for the S9.

See at Samsung

OtterBox Commuter Series


Few names are as symonymous 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.

We’ve highlighted the Commuter Series here, but OtterBox has over 10 different case styles available for the Galaxy S9 which you can check out on their site.

See at OtterBox

Lifeproof SLAM case


When you’re dropping over $700 on a brand new phone, you want to protect it from everything life might throw at it, especially if you plan on spending a ton of time outside this summer.

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?

Looking for the classic FRE Lifeproof case? You can sign up to be notified about when it becomes available.

See at Lifeproof

Speck Presidio


Speck has a full line of cases available for the Galaxy S9, but we’ll focus on the Presidio case here because it’s a great place to start. It’s got a simple design with smart features where it counts like double protection in the corners and a slim profile that’s compatible with wireless charging. It’s been drop tested up to 10 feet and the matte finish is scratch resistant so it shouldn’t show wear.

This is just one of the many case styles Speck offers, so check them all out if you want something with a bit more flair.

See at Speck

BodyGuardz Ace Fly clear case


Looking to show off your Galaxy S9 without leaving it prone to drop damage? BodyGuardz offers a clear case they say is built using the same impact gel used in padding and helmet technology for athletes.

Whether or not that marketing talk sways you, the Ace Fly clear case looks like a reliable clear case. BodyGuardz backs their products with a lifetime warranty and you have a 30-day money back guarantee so if you don’t love it you can simply return it.

Available for $35, these cases are also compatible with the Pure Arc Tempered Glass screen protector, so if you’ve used BodyGuardz screen protectors before and trust the brand this would be a good combo to keep your Galaxy S9 fully protected right out of the box.

See at BodyGuardz

Spigen Rugged Armor case


The Spigen Rugged Armor case is my go-to phone case. It’s a sleek, one-piece case that adds good protection to your phone without much bulk. Thin enough to not impede wireless charging, this is a great minimalist case that still offers rugged protection.

More importantly, it always comes in at a great price. At just $12.99, it’s one of the cheapest options currently available from a brand we trust.

See at Amazon

Spigen Liquid Crystal clear case

Looking for a clear case option under $20? Spigen’s got you covered there, too. Just like the Rugged Armor case, the Liquid Crystal is slim and pocket-friendly. Made of flexible TPU, it’s easy to slip on and will provide quality protection while still letting you show off your phone’s design.

You can get the Liquid Crystal for $12.99 or add a funky print or some sparkles for just $14.99.

See at Amazon

VRS Design Clear Slim case


These clear cases from VRS Design basically offer it all. It’s a clear case that shows off the body of the Galaxy S9 with a shockproof bumper available in the exact color to match your device.

Better still, these cases are thin enough to be fully compatible with wireless charging. Make sure you get the right color for your phone to complete the look.

You can get this case for just $14 on Amazon.

See at Amazon

Ringke Fusion Clear Case


The best way to protect your phone from drop damage is to not drop your phone. The latest Fusion clear case from Ringke includes a handy wrist strap built into the case.

Whether or not you want to use the wrist strap is up to you, but it’s a thoughtful addition to a consistently stellar case style. Available as a clear case or with a Orchid Purple or Smoky Black bumper accent, you can get this case for just $11 on Amazon.

See at Amazon

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, get your Unicorn Beetle Series case for just $19.99.

See at Amazon

dbrand Skins


Dbrand Skins are a consistently popular option for phone enthusiasts who want to customize the look of their phone without adding any bulk. They of course offer an awesome level of customization for creating a skin for your Galaxy S9.

You can pick between nine different texture styles for the back, the minimal bezels on the top and bottom of the display, and even around the camera sensor! You can mix and match and create your dream skin. Didn’t get the phone color you wanted? Make it your own with dbrand!

See at dbrand

Update March 12, 2018: Added the VRS Design and Ringke Fusion cases to our list.

Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+

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