It's expensive, but highly functional — so long as you can keep the window clean
The Samsung Galaxy S5 S-View Flip Case is an expensive way to protect your phone. But, damn, does it ever look nice. We first got a glimpse of this guy at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, and it's now available for purchase, along with the phone.
For the newcomers out there, this is a case that replaces the back cover of your Galaxy S5. It has the same rubber gasket as the stock back, so you retain the IP67 rating for dust and moisture — an important thing to look for with any Galaxy S5 accessory, but admittedly less of a concern with Samsung's own products. The inside of the back cover is nearly identical to the back it's replacing. But the external look and feel are completely changed, replaced by a leather-like cover. It looks great. It feels great. (And if you're like us and putting a black cover on a white phone, the contrast is quite striking.)
The design of this case can't be understated.
Again, it's expensive, but it's really well done, from the stitching to the edges where the camera pokes through, to the roundabout way it makes room for the 3.5mm headphone jack, USB port and the phone's front home button. The case's corners take away a bit of the roundness of the phone, but that's not a huge deal.
The spine of the case is nicely rounded and has little markings for the volume up and down buttons. And that brings us to the highlight of this accessory — the fact that it's extremely functional. There's the transparent window on the front that measures at 4.5 square inches. Hit the power button and you get a peek at the time and date — and any relevant notifications. And from there you can open up the camera app and take pictures without having to open the case. One quirk with that, however, is that the images are shot at a 1:1 aspect ratio and 2,976 x 2,976 resolution. That fits the case's window quite nicely but looks weird later. You can choose focal points while you're shooting, though, and whether you want to use flash.
The only real options for the S-View Case on the software side are to show weather information and pedometer stats if you've got that turned on in S Health.
Phone call comes in? Answer or reject it by swiping on the window — no having to open the case first. Nice. But you'll want to keep some sort of cleaning cloth handy, though, as the window tends to gunk up pretty easily, either from whatever's floating around your pockets, or from fingerprints, quickly turning an otherwise stunning accessory into something that doesn't look nearly so pristine.
And, yes, the display turns on when you open the flip cover. That's it, really. No slots for credit cards. No wireless charging — yet, as a Qi version of this case is still expected. Just a solid, stylish flip cover, available in a number of colors, including black, white, green, pink and rose gold.
The case will run you around $50 retail — ShopAndroid.com currently has it on sale.
And while you're at it, make sure you read our comprehensive Galaxy S5 reveiw!