S View Case for Galaxy S4

The humble flip cover becomes a smart accessory

Flip covers for smartphones are nothing new -- ever since smartphones have had screens, users have sought a convenient way to keep it protected and scratch-free. But the latest flip cover for the Samsung Galaxy S4 takes things a step further, building in new functionality based around a touch-capable window and a magnetic sensor. While we've been reviewing the Galaxy S4, we've also had the chance to take the official 'S View' case for a spin, and we've been pretty impressed with what Samsung's brought to the table.

We've got more photos, words and video after the break.

More: Samsung Galaxy S4 review

Like previous Samsung flip covers, the S View cover for the Galaxy S4 replaces the phone's battery door with a plastic shell, attached to which is a protective cover for the front of the phone.  This one's a little different, though-- there's a cut-out area up top, covered with a transparent plastic window. The idea here is that you're able to view selected information from the screen while it's still protected behind the cover, and that's exactly what happens when you press the power button while it's closed.

You might wonder how the phone knows it's got the S View cover attached. Like the iPad's smart cover, this is achieved with magnets, and it also allows the S View cover to turn the screen off when it's closed.

But the S View cover's cut-out isn't just a one-way window for information -- it's also conductive, meaning you can make limited use of the touchscreen while it's closed. This means you're able to answer calls by swiping to right, or decline them by dragging left, all while the cover is closed. Because the phone knows when the cover is attached and closed, it's able to display a special, smaller call notification in the area of the screen.

So Samsung's S View cover takes protective cases beyond the status of a dumb accessory to protect your device from knocks and scrapes, and we suspect many Galaxy S4 owners will be picking one up in the weeks and months ahead. If you're not a fan of the windowed version, the manufacturer will also offer a vanilla flip cover for its new flagship phone.

Hit up the ShopAndroid.com newsletter to learn when the first Galaxy S4 accessory stock arrives.

More: Samsung Galaxy S4 review

 

Reader comments

Samsung Galaxy S4 'S View' case review

43 Comments

There are so many great opportunities for this that samsung will likely never take advantage of. How cool would it be to have the track and pause/skip buttons displayed while listening to music?

yeah and to bad the clock doesn't always stay on in a low power mode or something also since you can answer a call with a wave of your hand and it will answer and turn on speakerphone im surprised they didn't put a small hole where the front facing camera or sensors are. that would be awesome. but yes other functionality on the software side of things would be great, hopefully developers and app developers will have a crack at making it more useful but i will be picking one up for sure either way.

I agree Erik..would love to be able to set the Clock to Stay on.. or least longer than 10 seconds. Better yet to touch that screen and have it pop up, or sake the phone. If you find a App or a root soltion please post and I'll do the same

I purchased a generic after market one on Amazon for $13.99 ..wasn't expecting much but very impressed with it. Looks classy and will offer protection for small falls

My big question is whether I can take pictures with the cover open and folded onto the back of the phone. If the Window on the S View cover aligns with the camera sensor this would allow to take shots with one hand. Right I'm a happy owner of note 2 but it's a royal pain to take pics with the cover. It's flopping around so I end up using both hands at all times.

And as usual, the knock on these types of "cases" is that they provide no edge protection at all in the event of a drop which WILL occur at some point. Why do they not design these with a snap on back that has edge protection instead of just a battery cover? Looks sleek but useless for protection.

Hey, at least you will have a great looking broken phone.

It's about screen scratches, falls are another matter. Still I agree with you, why use Gorilla 3 and care more about scratches than falls?

I dont think so.

For me, I have been using phone over a decade and I never use case protection.

The reason is very simple, it will make your smart phone looks ugly and make it thicker. Why would you guys wanna use 40$ cases to cover up 800$ smart phone?

For me, I'm really like the way it is. So, i think that smart cover is awesome as it can protect scratch over screen and the phone itself is still slimmer.

By the way, how long do you guys plan to use your smart phone? one year, two year??
I am really think that it is a joke after using it for over a year and find out that your phone is still in nice condition after remove the case....... Don't you think it is the time to grab new high tech device??

I'm glad they included a plastic sheet for the cut out portion. If I was getting a S4, I'd probably pick up this case. Thanks for the info AC!

That is a lot better than the one for the Note 2 because at least it looks like your able to use the camera without having the cover dangling down getting in the way.

Is the magnet strong enough to keep the cover closed, or will it just come away from the screen when in a bag, for example? Can't tell from the review.

From what I've seen in videos, the magnet doesn't keep it closed very well like with the iPad Smart Cover. Besides being very expensive, this is what is keeping me from buying this. I want it to STAY closed until I choose to open it.

To be honest, I didn't even know this cover had a magnet and I own the cover! It stays open most of the time.

Like my GalaxyS4 but it does seem they should have designed the cover to stay shut if desired. I've only seen a few others but all covers stayed slightly open--even at the factory demo Magnet? Maybe screen protector blocks the magnetic draw?

I have this cover without additional screen protector and the magnet doesn't keep the front shut - it flaps open when ever its in my bag and even when its sat on the table...

I've taken to lying it face down which is stupid as I can't see the small window when its face down so whats the point!

Also the magnet screws the compass up comlpetely!

So in the video he says you open the phone to hang up, do you have to open it or is there an option with the cover closed to end a call?

I wish Samsung would just make the dang chassis more durable in the first place. I like my S3 a lot but it's ridiculously b!tched up and I haven't even owned it long. It's slippery as hell and a couple drops from living a life of carrying stuff rendered it ugly.

A flip case...or any other case really...defeats the purpose of buying a sleek, thin phone.

Has anybody found a case that fits the back of the phone with the S-view case? it adds jus enough bulk that nothing else seems to fit.

I got this flip cover free with my S4 and I'm particularly impressed with the way that the phone senses that it is closed and shows relevant info in the window.

I have buy 2 galaxy s4. This is great phone with all applications. But I didnt get s veiw cover yet from samsung. Its being more than 1 month. I do not want to use my s4 without s veiw cover. I appreciate the help from s4 team.

when i fold my s-view cover back, my galaxy s4 sleeps as like it sleeps when i fold front...... does it have any setting??? it is killing me....my s-view cover is PU Leather S View Smart Wake/Sleep Cover Flip Case for Samsung Galaxy S4 i9500

Same issue here, took me ages to figure out what was going on. I guess the magnet in the cover is strong enough to be detected when the cover is folded all the way to the back.
Only way around that works for me is to keep the cover to the side.
Frustrating!

I picked one up when i purchased the phone and it does the job it was intended for with a little style but saying that the price is very steep for a case and will almost definitely put a lot of people off.

I love this cover, I have bought many covers for all types of phones, this is the best one to date. Only one request: music controls in the view window when media is playing. :-)

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This cover completely interferes with the compass device within the phone – trying to use apps such as Google Sky maps, ISS detector or GPS status etc is impossible with the cover on as the magnet makes the compass think you’re not moving as the magnet moves with you. Over £40 for a cover that doesn’t protect the edge of the phone (and doesn’t protect the screen as the cover flaps open when the phone is in a bag etc.) and makes the compass useless… Big waste of money!

I just got this cover and its cool but if you are using a hands free ear piece you cannot make a call if the cover is shut! You can take calls but not make them...kinda agitated me cause while I was driving and tried to make a call had to pull phone out and open cover to do this.