I switch devices fairly regularly, so I don't tend to use a case most of the time. The few times I bother with one is when the device is unwieldy or the back tends to be slippery.
The Galaxy S22 Ultra necessitated a case as there wasn't enough width along the sides to hold the device comfortably. Similarly, I decided to get a case for the Galaxy Z Flip 4 as I wanted to ensure the foldable was secure in long-term use.
As you'll notice if you go through our best Galaxy Z Flip 4 cases post, there's no shortage of choices for Samsung's foldable, but I was interested in a rugged case that offered decent protection for the hinge mechanism.
So when the folks at CaseBorne asked if I'd be interested in testing their rugged cases, I agreed. CaseBorne is a Texas-based brand that is known for its Vanguard series of rugged cases, and its offering for the Galaxy Z Flip 4 ticks all the right boxes: it is lightweight, has a hinge cover, and works with wireless charging mats.
I got all three color options in the CaseBorne V series for the Galaxy Z Flip 4, and after using the case for over a month, I can confidently say that this is a fantastic rugged case for the foldable. My biggest issue with rugged cases in the past was the size; they were bulky and added too much weight to the phone, but that's not a problem here.
The CaseBorne V comes in at just 48g, and it isn't bulky at all — if anything, it makes using the foldable a little easier. It has a snug fit, and does a great job covering all the sides; the hinge cover ensures the case flexes seamlessly along with the Galaxy Z Flip 4 when you unfold the device. There's a large cutout for the power button so you can easily use the built-in fingerprint sensor, and the volume rocker is covered.
This rugged case doesn't add too much weight or bulk to the Galaxy Z Flip 4, but it still does a magnificent job ensuring the foldable is protected from all angles.
You'll also find cutouts for the ports, speaker at the bottom, outer screen, cameras, LED flash module, and the mics. The one issue with the cutout over the USB-C charging port is that if you have a bulkier charging cable — I use one with a built-in power meter — it won't fit with the case installed. But for most standard USB-C cables I have lying around, I didn't see any issues.
The case extends over the sides of the screen, so there's no way of damaging the inner panel should the foldable fall face-down. The raised edges aren't so extreme that they limit usability, and CaseBorne struck the ideal balance in this area. There are foam inserts on the inside of the case, and these add another layer of resistance while ensuring the phone doesn't pick up any scratches.
I tested the case over the course of a month, and after a few tumbles onto a tiled floor, my Galaxy Z Flip 4 came away unscathed. It is made out of TPU and polycarbonate, and there isn't much in the way of flexibility — a good sign for a rugged case.
My only quibble with the case is that the hinge cover extends outward to a sizeable degree, and it comes in the way of using the foldable when it's lying flat on a table.
Other than that, the CaseBorne V nails everything I've been looking for in a rugged foldable case. While it is on the costlier side at $40, it takes away any worries while using the foldable, and that makes it worth the asking price.
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Harish Jonnalagadda is a Senior Editor overseeing Asia at Android Central. He leads the site's coverage of Chinese phone brands, contributing to reviews, features, and buying guides. He also writes about storage servers, audio products, and the semiconductor industry. Contact him on Twitter at @chunkynerd.