Android Central Verdict
Bottom line: Need to add some grip to the slippery Galaxy S20 without adding bulk? Caseology fits the bill with the flexible and form-fitting Vault. You get a nice accent and lip around the camera module without the cliche carbon fiber.
Good grip and texture
Buttons are still uber-clicky
Wide lip around camera
Needs more colors
Might peel up some screen protectors
Very low lip around the screen
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While we're all spending more and more of our time indoors, what's the point of spending $50 on some heavy-duty tank of a case? Unless your home has become a warzone with everyone stuck home, chances are all you need in a phone case right now is a comfy case that'll add some much-needed grip and a little cushioning to your Galaxy S20.
If you want a comfy, casual case to match your comfy casual work from home wardrobe, there's plenty to choose from, but a case I've been using a good amount the last six months is the Caseology Vault. It's not the flashiest case around, but it grips the S20's curves well, feels excellent in the hand, and offers up everyday protection in an unassuming package.
There are few cases in this price range that feel quite as wonderful as the Vault's back texturing, especially once you factor in the Vault's modest pricing.
Caseology Vault Galaxy S20 case Protection
This is a medium-thickness, single-layer TPU case, so the Caseology Vault will provide a medium-light level of protection to your Galaxy S20. There is a small lip around the screen, but it's not tall enough on the sides to shield the glass from the dreaded face-down fall. The lip at the top and bottom of the screen is also short enough that if you have on a tempered glass screen protector, it won't protect the front glass at all, so be aware if you're a Dome Glass user.
Also, a small warning, I have seen reports from some users of the Vault's front edges peeling up the edges of some screen protectors. It didn't bubble up my Ringke wraparound screen protector (opens in new tab) any more than it had already bubbled up during previous cases, but if you have an "edge to edge" screen protector, you might need to look elsewhere.
Moving around back, things get much better. The lip around the camera is bigger than the lip around the screen, offering good protection against back and corner drops that could potentially shatter a lens or two. The back looks smooth but actually has a very subtle texturing all across the back that adds grip and feels wonderfully pleasant in the hand.
The corners of the Vault don't look all that special from the outside, but if you look inside, you'll see air cushions at each of the corners that help absorb energy during those dreaded corner drops. Concentric grooves also run all along the back of the case to add a small amount of air cushioning to flat-back drops without getting too thick to interfere with wireless charging.
The cutout at the bottom of the case for the USB-C port is wide enough that every USB-C cable in my apartment fits it, and even most of the USB-C hubs and adapters — no need to worry around it being difficult to plug in your phone in the car.
Caseology Vault Galaxy S20 case Style
You'd be forgiven if you looked at the black version of the Caseology Vault and thought, "this looks boring," because the styling of the Vault is all about subtlety. As I mentioned earlier, the back of the case looks smooth and bland at first glance, but it actually has a matte texturing to it that is oddly reminiscent of leather. It's got something of a grain and a softness to it which feels really, really good in the hand. I love it.
Of course, that doesn't cover the entire back. Rather than having the camera module just be one break on the canvas, Caseology extends it into an accent block of diagonal grooves covering the top third of the phone. This is important for two reasons. Firstly, it helps add a little bit of pop to a phone that is lacking in bright colors or that cliche carbon fiber that seems to be on the back of every third TPU case on the market. Secondly, these grooves offer up a little extra security when you're gripping the phone in landscape to take pictures.
The texturing on the sides isn't quite as luxurious-feeling as the back, but it's still easy to keep hold of, and on the sides is my single favorite thing about this case: the buttons. The button covers on the Caseology Vault are solid without being stiff, and they are clicky as all get-out. I'm a sucker for clicky buttons on a case, especially if they're clicky without being wiggly the way the button covers on some cases like the Tech21 Evo Check are.
The Vault comes in Matte Black and Burgundy, and while black goes with everything, I really, really wish established case makers would play a little more with the colors in their standard cases. Give me some greens and blues, or a nice fiery red!
Caseology Vault Galaxy S20 case Competition
As a single-layer TPU case, there are about a million and a half cases out there that compete with the Caseology Vault, so if you don't want to risk your screen protector peeling up or you need a case that isn't boring black, here are a few other options for you to consider:
- Want a slim case with some color? The Ringke Air-S (opens in new tab) and the Tech21 Studio Colour (opens in new tab) both fit that bill, though the Tech21 is a little more expensive due to its claim of being able to survive 8-foot drops.
- Need a more durable case? If you dig Caseology's style but need a little more protection, check out the Caseology Parallax (opens in new tab). I'm also a huge fan of the ArmadilloTek Vanguard Series (opens in new tab) with its vertical kickstand, especially now that the red and purple versions are available!
- Or do you just prefer a different texture? If you prefer a more noticeable texture across the back and sides of your S20, take a gander at the Spigen Liquid Air (opens in new tab). If you like the texture around the camera module but need a little more grip on the lower section, the Sucnakp Rough Grip (opens in new tab)
Caseology Vault Galaxy S20 case Should you buy it?
Who it's for
- People who like some understated protection.
- Those who need grip but don't want thick textures.
- Someone who wants a case that plays nice with PopSockets.
- Anyone on a budget.
Who it isn't for
- Those who need flashy colors.
- People who need heavy-duty durability.
- Someone with edge-to-edge screen protectors.
Cheap TPU cases are a dime a dozen — literally — but a good, long-lasting TPU case is a little harder to come by, and a great one can last you the entire lifespan of your Galaxy S20. There's something undeniable about a case with great grip and great button covers, and the Caseology Vault has it in spades. It's snug, it's comfy, and it's understated — the perfect case for those who don't want to draw attention to their expensive flagship.
3.5 out of 5
Caseology has been cranking out good cases for years, but it really knocked it out of the park with the Galaxy S20 lineup. The Vault has always been the foundation of that lineup, and while the Parallax has some more appealing colors, the Vault just feels better in the hand, especially when it comes to the clickiness of the buttons.
Lithe and luxurious-feeling
Need to add some grip to the slippery Galaxy S20 without adding bulk? Caseology fits the bill with the flexible and form-fitting Vault. You get a nice accent and lip around the camera module without the cliche carbon fiber.
Light protection in a slim package
The Vault may look smooth, but it's actually got a nice subtle texture all along the back and sides to add grip, plus some neat accenting next to the camera module, which has a nice wide lip around it.
Ara Wagoner was a staff writer at Android Central. She themes phones and pokes YouTube Music with a stick. When she's not writing about cases, Chromebooks, or customization, she's wandering around Walt Disney World. If you see her without headphones, RUN. You can follow her on Twitter at @arawagco.
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