The Galaxy Note 8 Alcantara case is like a soft blanket for your phone

I've been meaning to put my thoughts on the Note 8 down for a few weeks now, but they're basically the same as Andrew's: it's a great, huge phone that has many redeeming qualities, including a beautiful screen, admirable performance, and an S Pen that I love and want to use, but don't. Oh, and battery life is fine. Not sure what everyone's on about in that regard.

BUT I do have something nice and effusive to say about the shag carpet Alcantara case, which I picked up alongside my blue Note 8 at launch. Samsung's first-party accessories tend to be hit-or-miss, and while I initially scoffed at the idea of putting a soft, suede-like cover on my phone, I have no regrets: this is one of the best I've ever used.

This is a first-party accessory that's worth the higher cost.

Let's start with the fit and finish. When a company makes its own accessories, they tend to fit better than those of third parties — not universally true, but there's a correlation. (You'd also hope for high quality if it costs $49.) This thing fits like a glove and finds the right balance between protection and bulk. The Note 8 is already an oversized phone, especially vertically, so I was concerned about using any case with it.

The Alcantara case hugs the sides and top while leaving the bottom area exposed, which, while not entirely protected, makes the most amount of sense from a usability perspective, especially when it comes to applying and removing it. Ideally, you want to easily access the S Pen, speaker, headphone jack, and charging port — the bottom is always busy on a Note device — so going with a full-perimeter case would have been too restrictive. And, selfishly, it lets me see just a little bit of that blue metal that, only available in Canada, I love so much. 🇨🇦

The case also does well to add a bit of a lip to the front of the phone, which is ideal when it comes to drop protection. Obviously, this isn't going to be considered a heavy duty case in any way, so if you drop the phone while it's in the Alcantara case expect some damage, but any lip is better than none. On the other side, there's a nice little groove in which the camera(s) module sits, also protecting against scratches against that rear glass.

Holding the Note 8 while in the Alcantara case is a revelation. I noted above that the glass back is fairly grippy and I rarely left nervous about clutching it naked (the phone was naked, not me — probably) but there really is something to this material.

Alcantara is fairly new to the tech industry — we've seen it pop up in a few cases, as well as Microsoft's beautiful Surface Laptop (opens in new tab) and Surface Pro Type Cover (opens in new tab) — but it's been used in cars and home furniture since the 1970s. In fact, it's a brand; Alcantara is the name of the company that creates the material.

That material is basically a mixture of polyester and polyurethane — in other words, mostly plastic — which gives it its tensile strength. In the manufacturing process, however, the fibers are woven similarly to other threaded textiles to form the suede-like outer portion that makes it so pleasant to hold. But unlike suede and other leathers, Alcantara doesn't tarnish quite as easily — sure, it can discolor over time, but if treated well, and occasionally washed with soapy water, it should hold up nicely.

Having only pawed the Note 8's Alcantara case for a few days, I can't say whether it will hold up as well as a typical plastic case, but so far, so good.

Interested? You can pick up an Alcantara case for the Note 8 in one of four colors — black, green, pink, and dark gray (shown here) — for $49.

See at Amazon (opens in new tab)

Daniel Bader

Daniel Bader was a former Android Central Editor-in-Chief and Executive Editor for iMore and Windows Central. 

  • Wish they also made those for the Note 5...
  • I didn't want the whole case, just the back. Slickwraps makes an Alcantera skin...perfect! I have one on my Note 8. They have them for the Note 5 as well.
  • I'll look into that. Thanks for the tip.
  • It's quite nice and fits much better than Samsungs leather cases last year
  • They used the V30 Camera?
  • Is there a reason why so many pics are blurry?
  • Because these people think extremely shallow depth of field is a hip benefit when trying to take product photos. Contrary to reality.
  • Yeah -- doesn't make any sense when trying to display a products look and feel. Some of these just looked BAD too. Odd choice
  • - Mount camera on tripod
    - Put a good lens with good amounts of sharpness
    - Set aperture to f/8 - f/10 and adjust ISO/shutter speed accordingly
    - Frame your subject
    - Do additional processing in Photoshop or Lightroom whenever necessary Thank me later. That’s how I do product photography
  • Call me a cynic, but I think that's done intentionally in hopes that you'll click the Amazon link to get a better look at the case.
  • Awesome. I love Alcantara.
  • I love it. Good grip and feels good. Protection while minimal is decent as I dropped mine a few times already with no damage .
  • Yea, i dropped mine ytd night at wrist height on to a sand with small stone surface. Even my s pen pop ou
    t during the impact. But 0 damaged or scratches. Good Job Alcantara.
  • I want to feel one out in a store. But I can't but there even $5 of materials used to make the case? OEM cases always seem to be pure $ grabs.
  • The case is also less likely to slip out of a front pocket when you are sitting down.
  • Now this is floosy Carter's favorite case Feels good in the hand only wish they where cheaper ,might have to use that best buy gift card
  • " know the procedures."
  • White shoes approved!
  • This case is awesome! Had one on my S8+, just got one for my Note8. The main reason the bottom isn't covered so much is so it'll sit properly in the DeX. I tried the very thinnest of cases for both phones and they still wouldn't connect in the DeX.
  • Humbug. There are dozens of soft plastic cases that offer far more protection for far less money. Leaving the bottom fully open is just dumb. All of the cases I've had for my phones cover much of the bottom (offering more protection) while still leaving ample openings for the ports. It may feel wonderful, but if the point of a case is to protect the phone this one is underpowered and overpriced.
  • This is a Beautiful esthetics case 1st . An not ment to be a otter box Competitor , no different then most thin cases . The coners are rised an back fully coverd. The bottom being opened is the Least of your worries on most drops
  • Love my green alcantara
  • The case fits perfectly and feels nice but IMO it's far slicker than the Note8 sans case.
  • It great. But i don't have money buy GL Note 8 :D
  • I have one on my S8+, love it. Feels great in the hand.
  • I just hope Samsung doesn't have a lock on this material. I'd love it on my other devices.
  • I don't like that the top and bottom are exposed not enough protection for me.
  • I've got the Surface Laptop as my work laptop and the Alcantara covering on that is so much nicer than the cold feel of metal or plastic. So far incredibly hard wearing. Also got the material on an old Audi Allroad we use as our second car and the Alcantara seats haven't a mark on them even after fifteen years and two filthy children and a heavily moulting dog.
  • I tried one. It does feel rather nice and gives it an upmarket feel. The latter is no surprise since Alcantara (sometimes called “fake suede”) is a common material used in the upholstery of many modern sports cars. But I decided to go with the Spigen Rugged Armor.
  • Yea, i dropped mine ytd night at wrist height on to a sand with small stone surface. Even my s pen pop ou
    t during the impact. But 0 damaged or scratches. Good Job Alcantara.