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Samsung's Alcantara case is the most luxurious way to protect your Galaxy S9 or S9+

AC

Score

4.5

Alcantara is a fabric typically associated with the interiors of race cars and their sporty consumer counterparts, but in recent years it's been adapted as a choice for consumer electronics as well. Microsoft has been putting feet of the stuff on the Surface Pro and Surface Laptop, and Samsung has also locked it in as a go-to material for its flagship phone cases. And I'm glad it has, because the Alcantara case for the Galaxy S9 is, without a doubt, the most luxurious way to protect your phone.

And better yet, it doesn't have a luxury price tag (opens in new tab).

See at Amazon (opens in new tab)

Most other cases focus on a hierarchy of protecting your phone, being thin and light, and looking good. The Alcantara case does these things, of course: it's thick enough to provide drop protection, it's relatively thin and definitely light, and it has a unique style that looks good to most people. But it goes a step better by also being wonderful for your hand to feel, which is something so often overlooked by other cases.

You just enjoy having fabric in your hand rather than a cold and sterile phone.

Holding the Alcantara case is, indeed, a luxurious experience. The tiny little fibers have enough of a pile to give you added grip, but not enough to feel like you're holding a phone made out of literal carpeting. After a while you don't really perceive it as being a fabric case, you just enjoy using a device that isn't cold and sterile anymore. Though you'd expect the case to get kind of gross with sweaty or wet hands, it really doesn't — the fact that it's a light fabric actually helps wick away moisture. There's a reason why they put Alcantara on car steering wheels: it's soft and comfortable to hold for long periods.

The core of the case is a hard plastic shell that's rigid enough to hold up to drops and bumps, and the Alcantara fabric is precisely laid over the top. There's a subtle lip around the front of the phone that'll help protect the curved screen from errant touches and also protect it when it's face-down on a table. The case does accumulate a little bit of lint and dirt over time, depending on where you're tossing the phone, but that's a small downside you expect with a fabric-laden case — and it's easy enough to just wipe off. That's a straight trade-off for not having to think about scratches and scuffs on a traditional hard plastic case, though.

Unlike the last generation, there are plastic button protrusions that are easy to find without looking and give you satisfying feedback — I'd say this is the one improvement that needed made from the previous model. Samsung has left most of the bottom of the case open to accommodate a wide variety of chargers and headphones you may be plugging in, and there's ample cutout space on the back for the cameras and sensors. The raised edges make the fingerprint sensor particularly easy to use for unlocking, but if there's one downside here it's that the steeper angle makes it a bit tougher to use as a notification shade pull-down.

Yes, spending $50 on a case in a world where Amazon-beholden race-to-the-bottom accessory makers have great choices at $10 can seem nutty to some people. There are cheaper cases out there that offer good protection for your phone at a fraction of the price. But they don't also provide that wonderful feeling for your hand in the way that the Alcantara case does. And that makes it worth the money entirely, before you even get to the fact that it both looks great and offers solid protection for your spendy Galaxy S9. I'll be using one on my Galaxy S9+ as long as I have the phone.

See at Amazon (opens in new tab)

Andrew was an Executive Editor, U.S. at Android Central between 2012 and 2020.

39 Comments
  • $50 for a case ISN'T a luxury price? I can justify paying that for a case and a holster, but for a case?
  • That bulky-ass Otterbox ain't worth half that but yall suckers keep buying them up at $50 no questions asked.
  • Mine is. My Commuter has saved my S8+ multiple times. It has survived some nasty falls.
  • I bought my Samsung Rugged case for my note 8. It works great. Even dropped it from chin level and not a scratch. This was the way to go for me for 50 bucks.
  • This is a phone that costs $720-$850 ¯_(ツ)_/¯
  • Yeah, that puts it in perspective. We are not talking about a model J here, lol.
  • >Doesn't have a luxury price tag >Costs $50 Pick one.
  • I bought this case for my note8 and then I returned it the next day. I can't stand the feeling of this material in my hand. I prefer the feeling of a dbrand skin and/or Spigen thin fit while I'm at home. While I'm out and about I prefer the feel of a speck presidio case. But these alcantara case do look really nice.
  • The case is really nice but I stopped using it precisely because of how difficult it is to use the fingerprint scanner to pull down the notification shade. The size of the phone is bad enough and the placement of the fingerprint scanner even worse. I couldn't continue using a case that makes what os already an annoying experience even worse.
  • You actually use that gesture? Settings > Display > Home Screen > Quick-open notification panel Swiping down on the homescreen for notifications and up for apps should be the norm.
  • Yes, I actually do. Quite often because the phone is way too big. Also, I don't use Samsung's awful Launcher. I rather use Nova ;) Besides, those gestures only work on the home-screen. The fingerprint scanner gesture works everywhere, including inside apps.
  • Seems like this phone is toted as the 'perfect' phone for Windows users, considering Microsoft sells it in its stores and now you can color and material match with the Surface line xD
    And Microsoft Launcher is actually really good now. It's a huge, massive improvement over Arrow which was already decent ish and it gets updates consistently and often adding new features. I still use Action first, Nova second, but ML is my third choice right now.
  • Don't get this case if you're and "outside" person. This case is meant for a person who never sees and feels dirt on a daily basis. Owned for a week and it's wearing through to the plastic on the bottom edges.
  • I generally keep my $900 phone away from the dirt like a responsible adult.
  • Myopic much? Many responsible adults work in construction, utilities and/or a multitude of other jobs that involve contact with dirt. A smartphone, being the tool that it is, may be in contact with it occasionally. Even those that don't work in those environments may like rugged outdoor activities where contact with dirt is inevitable.
  • I have this case in blue for my S9+ and it's very nice.
  • I've always wanted to try an Alcantara case and finally pulled the trigger on my S9+, and it's really nice! I bought it on eBay and saved about $10. I have the midnight blue color phone and decided to get the mint color case, and the two go pretty well together.
  • Love these cases 👌
  • I can't stand cases that leave the top or bottom exposed...WHATS THE POINT???
  • So it's easy to plug in headphones and/or USB cables with various connector types and sizes.
  • They should have cutouts. Why wouldn't you want grip instead of slick metal where your phone rests on your pinky?
  • I have the case for my Note 8, beautiful case but no stand. Use my big screen for lots of videos so never use that case any more. Add a stand and it would be perfect.
  • This also feels really nice in the hand Samsung Galaxy S9+ Silicone Protective Case
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0797J9QNH/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s...
  • I love this case and the hyperknit, but my favorite Samsung OEM case is the rugged case with the built-in kickstand, AKA-the Samsonite, Lol. 😂
  • Please do tell us then why you aren't ridiculing these manufacturers for making these phones out of the worst possible materials in the 1st place? You say the glass and metal doesn't feel good to hold (it doesn't). It's extremely impractical, slippery, and fragile. Then why don't you guys speak up and tell them "no more"? Why are we forced to use a case when they could (should) be using grippy and comfortable materials on the phones themselves? Complacency is why all these stupid trends continue.
  • Because they'd be contradicting themselves from previous articles when they blasted phones for being made out of "lesser" materials. I too would prefer a grippier material that can take more abuse without shattering or looking beat up.
  • I almost pulled the trigger on one of these for my note 8 but just went with the 8$ super thin amazon case.
  • Yeah $50 bucks is too much, $20-25 max
  • Hmm, I'd get it in grey to match the Alcantara door panels in my car, but they don't make anything for HTC except a sleeve :(
  • "And better yet, it doesn't have a luxury price tag." - Andrew Martonik, April 12, 2018 Maybe for someone who tests phone things for a living (and probably doesn't pay a dime out of his own pocket for them) $50 for a CASE is not luxury. $50 is luxury for an awful lot of people. I paid $40 for my Google fabric case and felt deeply embarrassed by the extravagance - this is just another $10 of excessive and ridiculous. Sure, if you have the disposable income, do what you want with it. But don't do anything but call a $50 phone case luxury.
  • $50 is not a luxury price tag. $50 could still be "too expensive" for some people, and I totally get that. But you have to think about what I'm saying here and not assume that I'm saying everyone could afford (or should pay) $50 for a case. There is a wide range of prices between "cheap" and "luxury" — things don't have to be just one or the other. But you have to realize that $50 really isn't that much money in the scheme of things. People with a Galaxy S9 or S9+ are paying an average of probably $75 per month for cell phone service, paid $720-850 for the phone itself, and if they bought any other accessories (chargers, wireless chargers, SD card) have easily spent $50-100 on accessories over the last couple months. $50 for a case seems expensive because there are cheap cases out there — and by all means, go get the cheap case if you want it! — but in the scheme of how expensive these phones, service and typical accessories cost, this isn't as expensive as you make it sound.
  • But it's still ridiculously expensive for a case. Just like the S9 is ridiculously expensive.
  • I've seen a number of cases that are $60, $70, but I was not going to buy them anyway, so it didn't matter. I DID buy a $50 case for my M8 a few years ago. It has a metal kickstand, velvet insides, and a self-healing rubbery outside. Unfortunately, pressing the power button on the top of the phone releases the snap that holds the top and bottom of the case together, and the ejects the phone! Biggest oversight ever, but it feels good when it's not throwing my phone on the floor...
  • Wow...
  • Scharel, is that "Wow" as in it's a nice case, or "Wow" as in it's expensive?
  • Got it today and I regret it. Yes, it looks awesome and feels quite unique. But in a warm climate like Spain it makes the phone feel too warm, and it is a lint magnet. I spend too much time cleaning the case, and have to just clean any surface before setting the phone there so the case doesn't attract any dust settles there. And I'm scared to use it should a rainy day come. It is pointless to have a case that requires so much more care than the phone it is protecting!!!
  • Long term quality isn't the best for these cases
  • bought these for the S8+, Note 8, Note 9 but they don't exist for the S10+
  • Actually the Samsung alcantara case IS available for the S10+, just not on the Samsung site yet.