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Samsung Galaxy S9 LED Cover Review

Lots of people take their phone out of the box the day they buy it and put it directly in a case. Not everyone thinks about covering the screen, mostly because folio covers tend to take away the benefits of always-on features like those found in the Galaxy S9. Samsung's own LED case tries to solve this by giving you a simple LED panel on the folio part of the case to deliver bits of information you would normally have on the display.

This isn't the first time Samsung has made an attempt at an LED folio, but the Galaxy S9 version is the first time this design has ever really been worth using.

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Instead of using the light from the display to show you information, the Galaxy S9 LED case has its own LEDs built in to the folio. As soon as you snap the phone into the case, these LEDs light up a small part of the cover and show you the time. This same space lights up every time you close the case, revealing the same information. You can also tap the power button on the phone while the cover is closed and the LEDs will light up to show you a couple of different things.

When it is not showing you the time, the LED case offers some animations for a few different kinds of notifications. Charging the phone will reveal a lit up battery, you'll see a ringing phone when there's an incoming call, and a simple alarm clock appears when an alarm goes off on your phone.

All of these things are designed to make part of a notification visible to you at a glance, so you can decide if it is worth opening the cover to see the full notification. In this updated version of the case, Samsung offers some small color customization, instead of the default white used for everything out of the box. The white is easily the most visible though, so it's what I stick with.

The most useful thing the LED part of this case offers is interactive buttons for media controls. When playing music, you'll see skip and pause buttons on the front of the case, and you can actually touch these areas to interact with your music. If your phone is sitting on your desk, a simple tap will give you basic controls, which is great. You don't get things like track titles or time remaining on a song due to the limitations of the display, but just having the panel be touch sensitive makes a big difference. In fact, it's one of the only times this part of the case responds to touch input, which is a shame. It would be super nice if I could touch the panel to wake it up, instead of needing to close the lid or press the power button.

The LED things are great, but this is also a decent case and folio. The folio section has a small slit for basic wallet functionality, and the case hugs the phone well and covers all of the important parts. This case comes in the three base colors the phone comes in, so you can get the color that matches your phone or mix it up a little. Unfortunately, there aren't any mixed colors or patterns like Samsung did with its Hyperknit case, which would have been really cool.

If you want something a little more functional than your average case, you're going to pay for it. Samsung offers this case for $50 (opens in new tab), which is far from cheap when you consider the cost of the other cases you can get for this phone. When you consider the value of accessing information from your phone without having to pick it up or open a cover, that functionality is worth it to a lot of people.

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Russell is a Contributing Editor at Android Central. He's a former server admin who has been using Android since the HTC G1, and quite literally wrote the book on Android tablets. You can usually find him chasing the next tech trend, much to the pain of his wallet. Find him on Facebook and Twitter

12 Comments
  • As long as going in you know that it will stop working. Against all advice I got one for my S7. Sure enough after about 3 months it stopped working. Called Samsung. They didn't care. Seemed happy to sell product they knew would fail way too soon.
  • I returned my Note 8 led cover specifically because it couldn't respond to touch at any time. It's such a shame, because I otherwise loved it. For it's functionality, it's $20 too much
  • Wow, I was thinking this was really cool until I read the comments. I guess the Dot View case was a better idea. My wife used her to death until the cover came off from wear after almost a year, but it's only $9.
  • Wow that blue looks amazing. Unfortunately I'm like everyone else, The s7 led case flopped on my twice. Samsung replace my original under warranty after stop working for a month and 2nd barely lasted 2 months. They were going to replace it a second time but I wanted to swap to a clearview and they wouldn't because it had to be the same sku. I didn't bother. When I got the Note8, I just opted for the clearview. I didn't want the headache of being sucked out of $60 again.
  • I loved mine on my HTC m8 and HTC 10. Until I twisted on them and broke the cover off. DOH!!!
  • How is it powered? I'm guessing from the phone itself, but how? Does it receive power via NFC or something?
  • I was wondering the same thing. Does this case need to be charged separately?
  • I was wondering the some thing as you guys
  • The "LED lights" are just produced by the phone's screen. The case itself requires no power.
  • Not according to this article. It says it doesn't work that way, the case has built in LEDs.
  • Why isn't blue available for the S9?!?? Dumb
  • This is not well made & definitely overpriced!