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Spigen Rugged Armor case for Galaxy S9+ review: Low cost, rugged protection

Our Verdict

Price: $11.99Bottom line: Coming in at just $12, Spigen's Rugged Armor case is one of the most affordable options available if you're looking for a lightweight case that provides all-round protection.

For

  • Matte finish
  • Wireless charging compatible
  • Easy access to ports
  • Tactile buttons
  • Raised edges for protection against tumbles

Against

  • Available in just one color

Spigen is known for making affordable cases that hold up to a ton of abuse over the years, so it's no wonder that its products are well-regarded. The Rugged Armor has been my go-to case for a few years now thanks to its lightweight design and rugged protection, so when I was looking to pick up a case for my Galaxy S9+, it was an easy choice.

Spigen Rugged Armor case for Galaxy S9+

Spigen Rugged Armor case What I like

The Rugged Armor case fits the Galaxy S9+ like a glove, and the matte finish significantly improves grip. Although it costs just $12, the build quality is top-notch, and you never get the feeling that this is a cheap case.

The case is made out of TPU, and features a minimalist design with carbon fiber inserts at the back and Spigen branding at the bottom. There are cutouts at the bottom for the USB-C charging port and the headphone jack, as well as the microphone and the speaker. There's also a cutout at the back for the dual camera sensor, fingerprint module, and the heart rate sensor, and the raised edge makes it easier to locate the fingerprint reader.

Furthermore, the cutouts for the charging port and 3.5mm jack are large enough that I haven't faced any issues connecting USB-C cables or wired headphones.

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Spigen Rugged Armor case for Galaxy S9+

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Spigen Rugged Armor case for Galaxy S9+

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Spigen Rugged Armor case for Galaxy S9+

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Spigen Rugged Armor case for Galaxy S9+

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Spigen Rugged Armor case for Galaxy S9+

The sides of the case have protrusions for the power, volume, and Bixby buttons, and the Bixby button is textured to prevent you from accidentally pressing it when trying to change the volume. There are raised edges at the front that absorb the impact when the phone falls flat on the ground. The case is shock absorbent as well, conforming to the MIL-STD 810G-516.6 rating, and is thin enough that it doesn't interfere with wireless charging.

The minimalist design means the case is bare at the back aside from the carbon fiber inserts at the top and bottom, so you should be able to attach a PopSocket without any issues. The case is also incredibly easy to remove for routine maintenance.

What I particularly like about the Rugged Armor cases is that they stand up to daily wear and tear very well. I used the case with the Galaxy S8 last year, and it looked just as good as new even after six months of usage.

Spigen Rugged Armor case for Galaxy S9+

Spigen Rugged Armor case What needs work

If there's one downside to the Rugged Armor case, it's that it doesn't work with all screen protectors. The raised edges at the front means it covers a chunk of the bezels at the top and bottom, and as such you won't be able to use a few glass screen protectors.

That said, Spigen makes its own Neo Flex screen protector for the Galaxy S9+ that can be used in conjunction with the case, and it conforms to the curves of the S9+ panel as well.

Spigen Rugged Armor case for Galaxy S9+

Spigen Rugged Armor case for Galaxy S9+

Overall, you're getting the best of both worlds with the Rugged Armor case — the lightweight design doesn't add bulk, and you get adequate protection against tumbles and falls. The fact that it costs just $12 makes it one of the best cases you can buy for the Galaxy S9+.

4.5 out of 5

For the price, there aren't many cases that offer the same level of quality as the Spigen Rugged Armor case. If you're looking for an affordable case to protect your Galaxy S9+, this is the one to get.

See at Amazon

Harish Jonnalagadda
Harish Jonnalagadda

Harish Jonnalagadda is a Senior Editor covering Asia at Android Central. He leads the site's coverage of Chinese phone manufacturers, and writes about the semiconductor industry, storage servers, and audio products. Contact him on Twitter at @chunkynerd.

11 Comments
  • Awesome write up. I have been using this case for the last 3 versions of the Galaxy S+. This is by far the best affordable case out there. I prefer the black color but I think you are right could sell more with other color options.
  • I have the Spigen Rugged Armor for the S9 and agree it is a great case for the price. The only issue I have is there is no texture to the back at all which makes the phone pretty slippery. I've had mine slide almost all the way out of my pocket a few times and even in the hand it is a little slick.
  • I've always gotten this exact case for my galaxies. Spigen is solid.
  • The best case for just about any phone IMO.
  • Got one on my s9. Like it a lot for the money. Don't feel like I'm going to drop my phone all the time
  • I have a spigen tough armor. It was about the same price, but it has a kickstand!
  • Want to see an extended ad for spigen? Want to have a "trusted" android source exploit its position? Your in luck, spigen paid android central a bunch of money to write a review and call it a news article!
  • It's funny that you read it that way. I read it as being a decent article for someone who sees all this phone cases out there and it's wondering which one they might want to get.
  • I think you're confusing an article where the reviewer likes the product and an advert.
    I'm sure if Spigen were paying it would have scored a 5 with no negatives.
  • Spigen is always my case provider. Excellent cases for their price.
  • I have this case and really like it. There are a lot of cases out there to choose from, but it's hard to beat Spigen.