Android Central 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.
Wireless charging compatible
Easy access to ports
Raised edges for protection against tumbles
Available in just one color
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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 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.
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 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+
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.
Harish Jonnalagadda is a Senior Editor overseeing Asia at Android Central. He leads the site's coverage of Chinese phone brands, contributing to reviews, features, and buying guides. He also writes about storage servers, audio products, and the semiconductor industry. Contact him on Twitter at @chunkynerd.