Protect your investment: best rugged cases for Samsung Note 8

If you spend $950 on a phone like the Samsung Galaxy Note 8, you’re going to want some measure of protection.

With a glass back and side-hugging display, the Galaxy Note 8 is as fragile as it is expensive. You’ll need a tough, rugged case if you want the ultimate protection against drops and spills. While they’ll make your Note 8 even bigger and add a considerable bit of bulk and weight, you won’t need to baby your phone while using it.

OtterBox Defender

MSRP $59.95 on Amazon

What is it: A three-piece case (four if you count the hip holster) that will ensure your phone never scuffs, cracks, or breaks.
Price: $60
Colors: Black, purple, teal
Wireless charging: No
Standout feature: You could probably throw your phone off a three-story building with this case on and it wouldn’t break.
Why we love it: OtterBox cases aren’t for everyone, but if you’re looking for the ultimate protector for your Note 8, accept no substitute. And if you’re going to go big, you might as well go really big. The OtterBox Defender isn’t small, light, or easy to slip on, but it’s the only case we know of that offers complete peace of mind. And it comes with a hip holster, too, if you’re into that look.

The OtterBox Defender is our current pick for best rugged Note 8 case.


Urban Armor Gear Monarch

MSRP $59.95 on Amazon

What is it: A 2X military grade protective case with an alloy metal back and leather accents.
Price: $60
Colors: Red, black
Wireless charging: Yes
Standout feature: The mix of metal and leather make it feel like a true premium case.
Why we love it: Despite being made of metal it doesn’t make the Note 8 too heavy, and the pockets of leather on the back add an excellent resting spot for your fingers. The pattern on the sides of the case add a cool look and some functional grippiness too boot.


Urban Armor Gear Plasma

MSRP $39.95 on Amazon

What is it: A very protective case with a hard plastic back adorned with silicon “screws.”
Price: $40
Colors: Clear, gray, blue, yellow
Wireless charging: Yes
Standout feature: It’s lighter than it looks and the buttons are very responsive.
Why we love it: The UAG Plasma case has a unique rear design that features a pattern on its underside, so it’s smooth to the touch despite its textured appearance. And the tactile side buttons have a nice, clicky feel to them as well, particularly the tapered volume rocker.


Spigen Hybrid Armor

MSRP $34.99 on Amazon

What is it: A slim, durable case that combines rigid plastic with flexible silicon.
Price: $35
Colors: Black, gunmetal, rose gold, blue
Wireless charging: Yes
Standout feature: The hard plastic window around the camera cutout adds a “shield” that’s both stylish and functional.
Why we love it: Rugged cases can often be too bulky, but the Hybrid Armor case does a nice job of keeping things thin and light while still offering solid protection. A lip over the top and bottom of the screen keeps the screen from touching the table when resting face down, and the bottom edge is protected by a thick piece of rigid silicon that still allows easy access to the ports and S Pen.


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