Stop paying $25 for a Samsung Galaxy S8 case and another $19.90 for a screen protector. You feel the need to protect your expensive new phone with an equally expensive case, but don’t get ripped off by opportunistic entrepreneurs who prey on your fear – you can get the same things at a fraction of the price if you know where to find.
Basically sites like Bare Cases and Fast and Favourite entice you with all the lovely pictures taken by a professional photographer, invest in targeted marketing, then charge you with a 400% margin after claiming to have given you a crazy discount because you’re special. Well let me tell you that you don’t have to pay for their overheads and can still protect your S8.
The fear of scratching my new phone or dropping it rushed me to buy a screen protector and a case – I couldn’t wait 3 weeks for AliExpress to deliver so I went to the locally stocked suppliers (e.g. Nanotech) on Qoo10.com. The options were terrible and they were not cheap either – $15.96 for a curved glass screen protector with a free clear rubber case. Had no choice and I hated it – the thick screen protector seem to be one of those older stock for Galaxy S7 edge, marketed as S8 and it doesn’t glue nicely to the phone with reduced sensitivity on all edges. The case, needless to say is ugly and bulky. Honesty do your phone some justice – don’t give your S8 a bezel, Samsung worked really hard to remove them.
After a few weeks, my AliExpress orders finally arrived. This case from Cafele seen above is very similar to Bare Cases with a minimalist design and ultra-thin material, but cost only one-tenth the price at $2.99.
Since there are no brandings to differentiate the product, it is down to the specifications – 0.3mm (Bare Cases) vs 0.6mm (Cafele). Honestly the Cafele case could be a bit thinner but it is not too invasive or bulky – just somewhere in the middle. Additionally, I wouldn’t pay so much more to reduce it’s thickness by half as it might really help with dispersing the shock of I were to drop my S8, which is actually the main purpose of a protective case.
I’m currently using the next case I got from XINKSD, which cost $3.35. It is a black matte hard cover casing which has a very nice-to-touch rubberised feel. It has an even more minimalistic design, exposing both sides down to the buttons but still covering all four edges from knocks.
The major advantage is that you can fully utilize both sides of the S8 – which can be difficult if the case it covering them partially. Also, some tempered glass screen protector will cover the curved screen, so having the sides exposed gives your the additional flexibility to navigate your screen. This case feels much thinner than the previous one from Cafele, and comes with a variety of colours.
Finally, we come to screen protectors, something which I don’t recommend at all. I’ve tried a tempered glass from Qoo10 as shown above and an expensive brand locally which actually does look nice, but the verdict is that it reduces sensitivity, especially around the edges. So unless you really need it, I recommend using it as-is for the full experience – I’ve once dropped my S8 face down with no consequences. But if you still insist on buying, here are two recommendations I have: (1) Tempered Glass & (2) PET Film at $3.66 and $1.59 respectively.
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