I don’t usually use cases on my phones, or if I do it is typically the cheap gel type cases you get from eBay.
Although I have been intrigued by flip cases, I’ve always been a bit unsure about the usability. Having to hold the case open when want to use it or having it bang against your face when making a phone call. Annoying.
Samsung have been making the S view range of cases since the S3, so it is no surprise they have released one for the new Galaxy S5. Mobilefun were kind enough to send me one to review. The first thing that struck me about the case when I opened it was it is the design. The case is made entirely of leather, apart from the transparent window in the front of the case. I was expecting it to be a “plastic feel” like the ones for the S4 and S4 mini, but no, it’s a definite premium feel. It makes the phone a little squarer but looks and feels great in the hand and still keeps the phones IP67 rating with seals around the back. The fold of the case covers the volume control but you can access all the other controls on the phone. The power button, headphone jack and USB socket (with cover) are still easy to get to.
The case also has a clever trick, when you open the case the phone automatically wakes up to the lock screen ready for you. This lets you enter your PIN, scan fingerprint or whatever other security measure you have set up. If you have no security then the phone will automatically unlock when you open the case. The key feature of the case is the S view window on the front, which allows you to check for notifications, check the time and answer calls all without having to open the case. You can change the colour of the wallpaper on show behind the screen to one of a range of pre-set colours or choose your own picture. You can display the weather and pedometer on the screen and even take pictures. However, rather than take a full screen, the phone takes a picture the size of the window which makes some sense, the resolution of the pictures is 2976×2976. The only problems I have with the case are that the screen is prone to getting finger prints all over, but nothing a quick little rub with your shirt won’t solve.
There is nothing to hold the case shut so it is prone to opening slightly, although you can get magnetic clips to hold them shut, also from MobileFun (although designed for Note 3, I’m sure they’ll be fine for the S5 case).
Regarding my fears about using the phone and what it is like on calls, it takes a little getting used to, but once you have mastered the knack of using a finger to hold the case open so it doesn’t hit you in the face, it’s fine. You can find MobileFun’s range of S view cases for the Galaxy S5 here; if you want a premium case for your new phone then I would definitely recommend getting one. As an added bonus they are on sale at the moment with an unspecified end date, so reduced from £44.99 to £29.99 so if you are looking to invest now might be a good time to do so.