The first few things you notice about the new Samsung Galaxy Note 9 are how huge it is, the awesome screen, cool S-pen, and all that glass on the front and back. And while that looks pretty cool, like most people I quickly found myself in a panic as the phone nearly slipped from my hands and thought “this thing really needs a case!” The folks at UAG (Urban Armor Gear) have released a few solutions and provided us with a sample of the Monarch series case.
Here is their description:
The Monarch Series Galaxy Note 9 Case encompasses a premium design & precise engineering to provide a case that meets double the Military Standard for drop & shock protection.
– Handcrafted, feather-light construction with 5 layers of protection
– Top grain leather and alloy metal hardware
– Soft impact-resistant core & honeycomb traction grip
– Oversized tactile buttons & protective screen surround
– Compatible with Samsung Pay and Samsung Fast Wireless Charging
– Meets 2X Military drop-test standards (MIL STD 810G 516.6)
– 10-Year Limited Warranty
My first thought after putting my Note 9 in the case was ‘that was really easy for such a solid case’. Seriously, through the years I have struggled getting cases on or had easily attached flimsy cases, but this was the first time I opened a case and thought “this will be a struggle” and then found it to be very easy to take the case on and off.
Installing the Note 9 in the UAG case was aided by the curved edges: you simply push the top of the phone into the top of the case, and then one at a time secure the bottom corners. It is incredibly quick and easy, yet very secure – I grabbed the corners of the case one at a time and shook the phone to see if I could get it to loosen up in any way, but it was held firmly in place.
Another of my concerns was how the case would impact usability. I had never used a case with my Galaxy Note 8, so I was concerned about access to the ports, fingerprint reader and most importantly the S-Pen. The area provided for the headphone jack and USB-C connection are more than adequate, and it felt like UAG went out of their way to ensure that the S-Pen was every bit as convenient to pop-out.
Perhaps my biggest surprise was that the UAG Monarch case actually made the fingerprint scanner EASIER to use! By providing a tapered u-shaped access area, your finger slides easily to the correct place – and since installing the UAG I haven’t wiped my finger across the camera a single time.
The build quality is solid, with everything fitted perfectly and aligned well. The screen-off, volume and Bixby buttons are every bit as responsive as without the case. I have not performed any drop tests with my Note 9 in the case, but the reinforced sides and corners feel incredibly solid and secure and I have little doubt would provide solid drop protection.
The final benefit of the case is how much more secure the Note 9 feels picking it up in this case. The textured sides invite you to grab them, and there isn’t a slippery element on the entire case. And it does all of this while adding minimal weight and bulk.
The UAG Monarch is an excellent case and I definitely recommend checking it out for your Galaxy Note 9!
Source: Manufacturer supplied review sample of the UAG Monarch Case
What I Like: Solid build; Lightweight; Easy to install; Great access to ports and S-pen; Makes fingerprint reader easier to find
What Needs Improvement: Nothing so far!