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RIP Galaxy Note 7: The best cases for Samsung’s deceased phablet

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Sadly, the gorgeous Galaxy Note 7 has been the focus of a massive recall. Now, replacement units have been catching fire and that’s forced Samsung to temporarily halt production. Samsung officially declared an end to the Note 7 in early October.

“For the benefit of consumers’ safety, we stopped sales and exchanges of the Galaxy Note 7 and have consequently decided to stop production,” Samsung told Digital Trends in a statement.

If you have a Galaxy Note 7, please return it immediately to the place where you purchased it. You are entitled to a full refund or an exchange for a replacement device of equal value, as per the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s recall. Please see our full guide on how to return your Note 7 here. The guide also includes recommendations of which device to buy instead.

Below continues our original article on the best Galaxy Note 7 cases. Obviously, you won’t be buying any of these now.

Five stylish Note 7 cases

Carved Kerby Rosanes Geometric Lion Case ($40)

Carved Kerby Rosanes Geometric Lion Case

You can always find something a bit special at Carved. They specialize in wood and form partnerships with some seriously talented artists to create memorable designs that are laser etched into the wooden back panels. The case shell is a flexible, black plastic with a textured finish that adds some serious grip. There are very slim button covers and the full range of cut-outs you need for uninterrupted access to all of the Note 7’s features. If you don’t like the lion in black walnut, there are lots of other designs and woods to choose from.

Casetify Design Your Own Case ($40)

Casetify Design Your Own Case

You can design your own case at Casetify and have your photos or images printed on the hard, transparent back panel, which is made of polycarbonate. You can choose from different templates and upload images directly from Instagram, Facebook, or your computer. The shell itself is fairly thin and you’ll find decent button covers and accurate cut-outs. If you don’t have a design of your own, Casetify has a lot to choose from, the one pictured here is the Boho Fox design.

Incipio Octane Case ($14+)

Incipio Octane Case

Here’s a slim and stylish option that will protect your Note 7 without adding too much bulk. The translucent, frosted back panel is tough polycarbonate and it’s framed by a malleable TPU bumper with a textured finish that adds some much needed grip. The button covers work well and there are accurate cut-outs for the ports and camera. It’s a bit too slim to be really rugged, but it should cope with bumps and minor falls. The bumper portion comes in gray, pink, black, or cyan.

Spigen Neo Hybrid Case ($16+)

Spigen Neo Hybrid Case

You’ll find this case offers solid, military-grade protection within a slim package. It’s a TPU case with a patterned finish and a colored, polycarbonate frame that goes around the outside. The button covers are well-defined and the cut-outs for your phone’s camera, ports, and stylus are roomy. The tough frame even extends beyond the front and back of the display to protect your screen and camera lens. The TPU is black, but you can get the frame in four different colors to complement the hue of your Note 7.

Caseology Parallax Case ($15+)

Caseology Parallax Case

With a classy look that belies the reasonable price, this is another case that combines a malleable TPU cover with contrasting, virtually-unbreakable polycarbonate. The back is textured for added grip and a stylish look, and there are tactile button covers and accurate openings for your phone’s camera, ports, and stylus. There are also some interesting color options that go beyond the basic black or navy — just in case you prefer turquoise mint and coral pink over more traditional options.

Protective Galaxy Note 7 Cases

Urban Armor Gear Case ($40)

Urban Armor Gear Case

If you like a chunky, industrial look and you expect decent drop protection, then UAG cases are always worth checking out. They’re much lighter than they look and the hard shell is reinforced inside and out with an impact resistant core, tough corners, a raised lip, and skid pads. The well-defined button covers are easy to find without looking and the case adds good grip. Your Note 7 will survive a typical fall from hand height in one of these cases. They come in various colors, but we like the red variety, which UAG calls magma.

Tech21 Evo Wallet Case ($30)

Tech21 Evo Wallet Case

This is quite an unusual-looking wallet case. Tech21 has combined a protective shell that offers decent drop protection at up to 6.6 feet, with a wraparound cover in black or pink. Inside the cover there’s a single card slot and a soft microfiber lining. The flap wraps around the back to keep it securely closed and bears the Tech21 logo. It can also fold back and act as a landscape stand. The case itself is quite chunky, but the button covers work fine and the cut-outs are all present and correct.

OtterBox Defender Case ($53)

OtterBox Defender Case

If you tend to drop your phone a lot, or maybe you work outdoors, then you’re likely in the market for a rugged Note 7 case. Thankfully, the Defender Series from OtterBox is one of the most protective cases you’ll find. It offers three layers of protection, combining a tough polycarbonate shell with a soft, silicone skin and a built-in screen protector. You also get a holster with a swiveling belt clip. There are decent cut-outs for your phone’s camera and stylus, too, and openings with covers for the ports. You’ll also find chunky button covers. The case guards against damage, sure, but rugged protection like this inevitably impacts usability.

VRS Design Damda Glide Case ($20)

VRS Design Damda Glide Case

This tough, dual-layer case combines a soft TPU with a hard, polycarbonate outer shell to bring you military-grade protection. The shock-absorbing TPU is black and includes pronounced button covers. The outer shell comes in a wide variety of colors, too, and there’s a compartment on the back that slides open to reveal a credit card-sized slot for stashing your cards or ID. Generous cut-outs  also ensure easy access to phone’s ports, stylus, and camera.

Speck CandyShell Clear with Glitter ($45)

Speck CandyShell Clear with Glitter

Here’s an eye-catching design that will wrap your Note 7 in sparkles without sacrificing its rugged protection. Speck is a name you can trust, and these cases boast a dual-layer design that exceeds military standards for drop testing. The responsive button covers are easy to feel without looking, and the cut-outs for the ports, camera, and stylus are all present and correct. There’s also a raised bezel to protect that curvy screen, should you place your phone face down. The translucent material resists UV yellowing, so it will retain its good looks, just like your Note 7 if it’s wearing this case.

Best clear Note 7 Cases

Terrapin Gel Case ($8)

Terrapin Gel Case

These are amongst the simplest and cheapest Note 7 cases you’ll find. Made from flexible TPU gel, they are easy to fit, comfortable to hold, and provide a little extra grip. All of your controls, ports, and the camera on the back are fully usable with the case on. There’s also a slight raised lip around the screen to prevent any contact if you place it face down. It’s not going to provide rugged drop protection, but it will guard against small knocks and scratches.

Griffin Survivor Clear Case ($20)

Griffin Survivor Clear Case

This is another case that combines a slim, hard layer of clear polycarbonate on the back with a flexible TPU bumper to protect the frame. There are decent tactile button covers and accurate openings for easy access to the ports and camera. The frame extends at the front to protect the screen and it does add some grip compared to the naked Note 7. Griffin claims it will offer military drop protection at 4 feet and they’ve also used a special formula to prevent yellowing in the TPU, which can be a problem with clear cases.

Ballistic Jewel Case ($20)

Ballistic Jewel Case

Typically focused on drop protection over style, Ballistic’s cases have heavily reinforced corners designed to take the sting out of any impact. The Jewel is a clear case, though it does have a dimpled pattern inside and the Ballistic logo on the side. Those enlarged signature corners enable this case to offer protection at up to 6 feet. There are tactile button covers and good cut-outs for your ports and camera.

Rearth Ringke Fusion Case ($10+)

Rearth Ringke Fusion Case

If you fell in love with the design of the Note 7, then you likely won’t want to cover it up. With the translucent Fusion Case, you get military-grade protection that relies on reinforced TPU corners, which take the sting out of any impact. The flexible bumper comes in either clear or smoky varieties, too, and includes button covers and cut-outs for your phone’s ports and stylus. The hard, scratch-resistant back cover even has a generous opening for your phone’s camera.

Olixar FlexiShield Case ($8)

Olixar FlexiShield Case

Note 7 cases don’t get any more basic than this. If you just want a thin layer of gel to enhance grip and guard against scratches, then Olixar’s FlexiShield will do the job. The clear version is about the most unobtrusive case you’ll find — it’s svelte, crystal-clear, and only features has a small logo on the back. There are also thin button covers and openings for your phone’s ports, stylus, and camera. The non-slip finish works well and is comfortable to hold, but it won’t provide much in the way of drop protection. As for colors, you can get this case in black, or a translucent blue or purple.

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