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Griffin Samsung Galaxy Note 8 cases and screen protector: Drop protection for your expensive smartphone

When popular smartphones are released we see a plethora of case options. The Note 8 is a fantastic smartphone for the enterprise and Griffin has a few case options to protect your investment.
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By Matthew Miller, Contributor on
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1 of 11 Matthew Miller/ZDNet

Griffin products for the Samsung Galaxy Note 8

I purchased my Samsung Galaxy Note 8 through the T-Mobile Jump On Demand program and that requires you return your device in good condition in order to switch to another device. Thus, it is important to keep your phone protected from minor drops and bumps.

Griffin sent along a couple of cases and a curved glass screen protector from its Survivor series for the Galaxy Note 8.

I tested the Survivor Glass screen protector, Survivor Strong case, and Survivor Clear case, as shown in the following images.

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Survivor Glass screen protector package contents

The Survivor Glass screen protector comes with everything you need to clean your display thoroughly and install the screen protector. It is much easier to install this glass protector than any plastic protector I have tried in the past. It is available now for $34.99

Alignment was easy with the black lines at the top and bottom, along with the curvature at each side that fits over the curved edge of the Galaxy Note 8.

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Bottom fit of the Survivor Glass

The Survivor Clear fits over all of the viewable display and over some of the minimal bottom black bezel. It also closely matches the curve of the device up the sides.

The nice thing about how Griffin designed this protector is that you can still put your Note 8 into a case with the screen protector in place thanks to it not extending all the way out to the bottom edge.

I like have glass screen protectors in place as they feel more natural than plastic. I have not had any impact on the ability to use the S Pen or my finger to navigate the device. Viewing has also been perfect through the screen protector.

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4 of 11 Matthew Miller/ZDNet

Top fit of the Survivor Glass

Up top we see that there is an opening for the front camera and sensors with "horns" extending up beyond the top of the display.

The screen protector extends over the curved edges just a bit, again I think to allow you to use a case, and I have not had any degradation in my ability to access the edge panel functionality.

After using the protector for more than a week, I see some pocket lint collecting along the upper right edge where the protector must have lifted a bit and lint attached to the adhesive used to hold the cover in place.

However, while the Survivor Glass states there is an anti-oil coating on the glass, I see more fingerprints on the protector than I did on the bare glass of the display.

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Inside the Survivor Strong case

The Survivor Strong case comes in a black/dark gray color and sells for $29.99. It is designed to provide drop protection of up to 7 feet with a rigid inner shell and outer grip material layer.

The material is quite thick so you feel that your Note 8 is well protected. It is one of the most substantial cases I have tested on the Note 8 yet.

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Back of the Survivor case

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The buttons are too small

Unfortunately, I find the buttons to be just a bit too low so have a bit of trouble finding and pressing them in at times. I think adding a bit of texture to the buttons would help since they are made of the same material as the surrounding sides.

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9 of 11 Matthew Miller/ZDNet

Griffin Survivor Clear case

The Survivor Clear case is available for $19.99 in clear and smoke/black. I tested out the clear version on my Note 8.

It is designed to protect drops of up to 4 feet, as validated by the Mil-Std 810-G drop test. It is made with polycarbonate on the back panel and clear TPU on the sides. The back panel has 6H hardness scratch-resistance.

The clear design lets you fully see the color and design of your Note 8 while offering some basic protection.

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10 of 11 Matthew Miller/ZDNet

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