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Samsung Galaxy Note 8 Tech21 case roundup: Drop and screen protection for the best smartphone

While the Galaxy Note 8 uses advanced Gorilla Glass 5 panels drops can still cause breakage. Tech21 offers several Designed for Samsung certified products to help protect your expensive smartphone.
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1 of 14 Matthew Miller/ZDNet

Tech21 Samsung Galaxy Note 8 lineup

The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 is the best smartphone currently available and I've been using one for a few weeks. Three cases and a screen protector from Tech21 spent a week rotating on my Note 8.

I haven't use screen protectors on my phones for a couple of years and for the most part they have been nearly scratch free. I bought the Note 8 using T-Mobile's latest Jump on Demand program so it is important to keep the phone in excellent condition. Thus, using a screen protector makes sense to protect my investment and allow me to switch to another phone in the future. Tech21 sent along its Impact Shield screen protector for testing.

I was also sent the Evo Tactical, Evo Check, and Pure Clear cases for testing. These three cases are priced at $44.95 each.

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2 of 14 Matthew Miller/ZDNet

Impact Shield package contents

The Impact Shield screen protector is priced at $39.95. It is designed for edge-to-edge protection and covers nearly 100 percent of the front and down both side edges. There is a detailed 13-step process for installation with a suggestion to watch the installation video first before attemptint installation. It is a different approach to installation, with an applicator and four tabs on the protector.

I followed the process and installed the screen protector within a few minutes. The included squeegee has a soft microfiber cloth edge that does an amazing job of getting everything off of the display before you position the protector. At first I had several small bubbles in the top third of the screen protector, but within about four to five hours they all disappeared and the protector now looks perfect.

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3 of 14 Matthew Miller/ZDNet

Detailed instructions

I highly recommend you follow the specific instructions and pay attention when it calls out some of the steps. Installation is fairly easy, but there are certain steps that are very important.

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4 of 14 Matthew Miller/ZDNet

Perfect fit after a few bubbles settled down

The Impact Shield is a plastic screen protector, not a glass one. It contains BulletShield material, which is used in bulletproof glass. The only part of the glass front not covered is the headset speaker, front-facing camera, and front sensor area. It is also important that the Tech21 cases all still work with the Impact Shield in place.

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5 of 14 Matthew Miller/ZDNet

Rear dual camera opening on the Evo Tactical

Of the three Tech21 cases sent to me, my favorite is the Evo Tactical case. It comes in black and has almost a camo looking textured back design that looks slick. It is designed to survive a three meter (10 feet) drop thanks to the FlexShock edge design. It is the heaviest of the three cases at 41 grams.

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6 of 14 Matthew Miller/ZDNet

Cool textured design of the Evo Tactical

All ports, mics, and the S Pen silo are easily accessible. The sides are cut to fit the edges of the Note 8 perfectly. Tactile buttons are in place for the power, Bixby, and volume buttons. The rear opening is one large opening that facilitates placement of your finger on the fingerprint scanner.

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8 of 14 Matthew Miller/ZDNet

Back of the Pure Clear case

The Pure Clear case is my second favorite, primarily because it lets me experience the color of the Note 8 in all aspects. It is a clear case that has BulletShield material incorporated to help provide two meter (6.6 feet) drop protection.

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9 of 14 Matthew Miller/ZDNet

Easy access to all ports and the S Pen

It is light at 24.3 grams and has the same openings and buttons as the other Tech21 cases. The entire back is clear with no texture or designs so you can see your Note 8 as designed by Samsung.

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11 of 14 Matthew Miller/ZDNet

Evo Check in white

The Evo Check case is also mostly clear with white or black color highlights around the four sides of the case. It also has a check pattern inside the back that shows through the back of the case.

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13 of 14 Matthew Miller/ZDNet

Ports and S Pen silo on the Evo Check

The Evo Check has a higher drop protection rating than the Pure Clear with testing to three meters (10 feet) thanks to its FlexShock design. It is a bit heavier than the Pure Clear at 33.6 grams.

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14 of 14 Matthew Miller/ZDNet

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