I have been wanting a new phone for a little while and had planned to wait until the Samsung S9 came out so that I could grab an S8 as they would, undoubtedly, drop in price – Sensible, logical, and totally not what happened. When I was browsing Facebook, one afternoon, a targeted ad from Samsung popped up (see they aren’t all bad!) saying that if you pre-ordered an S9 you could get it for £19.99 a month (if approved for the 0% finance) and suddenly an S8 didn’t seem so appealing anymore. I’m going to let you know how well I’m getting on with the Samsung S9 as well as show you some gorgeous cases that Gear4 have sent me to keep it safe, as well as pretty.
I’m not going to go in to the stats of the Samsung S9, in a big way, because they’re easy enough to look up but I saw a lot of discussion around the fact that the S9 wasn’t a very big step up from the S8 which was fine by me as the S8 was a bit step up from the S7 (which is what I’ve upgraded from). The main draw of the S9, for me, was the improved camera and it has not disappointed at all – I am thrilled with the quality of the photos that I’m getting and, one of the biggest things, is that the selfie/front facing camera is leagues ahead of any other I’ve used. When you want to take pictures of yourself with your kids, but they end up reduced quality, because you use the selfie cam, it can be really disheartening so the discovery that the photos are amazing quality made me really happy.
Other than the camera there are other things which I’m really enjoying about the S9, though the main one is the speed. All phones begin to lag, the older that they get, so getting something new with even better hardware means that you’re going to notice a big difference in the user experience and that’s exactly what happened here. The phone is wonderfully fast, very responsive and just generally lovely to use. The screen is fantastically sharp, and crisp and the size and shape of the screen is spot on too. The only down sides I’ve found, thus far, are that the phone is heavier than I’m used to (which would be the same with any new model) and the battery doesn’t last much longer than my old s7 did (but, again, bigger hardware means harder on batteries, plus I use my phones very heavily).
All in all I absolutely love the S9. If you have an S8 then you might not be too bothered about an upgrade but if you have an s7, or below, then you’ll definitely find some great improvements from this newest model.
When you get a new phone it can be quite tough getting a new case that you love because, to begin with, it seems like most manufacturers are making the most basic and practical cases and, if you’re anything like me, you want something pretty! Which is why I was so pleased when Gear4 asked if I’d like to trial some of their cases with my new phone. I was even happier when they said they were copper!
Both of the cases they sent me are from their ‘Victoria’ range, all of which are clear with a copper pattern and they’re all made using ‘D30 Smart technology’ which is said to get stronger, the greater impact you put upon it. These cases are drop resistant to 10ft which, let’s be honest, is higher than you probably want to be dropping your phone from anyway!
You’ve seen the Feather design in use on my phone, in the top photo, so you can see how beautiful it is. I, personally, think that the copper pattern looks beautiful over the top of the purple casing of the phone and I really like that you can still see the colour of the phone through the shell of the case.
The second design that I was sent is the ‘Mandala’ pattern which was my second favourite design of the whole range so I was thrilled to get sent it. Made with the same technology this case offers a great level of drop protection too (which is something you need with you have children, the toddler hasn’t hurled it across the room yet but it’s only a matter of time!).
I love that the Mandala pattern is just at the bottom half of the phone, it’ll look so pretty and it’ll be really nice to be able to pick a case depending on my mood – Not be stuck with just the one.
Both of these cases are £29.99 which is a lot, but when you consider the technology involved in making them, if they adhere to their promises, it’s worth it when the phone that lives in the case is worth as much as it is. The packaging for these cases is perfectly in keeping with the price tag, the boxes are strong and sturdy and come with a little window so that you can really see the design before purchasing if you are looking at them in a shop.
Both of the cases have a really nice feel in the hand which I like, too. Some shell cases, like these, are made with a very smooth material which makes them far slippier than I’d like – Who wants their phone to be encased in something slippery? They have a really good grip to them and they’re really light and slimline, they don’t bulk the phone up at all. I used to be quite wary of cases that didn’t cover the front of the phone, too, but tempered glass screen protectors have made things a lot safer now and it’s nice to be able to get instant access to the screen.
I think I’ll be finding myself reaching for my Samsung S9 to take blog photos a lot over the coming months, too, a it’s so much easier than setting up a full camera and it really seems to produce great quality photos.
Definitely a so far, so good, for both the phone and the cases and I look forward to putting both through their paces even more.
What phone do you have? Are you thinking about upgrade ?
This post contains press samples – please see disclaimer here