Lumion, which some will know from its previous names Verus and VRS Design, has created a number of new cases for Samsung's next big thing, the Galaxy Note 8. One of those cases, the Gardien, is what we are taking a look at today. It's a pretty thin case, that does give the Galaxy Note 8 a bit of heft, but not too much, and has also been drop tested. So on the surface, it looks to be a pretty good case to pick up for your Galaxy Note 8, but is it the one to get? Let's find out.
This is a hard case from Lumion, but the entire case isn't hard. There is a soft TPU layer, that covers the entire phone, and then a hard frame that goes on the outside of the phone to keep it intact and allows the case to withstand drops and such. Now dropping the Galaxy Note 8 even inside this case, is still not recommended, but it can take a drop, if you are a bit clumsy. Lumion offers the Gardien in a few different colors, however it is only frame that changes in color, the rest of the case is black. There's an Orchid Gray color that matches the Orchid Gray Galaxy Note 8 that we have in our hands, and it looks really nice.
Gardien does cover the entire backside of the Galaxy Note 8, leaving a rectangular opening for the camera module and fingerprint sensor at the top. The case does not get in the way of the camera, since the Galaxy Note 8 doesn't have a wide-angle camera like the LG V30, the case isn't an issue here, but it would be on the LG V30. The case does make it easier to find the fingerprint sensor and actually use it for unlocking your phone and such. So if you having issues with the fingerprint sensor, particularly with finding it and not touching the camera, this case might be a good option for you.
The only other cut outs are at the top and bottom of the device. At the top you'll find one for the microphone. While the bottom has four separate cutouts. There is one for the S Pen, another for the speaker, another for the USB-C charging port and finally one for the headphone jack – since the Galaxy Note 8 is still one of the few with a headphone jack. The holes are small, but still big enough to plug in your headphones or a charging cable to charge the Galaxy Note 8, which is the important thing. The S Pen can also still easily come out of its silo when you need to use it.
Besides adding protection, the other important aspect of having a case on a smartphone, at least these days, is to add some grip to the Galaxy Note 8. Since the device uses glass on the front and back, it is indeed a fairly slippery smartphone. And it's likely that many have already dropped it because of how slippery it is. Adding a case is a simple and cheap way of adding some grip to the Galaxy Note 8, and this Gardien case does just that. There is plenty of grip on the back of the Gardien case, so those that have felt that the Galaxy Note 8 is a bit to slippery for them, will be happy with this case. Not to mention it doesn't make the Galaxy Note 8 all that much thicker or bulkier, which is also important when you have a large smartphone like this.
Lumion offers the Gardien on Amazon in three colors: metallic silver, black metallic and gold sand. Now we do have a Orchid Gray one here, that is featured throughout this review. It's unclear if that will be available further down the road (since we did get these before launch) or not. But hopefully it does, as it does look really nice on the orchid gray colored Galaxy Note 8. Lumion charges about $15 for this case, which obviously isn't the cheapest, but it is higher quality than those cheaper cases, which is a big deal for most people.