Samsung’s Galaxy S9 announcement sparked a massive response from case manufacturers, and modular Smartcase maker i-BLADES is certainly no exception. The i-BLADES Smartcase and modular Smartblade accessories have been available for Galaxy S and Galaxy Note flagships since the Galaxy S6, and the Galaxy S9’s version of the versatile case is already up for pre-order reservations, compatible with the same Smartblades that owners of the older versions of these cases may have lying around. The Smartcase itself is a fairly slim case that snaps on around the front of the device, and adds a bit of length to the bottom. While the case won’t necessarily bring your Galaxy S9 up to MIL-SPEC compliance, the case itself is compliant, so you won’t have to worry about it breaking in drops. Early bird registrations for pre-order will get 20% off the $99.99 price. This price not only includes the case but also battery and memory Smartblades.
The only Smartblades available right now are battery and storage modules, which all come in under $100. Storage ranges from 16GB to 128GB, and the Smartblades’ battery pack is rated to add about 6 hours of active use like web browsing to the phone’s longevity. The 16GB Blade will run you $49.99, while it’ll be $59.99 for 32GB, $74.99 for the 64GB, and the 128GB pack costs $89.99. All of the battery and memory Smartblades have the same amount of extra battery life packed in. According to i-BLADES’ website, a VR headset that hooks directly to the phone is coming some time in the near future. It will be foldable, and can be carried attached to the phone. Though it hooks up using the Smartblades slot, there is no information about enabling any extra special features in a similar vein to the Samsung Gear VR. A price for the headset is yet to be announced.
i-BLADES is far from the only choice of a case for the new Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus, and may not be the best choice for protection or style; those honors largely go to more conventional cases. This case, however, is the only way to add modularity akin to the Lenovo Moto Z family to your Samsung flagship. Combined with a good screen protector, it can offer a reasonable level of defense, while adding extra memory and battery life to your phone for the time being, with more functionality coming later on.