Samsung’s Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus are now official, which means that major case makers are all revealing their own new releases, with LifeProof putting out three case lineups per phone in the form of the FRE, SLAM, and NEXT. The three case lineups are alike between devices, but they each serve their own purpose and have their own price point. SLAM is the most basic of the bunch and is made to survive drops of up to ten feet for the relatively low price of $49.99. NEXT adds in dirt and dust protection while compromising a bit on drop protection, and comes in at $79.99. Put down $89.99, and the FRE case will adorn your Galaxy S9 or Galaxy S9 Plus and add in water protection, a screen protector, and an even thicker shell, making the phone extremely difficult to destroy by accident.
SLAM offers basic protection in the form of a mostly clear case with thick, colored bumpers for style. It promises basic protection against drops while also helping your phone to stand out in a crowd, but not much else. NEXT also has a clear back, and comes in a plainer arrangement of colors. The kicker with is that it’s a bit thicker than SLAM and clings tighter, enabling it to keep your Galaxy dust-free. FRE is the only one of the bunch that doesn’t have a clear back, and because of that, it can be thick, but not obnoxiously so. It also features tight port covers, making the phone waterproof up to 6.6 feet for an hour. Keep in mind, taking into deeper waters means more pressure, and thus less time beneath the blue. Under enough water pressure, the case may even rupture instantly, potentially turning your expensive and feature-packed new flagship into a paperweight.
As far as availability goes, early birds can only get their hands on the SLAM for now. NEXT is already up for pre-order, with shipping dates to be announced. Those who want the hardcore protection of FRE will have to wait a bit; according to LifeProof, it’s “coming soon.” Keep in mind, the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus won’t be out until March 16, so even if you do get your hands on one of these cases before then, it won’t do you much good. Even if you own the physically similar Galaxy S8 or Galaxy S8 Plus, these cases won’t be an exact fit, and the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus already have a vast wealth of cases available.