In addition to existing docks and cases, Samsung has fashioned a handful of new accessories to play with the Galaxy S4. We’ll have full reviews of the S Band, Heart Rate Monitor, and Body Scale as soon as we can get ’em.
In the meantime, let me tell you what I think of the S View Flip Cover ($59.99). The case replaces the Galaxy S4’s back panel, snapping on over the battery. Then, a thin flap folds over the phone screen.
The main difference between this and other flip covers is the big carved-out window that lets you see incoming calls and notifications in a specialized visual format that, happily, is prominent and easy to read. The cover also turns off the screen when you slap the cover on, a really useful and Apple-inspired benefit that saves on battery power, and there’s a rainbow of color options.
However, there are some silly, entirely avoidable design issues. When you flip the cover back behind the battery cover to to use the phone, it quickly stops laying flat over the phone face and you’ll likely have to smooth it down to get it to turn off the screen.
Folding back the cover (instead of letting it flop around) also gets in the way of the camera shutter, and might make an unintended cameo. I feel like Samsung could have anticipated what for me felt like a natural user behavior.
The cover unfortunately doesn’t turn into a phone stand when you fold it back, so it won’t prop up the phone when you play a video, which is too bad. For about $60 for a rather flimsily constructed flap, I’d expect a little more.