The Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra is a great phone, but the $1,300 asking price is tough to swallow. So, it’s lucky, then, that the phone’s physical design is screaming for a case with that massive camera module sticking out of the back. You don’t want to trust just any old case to protect your $1,300 phone. We’ve tested many, many Note20 Ultra cases, and here are the best.
Best customizable option: dbrand Grip (Featured)
There’s no case for your Note20 more customizable than the dbrand Grip, and it’ll make that big, slippery phone easier to hold onto. The edge has a fine, grippy texture, and the ridges along the side add a little more friction where you fingers are likely to rest. All the buttons line up perfectly and remain easy to press, too. It offers good protection for the cameras and the curved front glass. The case is very sturdy, but that also makes it a bit tough to insert and remove the phone.
Around back, the Grip has a perfectly sized flat space for Note20 Ultra vinyl skins. I have the see-through skin attached in the photo, but you can slap on whichever one you want. You can even peel the skin off and put on a new one whenever you want. The grip is a little on the expensive side at $30, and each skin is another $10.
Best value: Spigen Tough Armor
The Spigen Tough Armor has long been my favorite “does it all on a budget case.” If offers excellent protection, preserves button feel, is easy to put on/remove, and comes with a small kickstand. It’s got nice, beefy corners to withstand drops, and the internal impact foam helps protect that big glass back. The edge also rises up just high enough to offer some screen protection without being a nuisance when you need to perform swipe gestures.
The Tough Armor is not the most attractive case, but it checks all the other boxes. The Tough Armor starts at only $15 on Amazon, which is a bargain for such a well-made case.
Most rugged: Poetic Spartan
How paranoid are you about breaking your phone? Since you’re reading an article about phone cases, I’m going to assume the answer is “at least somewhat.” Then maybe you need the Poetic Spartan. It’s big, it’s heavy, and it offers extremely good protection for your phone. Among its principal drawbacks… it’s big and heavy. Bit of a catch-22, that. On the plus side, it only costs about $20 on Amazon.
The Poetic Spartan has two pieces: a rigid frame that clips onto your phone, and the only slightly less rigid rubberized case the frame locks into. That makes the Poetic Spartan a bit difficult to apply, and it’s not something you’d want to use if you frequently remove your phone from the case. It offers ample protection for the screen, corners, and camera module, and there’s a sturdy kickstand on the back. However, the bulky design will make this already massive phone even harder to carry, and it makes swipe gestures more awkward.
Best clear case: Spigen Ultra Hybris S
If you’re looking to protect the Note20 Ultra without adding bulk or obscuring the design, the Spigen Ultra Hybris S might be the way to go. This clear case is flexible, but it feels rock-solid once it’s on the phone because the fit is so good. However, it doesn’t provide as much protection as thicker cases. There’s also a kickstand on the back, which I find useful. If you prefer not to have a kickstand, there’s a non-S variant of the case.
Clear cases can sometimes discolor after prolonged use, and I haven’t been using the Spigen Ultra Hybris S long enough to know if it’ll fall victim. What I can say is that it looks great out of the box and no immediate issues have cropped up in my week or so of testing. The Spigen Ultra Hybris S runs about $13 on Amazon.
Hardest to drop: Speck Presidio 2 Grip
Speck’s cases don’t have a lot of bells and whistles, but they’re solid and look nicer than many other options. The Presidio 2 Grip is a rubberized case with raised ridges on the sides and back to keep that massive phone in your hand where it belongs. It has a unique flexing corner design that makes it easy to insert the phone that still feels nice and secure. It’s a soft-touch plastic material, but it doesn’t show too many smudges thanks to the ridges. There’s also an anti-microbial coating.
The buttons are a bit on the stiff side, but that’s not a deal-breaker. Speck’s site lists these cases at $40 or more, but they’re not much cheaper on Amazon. That’s a lot for a case, but it’s a very, very nice case.
Which is best for you?
Picking a case for your phone is as personal as it is practical, and it all depends on your budget and taste. If you want a case that’s pretty rugged and also highly personalized, dbrand’s Grip remains our favorite, and presents a pretty good value for what it is. If you don’t want to spend $30-40 on a case and don’t mind as much what it looks like—so long as your phone is protected— Spigen’s affordable options come from a trustworthy brand that we can vouch for, often at less than half the price of the premium competition. If ruggedness is priority one, we think Poetic offers the best protection at the lowest price possible.