When browsing the digital shelves of Amazon, it’s hard to tell the difference between phone cases. Most of them look like slight variations of each other and it’s hard to tell the fake reviews from the real ones. We test a lot of cases here at Android Central and our best Galaxy Z Fold 4 cases (opens in new tab) guide is proof of that. But one particular type of case has been difficult to recommend up until now: the rugged case.
Thankfully, Caseborne’s latest rugged case for the Z Fold 4 (opens in new tab) and Z Flip 4 (opens in new tab) finally fix that gap, delivering a hardened case that’ll withstand basically anything you can do to the phone and still leave it unscathed. It’s not too heavy, not too bulky — for a rugged case, that is — and the lip around the outside display is just the right size. Plus, it’s on sale for nearly 50% off for Black Friday (opens in new tab)! Just be sure to use the coupon code CaseborneBF at checkout on Amazon.
It even comes with two tempered glass screen protectors and a hand-written note in the box from the company’s owner, Karl, including a phone number you can text if you ever have a problem with the case. Now that’s service.
So here’s the deal. Most rugged cases are just plain unwieldy. Those giant Otterbox cases have gotten slimmer over the years for a good reason, after all. I’ve never once found one that I’ve liked or wanted to use for more than 5 minutes, and I’ve used a significant number of them over the years for all sorts of phones.
Now, that’s not to say the Caseborne V case isn’t big. This one’s a chonker but it doesn’t bother me for one main reason: it’s not heavy when compared to all the other rugged cases I’ve yet tried for the Z Fold 4. It’s made from hard plastic that doesn’t feel cheap and won’t crack, even if you drop the phone straight on concrete.
The owner, Karl, regularly goes out in public and films people throwing his phones in Caseborne cases to prove the point. I’ve seen a fair number of them in my Twitter feed but this one has to be one of the most impressive ones yet.
Judging by the video, that had to be at least a 12ft spinning drop flat onto concrete, yet, the phone was just fine. These are seriously tough cases.
Beyond just being tough, this one’s really nice to use. It’s got an S Pen holster in the hinge, which slides up to reveal the pen. Even if this hinge were to somehow pop open when you drop your phone, the pen is snugly clipped inside to keep it from rolling away from the scene of the crime.
But my favorite part of the case is probably the fact that the lip on the outside display isn’t too big. Most rugged cases put a giant lip around the display to keep it safe but forget that people like using gesture navigation.
That huge lip makes it impossible to grab the edge of the display and swipe to navigate with most phone cases, but not on this one. It’s got a nice, tapered edge that makes gesture navigation as effortless as it is without a case.
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The hinge also folds back and stays centered on the phone. Most other cases with hinge protection also fold back but they carelessly block the display when the phone is open. While that might not be a big deal when you’re holding it, it causes problems if you want to use the front display as a camera viewfinder.
In addition to keeping the display clear, the large hinge also provides a wonderful place to hold the phone when it’s unfolded. I do a lot of reading on my Z Fold 4 and I’ve found this hinge to be invaluable, as it makes the device far more comfortable to hold like this for long periods of time.
It also comes in three colors — black, orange, or purple — so you can pick one that’s best for you.
Caseborne also makes a version of the case without the S Pen holster if you don’t need such a thing. It makes the case a bit smaller since the hinge isn’t as big, which should make using the outer display even easier and it’s also on sale for Black Friday.
Like the one with the S Pen holster, this one also includes tempered glass screen protectors for maximum protection.
Lastly, if you’re just in the market for a tough Galaxy Z Flip 4 case, the Caseborne V is also available for Samsung’s smallest foldable. It’s just as rugged as the one for the Fold 4 but fits your Flip 4 perfectly. It’s even got a nifty hinge design that’ll keep it slightly propped up when folded into Flex Mode.