Nomad Clear Folio for the Samsung Galaxy S9/S9+

Adam Matlock

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Jul 24, 2015
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According to legend, there were 19 magical rings that were scattered across the face of the Earth, but there was one ring which was more powerful than all the others. It was one ring to rule them all, and in darkness bind them. They actually made a few movies about it that you should check out sometime, but that has absolutely nothing to do with this review. This is a story about a case. However, this case does rule one thing: The Samsung Galaxy S9/S9+. Forged in the fire of mount Nomad, the Clear Folio is a refreshing and unique blend of American made leather and polycarbonate material that is sure to impress, and maybe even send a hobbit or two trekking across middle-earth to find one.


If you’ve checked out any of my reviews lately, then you know that Nomad is a phone accessory company that means business. Not just business in the front and party in the back kind of business, but all around awesome business. I recently reviewed the Leather Folio, as well as the Rugged case for the iPhone X, and they’re both phenomenal cases. However, the Clear Folio is in a category all by itself, and it’ll make Ricky Bobby say “really thin pancakes” any day of the week.


The Look: The look of the Clear Folio is just plain sexy – well, as sexy as a phone case can be anyway. Building off of Nomad’s reputation for awesome leather products, the Clear Folio cleverly incorporates the same American made Horween brand leather into the case, but it does something else… The case doesn’t just have leather, it also has a clear polycarbonate case that surrounds the phone and keeps it safe and warm, and it’s see through. One of the things I hate the most about putting my beautiful phone into a case is that it loses all of the visual aesthetics that help set it apart from the competition, and it obscures the form factor; not this case though. The Clear Folio allows you to have your cake and eat it too, by using the clear case for the foundation and then slapping a fancy leather folio on the front – sheer brilliance. The Clear Folio screams quality and hybrid delight. In addition to the classy physical stance, the case still has a few tricks up its sleeve in the form of three card slots on inside the folio over, and a wallet-like cash slot! Last but not least, the leather on this case is still the same fashionable and fancy leather that the rest of Nomads cases have to offer. However, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention to you how the leather develops and changes over time, which is called a “patina.” The leather is shiny and brand new when it comes out of the box, but as time progressed (see the included picture), the case takes on its own little characteristics traits as it shines, fades, changes color and even texture over time. This change is due to the environment the phone is in plus oils and skin contact on the surface, which causes it to age and change over time… it’s really cool stuff.


The Feel: The feeling of this case is a bit different from the typical nomad cases which are completely made of leather and polycarbonate material. Although leather is awesome and looks great, it can be slick at times and also causes me to worry a bit when I want to set my phone down somewhere. Normally I set my leather bound cases face down on the screen so I don’t have to worry about my case being damaged or affected by liquids or other unwanted substances on surfaces such as countertops or kitchen tables. However, with the Clear Folio, I can put my phone down on the counter as it was naturally intended (back of the case first), because the back of the case is made out of clear material. Another super fancy feature of the Clear Folio is that you can have the awesome vegetable tanned leather but still be able to show off the underlying color of your phone. That’s right ladies and gentlemen, the phone case is clear on the back, when means the rest of the world gets a front-row seat to “ooooh” and “ahhhh” over the brand spanking new color S9/S9+ that you got. All in all, the case is comfortably grippy and never really leaves you worrying about it sliding out of your hand or off any normal surface. The buttons are also nice and springy, and have a soft’ish feedback when you press down on the buttons; it’s really kind of nice.


Protection: The protection on this case is actually quite good. In contrast to the Leather Folio which does not offer drop protection, the Clear Folio is actually rated at 6ft of drop protection, which is fantastic. I’m 6ft tall, so having the peace of mind of knowing that I can hold this thing at eye-level and drop it on the ground and my phone will still be alright is quite nice. Even though the folio cover is made out of leather, the actual case is made out of rugged ultra-clear polycarbonate, which saves the day in the event of an accidental phone drop. Furthermore, the fancy folio cover isn’t just for looks… it also provides protection for the left-side of the phone where the buttons and mute switch are at. And get this… even though the case is super-protective and cool looking, it doesn’t interfere with your wireless charging abilities, which is a nicety.


Decision Making Concerns: The Clear Folio case is great, and currently it’s my most favorite case I have for my Galaxy S9+. The materials are high quality, the leather is stunning, and the clear case is like icing on the cake. I do have a few concerns though. The most inconvenient issue I have is that the cut-out on the back for the biometrics scanner that enables you to use the heart rate monitor and blood pressure app is too small and deep. The thickness of the case makes it really difficult to be able to check your heart rate, and makes it really hard to do the blood pressure thing. Additionally, the folio cover can’t be secured, meaning that it can flap around if you’re not controlling it while you’re moving the phone around. Last but not least, the folio cover doesn’t turn the screen off, or wake up the phone. I come from a generation of phone case users from days of old when you could close your folio cover and it would turn off the screen – I wish this case did that… But alas, it does not. On a more positive note, the wallet feature and card slots are legit. I started using them day-one, as soon as I took the case out of the box and it's been really nice being able to ditch my wallet!


Conclusion: It’s fantastic, it’s classy, and it keeps your phone secured in style. The materials on this baby are all around impressive, and really help to show off the fine balance between aesthetics and style, without having to sacrifice on showmanship. The Clear Folio brings together some super sweet leather, and a hybrid-design that incorporates the clear polycarbonate case into the mix that is bottom line… impressive. This case was definitely a home run, and I believe the best of the three Nomad cases that I have tested out.

Interested in picking up the Clear Folio for your Samsung Galaxy S9/S9+? Check out the link to Nomad’s website, and have a peek at the Leather Folio, and all of the other cool accessories that they have: Right now you can pick up the case for $49.95. There is also a built-in discount option for 10% off on Nomad’s website, which brings the case down to $44.95 (hey, every little penny counts!) Shipping is based off of location, but in the U.S., it appears that Standard shipping (USPS Ground) will run about $5* (only an estimate based off of my own address)
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Nov 11, 2012
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Nice case and review. 3 things missing that would make this case perfect. 1- earpiece cutout in the front cover so you can talk without having to keep the flap open. 2- magnetic snap to keep the flap cover close. 3- leather colour option. Not a fan of brown with my phone.