Review: Tech21 Evo Max & Pure Clear Cases for Galaxy S9 / S9+ – No Gimmick Protection

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May 25, 2018
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Here’s our full review of the Tech21 Evo Max and Pure Clear cases for the Samsung Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+. Spoiler alert: they’re darn good!

Tech21 Evo Max & Pure Clear Cases are Designed to Take Hits and Falls – Ideal for the Galaxy S9 / S9+

Tech21 has been around for quite a while now and their lineup of cases extend to a wide variety of devices including iPhones. Their case-making experience has reached a point where they can confidently write ‘Scientifically Proven’ next to their drop protection claim. Not a lot of companies can put such a claim in their marketing material and we got extremely curious to check it out for ourselves when the company reached out to us to check out their Evo Max and Pure Clear cases for the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+. The Evo Max case we received is meant for the Galaxy S9 whereas the Pure Clear is for the Galaxy S9+. Keep in mind that these cases are available for both the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+.

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Tech21 Pure Clear for Galaxy S9+

We’ll take a look at the Tech21 Pure Clear first because that caught our attention the most thanks to its simplicity, something which I personally like in any case.

Once you get this case, just pull on the tab on the right hand side of the box and you’ll be done with the unboxing immediately. There are no manuals or anything, everything you need to know about the case is written on the back of the box itself.

Cutouts for the headphone jack and the USB-C port are generous enough to accept any type of cable you might throw in. In fact, I tested out several different cables to see if anything gets in the way, but nope. It works just fine. No complaints here.

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The sides of the case are made in such a way that they do not interfere with the Infinity Display’s curved edge at all. But I will drop a warning here that some of you might not like bumping your thumb onto the case’s sides while swiping on the edge, but it eventually grows on you over time.

The case has slightly raised edges so that the screen never comes in contact with any sort of surface when it is lying face down.

Camera and fingerprint cutouts are extremely precise too and there are no complaints on that front either.

Tech21 Pure Clear Gallery

The case is 1.2mm thick but I will disagree with Tech21’s statement of “you’ll soon forget it’s there.” Trust me, it’s there for sure and you’ll feel it in day to day usage. However, when it comes to sliding the phone in and out of pockets, the case doesn’t get in the way at all.

Since this case is just 1.2mm thick, it therefore won’t get in the way of wireless charging at all. We tested several Qi Wireless chargers and all of them seemed to work just fine.

The entire case is made from hard plastic that tends to pick up quite a lot of fingerprints if you have sweaty hands. Also, since this is a clear case, it’s therefore an ideal choice if you wish to show off your phone’s design and color.

Tech21 has thrown in all sorts of jargon in its marketing material when it comes to the protection. This includes BulletShield, a material used in bullet-proof glass. But it all boils down to this: the Pure Clear can survive a drop fo up to 10-feet which is way more than enough if you are not planning to scale mountains. Just for kicks, we dropped our Galaxy S9+ from a height of 3-feet several times and this case held up pretty nicely. We therefore have complete confidence in the protective claims made by Tech21.

I’ll wrap things up by saying that the Pure Clear gets the job done without getting in the way too much, something which can’t be said for a ton of cases out there. I would suggest going for the Pure Clear rather than the Evo Max due to its minimalist design.

Tech21 Evo Max for Galaxy S9

Though we didn’t have a Galaxy S9 with us to test out the case but it’s not too dissimilar from the Pure Clear in a lot of ways.

First and foremost, the design choice is extremely obvious the moment you look at the Evo Max and will definitely bode well with those who like a little bit of flare. Personally speaking, I didn’t quite like it at first, but then I realized that the design printout at the back actually has one advantage: it makes the case far less slippery to hold compared to the Pure Clear.

Tech21 Evo Max Gallery

The Evo Max is 1.4mm thick, which is 0.2mm more compared to the Pure Clear. Though this thickness is again claimed to be barely there, but you will notice it for sure. This is not an ultra-thin case by any means, but thanks to that ‘barely there’ thickness, you can rest assured that you can wirelessly charge your Galaxy S9 at full speed.

On the physical design front, the Evo Max is not so dissimilar from the Pure Clear. It has the same type of cutouts which are nice and bold. Buttons are easy to get to although they require a bit of muscle to press and, last but not least, if you put your phone face-down on a table, you can rest assured that the display will never ever touch the surface thanks to the raised edges.

But here comes the best part about the Evo Max: it can survive a drop of up to 14-feet. Compared to the Pure Clear’s 10-feet credentials, I would highly recommend the Evo Max if you are all about protecting yourself against drops.

Pricing & Conclusion

On the pricing front, the Pure Clear will set you back $39.99 whereas the Evo Max is priced at $44.99. Add $4.99 extra on top of those prices if you’re going for the Galaxy S9+ versions of the case.

Needless to say that these cases aren’t cheap, but if you’re looking for something that’s scientifically backed up when it comes to protecting your device then you really can’t go wrong with these options from Tech21.

If it was totally up to me, I would suggest going for the Pure Clear thanks to its minimal nature. It’s also the perfect way of showing off your Galaxy S9’s color as well, but if you aren’t bothered about aesthetics and demand more protection, then the Evo Max is the way to go.

Buy Tech21 Pure Clear for Galaxy S9 [Amazon link]
Buy Tech21 Pure Clear for Galaxy S9+ [Amazon link]

Buy Tech21 Evo Max for Galaxy S9 [Tecvh21 link]
Buy Tech21 Evo Max for Galaxy S9+ [Amazon link]

While you are here, you may also like to check out:

Best Samsung Galaxy S9 Cases You Can Buy [List]

8

Both cases do what they are supposed to exceptionally well. The protection offered is backed by years of Tech21's expertise in this arena.

Performance9
Value7
Design & Aesthetics8
Features8

Pros

  • Both cases are great if you are looking for protection in the long run.

Cons

  • The price might put some people off.
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