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Samsung Galaxy S10 and S10 + Wood Case Development

From Apple to Android

I’ve been an iPhone user since day 1, and Apple has sunk their ecosystem claws way too deep for me to change course at this point.  (Once you have a Mac, iPad, Apple TV, AirPods, a HomePod, and Apple Music, what are the odds you’ll ever switch to Android?) And for a long time, KerfCase was an iPhone-only shop; we offered exactly one style of case, one that fit the iPhone 5/5s, and life was simpler.  

A few years ago, we were excited by the Google Pixel’s promise as a high-end, vertically-integrated Android phone, an “iPhone for Android” if you will, and we took a big risk on supporting the original Pixel and Pixel XL.  It was a scary thought at the time, since none of the full-time staff at Kerf are Android users. We weren’t familiar with the ins and outs of that ecosystem and just weren’t sure if there was demand for our product.

kerfcase walnut wood case for google pixel
Your humble author, modeling one of the first-ever KerfCases for Pixel.

We were pleasantly surprised that our all-wood and wood and metal phone cases were a welcome part of the Pixel market, and we discovered that Pixel users do a lot of research, talk in online communities like Reddit, and overall are very discerning when planning their purchases.  What we discovered as we went (thanks to a lot of direct feedback from our customers) was that many case companies were neglecting the Pixel market, and lots of owners wanted a premium, handmade or exotic phone case and just couldn’t find anything with real quality. Once word got out that we were an option, the floodgates opened.  Our Pixel cases were and continue to be a huge success, and we began thinking about where to go next.

Samsung was the logical next step.  Samsung sells millions upon millions of phones a year, and their Galaxy S series has always been designed to compete with Apple for features and premium feel.  We had tried out a few Samsung cases in the past, but had balked at a full release because, like with the Pixels, we just weren’t sure what to expect. In 2018 we gave it our all and designed an awesome all-wood case for the Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+, and once again we immediately were welcomed into the Samsung community.

kerfcase maple wood phone case for Samsung Galaxy s9 galaxy s9+ galaxy s10 galaxy s10+
Our Samsung case!

Samsung’s long-rumored Galaxy S10 series is ready to be announced on February 20, with a likely release in early March, so this is a great time to get a feel for what kind of phones will be available and what you can expect from us in terms of accessories!

The Big Deal: An Even Edge-to-Edgier Display

Samsung Galaxy s10 s10+
From "notch" to "hole punch"!

Samsung is a giant company, but one of their huge areas of business is the design and manufacture of display panels, so it makes sense that their phones usually lead the pack in display technology, and that Samsung displays can be found even in their competitor’s phones!  The Galaxy S8 in 2017 wowed the tech world with what was at the time a revolutionary display: with minimal bezels on the top and bottom and virtually zero on the sides, it kicked off an “edge-to-edge” race that continues today. Apple’s iPhone X, Google’s Pixel 3XL, and many many Android models eventually caught up and surpassed the S8 in the “the front of your phone is nothing but screen” race but for a long time, there was only one game in town.  Last year’s Galaxy S9 series kept the same form factor as the S8, and in the intervening months an edge-to-edge display has gone from an expensive novelty to the default option for phones. Apple’s 3 new phones last year all featured a giant, all-encompassing display, complete with their signature “notch” at the top to house sensors, cameras and the phone speaker.

Samsung is overdue to step up their game, and rumor is they have something truly crazy in mind to do just that.  Apple’s “notch” is an elegant way to solve an inelegant problem; much as the dream is to have nothing but screen on that front surface, there’s not an easy way to do that without removing things like a selfie camera, phone speaker, and other critical components.  Typically this array of components hides in the bezel, but bezels are so 2016. A few phones tried a pop-up from the top for when these gadgets are needed, but moving parts are an even more risky and outdated concept for our space-age devices. If there was a way to put some of these components UNDER the screen, but that’s impossible! ...Or is it?

Samsung Galaxy s10 s10+
That's a lot of real estate.

Described by Samsung as “Infinity-O”, and by the tech press at large as the “Hole Punch” display, there’s a lot of evidence that the Galaxy S10 series will feature a display with a selfie camera cutout IN THE MIDDLE OF THE DISPLAY.  No notch needed, just a tiny hole for the camera peeps out, and the display completely surrounds it. Imagining how something like this is put together boggles my mind, but I’m not a materials scientist! This accompanies rumors that Samsung’s fingerprint scanner will be embedded under the display, with perhaps a speaker hiding in plain sight as well.  Jony Ive described his ideal future iPhone as “a single sheet of glass”, and with their new phones, Samsung is taking yet another step in that direction.

A rendering of a radical new style of phone.

The Wild Card

Samsung is known for offering a wide variety of phones in a given year, and this “spaghetti on the wall” approach has paid off.  Their Edge series, with a weird bezel display offering contextual menu items, didn’t take off, but their gigantic Note series, deemed comically large at launch, were so successful that they prompted competitors like Apple to offer their own huge phone options.  In February, we’re expecting at least 3 discrete handsets: the standard S10, the bigger S10 Plus, and something called the S10E, which appears to be a lower cost phone without the edge-to-edge display (likely to compete with the iPhone XR). We are planning to support all three models!

There’s chatter about a “foldable” phone option, designed to flex Samsung’s bendable display chops.  Given the amount of leaks, if this phone is announced next month, we’re not expecting a release imminently; what’s more likely is a tech demo and a full release later in the year.  Given the shape and functionality of this device, it’s a long shot that we’ll be able to design a functional case for it, but you never know!

See You At The Launch!

Whatever announcements in February bring, we’re excited to bring our line of handmade, all-wood cases to Samsung’s next crop of smartphones.  Tune in shortly after the announcement to see our lineup and learn when they’ll be available. Keep in mind that we don’t get advance copies of the phone, so we need a few weeks to fine-tune our measurements and road test the batch before they go out to customers.  But we can’t wait to see you on the other side of the announcement!

Phil Giammattei likes to wear lots of different hats.  Formerly employed at Apple, Google and Oracle, he loves applying his technical knowledge to making the best possible custom wooden phone cases.  In addition to writing the Kerf Blog, Phil manages customer service for KerfCase.   Reach Out  to say hi and find out what choice wood pieces we have in stock!

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We take pride in offering the best customer service possible. Our customers consistently say we have the best wood iPhone cases on the market. Take a look at what some of them have to say. You can read more verified customer reviews on our Google Reviews

"You guys did a fantastic job on this case! I will pass along to my high-end phone case friends. Keep up the good work, thanks for the prompt delivery. You guys rock!" -Steve

"The new case arrived today and you are definitely right - it is fantastic! It is just so different! Love it! Will be letting others know where to go when they want a quality, very different cell phone case." -Sherry

"I received my case yesterday. I love it. Generally, less is more for me with my iPhones. The phone is beautiful, I love the form factor and don't go with a heavier, bulkier case. However, yours is not that. Very unique case. I'm a big fan. Well done." -Jim Rome

"This case is a work of art." -Kurt

"I love this case. What separates Kerf cases from everything else on the market is the quality of the product. When you handle it, you feel like you're holding something special." -Brian

"This case checks all my boxes: eco-friedly, handmade, clean design, durable and light-weight." -Alexandra

"The quality of wood and craftsmanship are outstanding." -Webber

"Absolutely gorgeous, unique case like nothing I've owned before." -Debra

"This is the best case I have ever owned. Not only does it protect the phone but it is visually stunning and gets complimented constantly, truly a work of art." -Justin

"The character of the wood is stunning. It's not like any other wood I've ever seen. Each case is a one-of-a-kind, but this one is uniquely impressive in its beauty. So happy with this case! Thanks to Ben for the outstanding customer service with the speedy shipping and detailed emails. I'm a customer for life." -Lori

"The character of the wood is stunning … So happy with this case!" -L.A.W.

"This is an excellent phone case. It grips well on the hand therefore prevents accidental drops." -Jesus

"This spalted black walnut iPhone 6+ case was beyond my expectations. And the expectations were high … this product does not disappoint as the craftsmanship is five-star." -Steve

"I didn't know what to expect, but when I got it in the mail and put it on it was absolutely beautiful. It is a great looking case. I highly recommend." -Vincent

"Absolutely beautiful! A true work of art. Phone fits perfectly. Looks better than any case I've owned." -TM

"I'm extremely pleased with it. It's like having a work of art surrounding my phone." -Lori

"This case is crazy. No one else has this, it's on another level. Im always looking for something to stand out and this case is it." -Marcus

"I just received my new case and can not be more impressed and satisfied with this product. The flamed maple is awesome and the fit on the iPhone 7 is perfect!" -Andy

"I really love your products. They make me hate my phone a little less." -Johan

"Thank you for making awesome things. I love it." -Goran

"I received my case today. The fit is perfect and it is gorgeous!" -Tom

"I received my new phone case, and it is beautiful...a work of art!" -Dan

"I've never liked a case before. I've tried some different rubber and plastic cases and always end up taking it off within a couple days. This case, however, I will never take off. This is by far the best looking and best feeling case I've ever owned. Also loved the packaging touch. Keep up the good work, I will definitely be buying more in the future." - Yasir S

"The world could use more good design and less plastic!" - John C

"I just got my new Kerf case, and it’s beautiful! My company logo on the back came out sweet! And, I can charge the phone through the case on a Qi pad, which makes it even better. You all should be proud of your craftsmanship. " - Leroy N

"I received my Kerf Case this afternoon and I am really pleased with it! I love how it envelopes the phone and has a feel that is easy to hold. The buttons work great and I like that the silence button is recessed, it isn’t likely to be bumped. I really appreciate the job you did on the graphic on the back. Thanks for your work on this!"- Nels K

"This is the first time I will be using an iPhone case - ever!
I did my homework - I looked at many manufacturers online (none of them seemed worthy). This is a huge vote of confidence and testament to what I imagine will be amazing craftsmanship."- Matt K

"I just have received your product. I just couldn't be happier. It is much more than what I expected. There are few alternatives in terms of google Pixel phone case but your creation is much much better choice. Thank you for creating such an excellent product." - Y Ito

"In the end, what swung it for was the fact you were a small local business that sourced within your local community. Even though I live in Glasgow, Scotland, this really was important and I liked the fact your company was proud of your area, the resources it has and your product. The choice of woods was also pretty cool and at one point is was very torn between the walnut and the rosewood. I ended up opting for the walnut - very much looking forward to getting it on my new iPhone X." -Derek S

"I just received my iPhone case today and it's stunning, keep up the good work!" - Andrew D

"I really do appreciate the help that you guys have done, i know i was frustrated at first. But i do really appreciate companies that really help out with their products. means a lot from someone like me who has had multiple things sit broken in my room because companies would not help out." - Chris W

"I left my phone on the vinyl roof of my car (let’s not discuss that) and it finally flew off as I drove and landed on a busy street. When I was finally able to locate and retrieve it, it had been run over by a large truck and dragged more than 300 feet under the tire. When the truck turned, the case, phone, and wood separated and I found them about 20 feet from each other. Remarkably, my iPhone is fine! Also remarkably, so is the spalted maple backing! However, the steel frame, having done its job well, is now bent (but not mangled). I don’t know if any other case made out of any other material would have done as good a job." -Ben W

"Just received my Alloy case for iPhone 7 and I’m very impressed with the quality of the case. I will definitely purchase more products from your company and will recommend Kerf Case to family and friends. Thanks for a great product." - Gohar N

"As a woodworker I really appreciate the unique iPhone cases you craft. This is my second case. I bought the new iPhone 7 plus, so I had to order another one as soon as possible. I can't tell you how many comments I have received, with the main comment "that's so cool" and " really that's all wood? Thanks and keep up the good work." - Clarke

"I’m a woodworking hobbyist and was really impressed with your product! I have told several friends about it already and will be sharing links and pictures with them when it comes in! Thanks for making these." -B

"I received my phone case yesterday morning, and after the first 24 hours with it my first impression is wow! The quality of this case is beyond my expectation. It's so smooth and wonderfully sanded, I can smell the wood and that is one of my favorite parts of it. I love the little attention to detail that most wood phone cases don't have, like wood buttons instead of rubber. Being a man in the military I take extreme pleasure in attention to detail and your product definitely delivered. Thank you so much for not disappointing me! Good luck with your company I'll be rooting for you!" Very Respectfully, Petty Officer 3rd Class Dehart, Nathan D.

"I received my case last week and after seeing how amazingly made it was I had to order one for my wife right away. Thank you for making such and outstanding product!" - Daniel

"The spalted maple iPhone SE case I just received is wonderful!! A true work of art and totally functional. Love it! Thanks so much. Will recommend to everyone and when it's new iPhone time for me it will always be Kerf case time." - Eddie

"You just can't replicate that depth of color and texture with man-made materials. It brings my glass rectangle addiction one step back into the natural world, and I'll take that wherever I can get it." - Stephanie

"Thank you for making such an awesome product both durable and stylish. You have helped in every way I've needed and in an expeditious way....something you can't find in an owner of a business these days. I greatly appreciate everything." - Jake G Hampu

"I just wanted to let you know that I received my case today and it is quite possibly most beautiful iPhone case I've ever seen! I did a lot of research on wood phone cases and settled on Kerf Case because of the quality—I was not disappointed. The care that went into crafting and shipping the case is evident and I couldn't be happier with my purchase. Thanks for creating such a wonderful product!"- Kirstin

"Apologies for the delay in replying, but it was somewhat intentional. I wanted to wait until we received our cases yesterday. I am more than impressed with the craftsmanship that you and your staff put towards your products. The cases are beautiful and well worth what we paid for them. Thank you again. I will have no problems referring friends to KERF, who have as much of an appreciation for natural hand crafted products as I do." - Kyle Elias, BScH, DVM 

"They are going to become my holiday gift this season ....for all my people....Great product. Very original." - Christopher Bardasian

"Now that's customer service. Thanks Ben I appreciate the attention to detail you guys have with your business plan. No questions but I will tell you that you've earned my respect with the speed, efficiency and quality products you're providing with your customers." - Mark Wilson

"Just wanted to reach out and thank you again- I got my cases back this week and they are beautifully repaired (or replaced, I can't even tell)! Please give Cat my thanks as well for her craftsmanship. I was already a big Kerf fan and repeat customer but will definitely keep coming back thanks to your outstanding service and support. You guys rock, and your products are beautiful. Thanks so much." - Courtney Sanford

"Thank you for your direct contact. This morning I picked up the case from the German customs office. And let me tell you this case is amazing! Thank you so much, you guys did a great job." - Stefan

"Well beyond expectations. Craftsmanship is as close to perfection as possible. Customer service is impeccable and prices are lower than competitors who make inferior products." - Robert W 

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Custom Alloy and Real Wood iPhone Cases, Samsung Galaxy, & Wooden Google Pixel Phone Cases - Handmade in USA