ESR Kickstand Case for Samsung Galaxy S23 review: My favorite integrated kickstand case

A kickstand in a phone case isn’t new, but the way ESR does it is unique, and the way all cases should integrate it.

ESR Shock Armor Kickstand Case - Galaxy S23 Ultra - 2
A lot of cases serve a single function: to protect your device. However, there are options out there that offer other features like credit card slots, increased water resistance, extreme drop protection, and more. One feature that’s always interested me is a built-in kickstand, but this usually means the case is extra thick to incorporate it, the kickstand adds a bump to the phone, or it’s just plain ugly. Enter ESR.

This manufacturer offers a broad range of different accessories for your gadgets, including excellent phone cases. While it does sell a kickstand case with a bump on the back to house the fold-out mechanism, there’s a model with a kickstand that acts as a camera lens protector, and that really stands out. While putting a kickstand on a case isn’t new, ESR’s implementation is.

  • ESR Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra - Classic Kickstand Case
    ESR Classic Kickstand (Galaxy S23 Ultra)

    This low-profile case offers military-grade protection without adding too much bulk. The metal frame around the camera house not only adds protection to the lenses but also acts as a fold-out kickstand for the device.

  • ESR Shock Armor Kickstand Galaxy S23 Ultra case
    ESR Shock Armor Kickstand Galaxy S23 Ultra case

    The ESR Shock Armor Kickstand case for the Galaxy S23 Ultra is a great, all-around case. It comes with shock-absorbing Air-Guard corners, military-grade drop protection, a built-in screen protector, and a kickstand.

I’ve been testing both the Shock Armor and Classic versions for the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra and the Galaxy S23+ that offer this unique kickstand integration, and I have come to like them. They come in multiple colors and textures, but all offer a metal frame surrounding the camera housing, creating additional protection for the lenses.

The best part of all these cases is that when you want to prop up your phone, the frame can be folded to act as a kickstand. The hinge feels sturdy and holds the angle you set it to well. I set the Galaxy S23 Ultra, a large and heavy phone, up at various angles to see if the hinge would collapse, but it held firm.

Despite having kickstands and unique features for different types of users, each of these cases is slim. Even the Shock Armor version is far less bulky than almost every other two-piece, extra-durable phone case I’ve used. Don’t get me wrong, it will still make your phone thicker. But for the protection it provides and the inclusion of a unique kickstand, it is excellent, and I feel like it’s one of the best Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra cases you can get.

Finally, there’s the price. While these aren’t bottom-dollar, uber-cheap cases you can pick up for five bucks, they’re still quite affordable. The build quality is excellent, and the unique implementation of the kickstand makes these cases from ESR a fantastic overall value.

I wouldn’t use a phone case at all in a perfect world. I like to feel the phone as intended by the manufacturer because companies spend a lot of time designing the best smartphones to look and feel great. And no matter the case, it’ll change both of these things once it goes on the phone. However, if I can put a good-looking case on that is slim, offers good protection when my phone needs it, and give me practical features like the kickstand, I’m all for it.