Samsung's S View cover offers a sneak peek at your Galaxy S4

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March 14, 2013 5:03 PM PDT / Updated: March 14, 2013 7:56 PM PDT

Phone covers can protect your screen, but they also hide status updates, incoming calls, and other information you may want to see at a glance. The new S View Cover for the Galaxy S4 clips onto the top of the new phone, but offers a clever workaround by simply cutting a rectangular peephole into the cover material, giving you partial access to the screen.

The phone can sense when the cover is closed and switch to a minimized view when new updates arrive, putting the information in a tiny window that lines up with the cover's cutout. In this view, you can get access to information such as the time, battery status, the current music playlist, and caller ID.

It's a minor feature, compared with some of the more buzz-heavy things about the S4, such as its photo and translation features, but potentially handy for those who are constantly pulling their phones out of their pockets to check for updates.

There's no word yet on how much the S View cover will cost or when it will be available.

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Dan Ackerman leads CNET's coverage of laptops, desktops, and Windows tablets, while also writing about games, gadgets, and other topics. A former radio DJ and member of Mensa, he's written about music and technology for more than 15 years, appearing in publications including Spin, Blender, and Men's Journal.