While the normal streetscape of masses staring down at their phones is less common these days, your smartphone is likely still one of your most used products on any given day. For one thing, it can be used for contact tracing, a typically smartphone app-driven effort during the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic that’s gotten the attention of tech giants like Google and Apple. And in using your smartphone, you may want to protect it — after all, you paid (or are paying through installments) good money for that phone, so you should treat it like the precious cargo that it is. If you choose to place your phone in a case, you’ve got lots of options, as you know if you’ve ever frequented any tech store or even online phone site. To help you navigate your options and how to shop for the best phone case out there, here are some of the best cases to protect your smartphone from scratches, dents or utter destruction.
In this article
- Best protective phone case
- Best water-resistant phone case
- Best super thin and compact phone case
- Best flexible phone case
- Best phone case with a built-in battery
- Best wallet phone case
- Best fashionable and functional phone case
- Best phone case for dog-lovers
- Best 90's-inspired phone case
- Best eco-friendly phone case
Best protective phone case: Otterbox
1. Otterbox Symmetry
When it comes to basic protection, there are more cases out there than we can count, but Otterbox has become somewhat synonymous with tough phone cases. Their flagship Defender series is probably overkill for most, but their Symmetry series hits a perfect sweet spot: It’ll protect your phone from most drops and ding, without being too overly bulky in your pocket. Best of all, it comes in a myriad of colors and patterns, allowing you to express your personality at the same time.
Best water-resistant phone case: Lifeproof
2. Lifeproof FRE
If you spend a lot of time at the pool, beach or hunched over a bathtub with splashing kids, Lifeproof has you covered with their FRE line of cases. Available for a number of phones, the Lifeproof FRE seals your phone in a shell with a built-in screen protector so it won’t get wet. Even if your phone claims to be highly water-resistant, I wouldn’t trust it near water without some extra protection.
Best super thin and compact phone case: totallee
3. totallee Thin Case
If you hate the bulk of a case but want to protect your phone from scratches, totalee’s Thin case might be the perfect option for you. It’s so thin, it barely feels like there’s anything there — which is perfect for case-haters. Just don’t expect it to save you from a hard drop on pavement.
Best flexible phone case: Spigen
4. Spigen Liquid Air
If you want something slim but need a bit of extra protection, the Spigen Liquid Air strikes an incredible perfect balance between a sleek frame and flexible, shock-absorbing protection, with a comfortable shape and a textured back that feels perfect in your hands.
Best phone case with a built-in battery: mophie
5. mophie Juice Pack
If your phone’s battery can’t quite get you through a long day of Facebooking and gaming, a battery pack can help eke out a few more hours — or you could attach that extra battery right to your phone with the Mophie Juice Pack. When your phone’s battery gets low, you can turn the case on and charge your phone right back up from your pocket. The new Juice Pack Access allows you to use wired headphones and other peripherals while charging your phone wirelessly, while the slightly bulkier Juice Pack Air plugs into your phone with an integrated Lightning or USB connector.
Best wallet phone case: Nomad
6. Nomad Rugged Folio
Why carry your phone in one pocket and your wallet in another when you could save some space and smush them together? The Nomad Rugged Folio has a classy leather look that will age over time and a folio-style cover that flips open to reveal your credit cards and cash. There’s also a tri-fold version if you need more space — if Nomad doesn’t make a version for your phone, the Otterbox Strada is another favorite of mine.
Best fashionable and functional phone case:
7. Shop Sonix Crossbody Case
If you're wearing pants or a dress with no pockets, consider this chic and functional phone case from Sonix to store your mobile device. It's made from vegan leather and features three card slots and a cash slot. The envelope style crossbody case has a gold-tone chain-link strap, making it the perfect accessory to sport during your socially distant picnics or rooftop day drinking sessions. There's also a snap closure for quick and easy access to your phone, like capturing a sunset or ice cream. It’s available in two colors: Saturday Night Blush, a dainty pink and Cow Print, a black and white option.
Best phone case for dog-lovers:
8. Casetify Swimming Frenchie iPhone 11
If you, your mother or work wife love dogs, you all will likely be into this phone case from Casetify. Besides featuring an adorable French bulldog, the phone case is practical and is available in varying protection levels for your phone — Basic Grip Case to Ultra Impact Case — if you are prone to dropping your cell phone. Need some variety? You can also change the case's color with options like Pink, Midnight Green, Yellow, Teal, and more.
Best 90s-inspired phone case:
9. Pastel Geometric Memphis Pattern
Grab your Casio sports watch and embrace '90s nostalgia with a new phone case in a pastel color palette and geometric design, which reminds us of the opening credits of "Saved By The Bell." Beyond offering 13 colors to choose from — Red, Hot Pink, Teal and others — the protective case has options made for various models of the Samsung Galaxy and 10 editions of the iPhone. If you've experienced a cracked smartphone screen, then consider upgrading to an Ultra Impact version of this case.
Best eco-friendly phone case:
10. Honey Bee Google Pixel 3 Case
If you’re in the market for a new phone case and consider yourself environmentally conscious, consider the Pela Case. On top of the protection it provides your phone, it is made from Flax shive and a plant-based biopolymer, making it 100 percent compostable, according to the brand. That’s not the only way you’ll be helping the Earth when you purchase one of these cases. Pela also donates at least one percent of every sale to ocean cleanup and preservation initiatives. Besides Google Pixel, this case has options that fit a variety of Samsung Galaxy devices and Apple iPhones.
Catch up on Select's in-depth coverage of personal finance, tech and tools, wellness and more, and follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to stay up to date.