The Six Best Heavy Duty Cell Phone and Tablet Cases for Construction Workers
Due to the rugged nature of their jobs, construction workers tend to break more phones than any other professionals. Since instant communication is mission critical to keep projects on schedule and the unpredictableness of work performed on the jobsite, workers need to have their phones working at all times. Also, the increasing reliance on mobile construction software makes the role of smart phones more crucial than ever before. To keep expensive smartphones safe and in peak condition, I selected some of the best phone and tablet cases.
The cases below are listed alphabetically and not by rank. They were chosen based on reviews, price, and performance.
1. Ballistic Hardcore Tactical
This is probably the toughest case out there, and it also has great reviews on Amazon. If you need a super sturdy case and are not worried about size, this is your best option.
Phone: All iPhones
12 feet of drop protection
Protection against dirt, debris, and water
Limited lifetime warranty
Aircraft grade aluminum construction
Hard to assemble and disassemble
Flimsy waist clip
2. iThrough Waterproof Case
These cases offer protection to up to 20 ½ ‘ of water and allow users to take underwater photos. iThrough cases have spectacular reviews and keep you phone looking sleek.
Phone: Most iPhones, and Samsung Galaxies
Thinner than all other cases on this list
Allows for touch screen use underwater
Photos can be taken underwater
Not the toughest case out there
Inaccessible volume buttons
Watch eSUBs webinar on using smartphones to connect the field and office.
3. Lifeproof frē
Lifeproof is another company that makes a highly durable and waterproof yet slim fitting phone case. The case makes smart phones completely waterproof and guards them against almost any element.
Phone: iPhones, Samsung Galaxies, and Droid Turbos
Makes phone completely waterproof, dirt proof, snow proof, and shockproof
Doesn’t interfere with touchscreen
One year warranty
Only works well with iPhones
Hinders iPhone speaker performance
Requires an extension cable for headphones
4. Otterbox Defender Series
Otterbox has been a long time used and trusted case brand by cell phone fanatics. They have been making cases since and are one of the most widely used brands by construction workers around the globe.
Phone: Almost all devices
Drop, dust, screen, and scratch protection
One of the more durable cases
One year warranty
Compatible with wireless charging
Fits well to phones
Three piece system
The screen protector can produce a glare
Unsecure belt clip reported by some users
Interferes with touch ID on iPhones
5. WEKSI Shockproof Case
This case is probably your best option if you own a Samsung Galaxy. What makes this case unique is that protects your phone from grease, as well as dust, water, shock, and dirt.
Phone: Samsung Galaxies
Works well with touch screen
Only 4 oz
No ports for charging cables of headphones
The case can be sticky
Interferes with speakers
6. Urban Armor Gear Plasma Series
The UAG cases are a great option for any construction worker who wants to keep their phone slim but protected. The case features a rugged composite construction and shock cushions and is still light. Any worker that likes to keep his/her phone in their pocket should consider this case because of its slim design.
Phone: Apple, Samsung, Microsoft, Google and LG devices
Impact resistant soft core
Light composite construction
Easy access to touchscreen and ports
Some users have reported that the case splits apart over time
If you are tired of bulky and sluggish ruggedized smartphones, tough cases have come to the rescue. These cases make it possible to protect your smartphone, yet, allow you to tap away on your mobile applications while on the job site.
This page was updated to reflect the new name for our favorite Smartish case: Gripmunk. Only the name has changed, the case is the same.
The iPhone XS, XS Max, XR, and X are Apple’s most expensive phones ever, and the most expensive to repair. Thanks to a design that uses glass for the entire front and back, they’re also perhaps the most breakable, so we recommend using a case that will help protect your phone against scratches, dents, and broken glass.
Case preferences are subjective, so we can’t tell you what the best case for you is. But we’ve tested more than cases for the iPhone XS, XS Max, XR, and X, taking into account protection, utility, and design, to find the best options in a variety of styles and categories. Read on for our picks for basic cases, leather cases, wallet cases, folio cases, transparent cases, extra-protective cases, cases that work well with accessories, thin cases, and battery cases. And as more models are released for Apple’s latest phones, we’ll update this guide with additional options for a wider variety of tastes.
Why you should trust us
I was the accessories editor at iLounge for a little over three years. During my tenure there, I reviewed more than 1, products, most of which were cases. I’ve also been Wirecutter’s case reviewer for the past three years, where I’ve reviewed hundreds more cases. Those numbers span multiple generations of Apple devices, including every iPhone since the iPhone 4 and every iPad. I’ve probably handled more iPhone cases than almost anyone on the planet, so I have a particularly experienced perspective and depth of knowledge when it comes to these items.
We also conducted hands-on panel discussions with multiple groups of Wirecutter staff to get a range of subjective opinions on our picks.
Best basic case: Smartish Gripmunk
Who it’s for: Anyone looking for a simply designed, long-lasting, protective case at an affordable price.
Why it’s great: The Smartish Gripmunk for iPhone X/XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR has been one of our picks since the iPhone 7, and for good reason: It’s the epitome of what a great basic case should be. We know from years of feedback from readers, Wirecutter staff, and family and friends that most people want a case that’s slim, plainly designed, reliably protective, and inexpensive. The Gripmunk is exactly that—a simple case that hits all the right notes, offering the best balance of protection, features, design, and price of any case we’ve tested. And it lasts: even after a year of daily use, the Gripmunk we long-term tested with an iPhone X is still in great shape.
The Gripmunk is a one-piece case made of TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane, a flexible plastic) and is thinner and lighter than most basic cases. It covers more of the important parts of the phone than most cases, without getting in the way of using the handset—to get more protection, you’d have to use a much bulkier case. It also has just enough give to make it easy to install, without being so loose that the sides pull away—something that can be a problem on inferior TPU and plastic cases. The back panel has a rubbery grip (enough to not slide around too much in your hand, but not so much that it’s difficult to slide into or out of a pocket), and the edges have a rougher, pebbly texture. Combined, the two elements make this case feel secure in the hand; we never worried about our iPhone slipping out of our grasp while using this case. The company claims that air pockets in each of the four corners offer a degree of drop protection.
The openings for the phone’s Lightning-connector port, speaker, and microphone are well-sized without leaving too much of the phone’s steel frame exposed, and the buttons remain pleasantly clicky through the TPU. The lip around the screen is tall enough to meet Apple’s recommendation for preventing damage to the screen if you put the phone face-down on a desk or table, and Smartish includes a screen-protector film as a bonus. (If you plan to use a screen protector, though, we suggest spending a few extra bucks to get the screen protector we recommend.)
Flaws but not dealbreakers: The Smartish Gripmunk isn’t unattractive, but it won’t stand out in a crowd: It’s plain, and we’d love a broader selection of colors; it also has the company logo stamped on it, but the design is minimal and located toward the bottom where your hand will likely cover it.
As with any case that tries to find a good balance between bulk and protection, the Gripmunk won’t protect against every impact. No case can, but if you want to be extra safe, take a look at our more-protective pick.
Because Smartish doesn’t have specific versions of this case for the iPhone XS and X, you may notice that the camera on the iPhone XS—which is a little longer than the one on the X—is slightly off-center from the camera opening in the case. It’s a small detail that most people won’t even notice unless they’re really looking for it, but if you’re picky, this may not be the iPhone case for you. The opening for the iPhone XR's camera is aggressively large, detracting from the overall design of the case. But Smartish tells us that the size, and the black ring, are necessary to prevent issues affecting the flash. Because the iPhone XR’s flash is flush with the body rather than raised with the camera module, it needs more space around it to prevent diffusion.
The Smartish case has a raised lower edge, which helps protect the entire perimeter of the screen, but you may find that it gets in the way of the ubiquitous “swipe-up” gesture that replaced the home button on the iPhone X. We think the extra protection of this lower lip is worth it to stop the bottom of your phone from getting dinged up, and the gesture works just as well if you start it inside the lip rather than off the edge of the screen, so you don’t need to hit the case if you don’t want to. But if this bothers you, we suggest going with Apple’s leather case instead.
Available colors: Black Tie Affair, Blues on the Green, Red Rover Red Rover, various printed designs
Best leather option: Apple Leather Case
Who it’s for: People who prefer the premium look and feel of leather, and are willing to pay for it.
Why it’s great: If you prefer a more stylish case, even if it might not last as long, we recommend Apple’s own iPhone XS Leather Case and iPhone XS Max Leather Case. Each offers enough coverage of the phone’s body to guard against most scuffs and minor drops, along with an adequate lip to protect the screen, but it’s still thin and light. At the time of this writing, the Leather Case was available in eight colors, though Apple has in the past swapped colors in and out during the iPhone’s life cycle; you can see the current range in person at an Apple Store.
The Leather Case looks and feels great, and it keeps its shape better than every other leather case we’ve tested. Using this case instead of a more protective one is like the difference between wearing a leather dress boot and a hiking boot—sure, the hiking boot would be more protective and comfortable, but if you’re not hiking, forgoing a bit of protection and comfort for style and luxury is sometimes worthwhile. Other leather cases are often bulky or crazy expensive, and all of them will show wear over time, so although Apple’s case isn’t perfect, we think it represents the best compromise, and its price isn’t unreasonable for leather.
We also really like the case’s aluminum button covers, which provide an ideal tactile experience when you’re clicking and are sized and shaped to make it easy to find the buttons by touch. The metal also provides a nice color accent to the leather.
If you find that having a raised lip along the bottom of the screen is annoying when using swipe gestures, the Apple Leather Case may also be the right choice for you—it omits the lip along that edge, so it won’t get in the way of your finger.
Flaws but not dealbreakers: Aesthetically, leather wears more evidently than plastic, so if you’re expecting a case to look the same in a year as it did on the first day, no leather case will be the right pick for you.
This case is popular among Wirecutter staffers, and a few colleagues have said that their Leather Case for previous iPhones broke after about a year or so, usually starting with cracks in the corners from drops. In our experience, corner drops often break rigid cases—better the case than your phone—so this result isn’t entirely surprising. And Apple’s customer service is pretty good about taking care of things like this, so there’s a chance that the Genius Bar may be willing to swap out a case in this condition—something you won’t get from most other case companies.
Apple’s Leather Case leaves the bottom edge (though not the bottom corners) of your phone exposed, which means that if you drop your phone the wrong way, you could damage the front edge, or the area around the phone’s Lightning-connector port.
Apple stopped selling an iPhone X-specific version of the Leather Case when it introduced the iPhone XS. The XS model fits the iPhone X, but with a small (less than a millimeter) gap underneath the camera “bump.” If you’re super picky, this may not be the right case for your iPhone X, but no other leather case has fewer trade-offs.
Available colors: black, Cape Cod blue, forest green, midnight blue, peony pink, red, saddle brown, taupe
A leather option for the iPhone XR
Apple doesn’t currently offer a leather case (or any case, for that matter) for the iPhone XR—but Mujjo’s Full Leather Case is the next best thing. The Mujjo looks similar enough at first glance, but has a slightly more matte finish that feels just as nice as Apple’s, but with its own logo. The button covers aren’t metal, so they feel a bit squishier than we like. But ultimately, it’s a nice-looking case that has more going for it than any other iPhone XR leather case we’ve seen. Compared with the few other leather iPhone XR cases that exist, it’s not too thick, it offers button protection, and it’s reasonably priced. We don’t have long-term test results on how it’ll wear, but we’ll put the case through the paces to find out.
Combine your wallet and phone: Smartish Wallet Slayer Vol. 1
Who it’s for: Someone who wants to try to ditch their wallet by carrying their cards, ID, and phone together.
The Wallet Slayer Vol. 1 is about twice as thick as a standard protective case, but the angled edges along the wallet portion help make the size less noticeable in the hand, if not in the pocket. (The wallet area is rigid, so the card compartment is the same thickness whether or not you have anything in it.)
You can fit three cards pretty easily in the Wallet Slayer. Photo: Michael Hession
Photo: Michael Hession
Smartish advertises this case as being able to hold three cards and cash. We found that three cards fit fine, but because you have to fold the cash, adding bills will push the pocket out a bit farther. A raised bump inside the wallet area puts pressure on the cards and holds them in place, so the Wallet Slayer Vol. 1 works just as well with one card as with three. A small cutout along the edge opposite the wallet opening makes it easy to push cards out as needed, but even when we aggressively shook the phone, they didn’t fall out on their own. We also appreciate that the Wallet Slayer Vol. 1 exposes less of your cards than competing designs—all you can see is a thumbnail-size piece of the top card. The case also comes with a protective screen film.
Flaws but not dealbreakers: Wallet cases come with a major caveat: This style of case may not be the right choice if you intend to use Qi wireless charging with your iPhone, for a couple of reasons. The first is practical: The Wallet Slayer Vol. 1 and other wallet cases may be too thick to activate wireless charging on some chargers. For example, although the Wallet Slayer Vol. 1 case loaded with three credit cards and two folded bills didn’t interfere with charging on Samsung’s Fast Charge Wireless Charging Stand EP-NG, Logitech’s Powered for iPhone charged our phone only sporadically without any cards, and it didn’t charge at all with three cards.
The second reason is the potential for damage to cards with magnetic strips due to the magnetic-induction technology used for wireless charging. Indeed, Apple specifically warns, “Don’t place anything between your iPhone and the charger. Magnetic mounts, magnetic cases, or other objects between your iPhone and the charger might … damage magnetic strips or RFID chips like those found in some credit cards, security badges, passports, and key fobs.”
Smartish claims (and provided us with data from a study it commissioned) that the magnetic field generated by a Qi charger is not powerful enough to demagnetize a card. And in our own testing with the iPhone X, a credit card and an MTA MetroCard in the Wallet Slayer Vol. 1 both worked fine after an hour of wireless charging on the Samsung EP-NG (In another test, a metal credit card caused the charger to turn off altogether, confirming the safety features we expect from Qi chargers.) However, some charger vendors (including Samsung) also warn against putting magnetic-stripe cards between the phone and the charger; we’ve seen reports online of cards being demagnetized; and we haven’t tested every charger with every card. So although we don’t think it’s likely that your cards will stop working, you are taking some risk.
Because of these potential issues, if you want wallet features but plan on using wireless charging, we recommend our folio wallet pick instead.
As with any wallet case, the size of the Wallet Slayer Vol. 1 is a downside—it’s not the right pick for someone looking for a slim case. In our testing of the XS/X and XS Max versions (and during our extended use with the iPhone 7 Plus version), we did find it to be bulkier than a standard case, but not as bad in day-to-day use as you might expect.
Available colors: Black Tie Affair, Blues on the Green, Red Rover Red Rover, various printed designs
Best folio case: Speck Presidio Folio
Who this is for: Someone who wants to ditch their wallet and still be able to take advantage of wireless charging, or who wants extra screen protection.
Why it’s great: We previously didn’t recommend folio cases (a case with a front cover) because they’re far bulkier than other cases—even wallet cases—and you have to deal with the cover when using your phone. But because Apple recommends against using a standard wallet case (which stores cards and cash on the back) with a Qi charger, we tested folio cases this year and found Speck’s Presidio Folio for iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max to be the best option. It’s one of the slimmest folios we’ve ever tested, and it combines a truly great case with a less-annoying-than-most cover. Having reviewed dozens of these folios and never truly loving any of them, it’s the first one we actually considered using on a daily basis.
Most of the folio cases we’ve tested required some sort of sacrifice: Either they weren’t made of quality materials, the case portion wasn’t fully protective, or they had annoying closure mechanisms. The Presidio Folio doesn’t have any of those problems. The core case is essentially the same as our more-protective pick, with an inner layer of shock-absorbent rubber and an outer layer of plastic. Fused onto the back is either waxed fabric or leather that continues around to form a cover.
Unlike with many folios, this cover lies flat, and it doesn’t slide up and down when closed. A flip-open door on the inside of the cover has room for three cards. This case can even prop the iPhone up in a landscape-orientation viewing position, a feature that not all competitors offer. And we love the subtle volume-button indicators on the case’s spine, letting you change the volume by feel when the cover is closed.
Flaws but not dealbreakers: Like all folio-style cases, the Presidio Pro is larger than many general-use cases, but unlike many, it’s not unwieldy. Similarly, the lid on all folio cases can be annoying, and this one is no exception, but it stays in place better than the cover on other models. And although we appreciate that the credit cards are protected under a little door, it would be nice to be able to pull out the bottom card without having to remove the other two.
Available colors: Fabric: heathered black/black/slate grey, heathered chelsea grey/chelsea grey/graphite grey, heathered dolphin grey/dolphin grey/concrete grey, heathered eclipse blue/eclipse blue/gunmetal grey, heathered heartrate red/heartrate red/graphite grey, heathered veronica purple/veronica purple/vintage purple
Leather: black/black, saddle brown/light graphite grey, rouge red/garnet red/currant jam red
A transparent case to show off your phone: Spigen Liquid Crystal
Who it’s for: Anyone who wants to show off the design of their iPhone while still fully protecting it.
Why it’s great: Spigen’s Liquid Crystal for iPhone X/XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR lets your phone’s design show through without sacrificing protection. (It’s actually a bit thicker than our top pick.) This one-piece TPU case—it’s made of the same material all the way around, rather than two pieces of different materials like some of the competition—has minimal branding and nice details, including air pockets in the corners for added drop protection. And though hard-plastic cases—and even TPU-edge cases with hard-plastic backs—are more prone to showing fingerprints, they’re not nearly as obvious on the Liquid Crystal’s material, which is also grippier and less rigid than hard plastic. One of our other favorite features is a pattern of dots on the inside of the case that prevents water-stain-like blotches on the back of your phone due to the case sticking to the phone’s glass back—a problem with some other clear TPU cases.
Flaws but not dealbreakers: All transparent TPU cases, including this one, will yellow over time. Although it’s not ideal, we’ve yet to find one that doesn’t have this problem. The yellowing is a gradual process, so you may not notice it at first, but if you’re picky about that kind of thing, you’ll eventually want to replace the case—though the Liquid Crystal is so inexpensive that doing so is a lot less annoying than with, say, a pricey leather case.
Available colors: crystal clear, glitter crystal quartz, aquarelle primrose, aquarelle rose, blossom crystal clear, blossom nature, glitter rose quartz, matte black, shine crystal clear
A more protective option: Speck Presidio Pro
Who it’s for: If you tend to drop your phone a lot, or if you’re just a little more paranoid about damage.
Why it’s great: Speck’s Presidio Pro for iPhone X/XS and iPhone XS Max is built to offer more drop protection than our top pick (in a slightly thicker body, of course). It comes from a company with a long reputation for making cases that are both protective and stylish, and it doesn’t look like a piece of military equipment, unlike some extra-protective cases.
The Presidio Pro combines a hard-plastic exterior with a thin rubber lining and a specially designed border that helps absorb the shock of drops. Speck promises that the Presidio Pro can help your phone withstand drops of as much as 10 feet. But compared with other extra-protective cases, the Presidio Pro is a bit slimmer and just looks like a nice traditional case.
Flaws but not dealbreakers: You can find cases that are much more protective—companies such as OtterBox and Urban Armor Gear specialize in protection-first cases—but they’re much bulkier and not for most people. The Presidio Pro’s matte finish can show grease and skin oil more readily than other finishes, even glossy ones.
Available colors: aquifer blue/stormy grey, black/black, dusty green/Brunswick black, eclipse blue/carbon black, filigree grey/slate grey, heartrate red/vermillion red, meadow pink/vintage purple
An accessory-friendly case: Quad Lock
Who it’s for: People who want to use their phone for a variety of activities that require special accessories
Why it’s great: At a glance, the Quad Lock for iPhone X/XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR looks a lot like the Smartish Gripmunk, and its exterior is made of a similar TPU material with an internal layer of polycarbonate and a microfiber lining. The port openings along the bottom edge are well-tailored, offering enough room for you to plug in most accessories without leaving unnecessary portions of the phone’s body exposed, and the case only slightly dampens the tactility of the phone’s buttons.
The Quad Lock Cases lock into a whole system of accessories, so you can easily mount your phone to almost anything. Photo: Michael Hession
Photo: Michael Hession
What sets the Quad Lock apart is the inch, circular mounting point housed in an ever-so-slight bump on the back of the case. Four extended lips form a twist-and-lock design that allows you to connect a slew of accessories; you just put the case on the accessory’s mounting bracket and then twist a quarter of a turn to lock the case in place. The company offers a wide range of mounting and carrying options, including the Car Mount, Sports Armband (our runner-up for the best armband), Belt Clip, Bike Mount (a staff favorite), Out Front Mount (also for bikes), Wall Mount, Universal Adaptor, Home/Office Desk Mount, and Tripod Adaptor. Obviously, the Quad Lock system makes the most sense if you rely heavily on these kinds of accessories—if you’re a runner and a bicyclist, for example, you might love being able to mount your phone on your arm or bike quickly and securely—and easily switch between those mounts—without needing other bulky accessories.
Flaws but not dealbreakers: For some people, the biggest downside to the Quad Lock case will be that the thickness of the mount point prevents wireless charging from working on some Qi chargers. For example, while several flat Qi chargers we tested worked fine with the Quad Lock case, the case did not allow charging with the one stand-style charger we had on hand. If this happens to you, the company sells a separate wireless charging head that should address the issue.
A minor downside to this model is that the mounting interface adds a slight hump to the back of the case, so the phone doesn’t sit quite flat when you lay it on its back. But this is a minor issue if the other features appeal to you.
A superthin case we like: Totallee Thin iPhone Case
Who it’s for: People more concerned about scratches than drops, or who are willing to sacrifice drop protection to get a case that adds very little bulk to their phone.
Why it’s great: If you prefer a thinner case—and you accept that it means prioritizing scratch protection and grip over shock absorption—Totallee’s Thin iPhone Case for iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, iPhone XR, and iPhone X is the best superthin case we’ve found. It’s only mm thicker than the thinnest cases we tested, and it provides a good degree of grip for the slick glass handset. It’s also easier to install than other thin cases, and it comes with a two-year case-replacement warranty.
The Totallee case is a half-millimeter-thick molded-plastic shell. Every other superthin case we tested appears to be identical save for the stamped logo on some. The Totallee case looks similar to the others, but upon closer inspection it offers a distinct design with slightly different-size openings, and it has a tighter camera cutout with a raised lip that provides a bit more protection for the camera lens than other cases without interfering with pictures.
Because superthin cases are so thin, and fit so tightly, many make it difficult to tuck in the fourth and final corner of the phone; Totallee’s Thin Case snaps into place more easily than with the others we tested.
Totallee provides a two-year replacement warranty, the longest coverage for any thin case we considered. The company’s website states: “If anything happens to your Totallee product we’ll send you a free replacement. it’s as simple as that.” You can make a claim under this warranty one time per case.
Flaws but not dealbreakers: If you pick a case like the Totallee Thin Case, you’re choosing form over function. Superthin cases won’t protect your phone from drop damage as effectively as slightly thicker cases, and they don’t offer any screen protection because they lack a raised lip. The cases themselves are also more susceptible to cracking from drops, or even from improper installation.
In our testing of multiple colors of the Totallee case, we found that the frosted versions have texture without being tacky; the jet white or black versions are more difficult to get in and out of a pocket because the material has a bit more drag.
Available colors: matte frosted clear, matte frosted black, matte solid black, matte navy blue, glossy clear (soft), glossy jet white, glossy jet black, leather black
The best battery case: Apple Smart Battery Case
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The iPhone SE might cost a lot less than phones from the iPhone 11 line, but it’s still wise to keep it armored in a good case. Fortunately, you already have a lot of good options to choose from, and we’ve collected our favorites below. We haven’t had a chance to handle a lot of these cases yet, but once we have, we’ll convert this into a proper review roundup.
Before we get in too deep, though, here’s a tip: If you already have an iPhone 7 or 8 sitting around, you can pull the case off that and it’ll work just fine on the iPhone SE. On the outside, at least, they’re essentially the same phone—all the improvements are under the hood. Indeed, many of the casemakers below appear to be simply repurposing their old designs for the new device.
Spigen: Dependable and durable
It looks as though Spigen simply repurposed its iPhone 7 and 8 cases for the iPhone SE, but that’s no big thing. Spigen makes some of the most dependable and durable cases in the business. We liked these cases when they first came out, and we like them now. If you need a second opinion, just check out the 18, user ratings on Amazon for the Ultra-Hybrid case—the vast majority of which are five-star. Not only do Spigen cases offer a great mix of protection and drop resistance, but they’re also quite affordable.
OtterBox: Tougher than the rest
OtterBox makes ridiculously tough cases, and it maintains that tradition with its iPhone SE offerings. If you work in an environment where you worry that there’s a decent chance your phone could take a serious fall, OtterBox’s Defender line is always worth checking out.
Don’t need a case that’s so serious? You should check out its Symmetry line. It provides a lot of the same protection but without the heft. OtterBox is also one of the few case makers that incorporate Popsockets directly into the design. There’s a wide range of cases available, but here are the basics:
Totallee: Where thin is always in
Totallee is all about thin cases, which basically puts it at the other end of the spectrum from OtterBox. Its Ultra-Slim Minimal Case, for instance, is a mere inches thick. They’re great cases if you’re mainly worried about keeping the back and sides of your phone safe from scratches, but one drawback of their thinness is that they don’t offer much protection for the display. On the other hand, Totallee does raise the edges around the camera lens for extra protection.
Totallee’s clear cases are made with a grippy rubbery material that makes you less likely to drop them. And even with that material, they’re still miraculously less smudgy than Apple’s own clear cases.
Totallee Ultra-Slim Minimal Case
Urban Armor Gear: The ‘tacticool’ choice
Urban Armor Gear cases have shock-resistant material protruding from the corners, so they’re good bets if you’re looking for a case that can withstand a few tumbles. They’re also good choices if you want a significant degree of protection but think OtterBox’s cases don’t look “badass” enough. Deck out your phone in the leather-and-metal Monarch case, and people are definitely going to notice your phone.
Tech Fight the microbes
If you want a thin case but don’t mind a little extra heft, Tech21’s Studio Colour cases are great options. They even have a “lip” around the edge of the display to keep the glass from shattering if your phone falls face-down on the pavement.
But it’s their antimicrobial coating that makes them particularly appealing in light of current events. In the past, Tech21 marketed this feature as a way of keeping stains from building up on your phone over the course of several months. These days, it’s another line of defense against unseen threats.
- Studio Colour case (in coral, teal, black, blue, pine, yellow, red, and gray): $
Mous’ Limitless line comes with a fairly predictable (but elegant) leather option. If you really want to stand out, we recommend checking out its walnut, shell, or bamboo-backed cases.
Apple: All about that logo
Apple’s own lineup of cases for the iPhone SE includes leather cases, which is a bit of a surprise since Apple chose not to release leather cases for the similarly low-priced iPhone XR in (Weirdly, Apple chose not to make a clear model.) But other than that, these options are about what you’d expect.
Apple makes good cases, but make no mistake, you’re mainly going to be going for these if you want that iconic logo on the back. The silicone case is pleasantly grippy, for instance, but it tends to fall apart before the year is up.
We’ll be testing iPhone 13 cases and making early recommendations soon. If you need a case for your new phone in the meantime, consider the appropriate version of our iPhone 12 picks in this guide.
A good case is a wise investment for your iPhone. Even the least expensive iPhone is pricey, and the right case offers protection against scratches, dings, and cracks—and allows you to personalize your phone—often without adding much bulk or changing how you use your device. Whether you’re looking for a case to conveniently attach to various accessories throughout your day or seeking the most protection possible, we’ve tested hundreds of iPhone cases and can recommend the right one to fit your needs.
Best basic case for any iPhone: Smartish Gripmunk
- Smartish Gripmunk for iPhone 12, 12 mini, 12 Pro, 12 Pro Max
- Smartish Gripmunk for iPhone 11, 11 Pro, 11 Pro Max
- Smartish Gripmunk for iPhone X, XS, XS Max, XR
- Smartish Gripmunk for iPhone SE (2nd generation), 8, 8 Plus, 7, 7 Plus
The Smartish Gripmunk is a reliable choice for anyone seeking a simple, durable, and protective case generally available for $10 to $ It has been our favorite case for every iPhone model since the iPhone 7, and although it isn’t particularly flashy, it is dependable. The case is flexible enough to allow for an easy installation, but it won’t stretch out or pull off over time. It also offers finger grooves on the edges that help improve grip, plus excellent shock absorption. Though every accident is different, we’ve dropped iPhones wearing this case dozens of times and never damaged their bodies. You’re unlikely to find a case of this quality at a lower price.
Flaws but not dealbreakers: Visually, the Smartish Gripmunk isn’t the most exciting case out there, but Amazon offers a “secret menu” with a handful of patterns you can have printed on the back of the case; another alternative is to upload your own images or text on the Smartish website for more personalization. Note that the Gripmunk doesn’t protect against every impact—no case truly can—but if you want to be extra safe, check out our protective picks for every iPhone model.
Best leather cases: Apple Leather Case and Mujjo Full Leather Case
- Apple Leather Case with MagSafe for iPhone 12, 12 mini, 12 Pro, 12 Pro Max
- Apple Leather Case for iPhone 11 Pro, 11 Pro Max
- Apple Leather Case for iPhone XS, XS Max
- Apple Leather Case for iPhone SE (2nd generation), 8, 8 Plus, 7, 7 Plus
For those who prefer the look and feel of leather, we’ve found Apple’s Leather Case to be notably better than those of any other brand we’ve tested over the years. It’s the thinnest, most attractive leather case available, and it offers as much protection as you could hope for from this style. The iPhone 12 versions conveniently include MagSafe, and we love the color options for this case across all models. No leather case will last forever, but Apple’s material feels premium and provides a solid grip.
Flaws but not dealbreakers: Among Wirecutter staffers, we’ve found that the lifespan of the Apple Leather Case is about one year. Around that time, the underlying plastic starts to show through, and what starts out as handsome weathering becomes ratty and torn up. Leather wears more obviously than plastic, so don’t expect this case to keep its day-one appearance for long. Apple also discloses that if you use MagSafe accessories with it, you will see slight imprints in the case over time.
Apple no longer sells an iPhone X–specific version of the Leather Case. The iPhone XS model fits the iPhone X but with a small gap (of less than a millimeter) underneath the camera “bump.” If that bothers you, this may not be the right case for your iPhone X, but no other leather case makes fewer trade-offs.
Because Apple doesn’t make a leather case for the iPhone 11 or iPhone XR, we recommend the Mujjo Full Leather Case; it isn’t quite as good as Apple’s Leather Case, but it is the best you’ll find for these iPhone models. The Mujjo case’s design is extremely similar to that of the Apple case, with slightly rough but supple leather on the outside, microfiber on the inside, and an open bottom edge. It also has a matte finish that feels just as nice.
Flaws but not dealbreakers: The button covers on the Mujjo Full Leather Case are molded into the leather rather than inserted as metal accents, which makes the buttons feel squishier than we’d like. Still, it’s a great case with a slim and understated look.
Best wallet case for all iPhones: Smartish Wallet Slayer Vol. 1
- Smartish Wallet Slayer Vol. 1 for iPhone 12, 12 mini, 12 Pro, 12 Pro Max
- Smartish Wallet Slayer Vol. 1 for iPhone 11, 11 Pro, 11 Pro Max
- Smartish Wallet Slayer Vol. 1 for iPhone X, XS, XS Max, XR
- Smartish Wallet Slayer Vol. 1 for iPhone SE (2nd generation), 8, 8 Plus, 7, 7 Plus
Anyone looking to combine their wallet with their iPhone should consider the Smartish Wallet Slayer Vol. 1 case. It does a great job of keeping your cards (up to three) protected and in place, and it can also accommodate some cash. The case’s molded plastic design fits well in the hand, and you don’t have to worry about it deforming over time—the Wallet Slayer maintains its shape and thickness no matter how full (or empty) it is.
Flaws but not dealbreakers: The Smartish Wallet Slayer Vol. 1 is certainly as bulky as you might expect a wallet case to be, but we don’t think it feels overly thick. People with tighter pockets may want to consider something slimmer; this case is also too thick to work with most Qi wireless chargers and MagSafe chargers.
Best clear case for all iPhones: Spigen Liquid Crystal
- Spigen Liquid Crystal for iPhone 12, 12 mini, 12 Pro, 12 Pro Max
- Spigen Liquid Crystal for iPhone 11, 11 Pro, 11 Pro Max
- Spigen Liquid Crystal for iPhone X, XS, XS Max, XR
- Spigen Liquid Crystal for iPhone SE (2nd generation), 8, 8 Plus, 7, 7 Plus
Apple has released newer iPhone generations in an array of striking body colors such as seafoam green, cherry red, and navy blue, but unfortunately, none of those shades are visible from the front. If you don’t want to cover up the bold color on the back of your new phone but still need the protection of a good case, the Spigen Liquid Crystal has been our favorite transparent case for years. It’s simple and protective, and it has air pockets in the corners for drop protection. The inside is lined with small dots to prevent the water-like splotches that can appear when a case sticks to the phone’s glass back, and we like that fingerprints are less evident on the Liquid Crystal than on many other transparent cases.
Flaws but not dealbreakers: Over time, every transparent case will turn yellow to some degree, and the Spigen Liquid Crystal is no exception. You may not notice the change in color until you compare your case directly with a brand-new one, and we think the Liquid Crystal is inexpensive enough to merit a replacement down the line.
Protective cases we recommend: Smartish Gripzilla, Speck Presidio Pro, and Speck Presidio Grip
If you tend to drop your phone a lot—or if you simply don’t want to take any risks when it comes to damage—the Smartish Gripzilla is the most protective case we recommend for the iPhone Deep grooves molded into the sides provide better grip for those who are more prone to dropping their devices. Despite its thickness, pressing the buttons remains easy, and the case works with both Qi and MagSafe chargers. Though no case can guarantee a damage-free fall, the air pockets inside the Gripzilla’s raised corners and its soft rubber interior provide strong shock absorption.
Flaws but not dealbreakers: The Smartish Gripzilla is bulky but not unreasonably so. It makes the phone about 50% thicker, adding ⅛ inch to the overall size.
We love the Speck Presidio Pro for the iPhone 11 and iPhone X series because it holds up against drops better than most other cases that are bulkier and less attractive, and it’s reasonably priced. The Presidio Pro is built with a hard, matte-plastic exterior and lined with rubber. Shock-absorbent air pockets on the border help it provide more protection than thinner or more basic cases offer, though we still don’t recommend trying to test its limits on purpose.
Flaws but not dealbreakers: The Speck Presidio Pro is not the most protective case available, but it’s our favorite because it’s slightly more stylish than bulkier cases from other companies yet it still offers great defense against drops and other damage. If you’re looking for something truly bulletproof, consider a case from OtterBox or Urban Armor Gear.
The Speck Presidio Grip is the best protective case for older iPhone models, as well as for the SE. Like the Presidio Pro, it has hard plastic on the outside and rubber on the inside, but the Grip is built with raised ridges on the back to help prevent it from slipping out of your hand. If the unfortunate fall does happen, the Grip should armor your phone to withstand drops of as much as 10 feet—but again, no case is a true guarantee. We like that it comes in a range of color options, and we also appreciated that the phone’s buttons stayed nice and clicky through the case in our tests.
Flaws but not dealbreakers: Many customer reviews complain that the Presidio Grip feels cheap compared with Speck’s previous CandyShell line. We disagree that it’s inferior, though it certainly feels different. We also prefer not to recommend protective cases that cost more than $25, but we found that the Presidio Grip was worth its price tag.
Best folio case for the iPhone 11 and iPhone X: Speck Presidio Folio
We have yet to find a folio-case recommendation for the iPhone SE or the iPhone We will update this guide if we do.
If you like using your phone case in place of a wallet, and if you welcome an extra layer of screen protection, we recommend the Speck Presidio Folio case for the iPhone 11 and iPhone X series. In a category full of bulky options, it’s one of the thinnest folios we’ve ever tested, and it’s well designed from the case down to the folding cover. The Presidio Folio consists of hard plastic covered by waxed fabric, and it offers good button protection while still allowing for volume control even when the lid is closed. (Many other folio cases omit this feature.) The inside of the front cover features a little door that flips up to reveal a plastic card holder, a design that offers significantly more security for your cards compared with many other cases. Although it’s thicker than a basic case, it’s still compatible with Qi wireless charging.
Flaws but not dealbreakers: The lid of the Presidio Folio case stays in place better than those of most other folios we tested, but it can still flop around a bit when you’re using your phone. We like the plastic pocket that protects and holds cards, but it does mean you have to take out the entire stack to access the card hidden in the back.
Read more about the Speck Presidio Folio in our full guides to the best cases for the iPhone 11 and iPhone X series.
The thinnest cases we recommend: Caudabe Veil, Totallee Thin iPhone Case, and Caudabe The Sheath
Typically, we advise looking for a case with some shock-absorbing qualities, but we also understand that some people are willing to sacrifice the extra protection in favor of a thin case. If you’re looking for the thinnest possible option for your iPhone 12 or iPhone 11, we recommend the Caudabe Veil. It’s similar to most other cases in this category, with the same molded plastic exterior and the same absence of shock-absorbing air pockets or button covers. However, it stands out from the competition with its textured surface, which provides more grip than on other cases that are totally smooth—and it doesn’t feel rough or uncomfortable to hold in any way.
Flaws but not dealbreakers: As with any ultrathin phone case, the Caudabe Veil isn’t likely to save your phone from breaking if you drop it; the Veil provides a little grip and can prevent scratches on the phone’s rear glass, but you should proceed only if you accept the risks. The Veil also comes in only two colors, which is a more limited selection than we prefer.
If you’re looking for the thinnest possible case for your iPhone X, the Totallee Thin iPhone Case is the best we’ve found. Like all superthin cases, it can’t protect your phone from breaking, but it can give you a bit more grip and prevent scratches, if that’s what you’re looking for. The Totallee case has a raised lip around the camera cutout that provides more lens protection than on other cases in this category, and it comes with a two-year warranty. Because superthin cases tend to fit so tightly, tucking in the final corner of the phone can be difficult, but the Totallee case snaps into place more easily than anything else we tested in this category.
Flaws but not dealbreakers: Anyone considering a case this thin should be willing to prioritize look and feel over actual protection. The Totallee Thin looks stylish and provides nice grip, but no ultrathin case can protect your screen from cracking or your phone from breaking if you drop it, and this case is no exception.
For the iPhone SE (2nd generation), the best superthin case is Caudabe’s The Sheath. It has both good coverage and an impressively thin build, and it offers a proper 1-millimeter lip around the phone’s screen.
Flaws but not dealbreakers: The Sheath provides decent coverage, but like other superthin cases, it offers no real drop protection.
Best accessory-friendly case for all iPhones: Quad Lock
- Quad Lock Case for iPhone 12, 12 mini, 12 Pro, 12 Pro Max, 11, 11 Pro, 11 Pro Max, X, XS, XS Max, XR, SE (2nd generation), 8, 8 Plus, 7, 7 Plus
The Quad Lock is the best case you can buy if you enjoy using your iPhone while running or cycling, or if you need to position your phone for driving directions. The case’s sleek and clever design features an attachment mount on the back that can connect to a vast amount of accessories, including the Quad Lock Sports Armband, Car Mount, Bike Mount, Home/Office Desk Mount, and Tripod Adapter. If you use these types of accessories on a regular basis, the Quad Lock offers great protection without adding an unwieldy amount of bulk. Though some of its competitors are less expensive, we think the wider variety of mounts and accessories makes the Quad Lock worth the price.
Flaws but not dealbreakers: Unfortunately, the Quad Lock is available only in black, and the thickness of the case can cause it to interfere with Qi wireless chargers and MagSafe chargers. The company sells a Wireless Charging Head for those who encounter issues, but it is expensive.
Best battery cases: Apple Smart Battery Case and Mophie Juice Pack Air
Apple has yet to release a battery case for the iPhone 12 series or iPhone SE (2nd generation).
If you find yourself constantly wearing out your iPhone battery but can’t—or don’t want to—carry a power bank, a battery case like Apple’s Smart Battery Case can add hours of life to your phone. It provides as much charge or more charge than you can get from any other similarly sized battery case, and it’s the only case that displays the charge level on the phone’s screen. It doesn’t look like a battery case from the front, but it does add thickness and weight. The iPhone 11 version offers a physical camera button on the side, and Apple’s battery cases are the only models that allow the passthrough Lightning port to work for power or audio—others allow only power.
Flaws but not dealbreakers: The Smart Battery Case is made of the same material as Apple’s Silicone Case, which is prone to picking up dust and lint and can be difficult to slide in and out of a pocket—a problem that is only made worse by the battery case’s added bulk.
Physically, the iPhone XS Smart Battery Case works with the iPhone X, but Apple doesn’t say they’re compatible. You can either take your chances or choose a dedicated iPhone X battery case. If you don’t want to use the XS Smart Battery Case on an iPhone X, we recommend Mophie’s Juice Pack Air.
Those looking for a battery case to match the iPhone 8 Plus and 7 Plus should also go with the Juice Pack Air. During our tests, the Mophie case provided 60% of a full charge to the iPhone 7 Plus in just over an hour and a half, and about 62% to the 8 Plus. The case includes magnetic mounting and wireless-charging compatibility, and it provides good shock protection.
Flaws but not dealbreakers: The Mophie Juice Pack Air still uses Micro-USB for charging and lacks a headphone jack, so you can’t use wired headphones with this case, whether they’re the Lightning-connector type or a traditional wired set.
About your guide
Haley Perry is an updates writer at Wirecutter covering PCs, networking, and games. She used to review video games full-time, and she’s also a big fan of mezcal. If you get enough in her, she may just admit that she still plays The Sims a lot.
Getting Work Done on an iPad
by Haley Perry
You can do a surprising amount of work on an iPad with the right gear. These are the best accessories for turning your iPad into a mobile work space.
Phone 2017 best cases
10 Best Cases For Samsung Galaxy J5 To Keep It Safe
Released in June , Samsung Galaxy J5 comes with inches touchscreen display, 13MP camera, 3GB RAM, and mAh Li-ion battery. The device comes with an Exynos Octa chipset and runs on Android Nougat. Check out the top ten cases for Samsung Galaxy J5 in this list below!
Love Ying Case For Samsung Galaxy J5 ($)
Specially designed for cases for Samsung Galaxy J5 , this is an ultra-light and flexible unit made to protect your phone from dust, debris, and scratches. The precise cutouts offer full access to all phones functionalities. It also allows charging without removing the case. The raised edges prevent the screen or camera lens from smearing when placed face down. A super-slim design and perfect fit that adds minimal bulk to your smart phone!
Lontect Case For Samsung Galaxy J5 ($)
This is a crystal clear case embossed with shiny and glittery artificial diamonds. The case itself, is made from premium quality TPU that prevents the housing of scratches, dirt, and debris on your device. You are offered easy access to ports, and the unit can be installed and removed anytime without any tools/accessories.
Anoke Case For Samsung Galaxy J5 ($)
This case uses environment friendly TPU material (drop protection) and carbon fiber that offers a look of elegance. A subtle wire drawing pattern design provides extra grip, comfort, and makes the unit anti-fingerprint. This design brings you a comfortable hand feeling and allows total access to all functionalities and buttons. Available for purchase in blue, black, and mint colors.
JD Case For Samsung Galaxy J5 ($)
Made from soft TPU rubber, this is a soft rubber case by JD that protects your phone well from shocks and drops and provide a snug fit to your phone. The anti-slip edges make sure that you are offered a comfortable hand feel. The precise cutouts provide easy access to all the ports and features.
Guluguru Case For Samsung Galaxy J5 ($)
This is a heavy duty armor defender that provides ultimate protection to your phone using the shock absorbing silicone interior and impact resistant, scratch proof polycarbonate. The precise hole location for headset, charging ports, and other functionalities are made. A belt clip offers support and allows you to carry your phone hands-free when on the move.
Simple and stylish!
Feitenn Case For Samsung Galaxy J5 ($)
This is an extremely stylish flip cover case made from PU leather on the exterior and features a shell on the interior to hold your phone snugly. The hard coated plastic screen in the front viewing window offers better anti-scratch protective function. The case surrounds all the edges to cover the whole phone with a full body protection on front and back. The built-in step-less stand allows for hands-free and landscape viewing.
Tauri Case For Samsung Galaxy J5 ($)
This is Tauri’s scratch-resistant and ultra-slim TPU cover case for Galaxy J5. The unit is engineered with precise cutouts to align perfectly with the phone. This unit’s non-bulk design makes it ideal for those who want to maintain their phone’s original look.The dotted textured interior keeps the phones original form and color by preventing air bubbles from forming at the back of your phone. Light-weight design allows minimal bulk with extra grip and feel.
Iwio Case For ($)
This is a vertical flip cover leather pouch wallet that secures your phone with a magnetic closure. The slim fitting design allows for a sleek and compact look and feel. Your phone remains safe and secure from dust, dirt, and scratches. The carbon fiber exterior makes the unit scratch-resistant and free from smudges and prints.
MP Mall Case ($)
This is MP-Mall’s scratch-resistant and shock absorbing case for J5. The unit is manufactured from imported TPU; a high-quality and environment friendly material. The clear design allows you to retain the original look and feel of the phone with minimal added bulk and skin that shows the nicely brushed aesthetic metal of your smartphone. It has precise cutouts for accessing the audio jack, camera, and other ports. Protects your phone well from dust, filth, scratches and impact shocks and drops.
LK Case ($)
This is LK’s crystal clear hybrid bumper case with colored bumpers. This unit is designed to be shock-resistant and scratch proof. It has raised outer edges to protect your phone from being damaged and to make comfortable space for the screen protector. The case features a soft TPU interior and hard external polycarbonate shell. Breeze installation and the clear case retains the classy look of your smartphone. The precise cutouts allow for easy accessing of ports, and the unit comes in 3 different bumper colors.
We will appreciate your valuable feedback in the comment section below.
10 Best Screen Protectors For Samsung Galaxy J5 To Keep It Intact
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