The best phone caseson September 13, 2023 at 13:16 Tech Advisor


Smartphones are the most important piece of technology we own but they have become increasingly fragile. Don’t fight it – you need a phone case.

Sure, your brand new phone looks and feels great out of the box, all sleek metal and glass and premium colour finishes. But one simple slip and its meeting with the hard unforgiving ground won’t end well. Even if it’s the pastel colours of the iPhone 15 or the titanium finish of the iPhone 15 Pro.

The mobile industry knows this all too well and there are practically unlimited options when it comes to picking a phone case. The choice is overwhelming, with cases of all shapes and sizes made from plastic, metal, rubber, and even wood.

Whether you want a case to improve the grip on your phone, keep if from surface scratches, or to help it survive being run over by a tank, there’s a case out there for you. All the best smartphones need a case, and the below choices are available for the latest popular models such as the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro to the Samsung Galaxy S23 series and the Google Pixel 7.

Most of the cases in this article are included because they are a specific model from a specific brand made for more than just one particular phone. Most manufacturers make such cases for Apple iPhones and Samsung Galaxy models, but many also do for Google Pixel, OnePlus, and Oppo, although quality options for some phones are harder to find.

Mous Limitless

Some of our favourite phone cases are made by Mous. Unlike many options on the market, its products offer rugged drop and scratch protection while remaining sleek and stylish.

The best Mous cases are any from its Limitless range. They have black plastic sides with grip, lips around the screen and cameras, and a flat back panel adorned with the material of your choosing, from a carbon fibre design to walnut, bamboo, leather, or a pearlescent finish. The carbon fibre is the best one.

Limitless cases all have magnets built in to work with Mous’s line of accessories such as wireless chargers and car dash mounts. Be sure to check which version you’re buying, as the company sells Limitless 2.0, 3.0, 4.0, and 5.0 products that have different accessory compatibility, annoyingly.

Its latest iPhone 15 cases are fully MagSafe compatible to work with Apple and third party MagSafe wallets and chargers but most importantly, with your phone in one of these cases you’re not going to worry about it breaking. Mous has cases for most popular models of iPhone and Galaxy.

Spigen Tough Armor

If you want an affordable, dependable, plain protective case for your phone then you can’t go far wrong with the Tough Armor case from Spigen.

The company makes it for many, many models of phone and ships globally, so if you have a relatively popular handset you’ll probably be able to find this case for it.

The design is utilitarian, usually with flat edges and flat button areas that offer great protection while keeping the case relatively slim still. Its two-piece construction uses air cushions in between them to soften landings with hard surfaces, and raised lips mean you can plonk your phone face down with no fear.

The cases for iPhones have a circle cut-out on the back so you can see the Apple logo, but otherwise the muted designs are plain and cover the rear. They also all have a small subtle kickstand you can flip out to watch landscape video.

If you shop for the Tough Armor on Amazon US or Amazon UK you will find the prices are a lot lower.

Peak Design Everyday Case

Best Prices Today:

$54.99 at Amazon

Peak Design makes great quality accessories for phones and cameras, and this Everyday Case for iPhone, Samsung Galaxy, and Google Pixel phones is among the best cases you can buy. All have a similar design with a plastic rim, fabric back, and small recessed hole on the back for compatibility with Peak’s modular add-ons.

The fit is secure and tight and the buttons are very clicky. All the cases are also MagSafe compatible, so you can clamp an Apple-made wallet or Peak’s own excellent Mobile Wallet to the back. It’ll also attach to any third-party charger or in-car charger, though remember only iPhones will definitely charge via MagSafe.

You can also get Peak’s excellent Out-Front Bike Mount or very premium Wireless Charging Stand to round off the ecosystem. If you have an iPhone 14 Pro or Pro Max they also make a more protective Rugged Case in partnership with fellow accessory maker Nomad. It’s pricey but worth it.

Atom Studios Split Wood Fibre

Atom Studios makes several eye-catching cases for Apple and Samsung phones, most of which have a split material look.

Our favourite is the Split Wood Fibre case that pairs a silver section in the top quarter of the case with a ribbed wood material making up the rest. This provides grip with a flecked colour design while the shiny silver top looks great against the camera cut out.

All the company’s recent iPhone cases are compatible with MagSafe, and it also sells its own MagSafe wallets made from cork. We also dig the clear MagSafe phone case that looks more stylish than Apple’s and offers better protection.

Otterbox Symmetry

One of the best universally available heavy duty protective cases for most popular phone models is the Otterbox Symmetry. It’s a series of cases that come in different colours but all have the same basic design – functional, and built like a tank.

The case has been redesigned for the iPhone 14 and is the perfectly discreet way to clad your fragile device in military drop standard protection.

It comes in utilitarian black but there are several other colours available, and a few variations on the regular design too.

As well as Apple and Samsung, it’s available for phones made by OnePlus, Google, and Huawei. 

If you’re after absolutely full water protection Otterbox also sells its Fré waterproof case, or for for full, practically unbreakable protection, go for the Defender case, which is multi-layered and even clips into a belt holster.

Bellroy Leather Case

Another great pick for iPhone, Galaxy, and Pixel phone cases is Australian company Bellroy, which specialises in well-fitting leather cases.

We tested out the leather case for the Pixel 6a for several weeks and found it to be of the utmost quality – great fit and finish with thoughtful lip to the camera bar to keep it from scratches, access to all ports, and lovely premium clicky metal buttons.

As well as more basic leather cases, Bellroy also has card cases for iPhone with flip up tops that fit three cards, as well as its own Mod Phone Case that lets you fit its wallet accessory to the back of the phone, and they use the MagSafe standard on iPhone 12 and later.

For the iPhone 14 range, the company has introduced its new Bio Case, which is a fully compostable case made from bio-based polymer. As with Mous, these are all quite expensive cases, but we are convinced of their enduring quality.

Zagg Gear4 Crystal Palace Snap

Zagg’s Gear4 cases are very protective and available in a number of designs for iPhones and Samsung Galaxy phones including the Z Flip 5 and Z Fold 5.

If you want a clear case that feels more rugged than Apple’s own, the Crystal Palace Snap is a good shout. It’s still prone to finger grease like all clear cases, but is very substantial with 13ft/4m drop protection, textured sides for better grip, full coverage of all ports and buttons, and MagSafe compatible.

There’s a lip on the front and the camera so you can chuck your precious phone down and not pick up scratches on either. If you’re really worried though you could opt for a Zagg screen protector. I tried the pricy Glass XTR2 but was impressed. With an anti-dust coating and kit to apply it with no dust or bubbles underneath, it feels just as premium as the expensive phone you are sticking it to.

I also tested the Zagg Bridgetown case for the Galaxy Z Flip 5. It’s very good but adds quite a bit of thickness to the phone, especially when closed. That said, if you want military grade drop protection and a case that sticks like glue to the phone, it’s a good choice, as quality cases for foldables are hard to come by.

Tech21 Evo Check

For simple, grippy phone protection you can’t go wrong with Tech21’s Evo Check case.

We’ve been using the case ever since the iPhone 7 days on various phone models including the Galaxy S21 Ultra, and it’s a reliably good quality design that cloaks the colour of your phone slightly but is see-through and comes in lots of bold colours.

A lip lets you set your phone face down on a table while the rubbery sides add a little bit of bulk but promise 16ft (4.9m) drop protection. The subtle check pattern lets you peer through to your encased phone while cut outs obviously let you access all ports. If you don’t like plastic or leather cases, this is a top option.

Twelve South BookBook vol. 2 iPhone case

Best Prices Today:

$69.99 at Amazon

This premium, pricey case for the latest iPhone models is an acquired taste but if you dig the aesthetic then it is a case with more personality than most. Designed to look like an old leather-bound book, the folio style cover protects your phone’s screen and has storage for up to three cards. There’s also a slot to put receipts or cash in.

You put your phone into a regular style leather case that then magnetically attaches to the second piece that wraps around the phone. This makes the BookBook quite bulky and too fat for most pockets – though with the full protection you can easily chuck the whole thing in a bag or purse.

You can also carry both pieces separately as a wallet and phone, and clip them together when you wish. It’s available in brown or black, the former more likely to pick up a nice weathered patina over time.

Pela cases

If you care about what will happen to your case when you one day get rid of it, or get a new phone, then Pela is the phone case company you’ll want to buy from.

Pela cases are all 100% compostable and made from natural, renewable plant resources. The company claims they will “take 6 months to 2 years to biodegrade in a backyard compost environment”. That’s a nice peace of mind If you’re worried about all the plastic you keep buying.

The cases are made in Canada and Hong Kong but ship worldwide. They offer a nice feeling material that’s grippy thanks to the flax texture.

We have found that in extended use they break down a little, particularly on the corners. But the company will consider replacing your case if this happens too quickly, and it’s all part and parcel of buying something that won’t exist in landfill for thousands of years into the future.

Casetify Ultra Impact case

If you want a variety of different designs and the ability to customise your next phone case, look no further than Casetify.

There are close to unlimited number of options when it comes to designing your own phone case, and Casetify also has a plethora of different cases to build on, from the simplest thin black plastic cases to bright orange ones with corner protection covered in acid house-style melting smiley faces.

A favourite is the Ultra Impact case that you can adorn in that ‘Acid Smiles’ design, but you can also change the colour of the edges, how much protection to add to the corners, or add MagSafe magnets if the case is for an iPhone.

As well as Apple, you can also get most of Casetify’s cases for multiple Samsung and Google phones. The regular Impact Case is also a solid pick for any phone if you want good protection and a clear back.

Tech21 Recovrd case

Best Prices Today:

$8.98 at Amazon

The second Tech21 case on this list earns its place for its sleek and slim design that has the environment in mind. As the name suggest, the cases are made from 100% recycled materials – but that doesn’t mean they compromise on features or protection.

Designed for the iPhone 14 series, the case has MagSafe compatibility, 10ft drop protection, and a soft touch coating. We like the thinness of the design, which doesn’t add too much bulk to the iPhone 14 Pro we tested it with, but adds enough protection around the display and cameras like we would have hoped.

It comes in four muted colours, and the saddle colour we tried out looks far more like brown in real life than the orange hue on Tech21’s website. We’d go for the blue one.

Mujjo leather case

OK, so Mujjo only makes leather case for iPhones, but they are so good I had we had to include them.

The buttons could be a little more tactile, but otherwise these are made from the highest quality vegetable-tanned leather and are better made than Apple’s official leather cases.

The cases provide a surprising amount of protection with all sides covered, as well as a raised camera section and lip on the front so your camera and screen won’t get scratched when placed on a table.

On the inside is a nice microfiber lining too, so your phone won’t get scratched up from within.

You can opt for black or brown for most model of iPhone, and newer models offer a wallet case version that costs the same as the regular one.

Mobile Phone Accessories, Mobile Phone Cases and Covers, Smartphones

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