The best iPhone cases in 2021 for style and protection

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A good iPhone case should serve multiple purposes. First of all, it should protect your iPhone from scratches, scuffs and dirt.

But given how often most of us pick up our phones every day, it’s also important that the phone case is easy to handle. At the same time, a good case should add some style to your device. At the very least, it shouldn’t interfere with the aesthetics of your device or make it too bulky.

We’ve tested nearly two dozen products to find the best iPhone rhino cases. Whether you’re looking for extreme protection, an attractive wallet case, or just a slim case to prevent smudges, these are the best iPhone cases we’ve found.

Best General Purpose Cases: Speck Cases

Speck cases provide more weight and protection than cheaper cases, but are not as large and bulky as the Otterbox.

This is reflected in prices as well: Speck cases are definitely not cheap, with some models costing around $ 60 at their regular price. But they are also not as expensive as some special cases.

Speck offers a variety of cases to fit older models such as the iPhone 7, all the way up to the new iPhone 12 line. So no matter what iPhone model you have, there is likely to be a case to match. Speck cases come in a variety of styles, from sheer cases to cases with handles, prints and glitter or ombre finishes. The options available depend on your phone model.

I love that Presidio 2 Perfect Clear with Grips does not add bulk to my iPhone, but it does provide protection. The grips are also perfectly positioned for easy and secure hanging of the phone. But this case is tougher than some of the others we’ve tested, making it harder to remove.

Meanwhile, the Presidio 2 Armor Cloud claims to have air capsules that collapse to hang your phone on an air cushion to prevent damage, although other companies have made similar claims. However, the Speck cases we tested easily withstood a 5-foot drop onto a marble floor without any sign of damage.

In our grease test, the Speck Presidio 2 Perfect Clear and Armor Cloud cases picked up a seemingly normal amount of smudges, while the Presidio 2 Pro looked particularly greasy. Each case is easy to clean using a cloth lightly dampened in warm water, but streaks are still visible on the Presidio 2 Pro and Armor Cloud if you look closely.

Best for style: Native Union cases

While protection is the main reason you can put a case on your iPhone, style is also important.

The cases are very thin and don’t add any weight to your device. And as beautiful as they look, they aren’t that much more expensive than other cases on this list. The Clic Canvas iPhone 12 case currently costs $ 30, the Clic Wooden iPhone 12 case is $ 40, and the Clic Card wallet case for the iPhone 12 Mini is $ 50. If you have an older iPhone, prices are even cheaper.

The downside of Native Union case studies, however, is that there is little choice. They only sell cases for iPhone 11th generation and up.

The Clic Wooden case is also not the most durable if your phone falls heavily. After dropping five feet onto the marble floor, the Clic Wooden box had a small chip at the bottom. But more importantly, the iPhone 12 he defended remained unscathed.

Maintenance of these enclosures can also be more difficult, depending on the model. Cleaning the Clic Canvas requires an eraser and we could not find instructions on how to clean the Clic Wooden. Fortunately, the Clic Card can be cleaned with a damp cloth and mild hand soap.

The Clic Card and Wooden didn’t get unusually smudged when we held them with dirty fingers, and the Clic Card looked like new after following Native Union’s cleaning instructions. We used the same method to clean up the Clic Wooden, but it still looks a little fuzzy when the light comes in at certain angles.

Nonetheless, these cases are a great choice for those who care about appearance first and at a reasonable price.

Best Cases on a Budget: Smart Cases

Smartish makes it hard to justify the high cost of an iPhone case. Their cases usually cost $ 20 or less, but they don’t look like them and they come in a variety of colors and finishes. Smartish offers iPhone cases as old as the iPhone 5S, making it one of the few companies still making 5-year-old iPhone cases.

The Kung Fu Grip is also a great choice for those looking for a simple case for basic protection. It has a smooth finish that makes it easy to hold, as the name suggests, and a flexible, jelly-like design that makes it easy to slip on and off your phone.

Smartish cases also provide ample protection if your phone falls heavily. After each of the boxes mentioned below fell from a height of five feet onto the marble floor, neither the cases nor the phones they protected showed any signs of damage.

However, these liners attracted the most dirt and debris of any liner we tested in our lubricant test. But they were also some of the easiest to clean and looked brand new after a quick wipe with warm soapy water.

Best leather cases: Nomad cases

Nomad iPhone cases can be expensive, but they are made with high quality Horween leather. You can even smell leather by unpacking the case.

The company’s rugged chassis is sleek yet protective and claims to withstand a 10-foot drop. While we did not test these cases in a 10-foot drop, the Nomad Rugged and Rugged Folio handled a five-foot drop onto a marble floor very well. MagSafe compatible cases also attach more easily to my MagSafe Duo charger than most cases I’ve used before.

Nomad iPhone rhinocases are definitely in the high-end range when it comes to price, but the difference in quality is certainly noticeable, especially when it comes to the Rugged Folio wallet case. It just feels more durable and premium than the cheaper leather wallets we’ve tested. Each leather case comes with a leather conditioner bag to keep it clean.

In our grease test, the Nomad drawers darkened a bit, but I’m impressed with how easy it is to clean them with soap and water. Although the crates looked a little striped when wet, they returned to normal after air-drying for a few minutes.

Nomad’s selection is better than some companies like Native Union, but it’s still pretty limited. It only sells iPhone cases for the iPhone XS / XR series, iPhone 11 series, and iPhone 12 series, so you’ll have to look elsewhere if you have an older phone.

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