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The onset of fall means a new line of iPhones, Samsung devices, and other smartphones. It also means once again I’m spending days trying to decide which smartphone cases are the best.

Because phone cases come from so many brands and in so many shapes, colors, and materials, there’s no one perfect case for everyone. But below I’ve highlighted some of the most promising on the market. Some are stylish, some are ultra protective, and many are well-rounded, all-purpose cases. This list will be updated with picks for the Google Pixel 3 once it’s released. This list will also be updated with battery cases; we’ve got to test them first.

If you aren’t upgrading, or chose to snag one of last years models for cheaper, here’s our list for last years cases.



They’re soft, thin, and flexible.

To keep the look and feel of your device, go for a skin-style case. These are flexible, thin, and usually made from rubber or silicone. They’re not disaster-proof, but nonetheless an effective first line of defense. Oh, and they don’t cover the front of your phone, so make sure to pick up a screen protector.

  • Incipio NGP iPhone XS Case; $20.

  • Spigen Liquid Crystal iPhone XS Max Case; $11.

  • Silk iPhone XR Clear Case; $12.

  • Spigen Liquid Air Armor Galaxy S9 Plus Case; $13.

  • LK Flexible Silicone Galaxy Note 9 Case; $10.

  • Spigen Liquid Crystal Google Pixel 2 XL Case; $13.

  • Aeska Ultra Flexible Soft Skin Silicone LG G7 Case; $8.



Hard and sturdy cases.

Shell cases are thin, rigid, and great for shielding phones from scratches. The most valuable shells include silicone bumpers to help with shock absorption.

  • Incipio Reprieve [Sport] iPhone XS Case; $40.

  • Griffin Survivor Strong for iPhone XS Max; $30.

  • Spigen Ultra Hybrid Apple iPhone XR; $13.

  • Speck Presidio Grip Samsung Galaxy S9 Case; $33.

  • Anccer Galaxy Note 9 Case; $13.

  • Google Earth Live Case for Pixel 2 XL; $29.

  • OtterBox Symmetry Series Cell Phone Case for LG G7 ThinQ; $40.


Wallet cases

Put your money where your phone is.

If you’re like me and are trying to ditch your wallet, try a case that holds your essentials. These come in many styles, but most allow you to keep cash, credit cards, and your ID in a slot on the back or in a separate area of the case.

  • NOMAD Rugged Tri-Folio Case iPhone XS; $80.

  • Mujjo Full Leather Wallet iPhone XS Max Case; $55.

  • Case-Mate Leather Wallet Folio iPhone XR Case; $60.

  • Nomad Clear Folio Galaxy S9 Plus Case; $25.

  • Trianium Galaxy S9 Plus Wallet Case; $9.

  • Bellroy Leather Pixel 2 Wallet Case; $69.

  • ProCase Wallet LG G7 THINQ Flip Case; $11.


Leather cases


Leather cases are not amazing for protecting your phone from weather or drops, but they sure do look classy.

  • NOMAD Rugged Leather Case for iPhone XS; $45.

  • MUJJO iPhone XS Max Leather case; $50.

  • Case-Mate Barely There Leather iPhone XR Case; $40.

  • Leather Samsung Galaxy S9 Case; $39.

  • Solo Pelle Leather Samsung Galaxy Note 9 Case; $34.

  • Kaseta Leather Google Pixel 2 Leather Case $45.


Tough, disaster-proof cases

For the active and/or over-protective.

For the outdoor adventurer—or the very clumsy—you need a suit of armor for your phone. These rugged protectors shield devices from harsh weather, long falls, and unexpected swims.

  • OtterBox DEFENDER SERIES Case for iPhone Xs; $22.

  • Pelican Shield iPhone XS Max Case with Kevlar Brand fibers; $60.

  • Urban Armor Gear iPhone XR Case; $60.

  • Urban Armor Gear Galaxy S9 Case; $40.

  • Spigen Tough Armor Galaxy Note 9 Case; $16.

  • Spigen Tough Armor Google Pixel 2 XL Case; $18.

  • Supcase LG G7 THINQ Case; $20.


Fitness cases

For the sporty types.

For bikers, runners, and other active folks, a case that’s water(sweat)proof with an adjustable arm strap can make life easier. You can listen to music as you run without having to hold your phone in your hand.

  • Spigen 6-inch Universal Smartphone Sports Armband; $8.

  • Trianium Universal Smartphone Sports Armband; $10.

  • SUPCASE iPhone XS Sports Armband; $13.

  • Bone Universal Bike Phone Holder; $10.

  • WizGear Universal Magnetic Car Mount Phone Holder; $7.

  • Studio Proper iPhone Bike Mount (must be used with one of their cases); $40.

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