Reviews of the best (and worst) cases out there


Instances have modified because the period of the $349 Nexus 5 and $499 Nexus 6P; as an alternative, virtually each flagship smartphone these days, Google’s included, prices not less than $800. The $800 Pixel Four and the $900 Pixel Four XL really feel fairly nice within the hand caseless, however in the event you do not need to threat damaging your shiny new gadget, a case is a should. A display screen protector could be good to have, too.

This roundup will characteristic all kinds of circumstances (and a few display screen protectors). Every overview will comprise the professionals and cons, a couple of paragraphs on the expertise, and a verdict. We’ll regularly replace the listing as extra circumstances are available. If there is a case you’d prefer to see reviewed, tell us within the feedback part and we’ll attempt to get a pattern for overview.

Introducing Spigen’s latest Pixel Four and Four XL case lineup — tailor-made to greatest suit your type and safety wants. From the thrilling new particulars in type, to the additional safety packed into the slim body, Spigen delivers the standard and slim safety it’s recognized for.

Whether or not you’re a minimalist who loves a easy look, a lover of fashion who values detailing, or a dropper who wants probably the most safety, regardless of the case could also be, Spigen has a case that’s excellent for you. Take a look at Spigen’s Pixel Four and Four XL lineup proper now.

Notice: This sponsorship has no bearing on the next evaluations.

Having tried out Bellroy’s choices for each the Pixel 2 and Pixel 3, I had a good suggestion of what to anticipate going into this Pixel Four model. As anticipated, not a lot has modified, which means that it nonetheless isn’t a very good case. These in search of a leather-based Pixel Four case ought to most likely check out the much less imperfect Nomad Rugged Case, reviewed beneath, as an alternative.

I actually hate to bash on Bellroy for the third 12 months in a row, however the actuality is that the circumstances simply do not appear very well-designed or well-made. The spotlight right here ought to clearly be the leather-based, but it surely’s actually a few of the cheapest-feeling leather-based I’ve felt. It is extraordinarily dry and devoid of that true leather-based really feel. I would say it’s kind of higher than final 12 months’s because of a barely finer grain, however that is actually not saying a lot. The one upside of this leather-based is that it appears extra immune to scratching and denting than what Nomad makes use of.

The remainder of the case is not significantly better. The border not solely feels low cost, however can be very skinny, which means that it is not nice for shock absorption. The lip up entrance does clear a glass display screen protector, but it surely’s skinny in a manner that makes it uncomfortable to carry and even swipe on and off the display screen. The buttons, like earlier iterations, are merely cutouts. The Bellroy border is skinny, however not skinny sufficient to make button cutouts work appropriately. In consequence, urgent buttons turns into a chore. The opposite cutouts are first rate.

Bellroy should be turning a good revenue on these if it has been utilizing the identical subpar design and supplies for therefore many generations. Nevertheless, I simply cannot advocate this when the significantly better Nomad Rugged Case can be in the marketplace. Yeah, the Bellroy is $5-10 cheaper than the Nomad, however that is $5-10 I’d gladly pay for a far nicer expertise. The Pixel Four mannequin prices $40, with the Four XL model coming in at $5 increased. Each variants can be found in black, caramel, graphite, and coral.

Verdict: Purchase the Nomad Rugged Case as an alternative.

Purchase: Bellroy, Google Retailer

There aren’t all that many protection-oriented circumstances with clear backs in the marketplace, so I used to be curious to see what Catalyst would ship with its creatively named Impression Safety Case, particularly given the steeper $40 worth level. For diehard followers of clear backs, I believe this case is well worth the cash.

The very first thing I seen after placing this Catalyst case on my Pixel Four was simply how beefy the border is. It is a lot thicker than most different circumstances, and it is constructed of a barely versatile rubber materials. The case could be very tight, however the added safety that gives far outweighs the slight inconvenience of being a bit tougher to put in and take away. The lip up entrance is thick, and it does clear a glass display screen protector. I really feel fairly assured in Catalyst’s 3-meter drop-proof declare.

I am a fan of how my white Pixel Four seems to be by means of the clear again. The black border across the whole case and the digicam module offers it some good distinction, although the clear again does include all of the caveats of 1. It scratches pretty simply and is not nice at resisting fingerprints. The buttons are tactile and straightforward to push, although they give the impression of being a bit low cost and uninspired. Cutouts appear alright, and the one branding is on the underside proper facet close to the lanyard loop. Talking of which, you do get a lanyard included within the field, which is good in the event you’re into that type of factor.

Should you’re out there for a protecting clear case that does not strive tremendous arduous to look rugged and difficult, the Catalyst might be your greatest wager. No, it is not reasonably priced at $39.99, but it surely’s arduous to discover a handsome clear case that is this protecting. Nevertheless, you need to notice that the clear again is susceptible to scratches and fingerprints like just about each different clear case. These aren’t too noticeable on the white or orange Pixel 4s, however I’d warning in opposition to getting one among these for a black cellphone. It is solely out there with a black border.

Verdict: Purchase it if you need a protecting case that exhibits off the cellphone’s design.

Purchase: Amazon (Pixel 4), (Pixel Four XL); Catalyst (Pixel 4), (Pixel Four XL)

ZAGG is a fairly extensively recognized display screen protector firm, but it surely just lately branched out to circumstances beneath the title Gear4. Because it seems, Gear4 isn’t really a brand new firm, however I had by no means heard of it previous to its acquisition by ZAGG. My first have a look at Gear4’s choices was with the Battersea, a confusingly named case that, surely, has nothing to do with extending battery life. Disgrace, as that might have been perfect for the Pixel 4.

Let’s begin off with the Battersea’s seems to be. The sample on the again is definitely eye-catching, designed to imitate a ripple impact circulating from the Gear4 branding. Whereas this isn’t my most well-liked search for a cellphone case, I can definitely see the way it would possibly attraction to some. Safety is the place this case is meant to shine; ZAGG mentions the D3O materials all over the place, even together with a small little bit of textual content beneath the digicam module. This materials is allegedly very robust although it’s not very thick, and a 16-foot drop score is quoted. That sounds spectacular, although I’d think about there’s a degree of diminishing returns in terms of drop safety. In any case, not many individuals are dropping their telephones two tales, but it surely’s undoubtedly good that ZAGG is that this assured within the case and the fabric. The border itself is extraordinarily grippy, although it doesn’t really feel very premium. The lip is ready to clear a glass display screen protector with ease.

I did discover one fairly massive concern with the drop safety, although. As a result of the case doesn’t maintain the cellphone very tightly, drops with the display screen down might result in the case partially coming off the cellphone. This type of renders the chunky lip ineffective, because it’s not likely defending the display screen if the case dislodges upon influence. As for different issues of notice: it’s not significantly cumbersome, however it could actually’t be thought of slim both. The buttons are nothing particular – they’re tactile like most, and so they’re not particularly simple or tough to press. Cutouts are first rate, although those for the grilles on the underside of the cellphone appear a bit outsized. The digicam module is properly sunken in for a little bit of safety, with the aforementioned D3O branding proper beneath.

There’s one different essential concern with the Battersea: the worth. $49.99 is a ton of cash for a case with no actual particular qualities; the D3O materials is type of moot if the case can’t keep on the cellphone when dropped. Certain, the sample on the again is attention-grabbing, and the grippy TPU is straightforward to hold onto, however there ought to be extra to speak about for a $50 case. I might need been capable of advocate it if it have been $10-15 cheaper and the case’s match have been tighter, however because it stands, it is a no-go from me.

Verdict: Don’t purchase it – it’s an excessive amount of cash for an imperfect case.

Purchase: ZAGG (Pixel 4), (Pixel Four XL)

It may be tough to discover a good clear case, and I’m upset to report that the Gear4 Crystal Palace isn’t one of many good ones. The title might be the perfect a part of this case, because it falls flat on its face in lots of necessary regards. There aren’t many circumstances I outright can’t advocate, however that is one among them.

I gained’t sugarcoat it — the Crystal Palace is genuinely one of many worst circumstances I’ve ever used. Title a class, and I’ll clarify why it’s horrible in that regard. Safety? Certain, it has that fancy D3O tech, however I ought to hope it’s capable of defend itself given simply how slippery it’s. It’s actually virtually not possible to get a agency grip on this case. The lip is thick sufficient to clear a glass display screen protector, however because of the case’s subpar match, a face-down fall might consequence within the case’s corners giving manner and your display screen cracking. The case additionally creaks whenever you use it.

Cutouts and buttons are two areas by which just about each case does decently sufficient in, however not the Crystal Palace. For some purpose, the cutouts on the underside of the cellphone are at all times crooked and usually terrible-looking. I initially thought this was due to how I used to be placing it on, however nope – it’s only a poor design. The buttons are excruciatingly tough to press; they’re simply the worst I’ve used on any Pixel Four case up to now. As a bonus, the hassle required to push the buttons normally leads to the cellphone slipping because of the sheer lack of grip. That is undoubtedly an juxtaposition between the opposite Gear4 case I examined, the Battersea, which is the grippiest case I’ve used. The again appears considerably scratch-resistant, but it surely gathers fingerprints simply.

The Crystal Palace has virtually no redeeming qualities, and but ZAGG fees a princely $39.99 for one. I legitimately wouldn’t use this case even in the event you paid me to – it’s that unhealthy. In order for you a good clear case and are prepared to spend the dough for one, you’d be significantly better served by the Catalyst Impression Safety case, for which there’s a overview above.

Verdict: Do not buy it.

Purchase: ZAGG (Pixel 4), (Pixel Four XL)

Cloth is not a cloth that is ordinarily related to cellphone circumstances, however Google apparently did not thoughts that reality when it launched its first Cloth Case for the Pixel 2. Quick ahead to immediately, and the Cloth Case is now on its third iteration for the Pixel 4. It is nonetheless one among my favourite circumstances for the Pixel lineup, even with its flaws.

Let’s discuss the way it compares to the Pixel Three model. Each make the most of nylon-polyester material, a plastic energy button, fabric-covered quantity buttons, in addition to a microfiber lining. The buttons really feel a bit more durable to press to me, which is unlucky. I want the material weaves and designs on the Pixel Four circumstances, as they’re only a bit extra distinctive.

Safety-wise, the Pixel Four model has really gotten worse. Due to the 2 grilles on the underside of the cellphone (just one is for a speaker, however no matter), the underside must be loads wider and fewer protecting. As a direct results of this, the case is not as tight on the cellphone and could be extra susceptible to coming off if the cellphone fell face down, making display screen harm extra doubtless. I did discover that the lip appears to be barely thicker, although it is nonetheless not likely sufficient to clear a glass display screen protector.

Whereas I do contemplate the Pixel Four Cloth Case a downgrade from the Pixel Three one, particularly within the safety enviornment, I would nonetheless purchase it primarily based on the cool issue alone. Should you drop your cellphone and/or get your fingers soiled usually, this most likely is not the case for you, however in the event you like the best way it seems to be, there’s nothing else prefer it in the marketplace. It prices $40 from the Google Retailer and is available in Sorta Smoky, Simply Black, Blue-ish, and Could possibly be Coral.

Verdict: Purchase it in the event you just like the look.

Purchase: Google Retailer

There aren’t many individuals on the market who prioritize unique supplies and kind usually over perform, however for individuals who really need their Pixel Four to face out, Pittsburgh-based Kerf will promote you a one-piece wooden case with various wooden species to select from. These aren’t low cost, however they’re most likely probably the most distinctive circumstances in the marketplace.

Wooden is clearly not a logical materials for a cellphone case. It is not very shock-absorbent or versatile, it is tough to work with, it provides bulk to the cellphone… I might go on. Nevertheless it does stand out like no different case, and in the event you’re into specialty items, you may most likely need one among these.

As a case, this does not provide the best performance. Set up is easy sufficient, with suede on the inside holding the cellphone in through friction, although removing is hard. I discovered that slowly pushing from the digicam module is the one approach to get the case off. Protection is first rate, with all 4 corners and a large lip, although I would not be stunned if the case itself sustained harm from a much bigger drop. Kerf does provide 50% off in the event you return a damaged case and reorder one other, however that is certainly not a protecting case within the first place regardless of the majority. Cutouts are massive, and the buttons are very clicky, albeit a bit sharp on the sides.

Kerf presents 15 various kinds of wooden, starting from a $69 cherry choice to a $169 figured sapele providing. You possibly can even have customized textual content or a picture CNC engraved onto the again. Those pictured listed here are the cherry and the $99 bulletwood case. Kerf is providing 10% off Pixel Four circumstances with code PREORDER at checkout proper now, which does assist a bit, however these are a few of the priciest circumstances on the market. You have to pay to play.

Verdict: Purchase it in the event you’ve obtained the dough and like kind over perform.

Purchase: Kerf

Having been upset with Bellroy’s choices for the Pixel 3, I used to be thrilled after I discovered how good Nomad’s Rugged Case was by comparability. Sadly, this 12 months’s Rugged Case has taken a step again in high quality, although it’s nonetheless most likely your greatest wager for a Pixel Four leather-based case.

After I took the Pixel Three model of the Nomad Rugged Case out of the field final 12 months, I recall being stunned by how supple and grippy the leather-based felt compared to the Bellroy case. I used to be additionally stunned after I held the Pixel Four model for the primary time, however for the utterly reverse purpose. This time round, the leather-based has a a lot slipperier texture, making the case really feel loads much less premium. Nomad’s web site says that it’s nonetheless vegetable-tanned Horween leather-based, and the tremendous grain nonetheless seems to be good, but it surely simply doesn’t really feel almost nearly as good because it did final 12 months. Regardless of this, the leather-based continues to be as simple to dent as ever. Luckily, the leather-based scent continues to be outstanding.

Leather-based apart, although, that is really fairly a reliable case. It’s very protecting, holding onto the cellphone tighter than most others I’ve examined. The edges are thick sufficient to supply sufficient shock absorption for day-to-day use, however not a lot that it’s noticeably wider within the hand. The lip is tall sufficient to clear a glass display screen protector. The within is lined with microfiber, which is a pleasant contact. The buttons might stand to protrude from the physique a bit extra, however they’re alright in any other case. Cutouts are exact, and there are literally two lanyard loops on both facet of the underside of the cellphone.

The Nomad Rugged Case isn’t nearly as good as final 12 months’s, which signifies that the already steep $49.95 worth isn’t as justifiable anymore. Nevertheless, the one different I’m conscious of for the Pixel Four is the $40 Bellroy Leather-based Case, which continues to be inferior to the Nomad in each manner besides worth. Except you, our pricey readers, can advocate one other leather-based Pixel Four case I don’t find out about, the Nomad might be nonetheless the best choice. It’s out there in black and Rustic Brown.

Verdict: Purchase it in the event you want a leather-based case.

Purchase: Nomad

Most of us know OtterBox for its huge Defender circumstances, however the firm has some much less chunky choices as nicely. For many who do work in more durable environments however don’t desire the majority of the Defender, the Symmetry seems to be a good different.

First issues first: in the event you care about premium supplies, this is not the case for you. The again is constructed of arduous, textured polycarbonate that feels very low cost. That stated, it does appear to be fairly sturdy and scratch-resistant. The rubber internal layer makes up the entrance of the case, and it does clear a glass display screen protector. Cutouts are good throughout, with sufficient clearance for the digicam and the charging port.

The case itself feels very strong with out being too big. After I went to alter a shock out on my automotive, I grabbed this case, and it did its job nicely. The rubber did get all greasy, but it surely washed off simply. The again survived with no blemishes regardless of being thrown round a bit. I additionally significantly recognize the simply pressed buttons, that are most likely the perfect I’ve used on a Pixel Four case to date.

At its $51 MSRP, the Symmetry is tough to advocate. The present $36 Amazon worth is extra palatable, although I am nonetheless uncertain if it is price, say, 2.5 instances a Spigen Powerful Armor case. In the end, this case undoubtedly is not the perfect worth on the market any manner you cube it, however in the event you’re after a properly made case and you’re employed within the subject, it is a good possibility. It is out there in Black, Sapphire Secret Blue, Apsen Gleam Yellow, and a bizarre Gradient Power shade.

Verdict: Purchase it in the event you prefer it, however know that it is not the perfect bang for the buck.

Purchase: Amazon; OtterBox (Pixel 4), (Pixel Four XL)

Peel is best-known for promoting paper-thin cellphone circumstances, so I used to be a bit stunned when some Peel-branded glass display screen protectors arrived at my doorstep. Lengthy story quick: this isn’t a very good display screen protector.

From what I can inform, the one factor that Peel needed to do with this display screen protector is the field. As quickly as you get a glance inside, it is plainly apparent that is the worst sort of glass display screen protector. It has no adhesive on the precise display screen portion, solely beneath the black border space. This normally results in critical contact sensitivity points, but it surely’s just about unnoticeable within the Peel’s case. That is nearly the one good facet of this product.

Set up is fairly easy, however there is not any alignment instrument included. I assumed the fitment was alright till I began utilizing the cellphone, at which level I spotted that the black borders really intrude into the display screen house. In Slide for Reddit, for example, I can barely see the traces on the facet indicating which remark replies to which.

The oleophobic coating is not nice — it is slippery sufficient, but it surely does comparatively little to masks fingerprints. It is not the worst I’ve ever used, but it surely leaves one thing to be desired. There is a small rainbow impact in the course of the display screen — a typical facet impact of there not being any adhesive. I additionally seen that the cutout for the entrance digicam in some way collected a ton of mud beneath, even if I utterly cleaned the display screen earlier than set up.

This display screen protector isn’t price anyplace close to the $29 it retails for. I’ve no proof, but it surely legitimately seems to be to be an off-the-shelf Chinese language product that goes for $0.50 apiece in bulk on Alibaba. The revenue margins on this display screen protector should be ridiculous — which might be tremendous, if it have been really a well-rounded product. Certain, it is fairly a bit cheaper than the OtterBox and ZAGG choices, however there are well-reviewed Pixel Four glass display screen protectors on Amazon for about $2.25 a pop in a 4-pack. There isn’t a world by which I can advocate Peel’s providing.

Verdict: Do not buy it.

Purchase: Peel 

If there’s one case I knew I might depend on, it is Speck’s Presidio Grip. I’ve used this mannequin of case with many telephones over time, and the system has at all times stayed the identical. The Pixel Four model is strictly nearly as good as I anticipated, and it is a terrific possibility for many.

A lot of this shall be a repeat of what I stated final 12 months concerning the Pixel Three model, however that is as a result of it is nonetheless only a good case even with none modifications. The design continues to be clean-looking, with the rubber strakes including some aptitude (and in addition grip and shock absorption). The hardshell encompass could be very solid-feeling with only a little bit of flexibility, and the within has a rubber lining. The corners are strengthened, and the lip up entrance ensures that your display screen stays protected.

As anticipated, the buttons are good and tactile — they require a bit bit extra drive to depress than I would ideally like, but it surely’s not a dealbreaker by any means. The cutouts are all exact, with good clearance for bigger USB-C cables and safety for the huge rear digicam module. Speck’s emblem is on the highest proper of the again, because it at all times is on these circumstances.

The Presidio Grip is the case I would seize every time I am doing one thing outdoorsy. That is to not say it is unusable for different routines — I simply produce other, barely much less cumbersome circumstances I would moderately use every day. Should you’re a little bit of a klutz or simply do numerous work outdoors, it is a nice case. It stickers for $39.99 for each the Pixel Four and Pixel Four XL variations, however the Pixel Four mannequin can at the moment be had for about $10 off on Amazon. It is out there in black/black, Marble Gray/Anthracite Gray, Bali Blue/Skyline Blue, Coastal Blue/black, and Parrot Pink/Papaya Pink.

Verdict: Purchase it in the event you want one thing with a bit extra safety than your common case.

Purchase: Amazon (Pixel 4), (Pixel Four XL); Speck (Pixel 4), (Pixel Four XL)

Spigen is without doubt one of the best-known case producers within the enterprise proper now, and for good purpose — the corporate constantly produces high-quality, but reasonably priced circumstances. The Liquid Air is maybe the most effective examples, because it’s one thing that the common shopper who simply needs a very good, no-frills case shall be fully pleased with.

As you would possibly have the ability to inform from the dearth of a “not so good” part above, I am unable to actually discover any flaws with the Liquid Air. It is not a flowery case with unique supplies or particular options, but it surely would not attempt to be one. It is principally only a fairly protecting TPU shell, and that is all most individuals will need out of a case. The sample on the again could be very faint, but it surely does add the tiniest little bit of aptitude. There are additionally small diagonal ridges on the edges of the case that most likely marginally improve grip. There’s additionally some unnoticeable Spigen branding close to the underside of one of many sides.

When it comes to safety, it is a surprisingly strong case. The edges are stiffer and barely thicker than the again, aiding with shock absorption and preserving the case tightly wrapped across the cellphone. The lip simply clears a glass display screen protector and makes no try to detach from the cellphone when in a face-down influence, and the digicam will get a barely elevated portion for a bit of additional safety. The buttons are tactile and straightforward to push, and the cutouts are all fairly exact.

The Liquid Air is an effective case, plain and easy. It is protecting, it is not offensive-looking, and at $11.99, it is low cost. Should you’re the kind of one that actually would not care what’s in your cellphone so long as it is protected, it is a nice possibility. You possibly can have it in any shade… so long as it is black.

Verdict: Purchase it in the event you simply need a good, no-frills case.

Purchase: Amazon (Pixel 4), (Pixel Four XL)

For many who prefer to retain their cellphone’s slim profile whereas nonetheless including a little bit of safety, Spigen’s Skinny Match has lengthy been a terrific possibility. The Pixel Four model is not any totally different; it would not actually add something new, but it surely did not really want any enhancements.

As at all times, the Skinny Match lives as much as its title. Wanting the paper-thin Peel and MNML circumstances, that is just about as slim because it will get. It is constructed of a single piece of polycarbonate and easily snaps onto the cellphone. The again has a pleasant soft-touch end, which is pretty immune to fingerprints. There aren’t any buttons, just a few cutouts, which I personally want on this type of case. The Spigen branding on the again appears to have grown a bit from the Pixel Three Skinny Match, but it surely’s nonetheless just about unnoticeable with the black shade. I am additionally a giant fan of the magnet insert house that Spigen offers on each Skinny Match, because it makes utilizing it with a magnetic automotive mount a breeze.

Should you’re in search of most safety, this clearly is not the case for you. There’s a small lip on the entrance which may defend your display screen from influence, but it surely doesn’t clear a glass display screen protector. It is also lacking across the buttons to make these simpler to push, in order that space of the entrance is a little more susceptible to wreck. The digicam module will get a small hump, which is nice. After all, there is not any actual shock absorption with a case like this, so that you undoubtedly need to be a bit extra cautious with this.

For $9.99, you actually cannot go fallacious with a Skinny Match. It is nothing fancy, but it surely’s a terrific case usually for many who are a bit extra cautious with their telephones. It is out there on Amazon for each the Pixel Four and Pixel Four XL in black and white (although the white colours command a premium for no matter purpose).

Verdict: Purchase it so long as you are not utterly clumsy.

Purchase: Amazon (Pixel 4), (Pixel Four XL)



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