What Kind of Phone Cases Offers The Best Protection

If you’re like most people, your phone case choice is the only thing that stands between you and financial ruin. It may be tempting to think cases don’t really matter, or you can get one later, but consider the sad souls who are out of luck today because their six-year-old thought the screen-down iPhone on the coffee table was a coaster.

There are a lot of choices out there to keep your phone in one piece, and while it’s true that no phone case type will protect your top-of-the-line Samsung or iPhone from an asteroid strike, some do a better job than others at keeping everyday damage at bay. Here’s a rundown of the types of cases you can choose from and which offer the most phone protection.

Types of Phone Cases

Slim Phone Cases

Slim cases are an inexpensive and popular go-to option. Most are plastic or rubber and can slip in and out of pockets easily, but while they offer some degree of surface protection and shock absorption, some aren’t particularly durable.

slim case

To get more phone protection out of a slim case, choose quality materials that are less prone to breakage and have a higher profile where it matters — around the screen and camera. If you put your phone in a slim case and can still hear the screen touch a hard surface when you lay it face down, protection is minimal.

Rugged Phone Cases

Sliding a rugged case out of your pocket a hundred times a day can feel like you’re trying to pull out a Humvee, but they’re well-designed for protection from all angles and give your phone a better chance of survival from high drops at awkward angles. The sides are high, so screen protection is excellent, and they’re usually treated with non-slip coatings to give you a good grip in the rain and cold.

rugged case

The problem is that they’re big and bulky. The extra material used to provide superior shock absorption can make it tough to reach buttons, especially if you need quick access. For climbing Everest or running with the bulls, a rugged case is the best protection you can buy, but it may be overkill for an office job.

Tough Phone Cases

If you own a “World’s Biggest Klutz” mug, but want phone protection that’s a little less beefy, tough cases are slightly lower-profile, but still offer excellent impact resistance. Built-up sides are high enough to protect fragile iPhone screens and there’s less material to get in the way of functions.Tough Phone Case

The downside is that they’re still bulky and the non-skid materials on corner bumpers create drag, making it tougher to pull the phone out of your pocket discreetly when your boss is watching.

Flip or Folio Phone Cases

Flip cases look like a checkbook. The phone fits on one side — in a hard case in you’re lucky — and the other side can carry an ID and a few credit cards. Like a tablet case, most have a sleep function that keeps your phone on, but conserves battery life when the case is closed.

Flip or Folio phone case

Colors and fabrics are available to match any bag or briefcase and they offer good overall protection, especially for the screen, but are still bulky and tough to fit into slim pockets.

Getting the Best Protection

If you need the highest level of protection money can buy, the rugged cases in the Otterbox Defender series have been refined to make them less cumbersome. Styling looks as much at home in the office as at the construction site, and the new colors extend well beyond the usual Gunmetal Gray and camouflage pattern offerings. If your kids know where to find your phone, think Otterbox.

Otterbox Defender series

For lightweight protection that meets military drop test standards, consider the tough cases in the Outback series from Urban Armor Gear. Their designs are understated and make button functions a pleasure to access.

Ranvoo Aurora Series Phone Cases

If a slim case that looks great and glides in and out of your pocket with ease is a top priority, Ranvoo offers next-level protection and polished aesthetics. Their thin and ultra-thin styles are tough, but luxuriously sleek, and for the ultimate minimalist, they offer a clear case with protective bumpers that makes the distinct design of your upscale Samsung Galaxy or iPhone the center of attention.


Nobody wants to lay down hundreds of dollars on a smartphone, and then put a case on it that make it look like a relic. Your phone case choice says something about you, and the good news is that you don’t have to sacrifice style and function for security.

Ultimately, phone case type matters as much as expensive insurance plans. Choose carefully because it’s your first and most important line of defense.

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