The beauty of the iPhone XS over its big brother and many larger Androids, is that it’s dinky enough to be used with a decent iPhone case without feeling like it’s trying to break out of your pocket.
Some of our favorite cases of the moment add new features too, such as card storage, extra battery life and military-spec drop protection.
Here’s our pick of the best cases out there. For more ideas, head on over to our roundup of the best iPhone XS cases too.
Dockem Synthetic Leather Sleeve
A case you can hide
Colors: Dark Brown | Material: Synthetic leather and microfiber
Most people would probably rather keep their phone unadorned by a case, particularly when their phone is as stylish as the iPhone XS. That’s why a sleeve can be a good option, as it keeps your iPhone protected while it’s in your bag or pocket, but shows it off in full when you’re using your phone.
This Dockem sleeve also stands out thanks to its attractive faux-leather design and its low-price tag, though of course, like any other sleeve it won’t protect your phone while you’re using it, so this isn’t one for the clumsy.
RANVOO Aluminum Bumper Case
Colors: Black, Red, Silver| Material: TPU and aluminum
Your iPhone XS might be metal, but most cases aren’t, which means you’re inevitably left covering it in cheaper plastic, or pricey but still different leather.
There are some exceptions though, such as this Ranvoo bumper, which although plastic on the inside has a layer of aluminum on the outside, and it comes in some same colors as the iPhone XS itself.
As it’s just a bumper rather than a full case the back of your phone is left uncovered and the bumper itself is almost invisible – unless you choose a color that contrasts your phone, rather than matches it.
The skeletal nature of the bumper means it’s not the most protective thing around, but the edges are raised, so even if your phone hits the ground on the front or back it should remain safe as long as the surface it collides with is flat.
Uprosa iPhone XS Case
Taking you under the microscope
Colors: Various | Material: Plastic
The construction of Uprosa’s cases is entirely pedestrian, as they’re simply made of flexible plastic. However, their designs are something else.
Uprosa’s case graphics come from images submitted by researchers and science students, whose job it is to look at stuff under microscopes, so they shot the images by using microscope photography, then print it on the cases. Here’s the description of the ‘flamingo’ design seen in the image:
“The same chemical (citric acid) that makes a lemon tart forms colliding pink oceanic waves through the lens of a microscope.” Brian Cox would approve.
Spigen Tough Armor case for iPhone XS
An entry-level protection-focused case
Colors: gun metal, black, blush gold | Material: Polycarbonate, aluminum and TPU
Spigen releases Tough Armor cases for plenty of phones, and this iPhone XS case is much like them: improved protection over basic cases for a bit higher price, but nowhere near as expensive as others in this list.
The case has a flexible TPU body wrapped in a polycarbonate back, providing a little extra cushion between the ground and your phone than simple plastic cases. Plus, it’s got a little kickstand if you enjoy watching media on your iPhone.
Belkin Sport-Fit iPhone XS Case
A case built specifically for runners
Colors: Black, Pink | Material: Neoprene
Here’s an iPhone XS case for a particular niche: the runner. It’s a neoprene armband case that lets you take your phone out for a jog without a) holding the thing or b) having it move around in your pocket.
Unless you go on fairly long runs where taking a phone is a good idea anyway, the best reason to get a Sport-Fit is to use your phone as a GPS tracking tool, using an app like RunKeeper.
The combination effectively turns your phone into the equivalent of a fully featured GPS sport watch. The case can also hold a debit/credit card, meaning you only need to find somewhere to stash your keys. And earrings, perhaps?
Caseology Skyfall series case for iPhone XS
Ultra-thin transparent clear
Color: Black, gold, silver and warm gray | TPU and flexible acrylic material
If you’re looking for a case, but don’t want to add any patterns to show the original beauty of the iPhone XS, this is the one you’re after.
Caseology makes, you guessed it, cases with minimal aesthetic. They are elegant, provide Military-Grade protection and come in a clear color. Better yet, they’ll work on an iPhone XS as well, should you have one laying around or plan to buy one.
UAG Trooper iPhone XS Case
A tough case with room for your cards
Colors: Black | Material: Plastic, polycarbonate
Let’s stop messing around, it’s time for a case that looks tough as nails. The UAG Trooper is a light-but-hardy case that also doubles as a wallet, as its back flips open to reveal a compartment in which you can store four cards.
It has rubbery sides and uses hard polycarbonate for that lid on the back. The Trooper adds a fair bit of bulk to the iPhone XS, but not a great deal of weight. For a higher-end feel, the Monarch-series UAG cases use bonus metal and leather, although there’s no card slot.
OtterBox Defender iPhone XS Case
An old favorite for a new phone
Colors: Black, Marathoner, Bespoke Way, Vinyasa | Material: Polycarbonate and rubber
We’ve been using OtterBox Defender cases on and off for years now: they’re veterans of the scene. While they add bulk to your phone, their aim is to offer complete protection that’ll leave your handset looking fresh 12 months down the line, and for a reasonable price too.
They use a rubber inner cover, a hard plastic outer and an inbuilt screen protector, only leaving the Apple logo and camera on the back somewhat exposed to the elements.
While the iPhone XS is already waterproof, there are port protectors too. These will stop any muck clogging up your ports, perfect if you really do treat your phone a bit rough.
Tech21 Evo Luxe iPhone XS Case
Strong but not showy
Colors: Liberty Francis, Liberty Elysian, Liberty Azelia and Liberty Marham| Material: TBC and premium faux leather
Back in the old days, Tech21 cases used to have orange blobs peppered throughout, as a way to show off the fancy shock-absorbing material the company uses.
The Tech21 Evo Elite, though, is a case that color-matches the classic iPhone shades on its sides, with a transparent back to retain as much of that iPhone flavor as possible.
Inside there’s still some of Tech21’s magic FlexShock material, which is what absorbs the force of impact to stop your phone from getting damaged.
iPhone XS Smart Battery Plus Case
A case that fixes the iPhone battery biggest problem
Colors: Black, White | Material: Silicone
One of just a couple of problems with the iPhone XS is that its battery life isn’t great. If you don’t fancy carrying around an external battery pack 24/7, this case can help.
It’s an official Apple accessory that shoehorns a 2,365mAh battery into a smooth silicone case, roughly doubling the iPhone XS’s stamina in real terms. The downside is that it gives your iPhone a humpback, the battery unit sticking out from the casing. There’s also a ‘lip’ at the bottom that further spoils the phone’s lines.
Battery cases aren’t for everyone, but this one is smarter than most, with clever management of when the phone is powered by its own battery and that of the case.