Just purchased a new smartphone? The next step involves choosing the best phone case available on the market today to protect your expensive new device from the inevitable scrapes, bumps, and accidental drops.
If you’re the proud new owner of one of today’s best camera phones, there are plenty of options for keeping it protected and looking good as new - from ultra-slim cases designed to show off your phone's design features, to the thicker and more rugged cases that are slightly on the heavier side but offer super-protective 360 shells that can survive accidents and drops form hefty heights.
We know that choosing the perfect phone case can be a pretty stressful endeavor, but don't worry as you're in good hands. We've done the hard work for you and become somewhat experts on phone cases (I have at least 85 in my garage) and adept at finding the most protective yet stylish cases that suit all budgets.
What sort of phone case do I need?
It's especially important if you're a photographer and smartphone shooter to find a case equipped with raised edges that will protect your camera unit from any unwanted cracked or scratched lenses upon impact, and maybe even consider purchasing a separate camera lens protector for maximum peace of mind.
As a bare minimum, you'll want a phone case that uses shock-absorbent materials, such as silicone or rubber, and it's also best to go for one that has corner and edge impact protection. Having said that, a more costly calamity for a camera phone is a cracked screen, so you may also want to equip one of the best screen protectors for 360-degree and full body protection for your device.
Our top picks for phone cases
We highly recommend cases that have been produced by OtterBox if you're looking for all-around protection for your new smartphone from a reliable manufacturer. OtterBox offers various fun features in its case ranges including holsters, card slots, pop sockets, waterproof cases, and fun marble designs.
Other great cases come from the likes of Mous and Casetify, if you're looking for extreme protection then choose Mous - they've thrown phones off a rooftop before to prove the strength of their cases. Casetify, however, prioritizes the design and offers 2000+ artistic patterns to choose from, plus collabs with pop culture branding.
For photographers: You can't go wrong with Peak Design or Moment cases. These brands offer seamless integration with tripods, car mounts, and specifically Moment lenses which are some of the best lenses for camera phones on the market.
The best phone cases in 2023
Why you can trust Digital Camera World Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out how we test.
OtterBox is a renowned phone case brand that delivers only the best quality, and most importantly protective, cases on the market. When it comes to protective cell phone cases, the Otterbox Defender is considered a gold standard. The multi-layer design gives you dust, drop and scratch protection, while a reinforced polycarbonate inner and a thick silicone outer shell absorb impact.
Port covers are also fitted on this case to block out any and all dust and dirt. The included holster clip on the resilient outer slipcover can attach to bags and rucksacks for convenience, and can also double as a kickstand for browsing movies and content. It's important to note that this case is not fitted with any built-in magnets, but OtterBox assures that it is still wireless charging compatible.
The Otterbox Defender series will add a fair bit of bulk to your phone, so this isn’t the best option if you like to keep your phone in your pocket or want to show off its form – and it isn’t waterproof, either. But when it comes to ultimate drop protection, this cell phone case is about as comprehensive as it gets.
CASETiFY has a 2000+ catalog of creative designs to choose from, created by a multitude of renowned artists. The Impact case is a best-seller from the company, and can supposedly withstand drops from up to 8.2 feet, and four times the usual military standard! As part of the company’s “Re/CASETiFY” upcycling program, the recyclable case can be returned to the brand by customers after use, in exchange for store credits.
These cases are designed with a 1.6mm raised bezel for screen protection, and a 1.1mm camera ring to protect your lenses. They are also wireless and MagSafe charging compatible, and super strong! The EcoShock™ material is plant-based and able to convert the kinetic energy of an impact into heat, while twister patterns dissipate it across the surface of the case.
Aside from being super pretty to look at, these cases offer a lot in a small package, and great customer service from Casetify means that any issues are dealt with swiftly. You'll not only bag yourself a cool custom case, but you're doing a favor for the environment and smaller businesses too by selecting designs.
You can't go wrong with Peak Design, and it's recently introduced a new shade of Sage green with the launch of its iPhone 14 range of cases! One of the best Phone cases that money can buy, Peak Design is a company that caters to photographers and adventurers in every aspect.
PD cases can connect to all of the company's accessories including everything from car and bike mounts to tripods and wireless charging stands and magnetic wallets, its Everyday range is the perfect choice for those wanting a more subtle style of case with a soft-touch feel. Everyday cases are also weatherproof, and Bluesign-approved, and the 'Loop Case' models feature a finger loop on the back for easy gripping.
Some key selling points of Peak Design cases include the rubberized full-surround shock-absorbing bumper fitted to protect your device from 6ft drops, as well as a protective lip housing the screen and camera lenses. Need we say more?
This waterproof case comes with a built-in screen protector and a scratch-resistant back panel, providing your cell phone with great protection. The design incorporates shock-absorbing edges and corners, so you can rest assured that you phone will be protected against everyday shocks and drops.
The Spidercase is constructed of shock-absorbing high-grade TPU and PC materials which keeps the case lightweight and sturdy. The case is fully sealed, and so you could potentially use it for taking underwater shots, but don't expect to be diving to any great depths with it. It also includes precise cutouts for your cell phone's buttons, ports and cameras, and is compatible with wireless chargers. It’s a cheaper alternative to the other rugged, waterproof cases in this list, and it works well.
Spigen is one of the biggest names in phone cover protection, and it’s easy to see why, its Neo Hybrid line is one of the company’s most popular set of phone cases. With enhanced shock absorption, slim-grip design, and a dual-layered structure for extra protection, the Spigen Neo Hybrid won’t add as much bulk to your camera phone as some other cases, but you’ll get plenty of protection for day-to-day use.
The Herringbone-textured rubber is smooth but grippy, so your device won't slip out of your hand while you're taking photos, and it comes in a range of different colors: gunmetal, burgundy, jet black, pale dogwood, and satin silver.
Keep in mind that it isn't as tough as the most protective ranges on the market, so if you're prone to dropping your cell phone or other phone-related accidents then a cell phone case like the Otterbox Defender might be a better choice. But if you're looking for a brilliant balance of style, functionality, and usability, the Spigen Neo Hybrid is one of the best phone cases you can buy.
This clear shell case from fashion label Ted Baker has been adorned with a stunning floral design (choose Jasmine or Elderflower) and it's slightly see-through so your iPhone shows through in a really appealing way. No matter what color your cell phone, this design is a winner.
But, it's not all about the look: An AirWall-lined TPU bumper edge adds protection while allowing access to all ports and controls. The fit is as close as you can get, and the buttons are easy to press, which isn't always the case. It's really comfortable despite being a little chunkier than some of its rivals.
The Moment Photo Case is designed to turn the world's top camera phones – the newest Pixels, iPhones, OnePlus and Samsung Galaxy devices – into more sophisticated snappers. Aside from protecting them from drops and scrapes with a thin, shock-absorbing rubberized body, the cases require a lens interface mount for securely attaching Moment's range of add-on smartphone lenses, depending on your device, some cases will include this and some will need to be purchased separately.
It comes with a 3,100mAh built-in battery for charging your iPhone on the go, giving you longer shooting time, and an integrated Lightening port, as well as a two-stage shutter button for taking photos: pressing down halfway focuses the lens and a full press takes the picture.
Whichever camera phone you have, though, if you're into mobile photography or filmmaking, these are some of the best phone cases you can buy. These cases are primarily available in the US, although Moment does ship worldwide when purchasing directly.
If you like to conserve as much space as possible, carrying around both a heavy smartphone and a wallet can often be frustrating. If you feel this way, why not consider investing in a cell phone case that doubles up as a wallet? The Shieldon iPhone case has three slots for bank cards and an inside bill compartment to store notes and receipts. The case features an invisible kickstand that can be used for a convenient hands-free phone display.
The Shieldon phone case has a hidden magnetic closure that's designed to help keep your valuables safe, while RFID Shielding Technology has been employed to help protect your cards from unauthorized contactless scanning.
Designed with premium Scandinavian full-grain leather, this beautifully manufactured cell phone case from Woolnut is perfect for discerning iPhone users who like to live in the lap of luxury. The slim profile of the case means that you don't have to worry about adding bulk to your iPhone's build, while the inside of the case is made of a soft microfiber lining that gently cossets your device.
It's true that this cell phone case won't be quite as robust as some of the other options on this list, but its stylish design is perfect for everyday professional use, and the leather is pretty durable. It also develops a lovely patina over time.
This case from Inncipio is intended to keep your phone firmly in your hand while also providing superior drop protection from up to 14 feet! Other features of this case include a multidirectional grip form which assists in resisting slippage from all directions, combined with a form-fitting profile that feels like it's a part of your hand.
The case is also equipped with Discoloration Defense, to prevent your case from fading over time, and has a layer of antimicrobial technology to prevent 99.9% of surface bacteria. If you're outside of the US, this case can be ordered directly from Incipio which offers worldwide shipping, plus there's also a lifetime Warranty included.
The rigorous testing process for this Grip case involved Incipio's cutting-edge Impact Struts technology, which has been derived from proven protection technology within the automotive and sports industries to soak up impact shock. The raised-edge bezel has also been designed to prevent any screen cracks and scratches by keeping your device raised from the ground.
This cell phone case has its own legs! Literally. While most cell phone photographers don’t use any support, all images benefit from a camera being completely still. In low-light, or if you want to try a night-time shot – perhaps of star fields of the Milky Way – a tripod is imperative, and this case's rubber-tipped legs will help you to take such shots.
The tripod is built-in, so you can fold the legs in and have a slim-line cell phone case, and it easily fits in your pocket. Aside from taking long-exposure shots, the StandPoint is perfect for perching your cell phone on a surface – a train or airline tray-table being the obvious candidates – for hands-free video as well as video calls and photo reviewing.
We like the case’s protective nature, and the fact that it works with wireless charging pads. The only drawbacks are that the StandPoint’s tiny tripod legs require a flat surface, and the case itself feels a little plasticky, but it's very good value.
The Limitless 5.0 case range from Mous is without a doubt one of the best phone cases on the market if you're looking for the ultimate protection for your device in a simple yet professional casing. Fitted with impact-absorbing AiroShock technology, these cases protect your device from not only the usual daily damages but hefty falls, scrapes, and bumps.
Mous cases are near enough indestructible, and the company is so confident in the levels of protection that these cases offer that it encourages customers to throw their phones off of a roof, and offers a limited lifetime warranty on its cases. New with the Limitless 5.0 series is MagSafe compatibility! Now you no longer need an iPhone to be able to use MagSafe wireless charging and accessories.
Mous cases might not be the most aesthetically pleasing for those who prioritize design, but their overall structure and protective features are unmatched. The case also boats raised edges, a high-defense camera bump, and a soft microfibre lining to keep your device safe and secure for the long run.
How we test
In all honesty, there's no real way to test a phone case thoroughly enough without actually putting our own phones in danger. So for this reason, we base our recommendations on things like grip, case texture, additional features such as kickstands and wallet slots, compatibility with MagSafe and Qi wireless functions, manufacturer reputation, and most of all - price range and value for money.
We weren't born yesterday, and we know that most manufacturers will exaggerate and upsell key features of its phone cases knowing that you'll never test them. For example, some cases might be listed with 14ft drop protection, but we aren't about to find out for ourselves whether that's true. With that in mind, we always take these things with a pinch of salt, but remember - Amazon reviews never lie! (We're kidding).
• Take a look at our case guides for the latest flagship smartphones that boast the most powerful cameras: including the best iPhone 14 Pro Max cases, as well as the best Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra cases, and not forgetting the best Google Pixel 7 Pro cases to protect your device from the get-go.