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Just purchased a new smartphone? The next step involves picking up the best phone case available on the market today to protect your expensive tech from inevitable harm and accidental drops.
If you’re the proud new owner of one of today’s best camera phones (opens in new tab), there are plenty of options for keeping it protected, from ultra-slim phone cases that show off the phones design features, through to thicker rugged and super-protective shells that can survive almost any kind of accident.
We've all seen them, the expensive phones with shattered glass screens... accidents like this can be avoided, if you buy the right protective cell phone case. Shattered displays are most likely to happen if you drop your device and it lands on a corner, where the force exerted on the glass is more concentrated.
So, as a bare minimum, you need a phone case that uses a shock-absorbent material, such as silicone or rubber, and it's also best to go for one with corner and edge protection. Having said that, a more costly calamity for a camera phone is a cracked lens – and the best way to avoid this is to purchase a much tougher case.
Ultimately, the best phone case for you depends on what you want from your device: you need to ask yourself if you want it to appear more stylish or be safe? And consider how you use it. If you're out and about in any weather, you'll probably want to opt for a waterproof cell phone design that's also rugged.
A little clumsy and accident prone? The Defender series from OtterBox is the one for you. It has a durable, layered design to safeguard your phone from dents and drops. All the cell phone cases here are optimized for camera phones, so whatever level of protection you’re after, you’ll find one that won't hinder your ability to take great photographs quickly and easily. Read on to see the line-up we've selected.
The best phone cases in 2022(opens in new tab)
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 Moment Pixel Photo Case comes with a built-in lens interface for securely attaching Moment's range of add-on smartphone lenses (opens in new tab), plus a strap attachment to stop you from dropping your camera phone.
Meanwhile, wireless charging support means you can place you phone on any Qi-compatible charging pad. If you’ve got an iPhone SE 2, 7 Plus, 7, 8 Plus or 8, we’d choose Moment’s excellent MFi-approved Battery Photo Case for iPhone (opens in new tab).
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.(opens in new tab)
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 (number three in this list) 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.(opens in new tab)
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 absorbs impact.
Port covers are great at preventing dirt from clogged up headphone jacks and ports; and the rubber back provides a good camera cut out that also protects protruding lenses when you place your camera phone on a flat surface.
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.(opens in new tab)
OtterBox is best-known for its robust protection and tank-sized cases. The company's OtterBox Symmetry series, however, is a lighter-duty line that offers a thinner one-piece design that doesn't lose too much on the protection front.
The build quality of this case is excellent, marrying a synthetic rubber interior with a durable polycarbonate outer shell, and it's easy to put on and take off. As with the Spiegen Neo Hybrid, there are no advanced features, so it doesn't have waterproof capabilities, built-in batteries or fold out kickstands – and it will definitely add a little bulk to your camera phone.
However, if you’re looking for a pocket-friendly phone case with greater-than-average protection for the size and weight, the OtterBox Symmetry series is definitely worth considering.(opens in new tab)
If you're looking for something a little more streamlined that could help you with your grip (especially if you have small hands) then you might want to opt for this stand and grip-style phone case from Clckr. This case is compatible with various different camera phones – the one reviewed was used with a Samsung Galaxy 2021 (6.2-inch) model, and fitted tightly with neat cut-outs to the ports, and buttons that worked well.
It's made from silicone material and feels nice and grippy, while the back has a slim handle that pops out. This grip is ideal for photography as it means that you can be ready to shoot with confidence, knowing your fingers won't fatigue and you are less likely to drop your phone. The handle can also be used as a kickstand for horizontal and vertical viewing; you just snap it into place.
The case is highly durable and has a TPU bumper with a raised edge to protect your camera and the screen against scratches, bumps and drops (up to 2m/6.6ft). Being clear silicone (as pictured here), the Clckr case is strong yet flexible, and your expensive tech can shine through.(opens in new tab)
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.(opens in new tab)
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.(opens in new tab)
Boasting a tough, two-piece design, the Griffin Survivor Extreme is the ideal cell phone case for outdoor adventures. It has been drop tested to up to 10 feet (3 meters) onto concrete, and while we don't want to test that ourselves, it certainly seems rugged and durable so we're sure it will deliver on the promise of keeping your iPhone safely cushioned inside.
It's rated IP55 against mud, rain, snow and sand that can damage your iPhone, this is thanks to the case's sealed design, which features button and port covers. Despite being a rugged protection cell phone case, it doesn't add too much bulk so you can still comfortably carry this around with you, but the Griffin Survivor isn't for small hands, which may not be a problem if you like using two anyway. If you're prone to accidents and want a case that will help your iPhone to withstand pretty big drops and anything the weather can throw at you, this tough case is a winner.(opens in new tab)
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.(opens in new tab)
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.(opens in new tab)
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.(opens in new tab)
This Altra phone case features a quick-release detachable wrist strap and optional crossbody strap which is ideal if you're a person who likes to have your hands free but your phone ready to use. The case's textured grip makes holding the phone in one hand or taking photos safe and convenient, and it also has responsive metal buttons that provides easy access to your device's key controls.
The Altra case features Moshi's proprietary NanoShield anti-microbial coating which is said to kill germs and bacteria upon contact. And it supports Moshi's handy SnapTo magnetic mounting system for SnapTo Car Mount, and is compatible with wireless charging.
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