Apple‘s iPhone XS marks the return of the iPhone X’s screen-centered form factor. The phone has almost identical dimensions to the iPhone X (they even support the same cases) but its high performing components make it more clear than ever why you need an iPhone XS case. Under the hood, the iPhone XS features an A12 Bionic chip for improved performance and the incredible TrueDepth image sensor.
If you spend $1,000 on a device you plan to take everywhere, it only makes sense to equip it against common mishaps like drops and scratches. I won’t harp on this too much, as owning a case is already considered common sense among iPhone users. After all, a survey conducted by Business Insider suggests that a whopping 86% of iPhone users already use a case.
What qualities should you look for in the best iPhone XS cases? A top-tier protective case provides military-grade shock absorption and scratch resistance to all sides of your phone, with special attention given to your phone’s vulnerable edges.
A high-quality iPhone case should also provide easy access to side buttons and charging ports. Basically, it should function like it’s not even there.
What you can see of your phone case should match your personal tastes too. To help you find one that suits your style, we’ve highlighted some of our favorite iPhone XS cases across all styles and sizes.
What are the best iPhone XS cases in 2021?
- OtterBox Defender Case | Check it out on Amazon – $23.12
- Spigen Neo Hybrid Case | Check it out on Amazon – $16.99
- Case-Mate Karat Pearl Case | Check it out on Amazon – $29.43
- Speck Presidio Grip Case | Check it out on Amazon – $31.68
- Caseology Parallax Case | Check it out on Amazon – $14.99
- Supcase Unicorn Beetle Style Case | Check it out on Amazon – $10.99
- Trianium Walletium Series Wallet Case | Check it out on Amazon – $4.99
- Ringke Fusion Case | Check it out on Amazon – $9.99
- X-Doria Defense Lux Case | Check it out on Amazon – $34.95
- Spigen Thin Fit Case | Check it out on Amazon – $10.99
- Lifeproof FRĒ Series Waterproof Case | Check it out on Amazon – $44.83
1. OtterBox Defender Case – $23.12
For many smartphone users, the OtterBox Defender is the case that started it all. This multi-layer phone case has gone through a lot of changes since its inception in 2010, and today it still remains one of the best iPhone XS cases for its no-nonsense protection.
The Defender line is one of the bulkier designs from OtterBox, but it is designed for maximum drop protection. It sports both an interior rubber slip cover and an outer polycarbonate shell.
The rubber shell helps absorb shock up to military grade standards, while the polycarbonate shell rebuffs scratches on all sides thanks to a generous bezel.
The Defender case line has not included a screen protector for quite some time, but it still has its rubber port cover to keep dust and lint out of your charging port.
This case also comes with a clip-on belt holster for those that are too important to use their pockets.
2. Spigen Neo Hybrid Case – $16.99
While OtterBox’s Defender case represents a full focus on protection, Spigen’s Neo Hybrid case gracefully straddles between protection and portability.
The Neo Hybrid meets military standards for drop protection without the added bulk of full-on armor cases, making it a pocket-friendly option for keeping your phone safe.
Its bezel is notably compact, though it does offer a raised edge to protect your screen and rear camera from face-down drops.
The case is mostly a TPU rubber shell, but your iPhone XS’ edges are reinforced by a snap-on PC bumper frame that will take the brunt of most drops.
Its raised button covers are easy to use, and the smaller profile makes this case easy to grip in your hand.
3. Case-Mate Karat Pearl Case – $29.43
While Case-Mate manufactures defender cases on par with the most rugged phone covers, their best iPhone XS cases are their street smart hybrid cases, which offer style and protection in equal amounts.
The Karat Pearl is among my favorite Case-Mate styles. This snap-on case is made from clear TPU and inlaid with genuine mother of pearl to give your phone a sophisticated look.
It looks great and still provides military-grade drop protection. Its corners are air-cushioned for extra shock absorption and have a slight flex that gives them added grip.
This case is compatible with wireless charging, plus it offers a generous cutout for those that still prefer actually plugging in to charge.
4. Speck Presidio Grip Case – $31.68
Speck’s Presidio Grip case is among the most instantly recognizable cases in the phone accessory game, and for good reason.
This snap-on case offers ample protection in a sleek form, making for one of the slimmest military-grade protective cases out there.
It is made from Speck’s so-called “impactium” material, which is probably just a blend of PC and TPU like most cases. Either way, this case is defined by its textural grip pattern on the back, which prevents drops before they even happen.
This case comes with all the trimmings, including air-cushioned edges, responsive button covers, and a clear cutout for your charging port. It also works great with wireless charging.
5. Caseology Parallax Case – $14.99
Caseology’s Parallax case sports an award-winning design that offers your phone both protection and grip where it needs them most.
This case is comprised of a flexible inner TPU sleeve and a rigid PC bumper frame. The combination of both of these protects from both drops and scratches.
The raised bezel ensures that your phone’s front screen and rear camera bump are just as safe as the phone’s edges.
The highlight of this case is 3D geometric design, which gives this case added grip and a unique style that helps the iPhone XS stand out even more than it already does.
6. Supcase Unicorn Beetle Style Case – $10.99
Supcase’s Unicorn Beetle case combines the minimalist look of a clear phone case with the rugged bumper frame of a defender case to keep your phone safe from drops without stealing the show.
The clear PC backplate shows off the naked beauty of the iPhone XS without leaving it vulnerable to dents and scratches.
The case is opaque around the edges, where additional reinforcement fully cushions your phone from drops. Its bumper frame is made from air-cushioned TPU material, which exceeds military drop test standards.
The case’s bezel is raised just enough to protect your front screen and rear camera from direct drops, but not raised enough to interfere with wireless charging.
7. Trianium Walletium Series Wallet Case – $4.99
Billfold wallets are a thing of the past. Inexpensive and functional wallet cases like the Trianium Walletium have taken over the market for those who want to carry the bare minimum around with them in their pockets.
This case adds a small card holder slot to a dual layer protective case for maximum storage and minimum bulk. The card slot is equipped to comfortably hold three cards, which is enough for an ID and multiple forms of payment. You may even be able to slip a bill or two in there.
The card slot is secure yet easy to access and serves as a great buffer against drops that would normally crack the lens of your rear cameras.
This case also sports a TPU bumper frame that cushions your phone from most drops, making it the second most important thing you carry every day (the first being your phone).
8. Ringke Fusion Case – $9.99
At each new phone release, Ringke shows up to prove that you don’t have to drop $50 on a phone case to get top-tier protection. The iPhone XS release is no exception.
Its transparent design makes the Fusion one of the most understated cases out there, but just because you can’t spot it from a distance doesn’t mean that it’s doing any less work than other bulkier cases.
The Ringke Fusion follows the same successful formula of most bumper cases: a slim yet scratch-resistant backplate, with reinforces edges and air-cushioned corners to take the brunt of any drop.
This case isn’t drop-tested as thoroughly as certain ultra high-end cases, but if you are generally careful with your phone, the Fusion sets you up with more than enough protection for everyday use.
This case has responsive button covers and plays nice with wireless charging.
9. X-Doria Defense Lux Case – $34.95
X-Doria’s Defense Lux is a professional-looking protective case that provides rugged protection in a slim form factor, earning it the best of both worlds.
Backplate designs range from a spartan carbon fiber weave to an all-out glitter explosion. They are all highly durable and protect from scratches. They also have an integrated sound channel to amplify the iPhone XS’ wide sound speakers.
The bumper frame is made from beautifully machined aluminum, which exceeds military drop test standards thanks to its air-cushioned pockets and inner PC lining.
The case has a bit of heft to it, but it still works fine with wireless charging. Surprisingly, it isn’t as chunky as most defender cases despite being equally protective.
When you feel it in your hand, you will definitely understand why this case is considered X-Doria’s luxury option.
All of these qualities help cement the X-Doria Defense Lux as one of the best iPhone X cases.
10. Spigen Thin Fit Case – $10.99
If you are averted to bulky cases that make your phone hard to grip, then the Spigen Thin Fit Case is perfect for you.
This is one of the thinnest iPhone XS cases available, adding 0.1 inches to your phone’s overall profile.
As you may expect this case is not equipped for heavy drops, and instead, should be thought of as protection against scratches and scuffs. Because of its slim size, it only provides minimal shock absorption.
The Thin Fit case works with Spigen’s magnetic car mounts when you purchase an optional metal plate that you install onto the inside of the case. The case works with wireless charging with or without the metal plate.
11. Lifeproof FRĒ Series Waterproof Case – $44.83
LifeProof cases may have fallen out of favor somewhat since most new smartphones (the iPhone XS included) are IP68 water and dust resistant, but these cases are still a useful frontline of defense for the intrepid adventurers who simply can’t leave their phone at home.
After all, how many people do you personally know who are crazy enough to put Apple’s ingress protection claims to the test without a backup plan? None? I thought so.
The FRĒ case forms an air-tight seal thanks to its sturdy screen cover and multi-layer protective case. This case’s profile is a little larger than your average phone case, but the extra protection is a welcome feature when going on any sort of excursion.
Suffice to say your phone will be protected by scratch-resistant PC and TPU shock absorption that exceeds military drop test standards.
Those who call this case overkill simply don’t understand just how extreme some people live.
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