Reviews of the best (and worst) cases out there
Times have modified since the technology of the $349 Nexus Five and $499 Nexus 6P; as an alternative, nearly each flagship smartphone in this day and age, Google’s incorporated, prices a minimum of $800. The $800 Pixel Four and the $900 Pixel Four XL really feel lovely nice in the hand caseless, but when you do not need to chance harmful your glossy new machine, a case is a should. A display protector can be nice to have, too.
This roundup will characteristic all kinds of cases (and a few display protectors). Each overview will include the execs and cons, a couple of paragraphs on the enjoy, and a verdict. We will regularly replace the record as extra cases are available in. If there’s a case you want to peer reviewed, tell us in the feedback phase and we’re going to attempt to get a pattern for overview.
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Note: This sponsorship has no referring to the following evaluations.
Having attempted out Bellroy’s choices for each the Pixel 2 and Pixel Three, I had a good suggestion of what to anticipate going into this Pixel Four model. As expected, now not a lot has modified, that means that it nonetheless isn’t a in particular nice case. Those in search of a leather-based Pixel Four case will have to most definitely check out the much less imperfect Nomad Rugged Case, reviewed underneath, as an alternative.
I in reality hate to bash on Bellroy for the 3rd yr in a row, however the truth is that the cases simply do not appear very well-designed or well-made. The spotlight right here will have to clearly be the leather-based, however it is in reality some of the cheapest-feeling leather-based I have felt. It’s extraordinarily dry and devoid of that true leather-based really feel. I would say it is a bit higher than remaining yr’s due to a fairly finer grain, however that is in reality now not pronouncing a lot. The handiest upside of this leather-based is that it sort of feels extra proof against scratching and denting than what Nomad makes use of.
The relaxation of the case is not a lot better. The border now not handiest feels reasonable, however could also be very skinny, that means that it’s not nice for surprise absorption. The lip up entrance does transparent a pitcher display protector, however it is skinny in some way that makes it uncomfortable to carry or even swipe off and on the display. The buttons, like earlier iterations, are merely cutouts. The Bellroy border is skinny, however now not skinny sufficient to make button cutouts paintings appropriately. As a end result, urgent buttons turns into a chore. The different cutouts are first rate.
Bellroy should be turning a tight benefit on those if it is been the usage of the similar subpar design and fabrics for such a lot of generations. However, I simply can’t counsel this when the a lot better Nomad Rugged Case could also be on the marketplace. Yeah, the Bellroy is $Five-10 inexpensive than the Nomad, however that is $Five-10 I’d gladly pay for a some distance nicer enjoy. The Pixel Four type prices $40, with the Four XL model coming in at $Five upper. Both variants are to be had in black, caramel, graphite, and coral.
Verdict: Buy the Nomad Rugged Case as an alternative.
There are not all that many protection-oriented cases with transparent backs on the marketplace, so I used to be curious to peer what Catalyst would ship with its creatively named Impact Protection Case, particularly given the steeper $40 worth level. For diehard enthusiasts of transparent backs, I believe this example is price the cash.
The very first thing I realized after striking this Catalyst case on my Pixel Four used to be simply how beefy the border is. It’s a lot thicker than maximum different cases, and it is built of a fairly versatile rubber subject material. The case may be very tight, however the added safety that gives some distance outweighs the slight inconvenience of being slightly harder to put in and take away. The lip up entrance is thick, and it does transparent a pitcher display protector. I believe lovely assured in Catalyst’s Three-meter drop-proof declare.
I am a fan of how my white Pixel Four seems to be via the transparent again. The black border round the complete case and the digital camera module offers it some great distinction, regardless that the transparent again does include all the caveats of one. It scratches relatively simply and is not nice at resisting fingerprints. The buttons are tactile and simple to push, regardless that they appear slightly reasonable and uninspired. Cutouts appear alright, and the handiest branding is on the backside proper aspect close to the lanyard loop. Speaking of which, you do get a lanyard incorporated in the field, which is sweet in case you are into that kind of factor.
If you are in the marketplace for a protecting transparent case that does not take a look at tremendous onerous to appear rugged and difficult, the Catalyst is most definitely your best wager. No, it is not inexpensive at $39.99, however it is onerous to discover a handsome transparent case that is this protecting. However, you will have to notice that the transparent again is vulnerable to scratches and fingerprints like just about each different transparent case. These are not too noticeable on the white or orange Pixel 4s, however I’d warning towards getting one of those for a black telephone. It’s handiest to be had with a black border.
Verdict: Buy it if you wish to have a protecting case that presentations off the telephone’s design.
ZAGG is a beautiful well known display protector corporate, but it surely not too long ago branched out to cases below the identify Gear4. As it turns out, Gear4 isn’t if truth be told a brand new corporate, however I had by no means heard of it previous to its acquisition by means of ZAGG. My first have a look at Gear4’s choices used to be with the Battersea, a confusingly named case that, in reality, has not anything to do with extending battery lifestyles. Shame, as that might had been supreme for the Pixel Four.
Let’s get started off with the Battersea’s seems to be. The development on the again is no doubt attention-grabbing, designed to imitate a ripple impact circulating from the Gear4 branding. While this isn’t my most well-liked search for a telephone case, I will no doubt see how it would enchantment to a few. Protection is the place this example is meant to polish; ZAGG mentions the D3O subject material all over, even together with a small bit of textual content beneath the digital camera module. This subject material is allegedly very robust although it’s now not very thick, and a 16-foot drop score is quoted. That sounds spectacular, regardless that I’d believe there’s some degree of diminishing returns in relation to drop defense. After all, now not many of us are losing their telephones two tales, but it surely’s without a doubt nice that ZAGG is that this assured in the case and the subject material. The border itself is terribly grippy, regardless that it doesn’t really feel very top class. The lip is in a position to transparent a pitcher display protector very easily.
I did realize one lovely giant factor with the drop defense, regardless that. Because the case doesn’t grasp the telephone very tightly, drops with the display down may result in the case in part coming off the telephone. This kind of renders the chunky lip needless, because it’s now not in reality protective the display if the case dislodges upon have an effect on. As for different issues of notice: it’s now not in particular cumbersome, however it may well’t be regarded as slender both. The buttons are not anything particular – they’re tactile like maximum, they usually’re now not particularly simple or tough to press. Cutouts are first rate, regardless that the ones for the grilles on the backside of the telephone appear slightly outsized. The digital camera module is well sunken in for slightly of defense, with the aforementioned D3O branding proper underneath.
There’s one different crucial factor with the Battersea: the worth. $49.99 is a ton of cash for a case with out a actual particular qualities; the D3O subject material is sort of moot if the case can’t keep on the telephone when dropped. Sure, the development on the again is attention-grabbing, and the grippy TPU is simple to hold onto, however there will have to be extra to speak about for a $50 case. I may had been in a position to counsel it if it had been $10-15 inexpensive and the case’s have compatibility had been tighter, however because it stands, this can be a no-go from me.
Verdict: Don’t purchase it – it’s an excessive amount of cash for a less than perfect case.
It may also be tough to discover a great transparent case, and I’m dissatisfied to file that the Gear4 Crystal Palace isn’t one of the nice ones. The identify is most definitely the best section of this example, because it falls flat on its face in lots of vital regards. There aren’t many cases I outright can’t counsel, however that is one of them.
I gained’t sugarcoat it — the Crystal Palace is in truth one of the worst cases I’ve ever used. Name a class, and I’ll give an explanation for why it’s awful in that regard. Protection? Sure, it has that fancy D3O tech, however I will have to hope it’s in a position to offer protection to itself given simply how slippery it’s. It’s actually virtually not possible to get a company grip in this case. The lip is thick sufficient to transparent a pitcher display protector, however due to the case’s subpar have compatibility, a face-down fall may lead to the case’s corners giving approach and your display cracking. The case additionally creaks whilst you use it.
Cutouts and buttons are two spaces through which just about each case does decently sufficient in, however now not the Crystal Palace. For some reason why, the cutouts on the backside of the telephone are at all times crooked and usually terrible-looking. I to start with concept this used to be as a result of of how I used to be striking it on, however nope – it’s only a deficient design. The buttons are excruciatingly tough to press; they’re simply the worst I’ve used on any Pixel Four case thus far. As an advantage, the effort required to push the buttons generally ends up in the telephone slipping because of the sheer lack of grip. This is without a doubt an juxtaposition between the different Gear4 case I examined, the Battersea, which is the grippiest case I’ve used. The again turns out fairly scratch-resistant, but it surely gathers fingerprints simply.
The Crystal Palace has nearly no redeeming qualities, and but ZAGG fees a princely $39.99 for one. I legitimately would now not use this example although you paid me to – it’s that unhealthy. If you wish to have a tight transparent case and are prepared to spend the dough for one, you could possibly be a lot better served by means of the Catalyst Impact Protection case, for which there is a overview above.
Verdict: Don’t purchase it.
Fabric is not a subject material that is ordinarily related to telephone cases, however Google it appears did not thoughts that truth when it launched its first Fabric Case for the Pixel 2. Fast ahead to these days, and the Fabric Case is now on its 3rd iteration for the Pixel Four. It’s nonetheless one of my favourite cases for the Pixel lineup, even with its flaws.
Let’s speak about the way it compares to the Pixel Three model. Both make the most of nylon-polyester cloth, a plastic energy button, fabric-covered quantity buttons, in addition to a microfiber lining. The buttons really feel slightly more difficult to press to me, which is unlucky. I favor the cloth weaves and designs on the Pixel Four cases, as they are just a little extra unique.
Protection-wise, the Pixel Four model has if truth be told gotten worse. Because of the two grilles on the backside of the telephone (just one is for a speaker, however no matter), the backside must be so much wider and not more protecting. As an instantaneous end result of this, the case is not as tight on the telephone and can be extra vulnerable to coming off if the telephone fell face down, making display harm much more likely. I did realize that the lip appears to be fairly thicker, regardless that it is nonetheless now not in reality sufficient to transparent a pitcher display protector.
While I do imagine the Pixel Four Fabric Case a downgrade from the Pixel Three one, particularly in the defense enviornment, I would nonetheless purchase it in line with the cool issue by myself. If you drop your telephone and/or get your palms grimy incessantly, this most definitely is not the case for you, however should you like the approach it seems to be, there’s not anything else find it irresistible on the marketplace. It prices $40 from the Google Store and is available in Sorta Smoky, Just Black, Blue-ish, and Could be Coral.
Verdict: Buy it should you like the glance.
Buy: Google Store
There are not many of us out there who prioritize unique fabrics and shape typically over serve as, however for individuals who in reality need their Pixel Four to face out, Pittsburgh-based Kerf will promote you a one-piece picket case with a bunch of picket species to make a choice from. These are not reasonable, however they are most definitely the most original cases on the marketplace.
Wood is clearly now not a logical subject material for a telephone case. It’s now not very shock-absorbent or versatile, it is tough to paintings with, it provides bulk to the telephone… I may move on. But it does stand out like no different case, and in case you are into area of expertise items, you’ll be able to most definitely need one of those.
As a case, this does not be offering the biggest capability. Installation is modest sufficient, with suede on the internal preserving the telephone in by way of friction, regardless that removing is difficult. I discovered that slowly pushing from the digital camera module is the handiest strategy to get the case off. Coverage is first rate, with all 4 corners and a large lip, regardless that I would not be stunned if the case itself sustained harm from a larger drop. Kerf does be offering 50% off should you go back a damaged case and reorder any other, however that is not at all a protecting case in the first position in spite of the bulk. Cutouts are massive, and the buttons are very clicky, albeit slightly sharp on the edges.
Kerf gives 15 differing kinds of picket, starting from a $69 cherry technique to a $169 figured sapele providing. You may even have customized textual content or a picture CNC engraved onto the again. The ones pictured listed below are the cherry and the $99 bulletwood case. Kerf is providing 10% off Pixel Four cases with code PREORDER at checkout presently, which does lend a hand slightly, however those are some of the priciest cases out there. You’ve were given to pay to play.
Verdict: Buy it if you have got the dough and like shape over serve as.
Having been dissatisfied with Bellroy’s choices for the Pixel Three, I used to be extremely joyful when I discovered out how great Nomad’s Rugged Case used to be by means of comparability. Unfortunately, this yr’s Rugged Case has taken a step again in high quality, regardless that it’s nonetheless most definitely your best wager for a Pixel Four leather-based case.
When I took the Pixel Three model of the Nomad Rugged Case out of the field remaining yr, I recall being stunned by means of how supple and grippy the leather-based felt compared to the Bellroy case. I used to be additionally stunned after I held the Pixel Four model for the first time, however for the totally reverse reason why. This time round, the leather-based has a far slipperier texture, making the case really feel so much much less top class. Nomad’s website online says that it’s nonetheless vegetable-tanned Horween leather-based, and the wonderful grain nonetheless seems to be nice, but it surely simply doesn’t really feel just about as nice because it did remaining yr. In spite of this, the leather-based continues to be as simple to dent as ever. Fortunately, the leather-based odor continues to be outstanding.
Leather apart, regardless that, that is if truth be told somewhat a reliable case. It’s very protecting, preserving onto the telephone tighter than maximum others I’ve examined. The aspects are thick sufficient to supply good enough surprise absorption for day by day use, however now not such a lot that it’s noticeably wider in the hand. The lip is tall sufficient to transparent a pitcher display protector. The inside of is coated with microfiber, which is a pleasant contact. The buttons may stand to protrude from the frame slightly extra, however they’re alright another way. Cutouts are actual, and there are if truth be told two lanyard loops on each side of the backside of the telephone.
The Nomad Rugged Case isn’t as nice as remaining yr’s, because of this that the already steep $49.95 worth isn’t as justifiable anymore. However, the handiest choice I’m mindful of for the Pixel Four is the $40 Bellroy Leather Case, which continues to be not as good as the Nomad in each approach apart from worth. Unless you, our pricey readers, can counsel any other leather-based Pixel Four case I don’t learn about, the Nomad is most definitely nonetheless the best possibility. It’s to be had in black and Rustic Brown.
Verdict: Buy it if you want a leather-based case.
Most of us know OtterBox for its huge Defender cases, however the corporate has some much less chunky choices as nicely. For those that do paintings in harder environments however do not want the bulk of the Defender, the Symmetry seems to be a tight choice.
First issues first: should you care about top class fabrics, this is not the case for you. The again is built of onerous, textured polycarbonate that feels very reasonable. That stated, it does appear to be somewhat sturdy and scratch-resistant. The rubber internal layer makes up the entrance of the case, and it does transparent a pitcher display protector. Cutouts are great throughout, with good enough clearance for the digital camera and the charging port.
The case itself feels very strong with out being too massive. When I went to switch a surprise out on my automotive, I grabbed this example, and it did its task nicely. The rubber did get all greasy, but it surely washed off simply. The again survived with out a blemishes regardless of being thrown round slightly. I additionally very much respect the simply pressed buttons, that are most definitely the best I have used on a Pixel Four case so far.
At its $51 MSRP, the Symmetry is tricky to counsel. The present $36 Amazon worth is extra palatable, regardless that I am nonetheless undecided if it is price, say, 2.Five occasions a Spigen Tough Armor case. Ultimately, this example without a doubt is not the best price out there any approach you cube it, however in case you are after a well made case and you’re employed in the box, this can be a nice possibility. It’s to be had in Black, Sapphire Secret Blue, Apsen Gleam Yellow, and a peculiar Gradient Energy colour.
Verdict: Buy it should you find it irresistible, however know that it’s not the best bang for the greenback.
Peel is best-known for promoting paper-thin telephone cases, so I used to be slightly stunned when some Peel-branded glass display protectors arrived at my doorstep. Long tale brief: this isn’t a nice display protector.
From what I will inform, the handiest factor that Peel needed to do with this display protector is the field. As quickly as you get a glance inside of, it is it seems that evident that is the worst sort of glass display protector. It has no adhesive on the exact display portion, handiest below the black border house. This generally ends up in critical contact sensitivity problems, however it is just about unnoticeable in the Peel’s case. That’s nearly the handiest nice facet of this product.
Installation is lovely easy, however there’s no alignment device incorporated. I believed the fitment used to be alright till I began the usage of the telephone, at which level I noticed that the black borders if truth be told interfere into the display area. In Slide for Reddit, for example, I will slightly see the traces on the aspect indicating which remark replies to which.
The oleophobic coating is not nice — it is slippery sufficient, but it surely does quite little to masks fingerprints. It’s now not the worst I have ever used, but it surely leaves one thing to be desired. There’s a small rainbow impact in the center of the display — a not unusual aspect impact of there now not being any adhesive. I additionally spotted that the cutout for the entrance digital camera someway amassed a ton of mud beneath, regardless of the proven fact that I totally wiped clean the display ahead of set up.
This display protector isn’t price any place close to the $29 it retails for. I haven’t any evidence, but it surely legitimately seems to be to be an off-the-shelf Chinese product that is going for $zero.50 apiece in bulk on Alibaba. The benefit margins in this display protector should be ridiculous — which might be wonderful, if it had been if truth be told a well-rounded product. Sure, it is somewhat slightly inexpensive than the OtterBox and ZAGG choices, however there are well-reviewed Pixel Four glass display protectors on Amazon for roughly $2.25 a pop in a Four-pack. There isn’t any global through which I will counsel Peel’s providing.
Verdict: Don’t purchase it.
If there’s one case I knew I may depend on, it is Speck’s Presidio Grip. I have used this type of case with many telephones over the years, and the formulation has at all times stayed the similar. The Pixel Four model is precisely as nice as I anticipated, and it is a nice possibility for many.
Much of this will probably be a repeat of what I stated remaining yr about the Pixel Three model, however that is as a result of it is nonetheless only a nice case even with none adjustments. The design continues to be clean-looking, with the rubber strakes including some aptitude (and likewise grip and surprise absorption). The hardshell encompass may be very solid-feeling with just a little of flexibility, and the inside of has a rubber lining. The corners are bolstered, and the lip up entrance guarantees that your display remains secure.
As anticipated, the buttons are great and tactile — they require slightly bit extra power to depress than I would preferably like, however it is not a dealbreaker in any respect. The cutouts are all actual, with nice clearance for greater USB-C cables and defense for the huge rear digital camera module. Speck’s brand is on the best proper of the again, because it at all times is on those cases.
The Presidio Grip is the case I would seize each time I am doing one thing outdoorsy. That’s to not say it is unusable for different routines — I simply produce other, fairly much less cumbersome cases I would fairly use every day. If you are a bit of a klutz or simply do so much of paintings outdoor, this can be a nice case. It stickers for $39.99 for each the Pixel Four and Pixel Four XL variations, however the Pixel Four type can these days be had for roughly $10 off on Amazon. It’s to be had in black/black, Marble Grey/Anthracite Grey, Bali Blue/Skyline Blue, Coastal Blue/black, and Parrot Pink/Papaya Pink.
Verdict: Buy it if you want one thing with slightly extra defense than your moderate case.
Spigen is one of the best-known case producers in the trade presently, and for nice reason why — the corporate persistently produces fine quality, but inexpensive cases. The Liquid Air is in all probability one of the best examples, as it is one thing that the common client who simply needs a nice, no-frills case will probably be solely proud of.
As you could possibly inform from the lack of a “not so good” phase above, I will’t in reality in finding any flaws with the Liquid Air. It’s now not a posh case with unique fabrics or particular options, but it surely does not you have to be one. It’s mainly only a lovely protecting TPU shell, and that’s the reason all most of the people will need out of a case. The development on the again may be very faint, but it surely does upload the tiniest bit of aptitude. There also are small diagonal ridges on the aspects of the case that most definitely marginally beef up grip. There’s additionally some unnoticeable Spigen branding close to the backside of one of the aspects.
In phrases of defense, this can be a unusually strong case. The aspects are stiffer and fairly thicker than the again, aiding with surprise absorption and preserving the case tightly wrapped round the telephone. The lip simply clears a pitcher display protector and makes no try to detach from the telephone when in a face-down have an effect on, and the digital camera will get a fairly increased portion for slightly of further defense. The buttons are tactile and simple to push, and the cutouts are all somewhat actual.
The Liquid Air is a great case, undeniable and easy. It’s protecting, it’s not offensive-looking, and at $11.99, it is reasonable. If you are the sort of one that in reality does not care what is for your telephone so long as it is secure, this can be a nice possibility. You will have it in any colour… so long as it is black.
Verdict: Buy it should you simply desire a nice, no-frills case.
For those that love to retain their telephone’s slender profile whilst nonetheless including slightly of defense, Spigen’s Thin Fit has lengthy been a really perfect possibility. The Pixel Four model isn’t any other; it does not in reality upload the rest new, but it surely did not in reality want any enhancements.
As at all times, the Thin Fit lives as much as its identify. Short of the paper-thin Peel and MNML cases, that is just about as slender because it will get. It’s built of a unmarried piece of polycarbonate and easily snaps onto the telephone. The again has a pleasant soft-touch end, which is relatively proof against fingerprints. There are not any buttons, only a few cutouts, which I in my view favor in this taste of case. The Spigen branding on the again turns out to have grown slightly from the Pixel Three Thin Fit, however it is nonetheless just about unnoticeable with the black colour. I am additionally a large fan of the magnet insert area that Spigen supplies on each Thin Fit, because it makes the usage of it with a magnetic automotive mount a breeze.
If you are in search of most defense, this clearly is not the case for you. There is a small lip on the entrance that may offer protection to your display from have an effect on, but it surely does now not transparent a pitcher display protector. It’s additionally lacking round the buttons to make the ones more uncomplicated to push, in order that house of the entrance is a little more vulnerable to harm. The digital camera module will get a small hump, which is nice. Of path, there’s no actual surprise absorption with a case like this, so that you without a doubt wish to be slightly extra cautious with this.
For $nine.99, you in reality cannot move improper with a Thin Fit. It’s not anything fancy, however it is a nice case typically for many who are slightly extra cautious with their telephones. It’s to be had on Amazon for each the Pixel Four and Pixel Four XL in black and white (regardless that the white colours command a top class for no matter reason why).
Verdict: Buy it so long as you are now not totally clumsy.