On 5 phone cases

I’ve tried a ridiculous number of cell phone cases from simple tough cases that snap on the back to credit card sleeves, armbands and now a folio case.

Changing expensive phones frequently to impress your friends may prove counterproductive. People will think you can’t make up your mind and they won’t be impressed. But it is perfectly reasonable to frequently change your phone cover to give your smartphone a brand new look. Become the envy of your friends with super cool steampunk or superhero-themed cases.

You may have a great phone but that’s no good if it looks generic just like the rest. Cases are like haute couture apparel for phones and an emphatic fashion statement. In addition to revamping your set, these cases serve as a cheap but reliable insurance policy.

Thinking of frugal surprise presents that will make you a favorite with the kids? Phone cases are the best option even for the most fastidious kids who will accept them gleefully. Even grownups will love these cases if you know their preferences. For instance, if your sister loves Hello Kitty, then gift her an uber-cute Hello Kitty case.

Phones are more than just technological marvels. They are our trusted confidants and advisors. In short, these devices are an integral part of our lives. So, decorate your phone with chic cases.

Imagine the joy when people mistake your case-enhanced phone for a new one. Clever cases impart improved utility for better functionality and increased resilience that protect your phone against mishaps.

Just any garish gaudy knock-off design won’t do. Check out these varieties to decide which case type is right for your smartphone.

Rugged Cases

These are one of the best protective cases out there. That’s due to their reinforced corners and air pockets. These vastly reduce the damage in case of a mishap. The good grip is definitely a boon in terms of safety although it may not slide in and out of your pocket that easily.

The best part is that these covers offer complete protection without ever being cumbersome. With these fantastic covers, your phone will look slick, high tech and bulletproof. Convert your humble and meek-looking generic phone to a futuristic cutting edge gizmo with these cool covers.

For adequate protection, you will want to look at safety scales. One safety scale, the IP (Ingress Protection) rating will give you a fair idea of the extent to which the case can protect your phone.

This is the IEC standard 60529 which is also referred to as the ‘International Protection Marking’ and the ‘Ingress Protection Marking.’ These ratings tell you about the level of protection offered against hazards and intrusions such as electrical enclosures, water intrusion, accidental contact, shocks, impact and dust.

Some manufacturers have taken this one step further and are actually following the US military standards. The MIL-STD-810 standard addresses all possible hazards to your phone like heavy rains, extreme cold, high temperatures, humid environments, sand and dust exposure, random vibrations, shocks, etc. If you are an outdoors person, this rating may matter.

Tough Cases

Tough cases are very compact and offer a high level of protection without forfeiting style. One very popular combination is the use of a polycarbonate outer covering with a layer of silicone inside to cushion impact. You should look out for the military drop test certification.

Although a bit bulky, these cases can be very stylish. They allow you to access all your ports and slots. These cases have a good grip which reduces chances of dropping the phone.

Slim Cases / Basic Cases

If you are confident that you will handle your phone carefully, then you can opt for an enhanced style in lieu of protection. That’s where slim cases come in. These cases greatly improve the chances of surviving a fall (although that’s not guaranteed). They will protect your precious phone from scratches where the surfaces are covered. Translucent cases will allow your phone’s wonderful design to shine through. These cases are quite economical.

They are often one-piece and made of TPU which is a fairly malleable and quite durable. These properties mean that they are easy to fit onto your phone and also offer good impact protection. This category offers the most diverse spectrum of colors, variety and style. Be wary of cutouts and missing lips in the front. These can greatly increase risk of failure from falls. One great category in basic cases involves a thin hardback cover combined with a thicker and more malleable bumper.

Folio Cases (aka Flip Cases)

I have a folio case and love it. I no longer need a wallet.

These are also called wallet cases. They are very pocket-friendly in addition to being stylish. These are a great variation if you want to carry your case in a bag or purse. They offer a good deal of protection although you will find variances. Some don’t offer coverage around corners and sides while others have and inner shell type case which can reduce protection level. Leather is the best possible material which comes at a premium price. Other substitutes include polyurethane, also called ‘vegan leather’. Although polyurethane is good in protecting against impact, it can crack with the passage of time.

Folio cases can support the sleep-wake cycle – when you open the cover the phone will wake up and when you flip the cover shut the phone will go to sleep. You must pay close attention to the type of closure. The magnetic ones are not as tenacious and may open in your bag or purse. Other stronger varieties include stud, tab and elastic closures.

Some of these cases come with credit card slots but stuffing too many cards into the slots can increase chances of the case unexpectedly popping open. There are the wood and leather case varieties and also old book-binding techniques to impart the classic retro look.

Check Price

Armband cases

When you want easy access to your smartphone but don’t want to hold on to it, an armband case is a good option. These are mostly used when working out, running or any other activity.

Dry bags

If you’re going to the beach or boating, don’t let water destroy your $500+ smartphone. Get a dry bag which keeps water off of it even if you drop it into the water. You can use the phone while in the bag. I have one of these for the beach and it’s fantastic.

Battery case

For power users or if you go a long time away from a charging outlet, you can get cases that include another batter to double your use. This is actually a great idea … if you’re getting a case to protect your smartphone, why not get one that includes an another batter.

Wallet cases

Folio cases are also called wallet cases, but here’s one that can be attached to a strap for carrying as a small purse/wallet. It also carries credit cards and ID.


I had one of these for a long time and it was pretty good for carrying a few cards. The my wife bought a folio style case for her phone and it was terrific so I followed suit. Here’s a simple sleeve style accessory (not really a case, but a similar accessory):


If the armband hands-free concept isn’t for you, consider a holster case that clips onto your belt. You have instant and easy access all the time. The only thing is do you want your smartphone hanging off your belt? I totally get the convenience, but it’s not a look I’m going for.

Case Materials

Since materials have a great impact on several properties, it is worthwhile to have a look at some of the materials that are used to make cases:

Screen Protector

This is an important adjunct to cases that come without screen protection. They keep your slick phone smudge-free, fingerprint-free and allow you to glide your finger smoothly while swiping the touch screen. All these things add up for a great user experience. Oh, and they prevent your precious screen from cracking, goodness forbid. Since they keep your screen pristine, they greatly boost your phone resale value so they are self-paying in nature. That makes them a great investment. Do not begrudge a tiny investment that will usher in so many awesome benefits.

It’s important to pay close attention to the materials as well since they have a direct impact on the phone covers characteristics.


This synthetic material is cost-effective and comes in both hard and soft varieties. It can be molded into almost any kind of shape making it very versatile. This material offers an excellent level of protection for your precious set. Beware that the cheaper ones may not be as durable as you would like.


It is a special material created by a company bearing the same name. These are one of the most popular cases these days. It makes great use of two of the best materials for mobile case covers: polyester and polyurethane. These materials combine to make the case highly protective, stylish and long lasting. The great advantage is that these cases are quite cheap.


This classic material has unmatched texture, flexibility and softness. The stylish visual appeal is fantastic. Leather covers are used everywhere and mobile phones are no exception. However, leather does not provide the same level of protection as Alcantara. It may protect against scratches and dents but it may not adequately protect your phone from falls. Watch out for synthetic varieties. Faux leather can wear down rather easily.

Carbon Fiber

This material is one of the best materials if safeguarding your phone against sudden impact is your primary concern. The material is lightweight and durable. It is quite common to hear people relate incidents where they dropped their phones on concrete but the phones still survived owing to the carbon fiber case. There are several stylish carbon fiber cases available.

Related: Types of tablet cases

  • Share
  • Tweet
  • Pin


The Four Types Of Smartphone Cases

Too few of us carry our smartphone in any kind of protective case or cover. Then we’re the first to moan about scratches, chips and even broken screens. It makes sense, therefore, to put your shiny new device into a case which will protect it from knocks and scratches. It may even save its life when it falls out of your pocket onto your driveway of tiled floor, which it eventually will.

So what are our options? It may surprise you to know that smartphone cases come in just a handful of basic types. Each does something different, and all do something similar.

The Back-Plate

This is by far the most popular type of smartphone cover. It usually consists of a cover which protects the back and sides of the phone. However, it offers little to the display on the front. Often, actual protection is pretty limited. Most cases of this type are more about style than substance, although there are rugged versions available. Also, some are made of robust TPU plastic, which offers greater impact protection.

The covers have holes cut out for the various buttons on each smartphone model. Yet many cheaper ones can be a poor fit with the holes not quite being in line with the buttons. A lesson in buying cheap means buying twice right there.

In the main, though, a back-plate type of case is all about an expression of style above all else.

The Pouch

Phone pouches have been around just about as long as phones have been mobile. It is not especially stylish, but very functional. A pouch will protect your smartphone from almost any kind of damage for as long as it is in use.

Often made of leather or neoprene, the phone usually slips in and out quite easily. It will invariably have a press button or Velcro flap on the top to keep it secure. Variations on the theme have become very popular in recent years with people who listen to music as they work and play. It allows the phone to remain stable in pocket or bag whilst giving access to the headphone jack.

Yes, it adds considerably to the bulk. Pouches may well be associated with smartphone (or any phone) users of a certain age, but you’ll be old eventually.

Flip Cover

Flip covers are another type of case that have been around seemingly forever. Originally, they were leather (real or fake) or canvas, or a combination of the two. They open and have the phone in one side and room for cards or receipts in the other.

When Apple released the original iPad, they knew it would need some protection. They therefore built a switch into the iPad to wake it when the front of their specially designed (and expensive!) flip cover was opened. It would also put the display to sleep when the cover was closed. This practice has since become the default behavior for device-specific flip covers. But generic covers are also readily available.

Flip covers are usually better made, and more substantial that back-plates. They are also usually priced higher to reflect this.


Yes, really, phone socks are becoming increasingly popular. They are usually brightly colored and able to take a variety of different smartphone sizes. Socks are the current go to cover for phone users the world over.

They don’t offer a massive amount of protection. As they are really designed to keep the phone from picking up marks and scratches in purses and bags. We actually think they’re pretty funky.


You may well see other types of covers, but the vast majority will be a variation on one or more of the above. You can get skins which are nothing more than fancy paint jobs for you phone. Or perhaps, you can get bulletproof covers, covers that change color with your phone home screen and tons more.

Which ever cover you choose, make it about you and your personality.

The minute you get a brand new phone you just want to show it off, find all it’s hidden features, explore it fully, before you think of even protecting it. The first and most important thing you NEED to get is a screen protector that’s made specifically for your phone because it will help protect against scratches and other damage to your screen . Next thing you need; a very good phone case. Here are the different types:

  • Slim Cases: These are usually plastic or rubber and are the most common and wanted phone case in town. No really. In town, like, on the streets. They are cheap and colourful and full of personality so most people go for them as a way of self expression. They’re good because they’re shock absorbent and are easy to slide into pockets. This type of phone case is bad because they are not durable, they may crack if made from hard plastic and they’re not waterproof so your phone is not protected from that element.

  • Folio Cases: This is a more stylish kind of phone case because it’s made from leather (real or fake) and can act as a wallet. They cover the front of your phone ad well so that’s added protection. Others even come with a harder shell case inside that protects your phone some more. The bad part is sometimes the phone case will not cover all the sides so you’re not fully covered from things like water and dust entering the tiny ports that may be on the sides of your phone.

  • Rugged Cases: Getting straight to the bad part, these phone cases are heavy and bulky, making a naturally slim phone look like a brick. They may also make it hard to reach certain buttons on your phone, especially in the sides. However they add grip to your hold, even of your hands are wet. They may be made of hard rubber so they provide some kind of waterproofing ability.

  • Tough Cases: These, as their name suggests, are tough for real! They are made of very tough plastic that feels almost unbreakable. Imagine them as a harder version of the plastic ones. They are sometimes hard to clasp on but once on, you have no worries about them. However, they are also bulky and may be difficult to fit into your pocket sometimes. You have to wiggle them in. The cool thing is that they can have a personality too, like the ones in the picture above, so you can be spoilt for choice.

  • Flip Cases: These are the ones that can act as stands for your phone and are most commonly used with tablets. They have a flip cover like Folio cases but the cover can bend in ways that allow the device to stand upright, almost converting it into a desktop PC, just smaller. Some come with facilities to dock a keypad that can be used as an alternative for most touch screen devices to give you a laptop experience.

In the end, it’s your choice. The Folio type seem like the best among the 5 because they cover the screen too. Compare all types before you choose though. If you want yours to be personalized within Zambia, talk to Aya Engravings on their Facebook page. They do amazing things with phone covers!

Image Credit: Puremobile, Aliexpress, ChipChick, Reddif

Best Rugged Smartphone Cases | Android and iPhone

Most cheap smartphone cases can shield your device from minor exposure to dirt, liquids and scratches. But for more extreme incidents — such as accidentally dropping your phone into water, or from several feet in the air (as is likely to happen on a construction site) — you’ll have to pay more for a case to keep your device intact. Here are the few case brands and companies that specialize in these kind of rugged protectors for you to consider.

OtterBox Defender Series, $69.90

The Otterbox Defender includes of three layers of protect, including a screen protector. External covers block dirt and dust from getting into your smartphone’s ports. An optional kickstand can be clipped to the back to prop up your smartphone on a table. The Defender also comes in several color combinations, which include choosing separate colors for the shell and slipcover.

Under Armor Gear Trooper, $39.95

Under Armor sells smartphone cases that feature military grade drop-test standards. The Gear Trooper, for example, is as series for the higher-end iPhone and Samsung Galaxy phone models. It can also serve as a wallet. It flips open and has space inside to hold up to four credit cards.

Lifeproof Fre, $89.99

The LifeProof Fre clamps onto your iPhone or Android phone’s display to give it a watertight seal. The company claims that an iPhone encased in their Fre can withstand being dropped into 6.6 feet of water. It should also protect your smartphone when dropped from up to 6.6 feet.

Griffin Technology Survivor Extreme, $39.99

For the iPhone 6 to 7 Plus and the Galaxy 7, the Survivor Extreme consists of four layers of protection that include a screen protector. The company claims it can keep your iPhone undamaged from a 10-foot drop onto concrete. It has a belt clip on its back, which also serves as a stand to prop up the phone on a flat surface.

Photo credit: /Andrik Zhut

This is our guide to the best rugged smartphones; handsets that can survive accidental damage, power on through extreme weather or temperatures, and have a range of useful features too. If you’re looking for such a device, you’ve found the best list.

The best rugged smartphone are waterproof and dust resistant, with outer shells tough enough to be dropped on stone or hard surfaces. They’ll withstand any drop, knock or trauma without bearing a scratch (literally, in most cases), which makes them perfect for use while working outdoors. These devices have undergone stringent tests to ensure they meet military standards, for protection against shocks, extreme temperatures, and of course dust and water (albeit in controlled environments).

If you’re a regular hiker, climber, sailor, or are into any other outdoor activity, then these great rugged smartphones could be vital tools that will keep you connected no matter where you are, or what you’re doing.

Most of the best rugged smartphones also offer useful extra features to distinguish themselves from the rest of the competition: we’ve got devices with infrared camera functionality, others have sound level meters and even VOC (volatile organic compound) detectors.

Finally, just bear in mind that while all ruggedized smartphones will be waterproof and dustproof (and therefore meet the IP68 specification), not all waterproof phones will be ruggedized. So think carefully while shopping for the best rugged smartphone for your needs, and make sure you look into all the features that these handsets boast.

So, read on to find out our top picks for the best rugged phones on the market right now.

  • Check out the best business smartphones on the market

Best rugged smartphones – at a glance

  1. Blackview BV9800 Pro rugged smartphone
  2. Doogee S95 Pro rugged smartphone
  3. Ulefone Armor 7 rugged smartphone
  4. Cat S61 rugged smartphone
  5. AGM X3 rugged smartphone
  6. Doogee S90 rugged smartphone
  7. Blackview BV9500 Pro rugged smartphone
  8. Elephone Soldier rugged smartphone
  9. Honeywell Dolphin CT40 rugged smartphone
  10. Unihertz Titan rugged smartphone

Best rugged smartphones

The Blackview BV9800 Pro (Image credit: Future)

1. Blackview BV9800 Pro rugged smartphone

The best rugged smartphone on the market

3.5mm headphone jack Wireless charging FLIR doubles as night camera

If you want the best rugged smartphone on the market right now, you’re looking at the Blackview BV9800 Pro, because it’s as packed full of useful features as it is decked out in specs that’d be impressive for a non-rugged handset.

The highlight of the Blackview BV9800 Pro is its FLIR thermal imaging camera, which is something you don’t find on many rugged smartphones. This is useful for a variety of tasks, and it’s rare to see it in a phone as affordable as this Blackview device.

There are a range of other great features here, from the 48MP Sony sensor on the back to the big battery, free translation app, and IR blaster. In fact, in our review, we didn’t list a single negative point to level at the device, which should tell you all you need to know about this handset

The Doogee S95 Pro (Image credit: Future)

2. Doogee S95 Pro rugged smartphone

A performance powerhouse

Two SIM trays Good performance Fingerprint magnet

The Doogee S95 Pro might not be the best rugged smartphone on this list but it’s certainly not far from that position, with the handset boasting enough features that could see it high on a list of non-rugged devices.

The handset is incredibly well protected with a metal and rubber frame that’ll protect it from lots of what nature (or people) can throw at it. It also has features like an SOS button, fingerprint sensor, and three rear cameras.

We were pleasantly surprised by the Doogee S95 Pro’s performance. It packs the best Mediatek chipset (as of writing) as well as 8GB RAM, which is more than some of the other best rugged phones on this list. If you need a decent amount of processing power, maybe this is the rugged phone for you.

The Ulefone Armor 7 (Image credit: Ulefone)

3. Ulefone Armor 7 rugged smartphone

Boasts a very keen price tag

Great price NFC and wireless charging The lanyard Camera sensor position

The best rugged smartphone may be a hotly-contested title, but Ulefone’s plan with the Armor 7 seems to be to offer a solid rugged smartphone at a price that makes it very tempting for people who don’t need every top-end feature available.

With admirable performance, a Sony 48MP sensor, and solid IP68/IP69K protection, you could do a lot worse than the Ulefone Armor 7 if you’re looking for a great rugged smartphone; that’s why it’s got so high in this list, after all.

We did have a few problems with the phone’s design, as the camera bump extends far enough that it could be at risk if the phone is dropped, and there’s a very curious lanyard placement which feels unnecessary. Still, some people might not find these design quirks irritating.

Image Credit: Cat

4. Cat S61 rugged smartphone

A solid rugged smartphone with impressive features

Only phone with IP69 rating Support for dual SIM Pricey

The Cat S61 was, for quite a while, the best rugged smartphone money could buy, and it’s still highly recommendable. This is a brilliant flagship phone in its own right, and it’s a significant improvement on its predecessor (the Cat S60) in almost every way. At 162 x 77 x 13mm with a weight of 259g, this is a substantial piece of kit, and one that feels reassuringly solid and robust.

In fact, it features both MIL Spec 810G and IP69 certifications, meaning the phone is designed to endure even high pressure water jets which are common in many industries. There’s plenty of polycarbonate and rubber to absorb shock and protect the device from drops, and a metal frame to improve its overall structure.

It also features handy tools not found elsewhere, such as an indoor air quality sensor as well as a laser-assisted distance measurement tool, and it also comes with some decent smartphone specifications as well, including 4Gb RAM, a Snapdragon 630 SoC and a lovely 5.2-inch 1080p screen. It comes with Android 8.0 and will be kept updated with the latest versions of Google’s operating system in the future.

Image Credit: TechRadar

5. AGM X3 rugged smartphone

The latest rugged smartphone from AGM

Powerful components Triple sensors Expensive Smaller battery than the X2

The AGM X3 is the third flagship rugged phone from the Chinese manufacturer, following on the X2, which was once also listed in this best rugged smartphone guide. With the X3, AGM is looking to break into new markets outside of its native China. The company claims this is the most rugged smartphone on the market with IP68 certification, and not only is it tested to MIL-STD 810G standards, it’s also noticeably lighter and thinner than many of its bulky competition.

Not only is it impressively rugged, but it’s also packed with the kind of tech we’d expect to see in flagship phones from the likes of Apple and Samsung, including a top-of-the-range system-on-a-chip, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 and bags of RAM.

  • You can buy the AGM X3 from AGM Mobile

Image Credit: Doogee (Image credit: Image Credit: DOOGEE)

6. Doogee S90 rugged smartphone

An ambitious rugged smartphone

Good value for money Impressive performance Screen has a notch Bulky design

We were promised that the Doogee S90 would be unlike any other rugged smartphone on the market, and to be fair, that’s what we got, with a modular design that lets you build a handset that best suits your needs. This modular approach means the Doogee S90 is bulkier than many of its competitors, so bear that in mind.

However, in our tests the Doogee S90 performed brilliantly, racking up some of the best numbers we’ve seen in our benchmarks. Doogee confirmed that the price of the S90 after Kickstarter will be $369.99 (£285). The gamepad and the wireless charger will cost $29.99 (£23) each while the battery will be available for $39.99 (£31), the intercom for $49.99 (£39) and the night vision camera for $59.99 (£46).

Sure, the Doogee S90 has been succeeded by a bigger sibling which sits higher up this list, but that just means you can pick it up for cheaper.

  • If you’re interested you can buy the Doogee S90 from its Kickstarter

Image Credit: TechRadar

7. Blackview BV9500 Pro rugged smartphone

Once topped this list, but is still impressive

Very long battery life Fast and wireless charging Heavy and bulky Not brilliant sound quality

Blackview has a range of rugged IP68 certified Android phones available and they tend to be both tough and affordable, if a little light on features. This model, however, comes in at a considerably higher price point and it has all the bells and whistles including PTT (push-to-talk) for walkie-talkie style communication.

In fact, you’d be hard pushed to find another rugged smartphone that offers anywhere near the amount of features – and battery life – that the Blackview BV9500 Pro does. It’s solidly built, which does mean it’s a heck of a bulky device, but what really makes the Blackview BV9500 Pro stand out above the rest of the rugged set is its comprehensive list of features that make it ideal for outdoor use.

The Elephone Soldier (Image credit: Future)

8. Elephone Soldier rugged smartphone

The ultimate ruggedized smartphone

Absurdly cheap A lot of unique features Super high resolution is not put to use MicroUSB port

The Elephone Soldier makes a solid pitch for being the best rugged smartphone you can buy right now, with features like a really high-res display, a physical flashlight and compass, a Pogo connector, and more; it almost feels like a Frankenstein’s Monster-like creation of some of the best parts of other rugged smartphones.

In fact, this is a Swiss Army Knife of intriguing and useful features that could help you out in a pinch when you’re out and about.

Unfortunately there are a few shortcomings like the microUSB port, the aging chipset, the proliferation of screws, and the fact the phone can get quite hot. We found it fairly easy to look past these issues, hence the phone’s placement on our list of the best rugged smartphone, but your mileage might vary.

Honeywell Dolphin CT40 (Image credit: Future)

9. Honeywell Dolphin CT40

A great rugged smartphone for businesses

Wi-Fi only version available Removable battery No USB port No front-facing camera

The is one of the best rugged phones for business use, whether you need a device for aftersales, field work or supply chain operation.

The Honeywell Dolphin CT40 has a conventional design, with solid protection and a thick casing, although there are a few quirks like the lack of a front-facing acamera and a proprietary charger that some might find questionable.

Some features here will be really useful for certain users; there’s a laser scanner on the top, activated by two buttons on each side of the phone. The low-res screen is sure to reduce power use, making the phone last much longer, and there’s also an elastic hand strap so you don’t drop the phone (not that that’s easy, with the textured rear).

The Unihertz Titan (Image credit: Future)

10. Unihertz Titan rugged smartphone

Not a Blackberry, despite the appearance

Good value for money Keyboard works nicely Takes time to adjust to physical keyboard Chunky

This is the only device on our list of the best rugged smartphones with a physical keyboard, as that’s a feature that’s slowly dwindling in all phones after Blackberry popularized it.

We’re fans of the keyboard here, which works well, as it should being a clear homage to the Blackberry Passport. But there’s a lot more to like here too, like the fact it can charge wirelessly and has a capacitive touchpad.

Some might not like the physical keyboard, and we can admit it took a while to get used to using it, but if you can look beyond that you’re getting a decent Android rugged smartphone with some decent specs.

  • You can pre-order the Unihertz Titan from Kickstarter

Also consider

Other noteworthy ruggedized smartphones available on the market are:

The Cat S60 is a good choice if you want to have access to a portable, feature-heavy and very handy infrared camera.

The Samsung Galaxy S8 Active is ideal for those who want a branded ruggedized smartphone with the latest technology inside.

The Samsung Galaxy S7 Active is a smart move if you want the best value branded ruggedized smartphone.

The Homtom HT20 is the handset to go for if you want the absolute cheapest quality smartphone.

The 5 Toughest Samsung Galaxy Cases Money Can Buy

Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the site alive. Read more.


Smartphones aren’t made to last. Sure, there are exceptions like rugged phones meant for outdoors The 4 Best Rugged Phones for Outdoor Adventures The 4 Best Rugged Phones for Outdoor Adventures Phones break. They slip, they fall, they get water splashed on them. These ubiquitous gadgets are essential to our daily lives, but they aren’t built to last. Well, most aren’t built to last. Read More , but those are outliers. When you buy a new phone, it’s smart to put a case on it for added protection. For the Samsung Galaxy cases are a must buy.

Samsung is the largest worldwide seller of Android phones today. Naturally, plenty of third-party accessory manufacturers make cases for its phones. But you need to avoid low-quality accessories if you want to protect your brand new Samsung Galaxy S10 8 Things to Know About the Samsung Galaxy S10, S10+, S10e, and S10 5G 8 Things to Know About the Samsung Galaxy S10, S10+, S10e, and S10 5G Samsung has announced its newest smartphones in the Galaxy S10 range. Here’s what you should know about them. Read More . So let’s find out the toughest cases you can buy if you’re a Samsung user.

LifeProof Fre Series

Since the launch of the Galaxy S5, Samsung’s flagship phones have been water-resistant. But well, water-resistant doesn’t mean waterproof What Makes a Device Waterproof or Water-Resistant? What Makes a Device Waterproof or Water-Resistant? A lot of devices are marketed as waterproof, but that can be severely misleading. Most are actually water-resistant. What’s the difference? Here’s everything you need to know about it. Read More . LifeProof’s Fre series won’t make them waterproof either, but it’s better sealed Samsung’s default device.

The Fre series also boasts of military-grade drop tests, complete dirt protection, and can work in the snow. The two-piece design snaps on your case from all sides, with flip-open flaps protecting the ports.

The Fre is costlier than others, but remember, it’s also among the few cases to come with a screen cover for the Galaxy S8. This curved screen has proved a challenge for other case-makers. And boy, it looks good too.

Most tech reviewers agree that the LifeProof Fre has been among the most rugged cases for Samsung phones, so you can’t go wrong with this.

LifeProof FRĒ SERIES Waterproof Case for Samsung Galaxy S7 – Retail Packaging – GRIND (DARK GREY/SLATE GREY/SKY FLY BLUE) LifeProof FRĒ SERIES Waterproof Case for Samsung Galaxy S7 – Retail Packaging – GRIND (DARK GREY/SLATE GREY/SKY FLY BLUE) Buy Now On Amazon $77.59

Otterbox Defender

The Otterbox Defender was my favorite of all the best cases you can buy for the Galaxy S8 or S8+ What Are the Best Cases for the Samsung Galaxy S8? What Are the Best Cases for the Samsung Galaxy S8? What are the best cases for the Samsung Galaxy S8? Read More . Otterbox’s two-layer protection (of a polycarbonate shell and rubberized slipcover) is famous for how tough it is in protecting phones from drops, whether from Samsung or other manufacturers.

Apart from the S8 and S8+, the Defender series has a three-layer protection, with the third layer being a screen cover. No scratches or cracks for your phone. On the new S8 and S8+, the case has a pronounced lip, and you will need to buy the Alpha Glass screen protector separately.

Unfortunately, the Defender series isn’t water-resistant, although S7 and earlier Defender series do protect the phone from water damage. Of course, Samsung phones are water-resistant anyway, so you might not need to worry about that.

OtterBox DEFENDER SERIES SCREENLESS EDITION for Samsung Galaxy S8 – Retail Packaging – BLACK OtterBox DEFENDER SERIES SCREENLESS EDITION for Samsung Galaxy S8 – Retail Packaging – BLACK Buy Now On Amazon $29.95

Spigen Tough Armor

Spigen makes some of the toughest cases for the Samsung Galaxy series, with a focus on protecting the phone from drops. Watch out for their different model names for varying levels of protection, though. In general, look for anything better than the “Rugged Armor” series. For example, the Tough Armor case.

Spigen Tough Armor Galaxy S8 Case with Kickstand and Extreme Heavy Duty Protection and Air Cushion Technology for Samsung Galaxy S8 (2017) – Coral Blue Spigen Tough Armor Galaxy S8 Case with Kickstand and Extreme Heavy Duty Protection and Air Cushion Technology for Samsung Galaxy S8 (2017) – Coral Blue Buy Now On Amazon $16.99

The Tough Armor for the Galaxy S8 or the Neo Hybrid for the Galaxy S7 are what you will notice first. Like the Otterbox Defender, these are multi-layer cases with extra protection at the corners. Your phone is most likely to drop on a corner, which also cracks the screen, so that’s what the Spigen cases protect best.

Spigen’s cases also raise the back of the phone slightly around the camera. This way, your camera’s lens is in no danger of getting scratches.

These cases also include a built-in kickstand to prop your phone up on a table, in case you love watching movies like that. Much easier than making a stand yourself 3 Cheap & Easy DIY Smartphone Tripod Mounts Made & Tested 3 Cheap & Easy DIY Smartphone Tripod Mounts Made & Tested Unless you are an avid photographer, you’ll hardly miss the added features of a proper camera. Too bad your tripod isn’t compatible with your smartphone. Or is it? Maybe one day smartphones will come with… Read More , isn’t it?

Ghostek Atomic Series

There are a number of people on Android-based forums who are quite fond of Ghostek’s Atomic series. If you haven’t heard of it before, don’t blame yourself, it’s relatively new. But given the number of happy customers it has, it might be worth it.

The latest is the Atomic 3.0 series for the Galaxy S8 and S8+, while earlier models of the Galaxy franchise use Atomic or Atomic 2.0 cases. All the cases fully seal the phone, including a screen cover to protect it from scratches.

Galaxy S7 Waterproof Case, Ghostek Atomic 2.0 Series for Samsung Galaxy S7 (Red) Galaxy S7 Waterproof Case, Ghostek Atomic 2.0 Series for Samsung Galaxy S7 (Red) Buy Now On Amazon

Ghostek also claims the device is water-resistant up to one meter deep. And the aluminum alloy bumper should protect your phone from any major falls. But just in case, bookmark this article on what to do if your S8 screen breaks 5 Options for Samsung Galaxy S8 Screen Repair or Replacement 5 Options for Samsung Galaxy S8 Screen Repair or Replacement Dropped your phone? Here are your Samsung Galaxy S8 screen replacement options, with or without Samsung’s warranty. Read More .

The one downside of the Atomic case is its build quality. Multiple buyers said the plastic looks a little flimsy, which is not the feel you want when you’ve bought a phone for hundreds of dollars.

Urban Armor Gear Metropolis

If you want a rugged case with a folio cover, the Urban Armor Gear (UAG) Metropolis is your best bet. UAG is renowned for its toughness, and the addition of a flip-open cover only adds to it.

The flip cover is important since the Metropolis does not include a screen protector. So if you plan on buying this, we would suggest that you also get a tempered glass screen protector 6 Tips to Buy a Tempered Glass Screen Protector for Your Phone 6 Tips to Buy a Tempered Glass Screen Protector for Your Phone Looking for a tempered glass screen protector? Here are six tips for buying a tempered glass screen protector. Read More for your phone.

Like with most UAG products, this case meets military-grade drop-test standards, has extra protection around all four corners, and a thick back to protect the camera lens.

UAG Samsung Galaxy S8 Metropolis Feather-Light Rugged Military Drop Tested Phone Case UAG Samsung Galaxy S8 Metropolis Feather-Light Rugged Military Drop Tested Phone Case Buy Now On Amazon

If you want even more protection, check out UAG’s new Monarch series. But we couldn’t find enough reliable reviews to vouch for this.

Tough vs. Slim

Looking for a tough case to protect your phone means giving up on the sleek and thin handset you love. You’ll now be left with an oversized beast — but it won’t break.

After you seal your phone inside a sturdy case, take the time to customize your Samsung phone with our essential tips! And be sure to check out these Samsung Galaxy Note 10 features 6 Amazing Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Features You Must Know About 6 Amazing Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Features You Must Know About Samsung has unveiled the Galaxy Note 10. Here are all the exciting new features of the device you should know about. Read More if you’re considering a new device.

Image Credit: wk1003mike via .com

It’s easily done… nearly a quarter (24%) of Brits have dropped their smartphone and smashed their smartphone screen in the last two years, research by Mintel reveals.

With replacement phone screen’s costing anywhere from £100 upwards depending upon the model, this can be a costly mistake. While a savvy 26% of Brits cover themselves with phone insurance, replacing your screen via the insurance still incurs a cost in the form of the excess. And that’s without taking into the account the time you’ll be without your smartphone while it’s being repaired.

So, we’ve rounded up some rugged phone cases that can help protect your handset from knocks and bumps and hopefully also prevent a cracked screen. Although we still recommended you put a screen protector on the device as soon as you get it as depending on how your phone lands, a case might not be enough. We rate Tech 21 and Invisible Defender, which offer a range of screen protectors for different types of smartphone. They’re available from Amazon and prices start from £6.99


Tech 21 Evo Check
From £19.95
These three-layer cases can protect your smartphone from drops of 3m in height, and they look stylish as well as being functional. Available for a range of smartphones including iPhones, Samsung Galaxy handsets and several LG and Motorola devices. They’re available from John Lewis.

Gear4 Piccadilly
This clear case, which is available in sizes designed to fit iPhones, Google Pixels, LG and Samsung handsets, uses the same material found in American football helmets. The molecules in the material lock together on impact to provide a tough shell to protect against the impact of a drop. Gear 4 says the case can protect your phone from drops of up to 3m. It even comes in a choice of coloured edgings that complement the colour of your phone. Find it at Carphone Warehouse.

X-Doria Defense Lux
This snap-on case, which is made of polycarbonate, aluminium and soft rubber, has been tested to military standards and can withstand being dropped from a height of up to three meters even if it’s on concrete. It comes with a choice of different textured backs, including leather, canvas and wood-effect for a more unusual look, and is available on Amazon.

Griffin Survivor Strong
These cases for iPhone, Samsung Galaxy and Google Pixel handsets come in a range of colours and will protect your smartphone if dropped from a height of no more than 7ft. You can choose between a traditional case and a wallet style that covers the screen as well and has some handy credit card slots too. Find them at Carphone Warehouse.

Urban Armor Gear
From £25
These cases may not look the prettiest but they’ll certainly keep your iPhone, Google Pixel, Samsung, LG, OnePlus and Motorola handset safe. They are tested to a US Military certification level that seems them needing to survive being dropped 26 times from a height of 48 inches (1.2m), on each face, corner, and back. Prices start from £25 on Amazon.


5 tough phone case and protection options

Are you tough on your smartphone or mobile device? Whether you are in the field, on the road or in your smart office, it is important to protect the technology you carry.

More vital than the cost of smartphones these days is that these devices are your connection to business and the world—don’t risk your connection with a drop on the ground.

Here are five though smartphone case and protection options:

1. OtterBox – The OtterBox Defender Series is one of the most popular cases available. The Defender Series Case for the Samsung Galaxy Note5 is $59.95, but prices vary based upon style and brand. OtterBox offers cases for a variety of brands, versions and device types—including tablets.

Keep it safe! Don’t face this situation – consider these tough smartphone case options

2. Griffin – Griffin’s rugged cases include the Survivor Summit. Summit is water resistant, dirtproof, sandproof and rainproof. The case promises device survival even with a 10-foot drop onto concrete! A nice additional feature is that the belt clip also doubles as video stand. The case sells for $59.99.

3. Lifeproof – For the extreme and rugged traveler, Lifeproof offers cases that are waterproof, dirtproof, snowproof and dropproof. You can get the Nüüd for iPhone 6 Plus case for $89.99. Lifeproof offers cases for other styles and brands as well.

4. Mophie – Mophie offers battery backup cases, but one particular case is waterproof and a battery backup all-in-one—the Juice Pack H2PRO. The Juice Pack H2PRO even exceeds military standards! This case costs $129.95, and Mophie offers cases for other brands as well.

5. Tempered Glass – If you do not want or do not have a case that covers your screen, then take a look at tempered glass. Tempered glass is smooth, clear, works with touchscreens and is scratch resistant. Tempered glass from Zagg for the iPad is available for $44.99, but prices vary depending upon the brand and device type.

What type of case protection do you trust with your smartphone or mobile device? Tell me about it in the comments below, on Twitter @nerdsquawk or via email at [email protected]

The opinions of Jessica Michael are not necessarily those of Farm Futures or the Penton Farm Progress Group.