The iPhone 7 is an incredible piece of tech to have in your pocket on a day-to-day basis, so keeping it protected, scratch-free, and, most importantly, stylish is vital!

While there are thousands of different cases available online and in-store for your shiny new iPhone 7, there are only a handful that will really be worth buying. Plus, it's hard to determine what actually works and what's just a whole lot of hype.

Here are some of our favorite cases for the iPhone 7!

What to look for in a case

There are always a few things you should look for in a good case.

You'll want something shock-absorbent to prevent damage in case of a fall. A TPU bumper around the edge of your phone will do the trick, especially those cases that boast "air pockets" in the corners. Have you ever seen an iPhone that's been dropped on its corner? Spider web city.

You'll also want a case with a raised bezel around the front to protect your iPhone when you lay it face-down. Some folks may prefer a case without the bezel so that a screen protector fits, but you can find many cases with bezels that are compatible with screen protectors.

You'll want something textured. Shiny cases are pretty and hard polycarbonate shells are solid and strong, but they can be as slippery as eels. That's why it's a good idea to go with a "fusion" case that blends a polycarbonate back with a TPU bumper. The rubber will give you something to grip.

Lastly, you want a case that fits well. That might seem like a no-brainer, but read through reviews before making your purchase. If a case fits loosely on your iPhone 7, it'll firstly annoy the hell out of you because you'll feel it shifting constantly. Second, if it's ill-fitting, your iPhone could slip out or shift on impact, rendering any shock-absorbing qualities your case may have utterly useless.

Spigen Ultra Hybrid S

Spigen Ultra Hybrid S

Spigen makes excellent phone cases. I've tested them extensively with a bunch of different phones and the same is true every time: they fit well, they feel great, and they work.

The Ultra Hybrid has been in Spigen's repertoire for quite some time, but the addition of that 'S' means something new and special – a built-in kickstand. The kickstand has a magnetic latch that just pops open when you want to use it and closes securely when you don't. It's the perfect extra feature for hands-free YouTube-watching or gaming on your new iPhone.

The Ultra Hybrid name means that you get a blend of hard polycarbonate and flexible-yet-sturdy TPU – polycarbonate on the back and TPU all around the edges. This gives you strong protection against bumps and scratches and shock-absorption where you need it most – the corners.

The Ultra Hybrid S is clear, preserving the natural beauty of your iPhone 7 and it's lightweight, so there's no unnecessary bulk in your pocket. You can pick one up for $20.

See at Amazon

Apple Smart Battery Case

Apple Smart Battery Case

The iPhone 7 may have an hour or two longer battery life than its predecessor, but for many people, that's just not enough. Apple's already released a battery case that'll nearly double the life of your iPhone 7 on a single charge, and you can charge the case and your phone simultaneously.

If you're opting for the jet black iPhone 7 and don't want any scratches, then you'll be happy to hear that the Smart Battery Case has a soft microfiber lining that cradles and protects your phone from scratches and absorbs bumps. The outside is made of smooth silicone that's soft and silky – it might be a tad slippery if your hands are super dry.

What makes this case"smart"? When on your iPhone 7, the intelligent battery status is displayed on both your Lock screen and in Notification Center so that you always know how much charge you have left.

You have your choice of white, black, or red. Unfortunately, you do pay an Apple price, which means it will cost you $99.

See at Amazon

Caseology Parallax

Caseology Parallax

Yes, Parallax is a Green Lantern villain. Caseology's Parallax series is no relation. I promise and only costs about $25.

The Parallax is a dual-layer case that features a TPU shell that cradles your iPhone 7, absorbing blows and leaving your hardware scratch-free. The second layer is a polycarbonate frame that fits around the edges of your phone, taking the brunt of the devastating smacks to the corners that have felled many an iPhone.

This case covers the buttons with hard TPU so that there's no change in responsiveness or feel, so turning the volume up and down or silencing a call in your pocket should be no problem.

The back of the TPU shell has a diamond pattern covered in a matte coating that offers extra grip and the polycarbonate frame holds everything securely in place.

And of course, cases don't have to be boring! You have your choice of six color combinations so that you can find a Parallax that parallels your personal style (see what I did there?). My favorite is the black/deep blue.

See at Amazon

Ringke Fusion

Ringke Fusion

Ringke, like Spigen, makes an excellent fusion case. Having hard polycarbonate on the back and flexible TPU around the edges is the perfect way to keep your case minimalist, while offering solid protection without having to bulk up to a more rugged case.

Ringke's Fusion cases fit snugly, making your iPhone 7 feel totally solid in your hand – no shifting and wiggling in the case. The polycarbonate back is also a bit clearer than most clear cases, so the natural beauty of your new iPhone can shine through almost better than if there were no case at all. You'll be trying to tell that little kid in The Matrix that you have an awesome case and he's gonna be all "there is no case".

You don't have to opt for a totally clear case if you don't want to – the Ringke Fusion comes in two other versions with colored TPU bumper – Smoke Black and Rose Gold Crystal. You can pick one up for the low price of $7.

See at Amazon

UAG Plasma

UAG Plasma

Urban Armor Gear's cases are for folks who need rugged protection for their iPhone 7. UAG calls this case a "feather-light composite", since it comprises a hard outer shell and a softer, more flexible inner core. This protects your iPhone 7 from sharp objects and scratches while absorbing falls and bumps and dispersing the force across the whole phone instead of having it concentrated on the area of impact.

The UAG Plasma is drop-tested to meet military standards, which makes it more impact-resistant than any run-of-the-mill phone case on the market, so you know your iPhone 7 is in safe, capable hands.

Your iPhone's buttons are all covered, but the coverings are very responsive and provide a tactile response, so you know you're changing the volume or ignoring a call, even if it's in your pocket.

The Plasma not only fits your lifestyle but your personal style as well, available in eight colors, some of them translucent.

If you need rugged, reliable protection, then check out the UAG Plasma for about $40.

See at Amazon

Spigen Tough Armor

Spigen Tough Armor

Yet another Spigen case graces this roundup, and that's because we need to cover all of your case bases. If you like the idea of a fusion-style case but know you need something more protective, then Spigen's Tough Armor is perfect for your iPhone 7.

Tough Armor is military grade drop-tested and features Spigen's signature air cushions in the corners for just-about-as-good-as-it-gets shock absorption.

This case is made of a harder TPU that's still somewhat flexible, but much more resistant to punctures or tears. There's a hard polycarbonate shell that slips onto the back and once it's on, it's secure and almost becomes one with the TPU. Removal is fairly easy, but you'll actually have to try to separate the two, which is reassuring.

You can go with a gunmetal, black, or gold polycarbonate shell on black TPU, or you can opt for rose gold or silver on clear TPU. You can pick one up for about $35.

See at Amazon

Vena vCommute

Vena vCommute

Every Vena case I've ever tried has fit perfectly, and the vCommute does just that, while being the perfect trade-off between protective case and wallet case.

The magnetic rear flap is a three-tiered cover to the card compartment, which can very comfortably hold three cards and a bit of cash. The lip out of the compartment is inclined, so removing even a single card is easy and quick.

The case is a little thick, but no thicker than the average wallet case, and if you hate those with the annoying front cover (how do you text while hold the cover back?!), then definitely check out the vCommute.

Comes in space gray, gold, and rose gold for about $25.

See at Amazon

Nodus Access Case

Nodus Access Case

This little case maker from Britain has some very interesting ideas, and my favorite Nodus case is the Access Case, which is a leather folio that's slim, light, and has been flexible from day one (unlike other leather cases that you have to work in).

This one holds onto your iPhone 7 not with an adhesive or inner shell, but with a micro suction pad that even works after you've left it out to get dusty for a month.

There's an interior slot for ID or a couple bills, and the suede inside is soft, so it won't scratch your phone. Also, each one comes with an adhesive metal mount that you can stick to your dashboard. There's already a magnet built into each Nodus case, so you can mount your phone anywhere, and the mount itself is only maybe 1 inch x 1 inch!

The Nodus costs about $40 and comes in chestnut brown, ebony black, dark teal, or taupe gray.

See at Nodus

Speck CandyShell Grip

Speck CandyShell Grip

The CandyShell Grip case is somewhat of a wonderful anomaly. It looks like it should be a two-piece, but it's a perfectly blended one-piece, comprising a polycarbonate outer shell and an "Impactium" inner bumper (which I'm sure is just some variation of TPU).

The polycarbonate is smooth, but the rubber grips on the outside ensure that you won't drop your iPhone 7. The case fits very well, and all the cutouts are precise. The buttons are covered, but tactile response is great, and the rubber grip design is eye-catching and placed perfectly.

Comes in five color combinations (the blue and gray are the coolest!) and costs about $35.

See at Amazon

Nike

Nike's new line cases for iPhone 7 has something for everyone. If you're into the Nike, then you'll want them all. These hard cases feature patterns like the bottom of a Nike shoe or sporty patterns complemented by the trademark swoosh.

The coolest of the bunch is the Air Force 1, which comes in black or blue and costs arond $30.

See at Nike

What do you use?

Do you have a go-to brand that you use for your iPhone 7? Let us know in the comments below!

Updated Spetember 2017: These are still our favorite cases for the iPhone 7.

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