If you have butterfingers like I do, or you work in an environment that can be hazardous to your phone, you might be looking for a heavy-duty case for your iPhone XR. I prefer not to take on the bulk of a heavy-duty case, but once I burn through my two AppleCare+ incidents, you can bet I'll be slapping on one of these babies daily.
Protective and grippy
I particularly like the Starlit Purple with Gold Glitter/Cattleya Pink case, but it does come in other more sedate colours as well. Speck's cases offer serious (10-foot drop) protection without a ton of bulk. The Grip series has the non-slip grippy strips embedded in the case to prevent falls in the first place. They are a great thinner option.
This sturdy case meets military drop-test standards from up to four feet. The look is masculine and cool, and yet the case weighs surprisingly little. The case doesn't get in the way of any of the phone's functionality.
This is the tank-type case that comes to mind when you say heavy-duty. It comes in a variety of colour combinations. Though this particular model doesn't come with a built-in screen protector, you can still use a separate glass screen protector. It is far superior in touch-screen functionality anyway. The OtterBox Defender comes with a belt holster that doubles as a kickstand for video viewing.
I'm half-expecting this one to transform into a robot. Though it won't do that, this TPU-and-metal number will hold a credit card, and it's compatible with a magnetic car mount. It comes in a bunch of colours for every taste.
This bargain case is constructed from TPU and a brushed metal-look PC. The Asgens Shockproof Case will also hold a credit card or ID. Choose from Silver, as shown, or Black.
I love how Lifeproof words this: its SLAM case is "dedicated to the drop." These cases are mostly clear and designed to complement the fabulous new iPhone XR colours. This case is drop-tested to two meters, which is about 6.6 feet. You can't go wrong with any of Lifeproof's cases.
Mous is an exciting new company founded on Indiegogo to produce highly protective yet sleek cases. The cases are crafted from a high impact material, AiroShock™, which "contains tiny air pockets and cross-linking polymer chains that work like springs." The Walnut case is shown here, but Mous Limitless 2.0 cases come in several other fun materials such as shell, leather, and bamboo.
Sonix brand cases are carried at a high-end department store, but you can get a great deal on the plain clear case on Amazon. It even comes with a glass screen protector. If you want one of the colourful designs this brand is known for, you'll be paying more like the retail price, which is more than double. Still, it might be worth it to get such an attractive and protective case, which is military drop tested to 6.6 feet.
This tough case was military tested and is certified to survive 13-foot drops onto concrete. The bubble pattern on the inside cushions the machined metal outside. It comes in Black. Blue, Gray, and Purple.
Price + Protection
My son bought an earlier model of this case for his first iPhone, and he won't buy any other. Considering that his phone survived his rough-and-tumble teen years, I get that. He also has a limited budget, and Spigen's cases won't break the bank. This case is military drop tested and has a flip-out kickstand for video viewing. Choose from Gunmetal or Black.
Who says serious protection has to look so serious? This glittery number is a two-piece case that offers 12-foot drop protection. The glitter is embedded, so you don't have to worry about shedding. Choose from Crystal Blush as shown or Crystal Clear for a truly clear experience.
Heavy-duty doesn't have to mean utilitarian. This sumptuous American Horween Leather and polycarbonate case offers more than stunning good looks. It also gives you six-foot drop protection.
Leave the wallet at home and carry all of your essentials in the Silk Folio Wallet case. It holds up to four cards plus cash, and it doubles as a kickstand for watching videos. It wraps up securely with the elastic band. My daughter had this on a previous phone and loved it so much that she re-purchased it for her XR.
Which one should you buy?
Regardless of your case budget, there is a protective case on this list for everyone. When I'm going to be in a situation where I know a drop might be more possible, I'm most likely to put a Speck Presidio Grip (opens in new tab) on my iPhone. I personally prefer a slimmer design, and this one is relatively slim while still offering some serious protection. It doesn't hurt that it comes in such attractive colours. For me, this is a step up in protection from my usual slim cases.
If protection matters above all else, I'd go for the OtterBox Defender (opens in new tab). It's almost like putting two cases on your phone, a hard inner shell for reliable protection and a softer outer shell for a bit of give in case of drops. The holster is removable so you can use it or not. Thank goodness this model doesn't come with the built-in screen protector; those interfere with touch screens in my experience. Since this case is screenless, you can use any screen protector you like, one that doesn't decrease the functionality of your phone. Price-wise it sits about in the middle, but what you're paying for isn't style or looks, it's heavy-duty protection.
Jen Karner is a VR Specialist with a taste for all of the weird things. She's usually found playing the latest time-waster on her phone or tablet, when she's not wrecking aliens on her PlayStation VR.
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