A Buyer's Guide: How to Choose the Best Phone Case

A Buyer's Guide: How to Choose the Best Phone Case

Your shiny new phone needs a phone case, plain and simple. But how do you choose the best phone case, especially when there are so many types available to us? If you feel overwhelmed with the countless styles and types of phone cases out there, we hear you. It’s not easy choosing a case for your phone, let alone one that is stylish, versatile and made to stand up to the drops that a phone can endure. We created this guide to help you decide the best phone case for you. 

That’s right – for you! When faced with too many options, it helps to pare down your choices into needs and wants. First and foremost, you need a phone case to protect your device from accidental drops – that’s the whole point. However, you may also need a phone case to offer some water-resistant features or a built-in halo ring light to take stellar selfies and photos for branding. If you live a sustainable lifestyle and want to reduce e-waste, a phone case made of plant-based or recycled materials might also be on the top of your list. Ultimately, the best phone case choice really comes down to your preferences.  

This breakdown will walk you through some of the phone case features you might want to consider, helping you choose the best phone case for you. Ready? Let’s begin!


The main objective of your phone case is to protect your device. At the end of the day, any phone case you choose can be an extra piece of insurance, preventing your phone from shattering, chipping or a number of other ways it can be damaged. For some, the best phone case is simply any phone case, rather than none at all. 

However, some phone cases are made more durable than others. Do you need this kind of phone case? Possibly! If you are more adventurous or prone to accidents, then a more protective phone case is the best phone case for your lifestyle. These more rugged phone cases have undergone extra testing to ensure your device is well-protected. For example, a more rugged “shockproof” or “drop-proof” phone case might boast a MIL-STD certification and a water-resistant IP rating, demonstrating that it offers some military-grade protection and can stand up to water. Of course, not everyone needs a phone case that meets these credentials, but if protecting your phone is the main goal, these additional features make a more robust case.   


What about screen protectors and lens protectors? Even with Apple’s Gorilla Glass Ceramic Shield and Samsung’s Gorilla Glass Victus, your phone’s screen still needs all the help it can get. A phone case will protect the device’s body, but the screen will inevitably take on tiny scratches that can eventually fracture if the impact hits it just right. While a phone case will do its job, protecting the corners and edges from a high-impact drop, it’s also worth applying a screen protector to prevent microscopic scratches from happening over time. The same goes with a lens protector for the back camera. 

Tempered Glass Screen Protectors

Many screen protectors come in a very thin plastic, adding little to no thickness to your phone’s screen. However, plastic screen protectors have their disadvantages. For starters, plastic is easier to scratch, which can make your screen appear scuffed up and marred over time. Another option is a tempered glass screen protector. Unlike a plastic screen protector, a tempered glass screen protector can actually absorb the force of an impact against your screen. A high-quality tempered glass screen protector like those offered by Case-Mate has a 9H hardness level. 

With this extra level of durability, why wouldn’t someone choose to add a screen protector? The common reason many choose not to add this phone case addition is that they are slightly thicker. However, you’re really only looking at a few millimeters in difference, so it is hardly noticeable. 

Tempered Glass Lens Protectors

The same features and benefits apply to a tempered glass lens protector. If you care deeply about the quality of your photos, then a lens protector is a must-have! With Case-Mate’s HD tempered glass lens protectors, you can shield your rear camera lens from scratches, cracks and general damage. The scratch-proof surface provides the ultimate protection to your rear lens, ensuring your photos come out ultra-clear. Because, let’s be honest, the latest iPhones have presented us with stunning professional photography technology and you should make the most of it. 


Aside from being well-built and rugged to protect your phone, you may also want additional design features. Stylish colors and patterns are one thing, but what we mean here are design features that make your phone versatile, functional and even sustainable. 

Weight and Grip

When choosing the best phone case for you, decide how slim you need it to be. It goes without saying that a thicker phone case will be more robust and shockproof, capable of taking on hard drops on concrete and more. So if you need something durable, try a two-piece Pelican phone case with all-around protection. Pelican phone cases also come with hardy materials like Kevlar, aramid fibers and elastomer within a polycarbonate shell to absorb even the hardest impacts. However, with these features you get a heavier, bulkier phone case. 

If you prefer a slim phone case, Pelican phone cases may not be for you. However, it’s worth noting that these bulky cases are still compatible with wireless chargers – something many other thick cases are incapable of. 

Still, whether you prefer a thicker, bulkier phone case or not, a good phone case should offer some grip. Even basic features like ridged sides and a tactile finish can keep it from slipping and tumbling from your hand. So when choosing the best phone case, be mindful of the material design and overall feel.

MagSafe Compatibility

If you have a newer iPhone that has a MagSafe internal charging coil, then you may want to take advantage of this handy built-in feature. MagSafe can be paired with snap-on MagSafe compatible accessories like wallets, cardholders and battery packs. A MagSafe phone also offers fast charging through a MagSafe charger, boosting your device in no time. This can come in handy if you constantly drain your phone battery.   

Kickstands and Phone Grips

Another extra feature to consider on your phone case is extra attachments like a kickstand or phone grip. These options have many advantages. A kickstand on a phone case allows you to prop up your phone to watch movies or shows. It can even prop itself up to record your own videos and take group selfies. Phone grips can also help you hold your phone in places securely without dropping it as you stretch out your arm. 

However, if you prefer to have a slim phone case so you can slip your phone into a pocket or side pouch of a purse or bag, then you should be mindful of the phone case thickness. Many integrated kickstands are placed on phone cases that are already wide enough to handle them. Alternatively, you could get a slim phone case and apply accessories like a detachable phone grip that doubles as a grip and kickstand. 

You can also find phone grips in a number of styles. If you don’t need a kickstand, simply choose a phone grip in a strap or ring style that can lie flat when not in use. 

Holsters and Belt Clips

If you need your phone close at hand, then the best phone case might be one with a holster or belt clip. Phone cases with a holster or belt clip designs are not for everyone. But if your profession or lifestyle calls for it, they are extremely useful. However, it’s important to keep in mind that, more often than not, a phone case with a belt clip will also be on the thicker side.  Case-Mate’s Pelican Shield phone case series offers a combination belt clip kickstand with an easy to use holster. 

Sustainable Materials

Standard phone cases are too often made of polycarbonate, thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) and other harmful materials, which end up in the landfill and add to the growing e-waste problems. However, if you consider yourself a sustainably-minded individual and want to go green whenever you can, then the best phone case for you is one that features plant-based plastics. A majority of Case-Mate’s iPhone 13 phone cases are manufactured from bio-based materials and recycled plastics, minimizing greenhouse gas emissions and the overall environmental impact.


Now that we have gone over the numerous phone case features available to you, consider which of these are a must-have. First and foremost, it’s important to protect your phone with a high-quality phone case, and you can take it up a notch with some tempered glass screen protectors and a rear camera lens protector, too. 

If you are into watersports, then you need a water-resistant phone case, too. Look for a multi-layered phone case with an IP rating. An IP54 rating, like our Pelican Marine series, is splashproof and dustproof. If you go on lots of adventures, then a military-grade “shockproof” MIL-STD 810G certified phone case is a must. 

However, these are the barebones decisions you must make for a phone case. Then, you must also choose what kind of additional features and accessories you desire. From phone cases with built-in halo lights to achieve the perfect selfie shot to phone cases with kickstands and belt clips to keep your phone secure and close by, Case-Mate has it all. 

And if you find it challenging to rule out the features you absolutely need over the features you really want, don’t fret. Luckily, Case-Mate makes some of these decisions very easy. While many phone case manufacturers will make you choose between two features, many of our cases are designed to have both. So, for example, if you need a durable, rugged case (that might be a little thicker) but really want that snappable MagSafe compatibility for extra accessories and fast charging, you won’t have to sacrifice one feature for the other. 

Case-Mate phone cases are designed to be both stylish and functional, protecting your phone so that it can last as long as possible (or at least until you upgrade). 


With your must-have list of phone case features, take the time to explore Case-Mate’s collection to find the best phone case for you and your lifestyle. We offer a huge collection of iPhone cases and Samsung phone cases with stylish designs, functional features and several phone case accessories that can transform your phone into the perfect accessory and device.

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