Here are our top picks for the best Samsung Galaxy S4 cases. Also, check out our picks for the best Samsung Galaxy S4 accessories and our Samsung Galaxy S4 review for a closer look a the South Korean company’s flagship device and its heralded capabilities.
Updated on 5-2-2014 by Simon Hill: Added Incipio Atlas, PureGear FabFolio, Tech21 Impact Mesh, UAG Outland, and ZeroLemon Battery case.
Incipio Atlas Case ($940)
Entering the rugged case market in style Incipio’s Atlas boasts four layers of protection that will keep your S4 safe in the face of drops, dust, and water. It’s a solid mix of TPU, polycarbonate, silicone and tempered glass that covers every angle. Waterproof up to 2 meters for up to 30 minutes it meets military standards for drop tests and has an IP68 rating. It’s definitely a bit bulky, but rugged cases always are, and it does have Incipio’s sense of style. It also comes in white, black, or grey.
PureGear FabFolio Case ($19)
You don’t need a separate wallet with this folio case finished in your choice of oatmeal material or denim. You’ll find a couple of card slots inside and a money pocket, there’s a cradle to hold your Galaxy S4 in place, and the cover has a magnetic closure. You can also fold it to create a stand position for landscape viewing. It offers lightweight protection and it also has the full range of cut-outs you need to use the phone without removing it.
Tech21 Impact Mesh Case ($18)
Here’s a slim shell case that’s made of flexible TPU with a special D3O lining which is designed deal with the shock of sudden impact. The case is transparent, but there’s a splash of color around the edges. The mesh is on the inside, so the case is smooth and comfortable to hold. It features cut-outs for all your features and covers to protect the buttons. You can get a similar case with a herringbone or maze pattern finish if you prefer.
Urban Armor Gear Outland Case ($35)
No one nails industrial design like UAG and the Outland really stands out thanks to the contrasting orange and black. These cases are really light and they combine a tough armor shell with a soft core capable of absorbing shock. Extra protection on the corners also provides grip to stop your S4 slipping off surfaces and if it does hit the ground, you can rely on this case to keep it undamaged. It comes in a variety of other colors and there’s a transparent version, too.
ZeroLemon Battery Case ($20)
It inevitably adds a lot of bulk and weight, but the ZeroLemon case also adds a 7,500mAh battery and that means more than double your usual battery life. It’s a mixture of hard plastic and TPU that can handle drops and bumps. It also adds a little grip with a texture on the sides and a matte finish. The ports are all protected with covers. You can get it in a few other color options, but white is not recommended as it can get grubby quickly.
Trident Kraken A.M.S. Case ($17)
It may sound, and even look, like a piece of military equipment, but it is also an excellent Galaxy S4 case and it’s designed to offer serious protection from bumps, falls, and the elements. There’s a silicone inner case, which you could use standalone if you were looking for a lighter solution. On top of that you’ve got a polycarbonate exoskeleton in two pieces with heavily strengthened TPE corners. The front piece holds a screen protector. Buttons and ports are protected and there’s even a dust filter for the speaker bay. There’s also a kickstand in the back and an optional belt clip. Fully-loaded this is a heavy and bulky case, but it can take a lot of punishment.
Lifeproof Fre Case ($15)
The big selling point for Lifeproof cases is the waterproofing. Stick the Fre case on your S4 and you can submerge it up to 2 meters. The case is also completely dirt, snow and shockproof. It’s well designed and carefully fitted to ensure that your S4 is fully operational and there’s no muffling of the sound. Considering the level of protection it offers, this is a fairly slim case, but some added bulk is inevitable. You can get it in plain black or opt to go with cyan, white, or pink.
Cruzerlite Androidified A2 Case ($13)
It doesn’t get much simpler than Cruzerlite’s TPU offerings. These flexible cases are easy to fit, the cut-outs are precise, and a small lip protects the screen when you place the S4 face down. To add a little personality, you’ll find the Android mascot emblazoned on the back. They’re slightly translucent and you can pick them up in a wide choice of colors. There’s also ribbing on the sides to improve grip. They offer simple, lightweight protection on a budget.
TYLT Energi Case ($20)
Battery cases always add bulk and this is no exception, but the clever design allows you to slide the battery off when you don’t need it. Each pack includes two slim accent cases that will offer basic lightweight protection. When you need extra juice you slide them into the battery case and you’ve got another 2,530mAh on tap, which will almost double your S4’s battery life. You can still charge and sync with the case on and it doesn’t block NFC either. If you don’t like the lime green, go for the red or blue varieties.
Mophie Juice Pack ($35)
It’s definitely expensive, but the Mophie Juice Pack is positively svelte for a battery case and it does provide a reasonable level of protection from bumps and falls. It has a 2,300mAh battery which will probably give you about 80 percent extra, or somewhere around 7 hours. The pass through buttons work well, the four LEDs give a clear indication of remaining power, and it’s sleek and comfortable to hold, but it is heavy.
Cygnett Lavish Executive Black Leather Case ($40)
Genuine black leather, broken only by the understated silver Cygnett logo, provides a classy executive look for this flip-open Galaxy S4 case. Inside you’ll find a stylish, brown diamond pattern on the microfiber lining. A clever design allows you to fold the case so it can act as a stand for your S4 in landscape view. It has all the cut outs that you’d expect to find, but it’s very easy to remove your S4 should you want to do so. It also ships with a free screen protector to ensure that stunning display stays in pristine condition.
Spigen Neo Hybrid Case ($30)
The svelte, angular finish on this Spigen offering really makes it stand out. The basic case is flexible TPU, with a rubber feel that offers good grip and the usual shock absorbing properties, but there is also a polycarbonate bumper frame that goes around the outside. The frame comes in a contrasting color and there are several to choose from. It also includes a power button and volume rocker. Your ports and camera are all accessible thanks to cut outs.
Skech Custom Jacket ($17)
It’s rare we highlight a flip-top case on our site, even more so one that merely looks like leather. However, Skech’s Custom Jacket is a knockout given its interior felt lining, easy application, and overall lightweight build. It’s formfitting as well, sporting robust cutouts for buttons and other external components, while taking the low-key route visually in the form of three subtle colors (black, brown and tan). And it takes no more than a quick flip to open.
Ballistic Aspira Series Case ($8)
You’ll find solid cases on offer at Ballistic and they tend to have extra padding and support at the corners where the majority of impacts occur. The Aspira series has the usual dual-layer protection with rubber shock absorption inside and a hard plastic shell, but they have spiced up the offerings for the S4 by going all out on the colors and patterns that are available. You want bright orange flowers on a pink background, or yellow and grey honeycomb? You’ll find them here.
Body Glove Toughsuit ($8)
As you might expect from a case with a name like “Toughsuit” this exceeds military specifications for drop tests. It combines four layers, including a screen protector, to ensure that your S4 does not shatter, crack, or even scuff should it come tumbling out of your hands and meet with a floor-based disaster. It comes with a holster and you can opt for subtle black or bright pink–there is no in between. It’s a bit chunky, but that’s the price you pay for serious protection.
X-Doria Dash Icon Case ($15)
Inlaid fabrics may be considered ’70s chic in some circles, but that doesn’t mean they still can’t look (and feel) appealing given a 21st-century touch. The X-Doria’s Dash Icon series splices together vibrant, textured fabrics with a hard polycarbonate inner shell designed to protect the S4 from front to back and side to side. Patterns vary, but each model features raised puff prints — subtly adding versatility to scratch-resistant durability.
OtterBox Defender Series Case ($22)
When you absolutely, positively have to protect your phone from every potential mishap, then you should opt for something seriously tough, like the top of the line Defender series from OtterBox. It offers multiple layers of protection – we’re talking silicone shock absorption, a polycarbonate hard shell, a screen guard, and port covers. There’s even a belt clip holster and kickstand. It’s a bit bulky, and screen protectors always reduce the sensitivity of your touchscreen (remember to recalibrate to compensate). If this seems like overkill then check out the Commuter and Reflex series at OtterBox for something lighter.
Innovez Life Series Case ($25)
Offering a classic combo of hard outer shell and cushioned interior, the Innovez Life Series has serious eco-friendly credentials. The cases are constructed from environmentally friendly plastic, and they come in a range of two-tone color designs. In addition to the dual-layer protection, there’s a raised bezel to protect the screen, and button covers to safeguard your controls.
Belkin Grip Sheer Matte Case ($4)
Here’s a nice, simple, flexible, tactile case which is easy to fit and keeps a low profile. The Belkin Grip is smooth to the touch and provides extra grip on your S4, so you you’re less likely to drop it. The matte finish comes tinted in black or white, and there’s a small Belkin logo. It protects the buttons and there’s a lip to protect the screen if you should lay it face down, but all ports and the camera remain accessible thanks to cutouts.
Cimo Slim S-Line Case ($10)
Bulk is the last thing you want to tack on your S4, and like the aforementioned Diztronic High Gloss Clear TPU Case, Cimo’s flagship offering is made with that in mind. Constructed of thermoplastic polyurethane and embellished with raised edges, the sleek case — available in seven distinct colors — provides slight exterior protection while protecting the screen when your phone is placed face down. Plus, it’s flexible and easy to grip given the silicon components, and features couple button cutouts for easy accessibility.
Next Page: Ten more of the best Samsung Galaxy S4 cases
Seidio Active with Metal Kickstand ($328)
Slim and tough is a great combination, and this S4 case nails it. Seidio’s case has a hard plastic exoskeleton with a lightweight silicone interior. The metal kickstand is handy for propping the phone on your nightstand or watching movies, and there’s no danger it will pop out when it isn’t wanted because it’s magnetic. As you’d expect, all ports and functions remain accessible when the case is on.
Case Mate Glam ($13)
You’ll find some seriously bling designs at Case Mate, including this Glam series, which comes in a range of alternative colors (this one is Rose Gold). The glitter coated inlay is smooth to the touch, and the interlocking design makes it easy to fit. The outside offers good, solid protection from bumps, and there’s a cushioned liner inside to guard against scratches. It’s perfect if you want a sparkly S4.
Griffin Reveal ($13)
A svelte, two-tone case might be just the thing to keep your S4 in pristine condition. Griffin’s Reveal series combines a slim polycarbonate shell with a rubber lining and accents. You’ve got full access to features and controls, and the case is only 1.6mm thick. It’s a fairly minimalist option that will provide basic protection.
Incipio Watson Wallet Folio Case ($26)
This folio-style wallet cover should have wide appeal. The faux leather is eco-friendly and suitable for vegans. There’s a hard shell for the S4 to sit in, and a micro-suede lining to make sure there are no scratches. The wallet opens to reveal three slots for cash and cards, and an elastic strap keeps the folio securely closed, and provides a splash of contrasting color. There are a couple of alternative color combinations if you don’t like the look of this one.
Samsung Galaxy S4 S-View Flip Cover ($17)
Official manufacturer accessories are often overpriced and offer little to recommend them over cheaper alternatives from third parties, but the S-View flip cover is a bit different. It is expensive, but it’s custom made and has a neat feature: there’s a little window to the display so you can see signal and battery status, messages, missed calls, time/date, and music player details without opening the cover. It activates automatically when you close the cover. The back snaps onto your S4, replacing the original backing, so it doesn’t add any bulk. The inside is soft and it protects and cleans your screen.
Diztronic High Gloss Clear TPU Case ($10)
You might not want to invest much cash in a case for your S4. If you just need basic protection then it can be had for under $10. This TPU case comes in one flexible piece and it’s pretty durable. It will absorb some shock from impacts, and the raised rim will help protect the screen if you put your phone face down. It’s really thin and light, and it doesn’t detract from the S4’s aesthetic, although TPU can discolor over time so you might prefer to go for a darker case.
Speck CandyShell Grip ($19)
The enticing USP for this S4 case is the inclusion of those rubber stripes, designed to provide excellent grip on your phone. Dual-layer set ups are very common, because they work, and the Speck CandyShell Grip adheres to the formula with a rubbery interior to absorb impact and a hard outer shell. The single piece is pretty easy to fit, and there’s a choice of eye-catching color combinations.
iFrogz Natural Wood Case ($43)
Whether organic or sustainable, anything deemed “natural” often comes at an inflated price. The Natural Wood series, one of many in iFrogz’ case lineup, is no different. The cases are designed using sustainably-harvested wood from around the globe, with each case further inlaid with assorted patterns that only intensify the case’s grainy texture and rustic appeal. They’re durable, if not fashionable, and aren’t particularly prone to cracking. However, you may want to consider picking up a solid screen protector to go along with it.
DualTek Extreme Shock Case ($12)
Protection is in the name when it comes to the DualTek Extreme Shock Case. Available in five colors ranging from black and white to indigo and yellow, each case provides full, 360-degree protection at any one moment. The cases feature ergonomic side grips, along with dual-layered casing, while remaining relatively thin and lightweight despite the shock-absorbent corners and overall added protection. The case’s price tag is high, but so is the cost of a new phone should your S4 meet the pavement unexpectedly.
PureGear Retro Game Case ($8)
There’s no reason your smartphone can’t moonlight as a retro gaming rig. The Amazing and Groovy cases, the two most prominent cases in PureGear’s flexible retro lineup, provide sturdy protection while doubling as surefire forms manual entertainment on the side. One sports a traditional box maze, the other a gravity-induced conundrum where users attempt to herd each ball into the center simultanously, but both offer full-button protection at the expense of a little more girth. No Wi-Fi required.
That’s all of our Galaxy S4 cases for now, but we will update this roundup with new picks from time to time. Also check out our roundup of the best Samsung Galaxy S3 cases.
Updated on 2-5-2014 by Simon Hill: Added Trident Kraken A.M.S. Case, Lifeproof Fre Case, Cruzerlite Androidified A2 Case, TYLT Energi Case, and the Mophie Juice Pack.
This article was originally published on July 9, 2013, and updated to reflect recent availability on Jan. 7, 2014. Brandon Widder contributed to this article.
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