Updated on 2-06-2014 by Simon Hill: We’ve added five new cases to the roundup from Sena, Ballistic, Trident, Slickwraps, and Dodocase.
We definitely don’t recommend you purchase a new iPhone 4 or 4S anymore. They are slower products and do not have high-speed 4G LTE. Looking for iPhone protection? You’ve come to the right place. Join us as we delve into the world of iPhone 4S cases in search of the best options. Like a curbside salesman, we’ve got stylish iPhone cases, indestructible iPhone cases, quirky iPhone cases … we’ve even got iPhone enhancing cases.
Sena Lugano Case ($20)
Using only the highest quality, genuine leather, Sena’s snap-on cases are simply stunning. The fit on the iPhone 4S is snug and secure. There are precise cut-outs for the camera, ports, and buttons. The eye-catching leather exterior is durable and comfortable to hold. Inside there’s microsuede lining to keep your phone safe and scratch-free. The case adds a little bulk and it doesn’t do much to protect your display, but at the sale price of $20 it’s definitely worth a look.
Ballistic Hard Core Case ($50)
Do you find that you’re constantly dropping your iPhone 4S onto the sidewalk? You should look to Ballistic for some serious protection. This case can handle drops from up to 12 feet. The corners are reinforced to absorb any impacts, there’s a raised lip and a screen protector built-in, and there are ridges on the sides to improve grip. Covers for the ports keep them free of dust. You also get a holster and rotating belt clip, and there’s a built in kickstand.
Trident Aegis Case ($35)
If you put silicone together with a polycarbonate shell, you get a pretty solid level of protection for your phone. In this case it meets military standards for drops and vibrations. There’s nothing unusual about Trident’s dual-layer design, but the circular cut-away on the back that reveals the Apple logo is a nice touch. This case also includes a screen protector, built-in dust filters, and covers for the buttons and ports. It still looks rugged, even in pink.
There are alternatives to traditional cases and covers for your iPhone 4S. Slickwraps is all about decals that are precision cut to be applied to your phone and lend it an entirely new look. These ultrasuede wraps feel really plush and offer a little protection from scratches. They come in various alternative finishes from wood to metal to leather and beyond. They’re not going to do much to save your phone from drop damage, but they are stylish.
Related: Best iPhone 6 cases
Dodocase Hardcover ($35)
We love these book-style cases for tablets, but you can get them for smartphones, too. The Hardcover variety for the iPhone 4S is just like a cute little pocket-sized book. The cases are lightweight and covered in a wide choice of different patterned fabrics. You actually fit your iPhone 4S with an adhesive, which seems secure, although the frame in the tablet versions might be preferable. There is an elastic closure to keep the case closed when you put it away. It costs an extra $10 to get a monogram embossed on the front.
Body Glove Icon Hybrid ($7.50)
The Body Glove is cheap, but effective. An inner gel layer does the standard impact absorption job to deal with drops and bumps, but it is also anti-microbial, so it will stay fresh and clean in the long term. A two piece outer shell slides together on the outside to deflect any potential damage. It has a soft touch finish that’s comfortable to hold. The three pieces are contrasting colors gives it a nice look and there are cut outs for the camera and controls. The current price reduction makes this a real bargain.
Mophie Juice Pack Pro ($130)
If you’re off adventuring in the outdoors then a combination of rugged protection and extra juice to keep your iPhone ticking is always welcome. This is an expensive case, but it includes a 2500mAh battery to keep your iPhone 4S powered for more than twice the usual time. There are also four separate layers of protection, so you needn’t fear rain, dirt, drops, or shocks. The rubberized cover is easy to grip, a belt clip is included, and the whole package has an angular, rugged look to match the functionality.
Dazzling rhinestone bling in a wide variety of designs may not be very practical, but it is certainly eye-catching. Options include leopard skin, colored stripes, or even leopard skin and colored stripes together. These are simple hard plastic shell cases with all the necessary cut outs; they just happen to be covered in brightly colored rhinestones. Will the crystals sometimes fall off? Yes, they probably will, but you do get a wee bag with some extras so you can always top them up.
Hex Axis is a classic genuine leather wallet in textured red or black that provides stylish protection. The Hex Axis has an elastic closure and flips open like a book to reveal a molded frame for your iPhone on the right and three card slots, plus a pocket for cash on the left. The only slightly unusual thing about this leather wallet is the inclusion of a camera cut out so you can capture photos without having to remove your iPhone from it.
Marware Double Take iPhone 4/4S Case ($25)
Polycarbonate cases always provide tough protection, and this offering from Marware enhances the clear polycarbonate shell with a colored rubber bumper round the edges and a rubber strip down the back. The design makes it comfortable to hold, and also gives it a bit of visual style. You’ve got a choice of three colors – black, white, or pink. It’s easy to snap on, it’s thin, and it doesn’t cover up the Apple logo.
Next page: More iPhone 4 and 4S cases!
Best iPhone 4S/4 Cases – Page 2
Moshi Concerti for iPhone 4/4S ($40)
This premium leather flip case really hugs your iPhone so it isn’t too bulky. The front flap flips open easily and the inner lining is “Terahedron” – basically it’s soft and it will prevent scratches. Unusually for a leather case, there are cutouts for the camera and all of the controls, so it’s easy to use your phone with the case on. The final touch is a detachable microfiber pad on the flap, which you can use to clean the screen.
X-Doria Defense 360 ($30)
You won’t find many cases on the market that cover the iPhone 4 or 4S front and back, but the Defense 360 does just that. It is a two-piece, clear, polycarbonate case that snaps on and fully protects the front, back, and sides of your iPhone. There are cutouts for camera and controls. Covering the screen inevitably has an impact on screen sensitivity, but that’s the price you pay for all around protection.
Seidio Surface Reveal with Metal Kickstand ($35)
This sleek, hard case from Seidio comes in two pieces which makes it really easy to slide onto your iPhone. There’s a soft felt lining inside to prevent any scratches and absorb shock. The outside has a soft-touch coating so it’s comfortable to hold and easy to grip. Precision cut-outs ensure you can access everything and see the Apple logo, but the camera cutout is tight, so you may prefer to remove the iPhone from the case to take photos. There is also a magnetic kick stand for a hands-free landscape view.
IvySkin iPhone 4 Reception Case ($15)
Super-thin polycarbonate protection for your iPhone at a reasonable price makes the IvySkin Reception Case worth considering. It’s only 0.6mm on the back and 0.8mm at the sides so it’s about as close to naked as your iPhone can get with a case on. It’s also supposed to improve your reception. It will protect the glass back and has a front screen guard. Did we mention that the whole thing has an anti-scratch coating?
SwitchEasy Avant-Garde Series Clockwork Case ($35)
You will definitely stand out of the crowd with one of these sculpted 3D cases. The back features a sculptural design and you’ll find additional options beyond this clockwork pattern. It looks eye-catching and provides extra grip. The frame is polycarbonate and there’s a matt coating and a choice of colors. It’s a slider design which makes it easy to fit onto your phone and it ships with two screen guards. If you’re concerned about the pattern snagging as you take it out of your pocket, don’t worry because it’s a convex design.
Hipstamatic HipstaCase 100 ($20)
Keen photographers will dig this Hipstamatic case which gives your iPhone an eighties camera makeover. It’s a one piece snap on case in black with all the usual cutouts. The USP for this case is the tripod adapter which slips into a hidden slot to allow you to mount the iPhone easily on any standard camera tripod. To complete the retro camera illusion there is a removable nylon lanyard to slip around your wrist.
uNu Exera Modular Battery Case for iPhone 4/4S ($80)
Not only is this a chargeable battery case that doubles the battery life of your iPhone 4 or iPhone 4S, it is also just a case. You can switch in a thinner back without the battery if you just want to use it as a case, so once the phone is charged you can ditch the bulky battery and put the slim cover on. The battery is rated at 1,700mAh and the case also comes with a screen protector.
Belkin Essential for iPhone 4S ($25)
Flexible TPU with a tinted, translucent finish provides a bit of basic protection for your iPhone without spoiling its look. You’ve got full access to everything and these slim cases have a nice easy-grip, soft-touch finish. You can pick them up in various colors.
Grove Bamboo iPhone 4/4S Case ($80)
Carved from a single piece of bamboo, these stylish wooden cases from Grove come in a range of designs or you can opt for a plain one. You also have the option of using your own design for a truly custom case, but that will set you back $130. The case comes in two pieces and slides easily onto your iPhone. These oiled wooden cases represent great craftsmanship, but they are definitely more about the look than the protection factor.
LifeProof iPhone Case for the iPhone 4/4S ($80)
It’s tough to find a case that offers serious protection with a truly slim profile, but the LifeProof iPhone case only adds 1.5mm to each edge. It is completely waterproof and it will safeguard your phone from dust, shock, and extreme temperatures. This case is perfect for outdoors types and you’ll never need to worry about your iPhone getting wet again.
Cygnett Apollo for iPhone 4/4S ($30)
This hybrid rubber and plastic design is a solid option. The matte plastic exterior doesn’t show fingerprints or scratches and the soft rubber interior is shock-absorbent. Ports and controls are easily accessible and a screen protector is included. There’s a small selection of color options and the rubber showing through beneath creates a two-tone effect.
OtterBox iPhone 4/4S Defender Series Anthem Collection ($60)
OtterBox has long been the most trusted name when it comes to serious protection for your device. This iPhone 4S case features the virtually indestructible three layer protection that the top of the range Defender series is known for having. It also brightens things up with a patriotic design. It’s a bit bulky but if you work outdoors, or you’re just really clumsy, this case is for you.
Next Page: More of our favorite iPhone 4/4S cases
Best iPhone 4S/4 Cases – Page 3
Incipio OffGrid Pro for iPhone 4/4S ($100)
The impressively slim OffGrid Pro is a backup battery case that comes with a set of two interchangeable and rechargeable 1600mAh batteries. It’s a pretty stylish, minimalist design, available in black, gunmetal or white. You’ve got four blue LED lights to indicate your backup battery status and when fully charged you’re looking at more than doubling your iPhone’s life.
Griffin Elan Form Exotics for iPhone 4 ($30)
The Griffin Elan Form range offers a good balance between style and protection. There’s an outer layer to guard against scuffs and an inner shell that reduces the impact of knocks and drops. It comes in a range of colors and styles like this reptilian skin “Exotics” variant.
SPIGEN SGP iPhone 4/4S Case Neo Hybrid 2S Snow Series ($32)
Part of the attraction of the iPhone in the first place is that stunning Apple design, so you’d be forgiven for not wanting to cover it up completely. This case accentuates the basic design with a color highlight around the edge, but it also offers good quality silicone and polycarbonate protection with a screen protector as well.
Case-Mate Barely There Case for iPhone 4/4S ($25)
The iPhone 4S is such a sleek device that any case offering protection while preserving its svelte look is highly prized. Enter the popular Barely There Case from Case-Mate. It is very lightweight, impact & scratch resistant, and offers easy access. It comes in a range of colors and for an extra ten bucks you can create a custom version using your own images.
ZeroChroma VarioProtect Case for iPhone 4/4S ($40)
This case offers great protection but the real selling point is the fold out kickstand. You can prop your iPhone up for watching movies, surfing the web, or making a FaceTime call. The cleverly designed case is rubberized to prevent slipping. You’ll also notice that it is relatively slim for a kickstand case and it is very versatile, supporting an impressive range of angles.
Gelaskins HardCase for iPhone 4S/4 ($35)
A scratch resistant skin may not seem like enough protection but thankfully Gelaskins now offer hard cases as well. These polycarbonate snap-on cases come in a really wide range of designs. When you settle on the design you want you can carry it across onto your iPhone screen by downloading the matching wallpaper.
Speck CandyShell Grip for iPhone 4S/4 ($35)
The perfect combination of hard plastic and easy to grip rubber, the CandyShell Grip is ideal for gamers. It is very comfortable to hold; it offers decent protection; and it comes in a range of colors with a two-tone design. It offers great grip in the hand and it won’t slide on surfaces either.
SwitchEasy LUX for iPhone 4/4S ($30)
Our last option is this reasonably priced, open-faced, leather hard case. It looks smart, it feels good in the hand and your iPhone slides easily and snuggly into place within. You can secure it with the leather flap and it’s easy to use without you having to remove it (which is a drawback of many leather cases). You also get two screen guards, a squeegee applicator and a microfiber wipe with it.
Got a favorite iPhone 4S case that isn’t covered here? Post a comment and tell us about it.
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