We’ve been waiting a long time for a follow-up to 2016’s iPhone SE, and it’s finally here. The new iPhone SE has arrived, and it’s just as desirable a budget smartphone as the original iPhone SE. It brings a return to Touch ID and a classic design wrapped around a 4.7-inch display. It’s not as stylish as the latest iPhones, but since it uses the same A13 Bionic processor, it’s just as powerful — and it’s available at a snip of the price at $400.
While it’s only $400, it’s still a phone you want to keep safe, and the best way to do that is with a protective case. A good protective case can add as much (or as little) protection as you like, and can even add some new utility to your shiny new iPhone. Here are some of the best iPhone SE cases we’ve come across so far.
Spigen Liquid Crystal Case
The iPhone SE is based on the iPhone 8‘s design, so it’s definitely a little older-looking than most phones — but that doesn’t mean you want to hide it away from the world. Spigen’s Liquid Crystal means you don’t have to sacrifice beauty for protection. It’s made from completely clear TPU that allows Apple’s design to shine through, while the shock-absorbent TPU adds protection against minor shocks, scratches, and dirt. If you want stronger protection, you’ll have to invest in something heftier, but for this level of slim protection, you can’t go wrong with Spigen’s Liquid Crystal case.
UAG Biodegradable Outback Case
Apple has been taking great strides to provide a more sustainably-sourced iPhone, so it makes sense to complement those efforts with a biodegradable and compostable phone case. UAG’s Outback series is 100% compostable, made from materials that will naturally break down when composted. That doesn’t mean you’re getting sub-standard protection, though. The Outback series meets military drop standard MIL-SPEC (810G – 516.6), and it’s ergonomically engineered to feel good in the hand. However, it’s expensive for what it is, and it’s not exactly an attractive case. If you can look past that, this is a good choice for the sustainably-minded.
Official Apple Leather Case
Who knows the details of an iPhone better than Apple itself? Apple’s official leather case is a thing of beauty — it’s made from specially tanned and finished European leather that feels soft and looks incredible. As it’s real leather, it’ll age over time, adding a new and unique style to every case. Machined aluminum buttons protect the sides of your phone, while the soft microfiber inside holds your phone close without the risk of scratches. It’s durable and should protect against all manner of everyday hazards. However, the case doesn’t protect the bottom of the phone, leaving that edge open to scratches.
OtterBox Pursuit Series Case
OtterBox is no stranger when it comes to protection, and the Pursuit series is proof of that. While not the most attractive case around, it’s incredibly protective. An inner liner of impact foam seals the edges of the case, keeping out dirt, mud, and dust while also providing excellent shock protection, while a hard outer shell helps to protect against scratches. It’s got plugs for each of the iPhone SE’s ports, keeping those vulnerable areas safe, and an included lanyard means it’s safe and sound in your hand. The bottom of the case even has sound-channeling properties to ensure your speaker isn’t muffled while using the case. It’s very expensive, but it’s hard to find stronger protection.
Moment Photography Battery Case
The iPhone SE has an excellent camera, but taking snaps can really have an impact on your battery life. If you’re heavily into documenting your days out, why not buy a case that’ll allow you to extend your photography and add some new tricks, too? Moment is known for its photography cases, but this case adds an extra element — an additional 3,800mAh battery. While we’re not sure how large the SE’s battery is, we’re sure this case is going to add a lot of extra juice. The M-series mount around the camera lens can take Moment’s camera lenses, so you can add a wide-angle or fish-eye effect to your photography, and it’s pretty protective, too. It’s expensive, but battery cases always are — and the convenient extra battery life is totally worth it.
Moshi SenseCover Portfolio Case
If not being able to quickly glance at your screen is the reason you avoid folio cases, Moshi’s SenseCover is the case for you. A scratch-resistant window on the front allows you to answer the phone and check the time without opening your case up. The case that holds your phone offers military-grade drop protection, while the front cover has been lined with microfiber to prevent scratches. It unfolds into a stand for easy video watching, and a magnetic clasp helps to keep it closed while in your bag or pocket. It comes in this vibrant pink color, but if that’s a little too bold for you, check out the Sahara Beige option instead.
Case-Mate Twinkle Case
The new iPhone SE is an attractive phone, but it could really use some glitter. Case-Mate’s Twinkle case is the case to grab if you’re looking to make a serious statement, with a twinkling, shimmering glitter that catches the light and changes at every angle. There’s brawn to back up the beauty, too, and Case-Mate is claiming it can resist drops up to 10 feet (3 meters). Metallic buttons feel nice and protect the sides of your phone, and the flexible sides mean it’s easier to keep hold of your phone. While it may seem expensive at first glance, it’s more protective than you might think and adds a style perfect for anyone who wants to stand out.
Incipio DualPro Case
Incipio’s protective options are legendary, and the DualPro series shows why that is. The DualPro is a dual-layer case, which means it uses a combination of flexible TPU and hard polycarbonate in its construction. The soft inner core provides protection against drops and bumps, while the harder outer shell is perfect to prevent scratches and protect against blemishes and dirt. The outer shell has been treated with a soft touch material to stop it from slipping out of your hand. While protective, it’s not the most fashion-forward case on this list — though it is available in a more attractive red and black option. Be quick, as this case often sells out quickly.
BodyGuardz SlideVue Case
Better known for its strong glass screen protectors, BodyGuardz is worth checking out when you’re looking for a case. It’s probably immediately obvious why we’ve picked the SlideVue case, and that’s the sliding finger loop built into the back of the case. Just slide a finger into it during use, and your iPhone slipping from your hand will become a thing of the past. It also doubles as a kickstand. BodyGuardz hasn’t skimped on protection because of the loop, though, and the case’s shock-absorbing TPU has been bolstered with Unequal’s tech, which is used in shock-absorption gear for athletes. It’s sleek and slim and comes in a number of styles to match your needs.
Catalyst Waterproof Case
The new iPhone SE is equipped with an IP67 rating for dust and water-resistance, but if you really want to be sure your phone will survive a dip, slap Catalyst’s waterproof case onto it. Catalyst claims the case is waterproof up to 33 feet (10 meters), so it should be even more resistant to brief dips to test out your iPhone’s camera underwater. The drop-protection is hefty, too, and has been rated for drops up to 6.6 feet (2 meters), which should protect against all but the worst drops. On the minus side, it’s very expensive, and it’s not the slimmest of cases. It adds a large amount of bezel around the edges, but if you want all-around protection, it’s worth adding the bulk.
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