With robust Android integration, excellent cameras, and a virtual assistant built in, Google’s lineup of Pixel phones has never been more tempting. The larger first-gen model offers a sharper display and a bigger battery than the original Pixel, which makes it even more attractive if you can stomach the higher price tag. Big phones can be hard to handle, however. Aluminum and glass is a slippery combination, one that isn’t exactly known for its durability. The smart play is to invest in some quality protection before an accident happens. Luckily, we’ve rounded up some of the better case offerings on the market below.
Mophie Juice Pack ($100)
The Pixel XL does boast a whopping 3,450mAh battery, but that big, high-resolution screen drains it pretty quickly. Enter the king of battery cases, Mophie, and the Juice Pack, a battery case for the Pixel XL that offers an extra 2,950mAh, boosting power by around 75 percent. It sports a nice, soft-touch finish, the usual four LED array to show remaining power, and wireless charging capabilities. The trade-off is the added bulk, which makes it harder to get at the fingerprint sensor.
Diztronic TPU Case ($11)
It’s not easy to find minimalist cases with a matte finish, so you might like this one from Diztronic. It’s a slim, one-piece shell with a lip around the screen, accurate openings with plenty of room around the ports, and good button covers. There’s a subtle, gloss logo on the side, but other than that, it’s devoid of superfluous details. The basic version comes in either gray or black, though, there is a version with a chequered pixel pattern on the back if you want something a little more stylish.
UAG Composite Case ($40)
There’s no need to panic when your Pixel XL slips from your grasp if it’s wearing this rugged UAG case. The case’s drop-tested blend of hard and soft materials cushions your phone, providing your device with ample protection. The case utilizes a shock-absorbent core wrapped in a translucent shell, one outfitted with additional skid pads, corner protection, and side grips. It’s rather bulky, but it doesn’t interfere with NFC, so you can still use Android Pay when you forget your wallet. There are also tactile button covers and accurate cut-outs, which leave enough room for most headphones and charging cables.
If you’re interested in 360-degree protection but working with a limited budget, then this angular offering from Supcase might be the answer. It employs the typical mix of hard polycarbonate and shock-absorbent TPU, and there are openings for easy access to your phone’s fingerprint sensor, ports, and camera. A built-in lip and screen protector work to guard the 5.5-inch display on your Pixel XL, and there’s also a clear panel on the back to show off Google’s design. We’re not keen on the fact that the button covers are flush on the side, but they are textured, so you can find them without looking.
Seidio has been churning out solid cases with kickstands and holsters for years now, but they’re typically limited to a few solid colors. Thankfully, the latest Seidio offerings come in black, blue, and red, along with several unique patterns. The case itself is solid, with an interior that’s designed to dissipate shock and a hard shell on the outside that comes with a soft-touch finish. The built-in kickstand is magnetic, too, so it stays out of the way until you need it.
Needless to say, there are tons of TPU-based cases on the market. They provide a decent level of protection, for a reasonable price, in a flexible package that’s easy to fit and comfortable to use. Caseology stands out because of its stylistic flourishes — in this case, a brushed metallic finish with carbon fiber highlights. The cut-outs are generous and accurate on the Vault, too, and the button covers work well. There’s even a raised lip around the display to protect your phone when placed face down.
Super Thin Pixel XL Case ($25)
This ultra-thin case from Peel will protect your Pixel XL against light drops, dirt, and scratches. The minimalist case is simple and comes in three colors basic colors: Very silver, quite black, and really blue. Each color also has a semi-transparent matte finish, allowing Google’s branding to slightly show through. The case wraps seamlessly around your phone and is a mere 0.35-millimeters thin, rendering it one of the slimmest offerings in its class.
Carved Wood Case ($39)
Carved offers a wonderful selection of wooden cases for your Pixel XL, most of which are reasonably priced. You can opt for plain finishes in mahogany, redwood, or another type of wood, but the engraved and printed cases are well worth the extra money. You’ll find lots of different designs from talented artists, and the case itself consists of a flexible rubber with ridged sides for added grip. It’s pretty thin, too, and sports accurate cut-outs for everything.
Poetic’s Affinity cases feature a cheap, protective design that relies on an interesting dual-material build. The main body is clear, hard polycarbonate, but there’s TPU inside to dissipate shock and a TPU exoskeleton that provides additional drop protection where you need it most. The button covers and cut-outs are all present and correct, and there’s a raised bezel around the screen to protect your device when placed face down. The only drawback is that the polycarbonate scuffs easily, but the frame should protect it in most instances — just don’t put it in your pocket with keys.
If you want ample protection against falls, bumps, and shock, then OtterBox is usually a safe bet. Since the Google Pixel XL is already a big phone, however, you might prefer to opt for the Commuter Series over the bulky Defender offerings. The former still provides two layers of protection, port covers to keep dust out, and a raised edge around your screen. You’ll also find that the chunky button covers are easy to use and the openings are accurate, preventing any obstruction of the camera, fingerprint sensor, and other features. Unfortunately, it’s currently only available in either black or pink.