July 5, 2020
Best iPhone 11 and 11 Pro cases for 2020: Otterbox, Speck and more compared

Best iPhone 11 and 11 Pro cases for 2020: Otterbox, Speck and more compared


Because this is basically a best-of-the-best list of my favorite cases that protect Apple’s iPhone 1111 Pro and 11 Max and offer easy charging in a slim form, there are only a few budget cases here; most of my picks for best iPhone 11 cases tend to be a bit spendier than the typical generic case you’ll find on Amazon for $20 or less. I’ve also included a number of cases that are translucent since since the iPhone 11 comes in a variety of colors that people may want to show off.

I’ll be updating this best roundup with new picks as they continue to arrive.

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If you’re looking for the best iPhone 11 cases that are clear for your new smartphone, you can’t go wrong with Speck’s Stay Clear case, which resists discoloration (yes, cheap clear cases can turn yellow). It has a durable polycarbonate outer shell, provides 13-foot drop protection and includes Microban antimicrobial product protection. The case also allows for easy wireless charging. The clear, wireless charging case is available in versions for the iPhone 11iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max.

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The company’s superprotective Defender series case is available for all the brand-new iPhone 11 models, but most people want something slimmer. The Symmetry series is slim with beveled edges, making it a good mix of sleek and protective. A raised bumper helps act as a screen protector. Multiple color options are available, including Symmetry Clear as well as the Symmetry Plus Pop case, which integrates a PopSockets PopGrip. Prices range from $50 to $60 (AU$59, £29), and they should go down over time. 

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Zagg recently bought top British casemaker Gear4 and is seeking to further build out its brand in the US. In terms of style and protection, Gear4’s cases are right there with Otterbox and Speck, all of them lined with the company’s D3O shock-absorbing material and featuring beveled edges to protect your phone. My favorites include the translucent Picadilly (also available for Samsung Galaxy) and Crystal Palace cases, as well as the Battersea. They range in price from $35 to more-expensive iPhone case options around $50.

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If you’re looking for a cheap clear case for your new iPhone 11, Spigen’s Ultra Hybrid is a good value at around $11-$15, depending on which version of iPhone 11 you have. No drop rating is listed for the case, but it feels like Spigen cases offer reasonable protection (if you want even stronger protection, consider shelling out $35 more for the Spigen Tough Armor case), and it should appeal to folks who want a case that’s neither too thin nor too thick (Speck’s clear case is a bit thicker and does seem more protective). Unlike the Tough Armor, a lot of these cheaper clear cases have a habit of turning yellow over time (and becoming less translucent), but they’re cheap enough that you probably won’t mind shelling out for a replacement if that happens. 

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Speck’s Presidio Pro comes in a variety of colors and has a soft-to-the-touch finish that’s equipped with Microban antimicrobial technology. It’s drop-tested to 13 feet (about 4 meters) and is one of the best all-around cases for the iPhone 11. The case is highly protective, with a polycarbonate outer shell, but it’s not too bulky. Its thin design makes wireless charging easy. 

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Mous makes several cases that have eye-catching designs, including models finished in leather and wood. They’re all lined with the company’s AiroShock material that, according to the company, delivers excellent protection in a slim design. They do seem durable and all include a lifetime warranty.

I liked the speckled leather Contour case (pictured above, left), but Mous’ Limitless 3.0 line — the bamboo case on the right — is compatible with the company’s Limitless 3.0 accessories, which include a wallet that magnetically adheres to the back of the case and a couple of mounts, one of which is an air-vent mount for your car. 

It’s also worth noting that these Mous cases are the only ones I’ve seen that have a SIM card storage slot on the inside of the case for international travelers in the habit of swapping SIM cards.

Cases start at $45.

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Lifeproof, now owned by Otterbox, isn’t in the business of making waterproof cases anymore (it has only one case that’s waterproof: the Fre). But it still makes very nice cases to protect your iPhone, including the Next and Slam, as well as the new Flip Series, which adds a slip-out wallet element that turns into a kickstand. I personally like the Slam best. It costs $46 and comes in a variety of colors and designs. Pair it with its Rewind wall charger for speedy charging.

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Moshi has always made attractive cases for iPhones, and its Overture (folio), iGlaze, Vitros and Altra (lanyard included) cases are available for the iPhone 11, 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max. The Overture is actually a two-in-one case that’s a great screen protector. You fit your iPhone into a slim shell case that then magnetically adheres to the cover, which has slots for storing credit cards and cash. You can buy one in the $25-to-$50 price range. 

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Truth be told, I wasn’t a fan of earlier Pelican cases, which were very protective but just a little too bulky (and ugly). But its latest batch includes two that I like: the Traveler (pictured, left) and Rogue (at right), which has a soft rubber bubbled pattern. The “clear” version of the Rogue glows in the dark. 

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Speck’s Presidio Grip Series comes to the iPhone 11. It’s one of the more popular phone cases and still one of the best, although the ribs of the case can wear down over time. Available in multiple color options for $40.

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Casetify’s cases are known for their eye-catching designs (that are stuck onto the back of a clear case). They’re relatively slim, sleek-looking cases that offer decent protection and come in a variety of design patterns, with some definite appeal to teenagers. 

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iFace cases are hugely popular in Japan but aren’t so well known in the US. With their oversized rounded edges and plenty of fun colors to choose from, they certainly stand out from the crowd and are quite protective. The First Class (pictured above in red and green) is available in a variety of colors and costs $25.

One of the newer models — the Reflection ($30) — has a transparent back that’s made of tempered glass. It’s available with several different trim color options.

On Amazon, iFace cases are currently being discounted by 10% with a clickable coupon.

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Skech’s new Vortex case has a soft-to-the-touch finish and an integrated flip-out metal ring kickstand, and it adheres to the included magnetic car-vent mount. It comes in several color options (blue and black pictured) for all iPhone 11 models. It’s a little pricey at $50, but it does have some nifty extras (like a built-in ring holder and responsive buttons) and a nice design with 10-foot drop protection. You can still charge your phone on a wireless charging pad with the case on.

I also like Skech’s clear case, the Echo Air, which costs less ($30).

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Nomad makes a line of nice leather cases, including leather wallet folio cases that come in brown or black. I personally like its new Rugged case, which features water-resistant leather. It’s rated for 6-foot (2 meter) drop protection. The leather case runs around $50, while the folio version, which has a flap that covers the screen, costs $70.

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Adidas-branded cases come in a variety of flavors that offer eye-catching designs that match some of the company’s iconic sneakers. They’re all pretty slim and provide decent though not great protection. Prices are anywhere from $12 to $50, depending on the style.

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BodyGuardz was initially known for its screen protectors, but in recent years it’s put out some interesting iPhone cases. I personally like the $45 Momentum (pictured left), which has a padded textured back, and the $60 Accent Wallet (pictured right), a leather case that has a slot on the back for storing a couple of credit cards. Both those cases include a lanyard that you can choose to attach to the case or not.

The translucent Ace Pro (pictured middle) is the company’s most affordable case. It lists for $35.

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Case-Mate makes a variety of color cases, some of which have glittery, snowglobe effects (my favorite is the new Waterfall Confetti case pictured on the right). Despite their fun, eye-catching designs, they’re also well built and will protect your device. Prices range from $30 to $40.

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Silk brings its line of affordable, simple, slim cases and wallet cases to the iPhone 11 under the new brand name of Smartish. The Smartish Walletslayer case is one of the best iPhone 11 cases for those on a budget. It sells for $15 and holds three credit cards plus cash.

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Razer, which makes laptops and gaming accessories (among other products), brings its line of “gaming” cases to the iPhone 11, and they’re pretty nice. The cases have something called Thermaphene-Based Heat Dissipation that “redirects trapped heat through a thermally conductive lining adjacent to vented airflow channels to significantly improve cooling compared to traditional cases.” It’s a bit of a gimmick, but it seems to help a little when you’re playing graphically intensive games for long periods. The cases start around $20 and come in Pro and Slim versions. I preferred the more protective Pro, which is currently on sale for $20.

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X-Doria’s Defense series cases come in a wide variety of styles and cost a little less than competing premium cases from Gear4, Speck and Otterbox. I personally like the Defense Clear Series (pictured, second from right), which is a good match for the standard iPhone 11. It’s $25 and is available with a black or white trim. 

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I’ve always been a fan of Tech21’s Evo Check ($40) cases for previous iPhones and they’re available for the new iPhone 11 in a few different translucent color options (they’re the pink and smokey black cases in the photo above). Tech21 is also offering the slightly thinner but more colorful Studio series cases, which costs $10 less. 

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Tech21’s Evo Wallet is a well-designed folio case that features a screen protector cover with a magnetic latch and a slot on the inside for storing a couple of credit cards and a little bit of cash. It also converts into a stand for watching videos and is drop-tested to 12 feet (3.6 meters), so it’s pretty tough. It’s $49 on Amazon, though it’s currently only available for the 11 Pro.

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Like Lifeproof, Catalyst made a name for itself with waterproof cases, but it now focuses on selling its Impact Protection Case, which is drop-tested to 9.9 feet and has a see-through back and slim design. 

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Griffin’s Survivor Series used to be one of the more popular tough cases. It’s slimmed down over the years but is still a pretty tough protector and comes in versions with a clear back. Price: $30.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Incipio has a bunch of new cases for the iPhone 11 line. I like the new Areolite Extreme, which comes in clear, sea blue and black and has the company’s FortiCore ribbing and raised edges to help with drop protection. 

Sarah Tew/CNET

Otterbox’s swanky folio case, the Strada, returns for the iPhone 11 line. It’s available in brown and black for around $50 and does a nice job of fully protecting your phone. The only small strike against it is that it doesn’t convert into a viewing stand for watching videos. It’s probably best suited to the iPhone 11 Pro Max, but it’s good for anyone who wants additional screen protection for any iPhone 11 model.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Portland-based Grovemade produces some beautifully crafted wooden cases. Its $60 wood bumper cases are the most affordable, but naturally I’m a fan of its Walnut and Leather Wallet case, which retails for a mere $130 (as a new customer you do get 10 percent off). It’s one of the lighter, more refined looking wallet cases you’ll find, and also comes in a lighter maple color. 

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Originally published last year. Regularly updated with new cases as we test them.



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