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Top smartphone cases

Looking for a new case for your new iPhone 5S/5C or Samsung Galaxy S4? Check out some of our top picks for the holiday season.

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carnoy-headshot-2019-2

David Carnoy

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1 of 51 Ballistic cases

Ballistic Shell Gel SG Series

Ballistic makes a number of "tough" smartphone cases that offer excellent drop protection. I've highlighted the Shell Gel SG Series because it's available for multiple devices, including the Samsung Galaxy S4 and iPhone 5/5S. Comes in a few different colors.
Price: $34.99
See more info and pricing for the Ballistic Shell Gel SG Series.
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2 of 51 Belkin

Belkin Outrigger

Belkin's Outrigger is one of the company's new cases for the iPhone 5/5S (it also will be available for the 5C). It's translucent and has a grippy exterior. Shipping soon in multiple trim colors.
Price: $29.99
See more info and pricing for the Belkin Outrigger.
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3 of 51 Case-Mate

Case-Mate Mahogany Wood

I always have a little soft spot for cases that have wood-back designs. This is Case-Mate's latest wood version, the Carved Mahogany Wood.
Note: Case-Mate is also selling a number of other cases with artistic designs and also offers the option of putting your own image on a case.
Price: $50
See more info and pricing for the Case-Mate Mahogany Wood case.
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4 of 51 Cygnett

Cygnett FlipFiber

Australian case maker Cygnett has a number of cool iPhone smarphone case designs, including the folio-style FlipFiber, which is available for the iPhone 5/5S and the Galaxy S4.
Price: $19.99
See more info and pricing for the Cygnett FlipFiber case.
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5 of 51 Cygnett

Cygnett Workmate

This is Cygnett's tough case. I can't say its superdurable, but it's slicker-looking than some of the bulkier tough cases you see out there -- and Cygnett says it's compatible with the iPhone 5S. Also comes in a version for the Galaxy S4.
Price: $25
See more info and pricing for the Cygnett Workmate.
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6 of 51 Element Case

Element Solace

Element Case still makes some of the most expensive iPhone cases out there, with its swankiest models costing over $200. But more recently it decided to offer up some more affordable cases, including the new Solace, which goes for a mere $80 and is available in a few different color options (I like the green and purple). Take solace in that.
Price: $79.95
See more info and pricing for the Element Solace case for iPhone 5/5S.
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7 of 51 Element Case

Element Eclipse S4 Spectra

Element also makes some nice cases for the Galaxy S4. Our photo shows the front, but what's nice about it is that it has a carbon fiber back along with a built-in kickstand. Comes in a few different color options.
Price: $79.95
See more info and pricing for the Element Eclipse S4 Spectra case for Galaxy S4.
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8 of 51 Gumdrop

Gumdrop Drop Tech Series

The Gumdrop Drop Tech Series is one of the better tough cases on the market, with a built-in screen cover and two layers of protection. It's available in multiple colors.
Price: $45
See more info and pricing for the Gumdrop DropTech Series.
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9 of 51 Hard Candy Cases

Hard Candy Chrome Bubble

Hard Candy still sells its ShockDrop, a three-layer case with a built-in screen protector, for the iPhone 5. When it comes to the 5S, it has a couple of eye-catching, bubbly cases, the Neon Bubble and the Chrome Bubble (pictured here).
Price: $34.95
See more info and pricing for the Hard Candy Chrome Bubble case.
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10 of 51 iSkin

iSkin Aura

iSkin keeps refining its Aura line and its version for the iPhone 5/5S/5C with its signature brushed-aluminum back has never looked better. It comes in multiple attractive colors (yes, I would have a hard time choosing one). There's also a version for the Galaxy S4.
Price: $34.99
See more info and pricing for the iSkin Aura case.
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11 of 51 iSkin

iSkin Solo

This is the case that put iSkin on the map. Made out of soft yet durable translucent plastic, the Solo comes in four colors, including purple, black, pink, and teal. It's compatible with both the iPhone 5 and the 5S.
Price: $30
See more info and pricing for the iSkin Solo case.
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12 of 51 Incase

Incase Metallic Slider

Incase has several iPhone cases, including its popular Metallic Slider series case. This one's available in multiple colors.
Price: $29.99
See more info and pricing for the Incase Metallic Slider case.
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13 of 51 Incipio

Incipio Kicksnap

Incipio makes lots of cases for many of the major smartphones, including the HTC One, Moto X, Galaxy S4, LG G2, as well as iPhones and Galaxy models. The company's Kicksnap model (with a built-in kickstand) will soon be available for the iPhone 5S.
Price: $34.95
See more info and pricing for Incipio Kicksnap.
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14 of 51

Lifeproof Galaxy S4 Nuud case

Lifeproof has brought its popular waterproof case Nuud case over to GS4 and hopes to have one for iPhone 5S "before the end of the year." (Alas, the fingerprint sensor is a problem for makers of tough cases).
Both iPhone 5 and GS4 owners can choose the Fre ($79.99), which leaves the screen exposed (but still keeps water and dust out of your phone).
Price: $89.99
See more info and pricing for the Lifeproof Nuud case.
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15 of 51

Marware Doubletake

For a fairly simple case, the Marware Doubletake has some flair to it. It blends a glossy finish with some textured design elements, which will help keep your case in your pocket. Available in multiple colors.
Price: $29.99
See more info and pricing for the Marware Doubletake case.
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16 of 51 Marware

Marware Stash case

This is Marware's take on the Wallet case. It can hold two credit cards or IDs and has a built-in plastic clip to hold the cards in place. What's also kind of cool is that you can use your credit card to prop up your iPhone horizontally or vertically, converting the case into a stand.
Price: $34.99
See more info and pricing for the Marware Stash case.
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17 of 51 M-Edge

M-Edge Trina Turk Echo collection

M-Edge's Trina Turk line is geared toward women and comes in multiple design options. The case has a nice glossy finish with rubberized trim. It's a little swankier than it appears at first glance. Also available for the Galaxy S4.
Note: This case is scheduled to ship in early November.
Price: $39.99
See more info and pricing for the M-Edge Trina Turk Echo collection.
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18 of 51 Amazon

MiniSuit Frost Matte TPU case

When it comes to iPhone cases, you don't get much cheaper than this. Depending on what color you get (yes, it's available in multiple), you can pick one up for around $7-$8 shipped (or less if you're an Amazon Prime member). Needless to say, this one's about as basic as it gets, but for a lot of folks that will be fine.
Note: MiniSuit also makes a few other variations of this TPU case but they are all very similar.
Price: $7-8
See pricing for the MiniSuit Frost Matte TPU case from Amazon.com.
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19 of 51 Moshi

Moshi Concerti

Moshi has a number of nice cases for the iPhone 5/5S, including the Concerti, a good-looking flip-style case that comes in black and red.
Price: $40
See more info and pricing for the Moshi Concerti case.
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20 of 51 Moshi

Moshi iGlaze Kameleon

Moshi's iGlaze Kameleon features a built-in kickstand, and it's available in black or white. A really slick-looking slim case, it also works with the iPhone 5S. The standard iGlaze is available for the Galaxy S4.
Price: $49
See more info and pricing for the Moshi iGlaze Kameleon case.
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21 of 51 Moshi

Moshi Overture

Moshi's Overture case comes in a few different colors and looks rather swanky. The Galaxy S4 model is pictured, but it's also available for the iPhone 5/5S.
Price: $40
See more info and pricing for the Moshi Overture case (Galaxy S4).
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22 of 51 Newer Technology

Newer Technology NuGuard KX

Newer Technology's NuGuard KX is a slim case that offers good protection, thanks to "state-of-the-art" X-Orbing gel technology. Works with the 5S.
Price: $35
See more info and pricing for the Newer Technology NuGuard KX case.
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23 of 51 OtterBox

OtterBox Defender Series

OtterBox's old stalwart, the Defender Series, has been updated for the iPhone 5S (it's also compatible with the iPhone 5) and comes in versions for other major smartphones.
Price: $50
See more info and pricing for the OtterBox Defender Series case.
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24 of 51 OtterBox

OtterBox Preserver Series

This is OtterBox's new slimmer, waterproof case. It comes in iPhone 5, 5S, and 5C versions. As of mid-October, the iPhone 5 version was shipping, but the 5S version, pictured above, was still a few weeks away. The Preserver looks more like a Lifeproof case, which is ironic, considering Otterbox now owns Lifeproof (we're still waiting for a Lifeproof case for the 5S).
Price: $89.99
See more info and pricing for the OtterBox Preserver Series cases.
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25 of 51 Pad & Quill

Pad & Quill Little Pocket Book

We're big fans of Pad & Quill notebook style cases for the iPad and previous versions of the iPhone. The new Little Pocket Book has the usual bamboo interior frame along with slots on the inside of the cover for storing credit cards and cash. A new version that's compatible with the 5S will ship soon (there's also a Luxury version coming).
Price: $60
See more info and pricing for the Pad & Quill Little Pocket Book case.
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26 of 51 Pure.gear

Pure.gear Dualtek

I really like Pure.gear's Dualtek case, which is durable yet not too bulky. Its only small flaw is that the Pure.gear could have designed the cutaway area at the bottom of the case a little better. It's got a little too much play in it and could be stiffer. Available in multiple colors.
Price: $30
See more info and pricing for the Pure.gear Dualtek case.
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27 of 51

Rocketcases Retro

Rocketcases makes a number of basic, retro-style cases (you've probably seen the cassette-tape case). They're all affordable at $14.95 -- and are compatible with the iPhone 5S.
Price: $14.95
See more info and pricing for Rocketcases Retro cases.
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28 of 51 Pure.gear

Pure.gear Slim Shell

Pure.gear's Slim Shell case is simple yet appealing -- it's similar to Speck's Candyshell cases. Available in multiple colors.
Price: $24.99
See more info and pricing for the Pure.gear Slim Shell case.
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29 of 51 Amazon

Ringke Slim

The Ringke Slim is a very simple, thin case that comes in multiple colors and costs around $10.
Price: $10
See pricing for the Ringke Slim case from Amazon.com.
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30 of 51 Rokform

Rokform Rokshield V.3

Rokform makes cases with built-in mounting systems. Its Rokshield V.3 is compatible with the iPhone 5S and comes in multiple color options. That includes a car mount. Other mounts are available as optional accessories. Rokform also makes cases for the Samsung Galaxy S4 and Galaxy S3.
Price: $39
See more info and pricing for Rokform Rokshield V.3 + car mount.
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31 of 51 Sena Cases

Sena Lugano for Galaxy S4

Sena makes some of the swankier leather cases for smartphones and tablets. I'm more partial to its flip-style cases, which protect your screen when closed, but it's been making some nice snap-on cases as well, including the Lugano (the Lugano Kontur is available for the iPhone 5/5S).
Price: $39.95
See more info and pricing for the Sena Lugano case.
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32 of 51 Sena Cases

Sena Magnet Flipper

As its name implies, the Sena Magnet Flipper stays shut thanks to a magnet. It, too, comes in multiple colors.
Price: $50
See more info and pricing for the Sena Magnet Flipper case.
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33 of 51 Sena Cases

Sena WalletBook

Sena's take on a wallet-style case. Available in multiple colors.
Price: $54.95
See more info and pricing for the Sena WalletBook case.
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34 of 51 Skech

Skech GripShock

Skech is offering a growing number of iPhone 5 cases, including the affordable GripShock case that comes in multiple colors. It's relatively thin, but offers a fair amount protection and a nicely textured "weave" finish.
Price: $19.95
See pricing for the Skech GripShock from Amazon.com.
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35 of 51 Skech

Skech Kameo

Another case from Skech that I like is the Kameo, which is fairly thin and durable and has a padded, removable back panel (two back panels come with the case).
Price: $34.95
See pricing for the Skech Kameo from Amazon.com.
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36 of 51 Skech

Skech Lisso Book

More people are choosing folio-style cases for their iPhones with a flip cover to protect their screens, and Skech has its Lisso Book, which also features a slot to store a credit card and ID on the back. It's one of the better folio-style iPhone cases I've tested, with a magnet in the cover and a slim, real leather design. Only drawback: the corners of your iPhone aren't covered.
Price: $44.95
See pricing for the Skech Lisso Book from Amazon.com.
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37 of 51 Speck

Speck CandyShell + Faceplate

Speck, one of the leading case makers, has lots of cases for the iPhone 5/5S and other smartphones from HTC, Samsung, Motorola, and Nokia. The new CandyShell + Faceplate (pictured here) for the iPhone 5/5S adds a protective screen shield to the front of your phone. Available in multiple colors.
Price: $44.95
See more info and pricing for the Speck CandyShell + Faceplate.
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38 of 51 Speck

Speck SmartFlex Card

Speck makes a couple of attractive wallet-style cases that have slots for a couple of credits cards and a little cash. This is the Galaxy S4 version, but there's also versions available other smartphones (the iPhone 5/5S version costs $5 less). Available in few different color options.
Price: $39.95
See more info and pricing for the Speck SmartFlex Card.
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39 of 51 Speck

Speck SmartFlex View

The Speck SmartFlex View has a retractable stand that allows you to prop up your phone in a horizontal or vertical position. Available in black, gray, purple, or blue, and compatible with the 5S.
Price: $35
See more info and pricing for the Speck SmartFlex View.
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40 of 51 Spigen SGP

Spigen SGP Argos

The Argos is one of Spigen SGP's bread-and-butter cases. Available in a few different colors, it's a flip-style case that's highly protective. Also available for other smartphones besides the iPhone 5/5S.
Price: $37.99
See more info and pricing for the Spigen SGP Argos case.
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41 of 51 Spigen SGP

Spigen SGP Slim Armor

The affordable Spigen SGP Slim Armor looks is one of the sleeker thin cases available, and Spigen says it's compatible with the iPhone 5S.
Price: $17.99
See more info and pricing for the Spigen SGP Slim Armor case.
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42 of 51 Spigen SGP

Spigen Valentinus

The Valentinus is Spigen's popular leather wallet-style case.
Price: $54.99
See more info and pricing for the Spigen SGP Valentinus case.
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43 of 51 STM

STM Arvo

STM is another Australian case maker, and I'm a fan of its iPad cases. The company offers up a few different iPhone 5 cases, including the Arvo, Grip, and the new Harbour 2.
Price: $35
See pricing for the STM Arvo from Amazon.com.
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44 of 51 Tavik

Tavik cases

Tavik makes a few different cases for the iPhone 5 (yes, they come in multiple colors). I like The Time and Channel cases. Still awaiting word on whether they work with the 5S.
Price: $29.95
See more info and pricing for Tavik cases.
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45 of 51 Systm

Systm Chisel

The Systm Chisel is an interesting-looking case with two layers and a Poron XRD protection back. I'm not sure what that stands for, but it sounds rugged. Note: Systm cases have apparently been produced and designed by Incase. The Chisel is available in a handful of color combos.
Price: $35
See more info and pricing for the Incase Systm Chisel case.
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46 of 51 Tech21

Tech21 D3O Impact Snap Case with Cover

UK-based Tech21 makes a line of Impact cases, including the Snap -- and the Snap with Cover, pictured here. Some Impact cases are thinner and less expensive than others, but they're all pretty nice and come in multiple colors. Also available for other smartphones beyond the iPhone 5/5S.
Price: $35.95
See pricing for Tech21 D3O Impact Snap Case with Cover from Amazon.com.
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47 of 51 Trident cases

Trident Cyclops

Trident makes a host of tough cases for the iPhone 5/5S and Samsung Galaxy phones. It's hard to say which one I like best. The Kraken is probably the toughest, but it is fairly beefy. Meanwhile, the Cyclops offers a lot of protection but is a little slimmer. It's now compatible with the iPhone 5S.
All of Trident's cases are available in multiple colors.
Price: $39.95
See more info and pricing for the Trident Cyclops case.
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48 of 51 Tylt

Tylt Energi Sliding Battery case

Tylt makes a few different iPhone 5/5S cases, the most interesting of which may be the Sliding battery case, which includes -- you guessed it -- a slide-on battery pack. Also available in a Galaxy S3 version.
Price: $99.99
See more info and pricing for Energi Sliding Battery case.
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49 of 51 X-Doria

X-Doria Defense 720

X-Doria has launched several new cases for the launch of the 5S (and 5C), including the Defense 720, which has a translucent back and a choice of three different trim colors.
Price: $34.99
See more info and pricing for the X-Doria Defense 720 case.
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50 of 51 David Carnoy/CNET

ZeroChroma VarioClear 5

ZeroChroma's Theater-Stand 360 case is available in a translucent version with various trim colors. The stand swivels to prop up your iPhone vertically or horizontally. This case is also come in a nontranslucent version -- the VarioProtect 5 -- for $5 less ($39.95).
Price: $39.95
See more info and pricing for the ZeroChroma VarioClear 5 and VarioProtect 5 cases.
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51 of 51 ZooGue

ZooGue Social Pro

ZooGue has offered a number of deals on its simple Social Pro shell cases, and right now, it's selling them for $9.99 with free shipping. It comes in multiple colors. Available for multiple smartphones.
Price: $9.99
See more info and pricing for the ZooGue Social Pro case.

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