If you're looking for a rugged case that will keep your iPhone 4 or iPhone 4S protected and help it survive a drop unscathed, check out our list of highly protective iPhone 4/4S cases.
David CarnoyExecutive Editor / Reviews
Executive Editor David Carnoy has been a leading member of CNET's Reviews team since 2000. He covers the gamut of gadgets and is a notable reviewer of mobile accessories and portable audio products, including headphones and speakers. He's also an e-reader and e-publishing expert as well as the author of the novels Knife Music, The Big Exit and Lucidity. All the titles are available as Kindle, iBooks, Nook e-books and audiobooks.
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I first posted this roundup not long after the iPhone 4 hit stores and it's been through several updates, and now only includes cases that fit both the iPhone 4 and 4S and carry the "universal fit" tag.
Update, May 15, 2012:Added Griffin Survivor and Gumdrop Drop Tech Series.
As I've said before, how you choose to protect -- or not protect -- your iPhone is a matter of personal preference. But if some heavy-duty shielding is what you're looking for, this is the list for you.
While I tried to pick tough, protective cases that look good and don't make your iPhone too bulky, a few of the cases have more extreme designs that aren't necessarily intended for everyday use. I should also note that some of the more rugged cases can be a bit of a chore to remove and aren't friendly toward iPod docks and certain charging accessories due to how recessed the ports become when the case is on.
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Note:The top-20 is listed in alphabetical order, not by ranking. If you don't agree with our choices or feel we missed some, please submit a comment, and I'll consider making changes in my next update of the list.