You see them from time to time, and they always prompt a double-take: Naked phones. Just who are these people who don’t use a case, and what kind of bubble are they living in?
If you took your phone out of its protective carapace for 10 minutes, you know it would be cracked, chipped, water logged, and in all ways on a bullet train to Shitcanville. It tends to get there in a hurry anyway, despite the fact that you have a case for it.
Maybe it’s time for an upgrade. While there are a million cheap rubber shells out there, a good case can keep your phone safe from water, drops, sand, and everything else your lifestyle throws at it. The right case can even protect your brain and body from cell radiation.
Here are the best, most functional cases to shield your phone from disaster.
FOR THE ADVENTURIST
Lots of cases do one thing well. Few nail all of them. For the true outdoor adventurist—skiers, mountain climbers, and all those who spend their life beyond walls—the Fré has you covered. Waterproof, drop-proof, dirt-proof, and scratch-prof, the Fré offers total protection without restricting access to your phone’s ports. It’s a little pricier than most of the cases on this list. But you get what you pay for.
FOR THE BACKPACKER
LifeProof Fré Power
If you’re headed into the backcountry for a few days, you could lug along a backup power source. Or you could have one built into your case. The Fré Power offers all the protection of its slimmer cousin, plus backup power to keep your phone juiced twice as long as its battery would normally hold out. Only downside: Just for the iPhone 6 at the moment.
FOR THE BUSINESS PRO
Unlike your buddies, you spend most of your phone time making calls and closing deals, not texting or surfing. All that talk time has you worried about cell phone radiation and its possible health harms. The Pong Rugged cuts your exposure to your cell’s radiation by 67 percent. It also boosts your phone’s signal, and exceeds military certification for drops up to 6.6 feet.
FOR THE TWO-WHEEL WARRIOR
This burly case is made to lock out grit, sand, and rain. For those who spend their days mountain- or dirt-biking—or partaking in any activity that involves kicking up desert or beach sand—the Summit is a great way to go.
FOR THE CITY SLICKER
Like most of us, you put your phone through a lot—though nothing you would deem “extreme.” For defense against daily drops and dings, the Defender will safeguard your cell at a reasonable price for premium protection.
FOR THE VIDEOGRAPHER
Hitcase Video Pro
Shockproof, drop-proof, and waterproof to a depth of 33 meters, this case is also equipped with a wide-angle lens for clearer, broader video. You also have the option to buy other lenses and video-centric accessories. It’ll cost you a Benjamin. But that’s still a lot cheaper than a GoPro for the guy who wants to capture high-quality video of his adventures.
FOR THE DROP-PRONE AESTHETE
CaseMate Tough Naked
For the design-conscious dude who just can’t stand covering up his phone’s sleek design in a bulky case, this clear option from CaseMate provides decent drop and scratch protection while letting your phone’s good looks show through.