Editor’s picks: Our favorite cases for Android phones

We put a bunch of Android cases to the test, so you don't have to.

android case intro
Pick a case, but not just any case

Planning on gifting a smartphone? Great! Consider a protective case to give along with it. Though most Android phones are built pretty well, they’re still not immune to bumps, scratches, and cracked displays. A case can help.

There are a lot of different Android phones on the market, and we can’t cover them all, but these cases are available for the hottest Android phones this holiday season. Here are some of our favorites.

otterbox defender
OtterBox Defender Series, $50

OtterBox has become one of the leading names in protective cases for smartphones, and for good reason: They offer multiple layers of protection to keep your phone safe in a variety of emergencies. The Defender Series is rugged without being too bulky and much lighter than other cases in the OtterBox family. It has four parts that clip together around your phone for all-around protection—a silicone outer layer to absorb shock, a polycarbonate inner layer for stability, a screen protector to keep your display scratch-free, and a belt-clip holster for convenience.

Don’t worry: Under all this armor, all of the phone’s buttons and ports are accessible, though hidden under port covers. Most importantly, it gives peace of mind knowing that your phone will most likely survive a fall or two.

Availability: Samsung Galaxy S4, Samsung Galaxy Note 3, HTC One, and several other Android smartphones (OtterBox has a full compatibility list.)

incase snap case
Incase Snap Case, $30

When it comes to the Motorola Moto X, you’ll want a case that shows off the unique design you customized in the Moto Maker tool. Incase’s Snap Case fits the bill: It’s available in a completely clear plastic with a glossy finish. (It has a second, all-black option if you opted for a Moto X with a more subtle color palette.) The Snap Case is super thin, easy to install, and provides an extra layer to keep your Moto X looking (almost) brand new.

Availability: Motorola Moto X

incipio feather shine
Incipio Feather Shine, $30

The Incipio Feather has long been a favorite for iOS devices, thanks to its super slim and “feather light” profile. But Android users aren’t left out in the cold. Incipio’s Feather Shine, which has an ever-so-slight aluminum sheen finish, is available for a handful of Android smartphones. It barely adds any bulk to your device, so the Feather Shine is the best option for someone who wants just the bare minimum of protection. It comes in a nice variety of solid colors, too.

Availability: LG G2, LG Optimus G Pro, Motorola Moto X, HTC One, Samsung Galaxy S III, Samsung Galaxy S4, Samsung Galaxy Note II, and Samsung Galaxy Note 3.

case mate slim folio
Case-mate Slim Folio, $35

With larger “phablets,” a multi-functional case is a nifty solution for a device that straddles both sides of the mobile fence. Case-mate’s Slim Folio for the Galaxy Note 3 is an elegant solution for a phone with big bones. This understated folio keeps the Note 3 fully covered when not in use, and the front flap folds flat behind your phone when you need to access its display. It also has built-in stand functionality, so you can prop your phone up if you’d like to read or watch a video.

To install it, use the Slim Folio’s included SmartGrip adhesive. I was skeptical about it at first—I didn’t want to put anything sticky on the back of the Note 3—but it didn’t leave any gross residue behind when I removed it.

Availability: Samsung Galaxy Note 3

sgp slim armor
Spigen SGP Slim Armor, $25

Prepare for a little competition, gold iPhone 5s. Spigen SGP’s Slim Armor case gives select Android phones a champagne gold finish. This standard hard-shell case is a step up from the Incipio Feather Shine when looking at protection: It’s sturdier, yet still slim. The Slim Armor has a two-part design, with a solid black TPU liner and a hard polycarbonate shell that snaps around it.

Availability: Google Nexus 5, Samsung Galaxy S4, Samsung Galaxy Note 3, and LG G2.

puregear kickstand case and holster
PureGear Kickstand Case and Holster, $30

PureGear’s Kickstand Case and Holster is like a multi-tool for your smartphone. It consists of two pieces: A hard-shell case that wraps around your iPhone, and a separate holster that can clip to your belt or handbag. On the back of the hard-shell case lies a kickstand, which rests flat when not in use. Two finger grips on each side of the kickstand allow you to pinch and pull up to click it into place. It’s not the most attractive case of the bunch, but it’s simple, lightweight, and extremely useful.

Availability: HTC One, Samsung Galaxy Note II, Samsung Galaxy S4, Google Nexus 5, and Motorola Moto X.

mophie juice pack
Mophie Juice Pack, $100

Some cases do more than just keep your phone safe: This one gives a power boost when your battery is low. Mophie’s Juice Pack is one of our favorite battery cases, thanks to its unobtrusive size. Many battery cases seem to overpower the phone and add a lot of weight, but the Juice Pack feels only slightly bigger than the phone itself. The Juice Pack plugs into your phone’s charge port to refuel its battery, and then you charge the case up by plugging it into a wall adapter or USB port. You control when you want to power the phone by toggling a button on the case itself. Depending on your phone, the Juice Pack adds 80 to 100 percent more battery life.

Availability: HTC One, Samsung Galaxy S4, and Samsung Galaxy S III.

dodocase durables motorola family
Dodocase Durables Wallet, $50-$60

A sleeve, like Dodocase’s Durables Wallet, is perfect for those who prefer to use their phones without a case, but want to keep its screen covered when not in use. The Durables Wallet is a well-crafted little pouch made of leather and waxed canvas. It has a pocket on each side to hold a few cards or some cash (I use mine to store my metro pass, and it’s super handy), and fits your phone well enough that it shouldn’t slip out without some effort.

Availability: Motorola Moto X, Google Nexus 4, HTC One, and Samsung Galaxy S III.

speck candyshell
Speck CandyShell or CandyShell Grip, $35-$40

The case market is flooded with options, and if you’re unsure what you’re looking for, Speck’s CandyShell series is an excellent place to start. The CandyShell provides a little bit of everything: It’s lightweight, easy to hold, and protective without being too bulky. A thin raised front bezel helps protect your screen from coming into contact with other surfaces that might damage it. It features a matte, impact-resistant, hard polycarbonate plastic cover that's designed to easily slide in and out of pockets. True to its name, the CandyShell line offers a wide variety of color combos and designs to boot.

Availability: Samsung Galaxy S4 & S4 Mini, Samsung Galaxy Note 3, HTC One, Motorola Moto X, LG G2, and several other Android smartphones. (Speck has a full compatibility list.)

moshi ivisor
Moshi iVisor, $25

To keep your phone’s touchscreen scratch-free, try a screen protector. These clear adhesive films stick to your display without limiting your phone’s touchscreen functionality. Though they can be a pain to apply—bubbles really love to get in the way—Moshi’s iVisor goes on smoothly. The secret is in its frame. Instead of applying the adhesive directly to the touchscreen, the iVisor has a thin adhesive frame that runs along its outer edges of the screen. The frame sticks to the edge of your phone, leaving the cover bubble-free and reusable in case you need to readjust it.

Availability: Samsung Galaxy S III, Samsung Galaxy S4, Samsung Galaxy Note II, Samsung Galaxy Note 3, and HTC One.

android case intro
Pick a case, but not just any case

Planning on gifting a smartphone? Great! Consider a protective case to give along with it. Though most Android phones are built pretty well, they’re still not immune to bumps, scratches, and cracked displays. A case can help.

There are a lot of different Android phones on the market, and we can’t cover them all, but these cases are available for the hottest Android phones this holiday season. Here are some of our favorites.