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February 13, 2018

The 20 best iPhone SE cases to keep your phone looking like new

by John_A

Apple repackaged the last-gen iPhone 6S into an iPhone 5S body to bring us the iPhone SE. This pint-sized iPhone is cheaper and easier to handle than its big brothers and more recent iPhone models, but it still represents a fragile combination of glass and metal that will likely break if dropped. If you have any old iPhone 5S or iPhone 5 cases lying around, they can be repurposed for the SE. Most of you will likely prefer to snag a new one, however, so we’ve rounded up a bunch of the best iPhone SE cases.

Urban Armor Gear Case ($19-$35)

By blending a soft core, hard shell, reinforced corners, and protective skid pads, the Urban Armor Gear packs a lot of protection into a surprisingly light case. The large button covers are easy to find, the cu-outs allow for easy access, and there’s a protective lip around your screen. This case exceeds military drop test standards, so it will survive a typical fall from 4 feet just fine. It doesn’t block NFC either, so Apple Pay will work with this case on your phone. You can get a clear version, go for a darker tint, or choose the cobalt blue version pictured.

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Snakehive Vintage Leather Wallet Case ($27)

These cases are finished in soft Nubuck leather that comes in a range of different colors with neat stitching to match. You can also opt for a two-tone design that resembles a classic leather-bound notebook. Open the cover and you’ll find three slots for cards and ID, alongside a larger money pocket. The rubbery frame that holds your iPhone SE in place inside this wallet is just a basic shell. This case offers great quality for the price.

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Jimmycase Wallet Case ($39)

If you like the idea of a handy place to stash cards, but you don’t really want to contend with a flapping cover, then Jimmycase has your back. These clever cases, handmade in Los Angeles, combine a protective silicone bumper with an attractive wooden back panel and a stretchy elastic pocket. You can stash up to six cards and some cash in the pocket, and it comes in a range of different designs or colors.

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Amazon Jimmycase

Casetify Custom Case ($35)

You’ll find a wide range of different designer cases at Casetify, but why not design your own? Starting from $35, you can pick your preferred case type, add your own photos directly from Instagram or Facebook, and include a variety of different designer stickers. You can resize and place all the elements precisely where you want them and then apply filters on top if you so desire. If you want a truly unique case to reflect your personality, head to Casetify.

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Twelve South BookBook Case ($20)

Disguise your iPhone SE as a vintage book with this genuine leather case that also doubles as a wallet. Open it up, and you’ll see there’s a leather-wrapped frame to hold your iPhone in place, along with a transparent ID pocket, three card slots, and a money pocket. There are also cutouts for quick access to your phone’s controls, ports, and camera. It’s not the most protective case around and the leather will age, but it’s still a lot of fun.

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FlexiShield Gel Case ($8)

Here’s a simple gel case that’s super-easy to fit on your iPhone SE. It adds a thin layer for simple protection and grip, the latter of which makes your phone more comfortable to hold. You can get the case in black, blue, red, or pink, but we prefer the clear version, as it shows off Apple’s design. There are thin button covers, and it offers all the necessary cutouts for your phone’s features. The raised lip around the screen also provides a little protection when you place your phone facedown.

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Tech21 Evo Mesh Case ($18+)

An eye-catching mesh pattern and a special TPU formula that delivers solid drop protection should be enough to draw the Evo Mesh to your attention. The case also comes outfitted with easy-to-use button covers and openings for your phone’s side switch, camera, and ports. The case is flexible and very easy to grip. It’s also translucent and comes with a white, black, or pink tinge. Tech21 is a name you can trust, and your iPhone SE will survive falls of up to 6.6 feet in height if it’s wearing this case.

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Apple Amazon

Moshi iGlaze Armour Case ($10+)

You’ll love the metallic style of this attractive case. It’s a hard shell that snaps onto your iPhone SE, and it has a soft plastic layer inside to prevent any impact damage from bumps and falls. There’s a little lip on the front of the case to protect your phone’s screen when you lay it facedown. The cutouts are perfect, including the round one on the back that showcases the Apple logo. The matte, metallic frame is only interrupted by soft plastic sections for the ports and the tactile button covers. The back panel is made of brushed aluminum, and there’s a shiny silver ring to highlight the logo cutout. This classy case also comes in one of several colors, including a pink and gray.

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Amazon Moshi

Carved Traveler Wood Case ($32+)

Natural wood always looks nice, and Carved offers a wide selection of different woods to choose from, all of which are sustainably harvested. The slim cases are are made of flexible polycarbonate shells with a wood panel set into the back. You can go for plain wood grain or choose from one of the many stylish designs, all of which are made in partnership with various artists. The openings for the ports and camera are accurate and the button covers are minimal. The sides have a nice, grippy texture that helps ensure you don’t drop your iPhone. These cases start at $24 and go as high as $50, depending on what wood and design you choose.

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Amazon Carved

RhinoShield CrashGuard Bumper Case ($25)

These clever bumper cases offer protection where you actually need it, leaving the screen and back of your iPhone SE uncovered. The chunky, rubbery bumpers go all the way around the frame and extend from front and back to keep your iPhone from touching any surface when placed facedown. You might fear you’re exposed, but these bumpers actually offer really solid drop protection. There are also openings for the ports and switch, and round button covers for the volume controls. You even get a special protective film for the back of your iPhone SE, and you can add a screen protector ($20) for complete coverage.

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Evolutive Labs

Speck CandyShell Inked Case ($18-plus)

If you’re bored by matte colors and dull designs, then the CandyShell Inked is definitely for you. Speck’s solid, military-standard drop protection combines a shock-absorbent layer and a hard outer shell into a single case. Your iPhone SE is safe with this case on. The openings and button covers are just right, and there’s a raised bezel to help protect your smartphone’s display. The real attraction is the range of vibrant patterns and designs, which also happen to be resistant to scratches and fading.

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Amazon Speck

Incipio Isla Design Series Case ($3-plus)

You can wrap your iPhone SE in a stylish design and protect it at the same time with Incipio’s Design Series. Incipio puts a lot into making phone cases. The Isla features a metallic arrow pattern that’s available in an array of different colors, with a translucent shell for added visibility. The fit is perfect, and you’ll find easy access to ports and the side switch. There’s also an opening for the camera, and subtle button covers for the power and volume keys. Incipio also offers a few alternative designs, including a wild rose pattern that’s very eye-catching.

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Amazon Incipio

Otterbox Defender Series Case ($30)

Triple-layer protection should be enough to keep your iPhone SE safe and sound, even if you are really clumsy. The Defender offers really solid drop protection, and it covers every angle of your phone with a built-in screen protector and port covers. There are cutouts on the back, too, so you can use the camera and continue to show off the Apple logo. The button covers are excellent and allow you to use TouchID with the case on, but really protective cases like this do impact general usability. If you don’t need this level of protection, consider stepping down to the Commuter Series.

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Ringke Fusion Case ($10-plus)

You can avoid hiding the design of your iPhone SE with this transparent case. It sports a crystal-clear polycarbonate back panel, combined with a malleable TPU bumper, which takes the sting out of bumps and falls. There are button covers for the volume and power keys, and you’ll find accurate cutouts for the camera, ports, and switch. The basic case is clear, but some models showcase a tinted bumper that’s available in either smoke black or rose gold.

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Spigen Tough Armor Case ($16+)

This is another tough case that combines an inner layer of flexible TPU with a hard, polycarbonate panel with contrasting color. It’s quite chunky, but it does deliver solid drop protection. The openings for the camera, ports, and switch are accurate, and there are oversized button covers that work well. There’s also a cutout for the Apple logo on the back, along with a raised lip that ensures your phone doesn’t come into contact with the ground or other surfaces.

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Amazon Spigen

Caseology Savoy Series Case ($15)

The low price is definitely a major attraction for this case, because it looks quite classy. The shell is made of polycarbonate with a soft touch finish on the outside. It’s fairly slim and there are cutouts for your phone’s camera, ports, and buttons. The contrasting color combinations and the gloss finish also help it stand out from the crowd. It doesn’t look quite as good close up as it does from a distance, but it’s good value for money.

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Apple Leather Case ($39)

Apple’s official leather case is made from a finished leather that adds a quality feel to your iPhone. It’s slim, lightweight, and made specifically for the iPhone SE, so there won’t be any pockets of air or unappealing gaps between the phone and case. The inside is lined with soft microfiber material to help protect your phone from drops, and the outside is subtle thanks to the attractive black (or blue) dye.

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Mophie Juice Pack Air ($60+)

If you want to double the total battery life of your iPhone SE, Mophie’s Juice Pack is the way to go. The Air variation of Mophie’s battery case is lighter and thinner than its Juice Pack Plus counterpart, but still manages to get the job done all the same. Just flip the toggle on the case to begin charging your iPhone, and keep an eye on how much power is left using the built-in LED lights on the back. You’ll have access to the headphone jack, charge port, and the camera via cutouts, and the case protects the power and volume buttons with easy-to-press covers.

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Mophie Amazon

LifeProof FRĒ Series Waterproof Case ($37-plus)

LifeProof’s case completely encloses the iPhone SE to protect it from the elements. The case itself is as slim as it can be without compromising any of its features, which includes a waterproof, snowproof, dirtproof, and drop-resistant build. It also has a built-in screen protector and, despite its appearance, leaves every port, camera, and button accessible. You just need to flip off the covers protecting them. Additionally, should something go wrong with the case, it’s backed by a one-year warranty, so you can get a working replacement as soon as possible.

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Amazon  LifeProof

Toru Hidden Wallet Case ($15)

Tors’s case offers the same amount of storage as wallet cases, but does so without using the same design. The wallet compartment is found hidden in the back of the case, which can be revealed by flipping the back open. Inside, you can store money and up to three credit cards or IDs, or two cards if you want to use the included mirror. The case adds a bit of bulk to your iPhone SE, but with that bulk comes dual-layer protection, shock absorption, and a kickstand that makes use of the aforementioned flip cover. The edges are also raised to keep the touchscreen from being scratched when placed facedown on a table or the ground. Be careful how far your turn the back cover, however, as anything further than 120 degrees may cause it to snap off.

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