It's no secret that our phones have become an extension of ourselves. We use them to stay connected with friends and family, capture memories, access the world's knowledge at our fingertips, and more. So, it's essential to protect our phones from damage – both from accidental drops and from the elements. One way to do that is by using a hardshell phone case.
What is a hardshell phone case?
A hardshell phone case is a type of case that covers the back and sides of your phone. Most hardshell cases are made from plastic or polycarbonate, although some may have metal backing. They typically clip onto your phone, and some may also come with a front piece that protects your screen.
Hardshell cases come in various shapes and sizes and are made from various materials, including plastic, rubber, silicone, and TPU. They offer varying degrees of safety features against drops, scratches, water damage, and other elements. And they're available for most phones – including iPhones, Android phones, Galaxy Note, Windows phones, and BlackBerrys.
Besides, hardshell cases come in a variety of colors, styles, and designs, so you can find one that fits your personality and style. In this article, we'll take a look at some of the best hardshell cell phone cases on the market. We'll also provide some tips on how to choose the right case for your needs.
5 Best Hardshell Phone Cases
We've rounded up some of the best hardshell phone cases on the market, so you can find the perfect one for your needs.
1. Otterbox Defender Series Screenless Edition Case
- Compatible with iPhone 12 & iPhone 12 Pro
- Multi-layer defense: solid inner shell and soft outer cover (NO BUILT IN SCREEN PROTECTOR)
- Belt-clip holster included that doubles as a kickstand for hands-free media viewing
A tough, reliable case for your Apple iPhone 12 or iPhone 12 Pro. This case features a solid inner shell and a soft outer cover to provide a multi-layer defense for your phone. It comes with a belt-clip holster that doubles as a kickstand, so you can enjoy hands-free media viewing.
And if you're worried about scratches, the Otterbox Defender Series Screenless Edition Case has you covered there, too – it's scratch-resistant and drop-resistant, so your phone will be well-protected.
The port covers keep out debris and dust, and the included OtterBox limited lifetime warranty provides peace of mind in case of any damage. The case also has a built-in screen protector to keep the phone's display clean and scratch-free.
- Solid inner shell
- Soft outer cover
- Belt-clip holster
- Keep your phone safe
- Port covers keep out dust and debris
- Some users may find the case to be too bulky
2. Speck Products Gemshell
- Dual-layer perimeter provides 8-Foot Drop Protection
- Crystal clear back to show off the device
- Raised bezel resists screen damage from face-down drops
This case will protect your phone from drops and also show off its sleek design. The dual-layer perimeter provides 8-Foot Drop All-around Protection, while the crystal-clear back shows off the device. The elevated bezel withstands screen damage from face-down drops, and the case is designed to fit with wireless charging. Also, the case has an easy-to-grip finish, so you can keep a firm hold on your phone.
This case is made with Microban antimicrobial protection, which gives it a 99% reduction in bacteria on the surface. That means that your phone will be much less likely to develop harmful bacteria or other contaminants. The case is also durably constructed, so it will stand up to wear and tear. And it's available in a variety of colors to suit your style.
- Dual-layer perimeter
- 8-Foot Drop Protection
- Offers shock absorption
- Microban antimicrobial best protection
- Durably constructed
- Nice for the price
3. Beasyjoy Hardshell Case
- [IP68 Waterproof] The case fit for iphone XR, 6.1 inch only. IP68 standard waterproof case with lanyard, submersible to over 10 ft deep for 2 Hours. Perfect for underwater, swimming, or daily use. Full-sealed cover stop any dirty and dust into your iphone XR.
- [Support Taking Photos Underwater] Not only protect you phone, but also support taking photos in water. Come with a hand strap, easy for you to carry. (Note: Open the camera before you put the iphone XR into water)
- [Anti-drop and Shockproof] The three layer phone case unique designed by premium soft TPU and metal plate, screw on bumper, heavy duty prefect for shock resistant and shatterproof when dropped; If you need an ultra heavy duty and 360 full body strong case to protect your phone, this is the best one.
This Case is a great way to keep your iPhone XR safe, whether you're swimming, taking photos underwater, or just using it in everyday life. The case is waterproof and submersible up to 10 feet, so you don't have to worry about damaging your phone if it gets wet. It also has a hand strap for easy carrying, and the clear back lets you take pictures underwater while still being able to see your screen.
Made of three layers of premium soft TPU and metal, the case is screwed on for extra durability, and the heavy-duty design is perfect for those who need the strongest protection possible. The case also features easy access to all buttons and controls, so you can use your phone as usual even with the case on. Plus, it comes in a variety of colors to fit your style.
The case also has a sleek design that is sure to turn heads, and it comes in a variety of colors to suit everyone's taste.
- Submersible up to 10 feet
- Extra durability
- The heavy-duty design
- Strongest protection
- Easy access to all buttons and controls
- Heavy for some users
4. NTG Designed Case
- [NTG - Next Tough Gear]: We are committed to providing users with unique tough phone cases, providing you a brand-new experience of iPhone 12/pro case.
- [Slender Design]: Ultra thin and slim design makes it slips in pockets easily and pocket-friendly.
- [High Quality]: For iPhone 12/pro cover, Certified MIL-STD drop test, and cushioned corners can prevent your iPhone 12 from accidental drops, bumps, dust and scratches.
This Case provides superior protection without sacrificing style or functionality. The sleek, slender design is pocket-friendly and easy to slip in and out of pockets, while the high-quality materials and cushioned corners can withstand drops, bumps, and scratches. With a new line of tough protective cases, you can have peace of mind knowing that your iPhone is protected against everyday wear and tear.
Our 2-layer protection includes a flexible TPU layer and a hard PC layer, with 4 cushioned corner bumpers and a raised lips camera protection bumper. Available in a variety of colors to suit your personality. Compatible with wireless charging and only compatible with iPhone 12/pro 6.1 inches, these cases are guaranteed to give you the peace of mind you need to go about your day.
- Pocket-friendly design
- 4 cushioned corner bumpers
- Raised lips camera protection bumper
- Available in a variety of colors
- Compatible with wireless charging
- Slippery for some users
5. Rokform Hardshell Case
- MAGNETIC CASE: Includes powerful industrial-grade magnet built into iPhone 12 Pro Max Case + 1 optional magnetic plug. Sticks to ANY magnetic surface and will NOT affect Credit Cards, Wi-Fi, GPS, or Bluetooth.
- TWIST LOCK: Use the built-in RokLock, which enables you to mount this iPhone 12 Pro Max Case to your motorcycle, UTV/ATV, bicycle or stroller. All Mounts Sold Separately.
- CASE PROTECTION: Rokform's most protective case is made of high-impact polycarbonate armor with reinforced corners designed to absorb shocks and drops. It has dual layer of protection that exceeds Military Grade Drop Test Standards, MIL-STD 801G-516.6.
This protective case is made of anti-shock polycarbonate armor with enhanced edges, intended to absorb drops and shocks. It also has a built-in RokLock, which enables you to mount it to your UTV/ATV, motorcycle, bicycle, or stroller. Moreover, it includes a strong industrial-grade magnet that adheres to ANY magnetic surface and never affects Wi-Fi, GPS, Credit Cards, or Bluetooth.
Designed in California, this case features a raised bezel to provide six-sided, 360-degree protection. Plus, like Urban Armor Gear it comes with a 2-year warranty from Rokform. If you have any issues with your purchase, simply contact their 5-star customer support team and they'll be happy to help.
- High-impact polycarbonate armor
- Reinforced corners
- Built-in RokLock
- Industrial-grade magnet
- Design can be improved
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Hardshell Phone Cases
The best hardshell phone case for you will depend on your needs and preferences. Here are some things to keep in mind when making your choice:
1. Compatible Phones
Make sure to check the compatibility of the case with your phone model. Most rugged cases are designed for specific models, so it's important to choose one that will fit your phone properly.
The case should also allow easy access to all buttons and controls, so you can use your phone as usual even with the case on.
Consider how much protection you need. If you're looking for a case that can withstand drops and bumps, choose one made of high-quality materials with reinforced corners.
If you need waterproof protection, look for a case that is submersible up to a certain depth. You may also want to consider a case with a built-in screen protector for added protection.
Choose a case that has a design that you like and that fits your lifestyle. If you're always on the go, consider a case with a built-in clip or strap for easy carrying.
If you want to show off your style, choose a case with a variety of colors and designs to choose from.
If you're looking for a case that you can clip to your belt, consider one of these. These cases usually have a built-in clip or loop that makes them easy to carry around.
Moreover, most belt-clip cases also come with a kickstand, so you can prop up your phone for hands-free viewing.
5. Port Covers
Some cases come with port covers to keep dirt, dust, and water out. If you're worried about your phone getting wet or dirty, choose a case with port covers.
However, keep in mind that these covers can make it difficult to access the ports, so you may want to remove them when you're not using them.
The price of the case will vary depending on the materials, design, and features. If you're looking for a budget-friendly option, choose a case made of plastic or TPU.
If you're willing to spend more on a high-quality case, choose one made of aluminum or stainless steel. You can also find cases with a variety of features, such as built-in screen protectors and port covers, for an extra cost.
Most hardshell cases come with a one-year warranty. However, some brands offer a longer warranty period for an extra cost. If you're concerned about the durability of the case, choose one with a longer warranty period.
Is a hard or soft case better for the phone?
There are pros and cons to both options. Hard cases offer more protection against drops and bumps, but they can also make your phone more difficult to use. Soft cases provide less protection, but they often have features like cutouts for buttons and ports that make them easier to use. Ultimately, the best case for your phone depends on your lifestyle and how you use your phone. If you're constantly on the go, a hard case may be the better option.
Can a hard case scratch a phone?
The answer is yes, it is possible for a hard case to scratch a phone. However, it is unlikely that this will happen if the case is made from a high-quality material such as aluminum or polycarbonate. Cases that are made from softer materials such as silicone or leather are more likely to cause scratching. Additionally, if the case is not properly lined up with the phone, it can rub against the device and create scratches. To avoid this, make sure that the case is properly aligned before putting it on your phone. With a little bit of care, you can keep your phone looking like new for years to come.
Are phone cases bad for phones?
There's no clear answer, but the important thing is to choose a case that meets your needs. If you're worried about dirt and dust, look for a case with ventilation holes or an anti-dust coating.
If you're worried about dropping your phone, choose a case with a built-in phone's screen protector or cushioned corners. And if you just want to make a fashion statement, go ahead and choose whatever case strikes your fancy.
Are skins better than cases?
Both have their pros and cons, but which one is the best choice for you? Cases provide more comprehensive phone protection, cover weaknesses that skins don't address, and can be cheaper in the long run. Skins, on the other hand, don't cover up the design of your phone and offer better grip and protection against scratches.
In the end, the best choice depends on your own needs and preferences. If you're looking for maximum protection, a case is probably the way to go. But if you want to show off your phone's design and prevent minor scratches, skin is a better option.
What is the best way to clean a phone case?
The best way to clean a phone case depends on the material. For cases made of plastic, TPU, or silicone, use warm water and dish soap. Avoid using harsh chemicals, as they can damage the case.
For leather cases, use a damp cloth to wipe away dirt and debris. Avoid getting the case too wet, as this can damage the leather. And for metal cases, use a soft cloth and mild soap to remove fingerprints and other dirt. Avoid using abrasive materials, as they can scratch the surface of the case.
There are a lot of hardshell waterproof phone cases on the market, so it can be tough to choose the right one for your needs. To help you narrow down your options, consider the materials, design, and features that are most important to you.
And don't forget to factor in the price and warranty before making your final decision. With so many great options to choose from, you're sure to find the perfect case for your phone.
EDM Sauce is reader-supported. We may earn a commission through products purchased using links on this page. Learn more about our process here.