Just in Case: iPhone Case Roundup 2019

X-Doria Defense Clear

Dr. Mac’s Rants & Raves
Episode #359

Two weeks ago, I explained that I protect my iPhone with a tempered glass screen protector and AppleCare +, but I neglected to mention that I also use a protective case at all times, just in case. So, each year I test dozens of iPhone cases, and select the handful I like best to share with you.

This year’s iPhones were especially beautiful and colorful, so I was drawn to protective cases that allow the iPhone 11 and 11 Pro’s elegant looks to shine through. My favorite clear (or mostly-clear) iPhone 11 and 11 Pro cases included:

  • BodyGuardz Ace Pro ($34.99): BodyGuardz Ace Pro cases feature impact-prevention technology made with Kevlar (think bulletproof vests) to absorb the impact of drops up to ten feet. The protective bezel extends beyond the screen to reduce the likelihood of damaging the display. It’s one of the slimmest, lightest cases with a 10-foot drop rating and it includes a lifetime warranty.
BodyGuardz Ace Pro.
BodyGuardz Ace Pro.
  • X-Doria Defense Clear ($24.99): The X-Doria Defense Clear is another ultra-protective see-through case that features triple layer shock protection with a special PolyOne bubble pattern liner that absorbs and deflects impacts. A protective lip protects your screen from drops, scratches, cracking, and breaking. With a 6-foot drop rating, it should provide ample protection for all but the roughest of users.
X-Doria Defense Clear
X-Doria Defense Clear.
  • Case-Mate Tough Groove ($40.00): My third see-through case pick is actually more iridescent than clear, with the grooves providing a 3-dimensional multi-colored hue that’s stunning. With a 10-foot drop rating, a grooved texture for a better grip, and anti-scratch technology, it’s attractive while still letting the iPhone’s natural beauty shine through.
Case-mate Tough Groove.
Case-mate Tough Groove.

Moving right along, another type of iPhone case I find useful incorporate a “wallet” and allow me to carry my drivers’ license, one or two credit cards, and a bit of currency, for occasions where I prefer not to carry a bulky wallet.

I’ve mentioned Smartish Wallet Slayer cases in the past and this year’s models are as good as ever. The Wallet Slayer Volume 1 is inexpensive ($14.99) while providing adequate protection and space for several cards; the Wallet Slayer Volume 2 ($24.99) also offers good protection along with space for several credit cards, but it’s classier-looking and adds a clever “credit-card kickstand” feature for hands-free video watching.

Wallet Slayer 1 & 2
Wallet Slayer 1 & 2.

New this year from Smartish is the Dancing Queen ($29.99), which offers enough space for five credit cards and some cash. What makes it unique are its removeable crossbody strap or wristlet. It’s not my style, but if you often leave home without pockets or a purse, this could be the case you’ve been dreaming of.

Dancing Queen
Dancing Queen.

Finally, my favorite iPhone case accessory this year, also from Smartish, is called Prop Tart ($9.99). This clever add-on attaches to the back of almost any iPhone case (or your iPhone), serving as a grip for selfies or one-handed typing, or as a kickstand for hands-free video viewing.

Prop Tart
Prop Tart.


BodyGuardz Ace Pro. $34.95. www.bodyguardz.com.

X-Doria Defense Clear. $24.99. www.defensebrand.com.

Case-Mate Tough Groove. $40.00. www.case-mate.com.

Smartish Wallet Slayer. Vol 1: $14.99; Vol 2: $24.99; Dancing Queen: $29.99; Prop Tart: $9.99.  www.smartish.com.

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