This post was originally posted on TECHRADAR TECH NEWSAdd to Favorites
The beauty of the iPhone 7 over its big brother and many larger Androids, is that it’s dinky enough to be used with a decent case without feeling like it’s trying to break out of your pocket.
Some of our favorite cases of the moment add new features too, such as card storage, extra battery life and military-spec drop protection.
Here’s our pick of the best cases out there. For more ideas, head on over to our roundup of the best iPhone 7 Plus cases too.
Still have one of the older Apple devices? Here’s our definitive list of the best iPhone 6 and 6S cases.
Note: we’ve ranked these from cheapest to most expensive according to prices at time of writing.
1. Dockem Synthetic Leather Sleeve
A case you can hide
Colors: Dark Brown | Material: Synthetic leather and microfiber
Most people would probably rather keep their phone unadorned by a case, particularly when their phone is as stylish as the iPhone 7. That’s why a sleeve can be a good option, as it keeps your iPhone protected while it’s in your bag or pocket, but shows it off in full when you’re using your phone.
This Dockem sleeve also stands out thanks to its attractive faux-leather design and its low price tag, though of course, like any other sleeve it won’t protect your phone while you’re using it, so this isn’t one for the clumsy.
2. Ranvoo Aluminum Bumper Case
Colors: Black, Gold, Jet Black, Silver, Rose Gold, Red | Material: TPU and aluminum
Your iPhone 7 might be metal, but most cases aren’t, which means you’re inevitably left covering it in cheaper plastic, or pricey but still different leather.
There are some exceptions though, such as this Ranvoo bumper, which although plastic on the inside has a layer of aluminum on the outside, and it comes in all the same colors as the iPhone 7 itself.
As it’s just a bumper rather than a full case the back of your phone is left uncovered and the bumper itself is almost invisible – unless you choose a color that contrasts your phone, rather than matches it.
The skeletal nature of the bumper means it’s not the most protective thing around, but the edges are raised, so even if your phone hits the ground on the front or back it should remain safe as long as the surface it collides with is flat.
3. Uprosa Case
Taking you under the microscope
Colors: Various | Material: Plastic
The construction of Uprosa’s cases is entirely pedestrian, as they’re simply made of flexible plastic. However, their designs are something else.
Uprosa’s case graphics come from images submitted by researchers and science students, whose job it is to look at stuff under microscopes, so the images you see on these cases are shots taken using microscope photography. Here’s the description of the ‘flamingo’ design seen in the image:
“The same chemical (citric acid) that makes a lemon tart forms colliding pink oceanic waves through the lens of a microscope.” Brian Cox would approve.
4. Griffin Survivor Clear Case
A tough case that doesn’t hide your iPhone
Colors: Clear, Gold, Space Gray, Rose Gold, Smoke, Green, Clear/Blue | Material: Polycarbonate and TPU
A case is always a balancing act between making your phone look as it should and keeping it protected. The Griffin Survivor Clear has a shot at gaming the system, with clear walls and built-up bumpers designed to take the force of any impacts while keeping the look intact.
Sure, you can tell there’s a case on your iPhone, no denying it, but at least you can see the color of aluminum you chose underneath. Griffin says the shell has 6H hardness, which is as hard as some tempered glass, and provides great scratch resistance.
The case can also take drops of 1.2m, and as it doesn’t cost a bomb you shouldn’t feel too bad about replacing the Survivor should an unfortunate incident occur. Better than a bashed-up iPhone, right?
5. Belkin Sport-Fit Case
A case built specifically for runners
Colors: Black, Pink | Material: Neoprene
Here’s an iPhone 7 case for a particular niche: the runner. It’s a neoprene armband case that lets you take your phone out for a jog without a) holding the thing or b) having it move around in your pocket.
Unless you go on fairly long runs where taking a phone is a good idea anyway, the best reason to get a Sport-Fit is to use your phone as a GPS tracking tool, using an app like RunKeeper.
The combination effectively turns your phone into the equivalent of a fully featured GPS sport watch. The case can also hold a debit/credit card, meaning you only need to find somewhere to stash your keys. And earrings, perhaps?
6. X-Doria Defense Lux
A premium finish for your phone
Colors: Black Carbon, Rose Gold, Black Leather, Blue/Gold | Material: Aluminum, rubber and polycarbonate, with carbon fiber, synthetic leather or crocodile skin
If you want a case that looks tough, is tough and doesn’t cost a packet, check out the X-Doria Defense Lux. It’s a three-part case: rubber inner, hard plastic outer and an aluminum bumper, for a hit of the metallic feel you often lose with a case.
It’s the finish options that make the X-Doria Defense Lux stand out, though. The back panel comes in (synthetic) leather, carbon fiber, fabric and a sort of hexagonal soft-touch finish. The first two are serious-looking, the last two add some color for a bit of low-cost glamour.
7. UAG Trooper
A tough case with room for your cards
Colors: Black, White, Rust | Material: Plastic
Let’s stop messing around, it’s time for a case that looks tough as nails. The UAG Trooper is a light-but-hardy case that also doubles as a wallet, as its back flips open to reveal a compartment in which you can store four cards.
It has rubbery sides and uses hard polycarbonate for that lid on the back. The Trooper adds a fair bit of bulk to the iPhone 7, but not a great deal of weight. For a higher-end feel, the Monarch-series UAG cases use bonus metal and leather, although there’s no card slot.
8. OtterBox Defender
An old favorite for a new phone
Colors: Black, Marathoner, Bespoke Way, Vinyasa | Material: Polycarbonate and rubber
We’ve been using OtterBox Defender cases on and off for years now: they’re veterans of the scene. While they add bulk to your phone, their aim is to offer complete protection that’ll leave your handset looking fresh 12 months down the line, and for a reasonable price too.
They use a rubber inner cover, a hard plastic outer and an inbuilt screen protector, only leaving the Apple logo and camera on the back somewhat exposed to the elements.
While the iPhone 7 is already waterproof, there are port protectors too. These will stop any muck clogging up your ports, perfect if you really do treat your phone a bit rough.
9. Tech21 Evo Elite
Strong but not showy
Colors: Silver, Rose Gold, Polished Black, Gold | Material: TBC
Back in the old days, Tech21 cases used to have orange blobs peppered throughout, as a way to show off the fancy shock-absorbing material the company uses.
The Tech21 Evo Elite, though, is a case that color-matches the classic iPhone shades on its sides, with a transparent back to retain as much of that iPhone flavor as possible.
Inside there’s still some of Tech21’s magic FlexShock material, which is what absorbs the force of impact to stop your phone from getting damaged.
10. Knomo Leather Folio Case
A real leather case and wallet, all in one
Colors: Black, Caramel, Chili, Brown | Material: Leather and polycarbonate
We can’t show you a case round-up without at least one folio-style option, and our pick of the moment is the Knomo Leather Folio case. Knomo makes some of the best tech clutch bags around, and its grasp of style is clear in this case.
It comes in four colors, with the polycarbonate phone frame either matching the leather on the front and back or contrasting against it for a two-tone look. There’s a microfiber lining that hugs your iPhone, and the flip cover can also hold a card or two.
11. Apple iPhone 7 Smart Battery Case
A case that fixes the iPhone 7’s biggest problem
Colors: Black, White | Material: Silicone
One of just a couple of problems with the iPhone 7 is that its battery life isn’t great. If you don’t fancy carrying around an external battery pack 24/7, this case can help.
It’s an official Apple accessory that shoehorns a 2,365mAh battery into a smooth silicone case, roughly doubling the iPhone 7’s stamina in real terms. The downside is that it gives your iPhone a humpback, the battery unit sticking out from the casing. There’s also a ‘lip’ at the bottom that further spoils the phone’s lines.
Battery cases aren’t for everyone, but this one is smarter than most, with clever management of when the phone is powered by its own battery and that of the case.
12. Miniot Contour
A case that looks as good as your phone
Colors: Mahogany, Rosewood, Walnut | Material: Wood
What’s this? A case that actually makes your phone look more expensive? The Miniot Contour is made of two different kinds of wood: maple for the inside and your choice of mahogany, rosewood or walnut for the outside layer.
The idea is to show off the natural grain of these woods, so it’s a bit of a lucky dip as to exactly what sort of natural swirls your Contour will have.
It also comes in two pieces – since wood isn’t flexible – so there’s an unavoidable join on the case’s back. If you’re out to make a statement with a case, though, this is a classy way to do it.