Welcome to The Esquire Endorsement. Heavily researched. Thoroughly vetted. These picks are the best way to spend your hard-earned cash.
Are you one of those people who doesn’t use a case to protect their smartphone? If so, I hate you, and you should just know that seeing you handle your unprotected device in the wilds of a city gives me anxiety. If you’re one of those people with one of those cute-but-functionally-useless phone case, you’re about to get an earful, too. Get a phone case that works. It’ll protect your thousand-dollar investment from the Black Friday crowds—and from yourself when you chuck it across the room in a rage after missing out on a killer Cyber Monday deal. It’ll protect your device as you drag your ass across the country for the holidays. And if you’re lucky enough to be scoring a new smartphone as a Christmas present this year—like the iPhone 11 or Google Pixel 4—it’ll protect that, too. As for cases, Speck’s Presidio line is the best. Here’s why.
Speck’s Presidio cases will save your phone from a 13-foot drop, meaning it’s protected every time it gets wacked off the bed or flung out of your hands. To that end, there’s also shock-absorption built into the corners of a case. And critically, the bezels are slightly more raised than the phone screen, which makes all the difference for protecting the screen itself. As in, no more screens with intricate shatter patterns. Beyond the specs, I’ve been using Speck cases for years; never once have I been able to inflict serious physical damage on my phones.
Despite all the protection built into a Presidio case, it isn’t a bulky, heavy thing. It won’t prevent you from fitting your phone in your back pocket. Depending on your personal level of clumsiness, you can get Presidio cases with rubber grips along the back or grips along the slides. If you want to show off your phone, especially if it’s one of those new green iPhones, there’s a clear Presidio case. Other colors range from dark neutrals to bright patterns. Take your pick.
After a good chunk of time, your Presidio case will start to get beat up. The corners will wear down, the bezel will loosen. Nothing extreme, but wear happens when something is tasked with protecting a device you shove in bags, drop on subway floors, splash with shower water, and put in and take out of your pocket, over and over and over again, upwards of 15 hours a day. These cases have a lifetime of about a year in my experience, and that’s about as long as you’ll want them. Your tastes change. Once you loved navy, now you love dark gray. No big deal: Get a new one in a new style or color, and continue dropping your phone in peace.
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