If people know one thing about the iPhone X, it's that it's expensive, starting at a cool $999. So get a case on that thing! These rugged cases will prevent scratches and dings from day-to-day abuse, so your phone will stay in pristine condition should you ever want to sell it later. But don't think a rugged case has to look like a Jeep for your phone. We found some that ably balance protection with style.
Speck Presidio Ultra
Speck has many variations on its Presidio case, and the most rugged is the $49.95 Presidio Ultra, a two-layered rubbery case sandwiched inside a two-layered hard polycarbonate bumper for four layers of protection. It even covers the buttons and ports to keep out dirt. Speck says it can survive drops of 15 feet.
Speck Presidio Grip + Glitter
The Presidio Grip + Glitter has grippy panels to help you not drop it, as well as a shock barrier inside for 10-foot drop protection. It's a little less fussy than the Presidio Ultra, too, with an all-in-one design and open ports. You can get the plain Presidio Grip for $39.95 without embedded metallic glitter, but to be honest I prefer this sparkly version for $44.95.
Caudabe thinks serious protection shouldn't need to add a lot of extra bulk, and the $29.95 Synthesis is a slim case that consists of a hard back and an attached flexible bumper that absorbs bumps and shocks. The company says it can survive a drop of 3 meters (just under 10 feet).
OtterBox Pursuit Series
OtterBox’s iPhone X cases all leave the screen uncovered, since it has that slight curve at the edges, but the rubber-and-polycarbonate Pursuit ($69.95) is the most protective, while still staying slim. The two-piece case seals up the phone to keep out dirt and dust. It’s slimmer than the $49.95 Defender, but you’ll want to go with the Defender if you need a belt clip.
OtterBox Statement Series
If you’d prefer a one-piece design, the $39.95 OtterBox Statement Series for iPhone X has a leather panel on the back, along with a clear pane that lets your iPhone’s design show through. It’s also slimmer than OtterBox’s two-piece cases, while still boasting the company’s “certified drop protection.”
LifeProof also offers a fully submersible iPhone X case, so you can take it underwater and try Portrait Mode on whatever sea creatures you find. The LifeProof Frē can survive in 2 meters of water for 1 hour. Surprisingly slim, it still fully covers the screen, speakers, mic, and all ports.
Urban Armor Gear Plyo Series
The $39.95 Plyo has a one-piece design so it’s easy to put on, but it’s got a hard outer layer and a softer inner layer, including plenty of protection for your iPhone X’s corners. Urban Armor Gear has more rugged iPhone X cases like the $59.95 Monarch with leather trim and the $39.95 Plasma, but we like the understated looks of the Plyo—and all the cases meet military drop-test standards.
Nomad Rugged Leather
Boasting 10-foot drop protection, the $44.95 Rugged Leather case from Nomad is the rare rugged case that will actually get better looking the more you use it, as the leather’s patina develops. Inside is a hard polycarbonate layer, and a rubber bumper around the edge to protect the bezel and corners. Even though all that, wireless charging still works.
Griffin Survivor Fit and Survivor Strong
Griffin’s Survivor line of cases for the iPhone X starts with the $29.99 Survivor Fit (left) and its sibling the $29.99 Survivor Strong (right), but we prefer the Fit’s textured back, which adds a little grippiness. Both are nice and slim but still rated to withstand drops of 7 feet. The Survivor Strong even comes in clear.
Griffin Survivor All-Terrain and Survivor Extreme
Griffin has two iPhone X cases rated for drops of 10 feet. The two-piece $49.99 Survivor All-Terrain (shown on the left) completely covers the iPhone X, including a built-in screen shield and a see-through back. The three-piece $49.99 Survivor Extreme (right) is just as protective, also has a plastic screen shield, and comes in two colors.
Incipio Reprieve Sport
The $39.99 Reprieve Sport is drop-tested to 12 feet, and has reinforced corners to absorb shocks. The back is clear polycarbonate to show off the Apple logo, and we like how it doesn’t cover the Mute switch, which can be tricky to use through a case.
If you prefer a pop of color with your iPhone case, Incipio’s $29.99 DualPro offers the same 12-foot drop rating as the Reprieve Sport, but comes in 9 bright color combinations. There’s even a rose gold option for anyone who’s sad the iPhone X only comes in black or white.
For protection with flair, Casetify's Impact line of cases comes in dozens of artistic patterns, like this gorgeous lemon tree motif. The corners are reinforced with shockproof material, and a raised bezel should keep your screen from hitting the ground, and you can even choose the color of the bumper. If you want the Impact case without the fancy design, that's available too.