Last year Apple called its lower-cost current-generation iPhone the “XR,” but this year’s comparable model gets the dignity of simply being called the “iPhone 11.” Case makers already have a pile of cool cases ready to go mere minutes after Apple’s announcement, and here we’ve compiled some of the standout models we know about for your convenience.
One note: We haven’t actually had a chance to handle many of these cases, so we don’t know how well they fit. Prior to an iPhone launch, case makers are usually working with schematics or dummy units, so occasionally you’ll find buttons that don’t properly line up once you slip them on the bonafide phone.
After we get more of these in, we’ll retool this story into a “best of” article that identifies all our favorite models in each category. At the moment, this is just a list of good cases that we know are available, and we’ll keep adding to this as we learn about more.
Now that that’s out of the way, though, let’s jump in.
Smartish Kung Fu Grip Case (iPhone 11)
Most of the cases we’ve covered here are pretty pricey. But the Kung Fu Grip from Smartish? It’s only 12 bucks. And for that you’ll get a grippy textured exterior as well as protective air pockets that help cushion the corners of your device in the event of a fall. It’s a simple case, but it looks like a winner for the price. If you’re looking for more options, Smartish also has some affordable variations with built-in wallets or grippy edges.
Grip2ü Slim Case with grip band (iPhone 11)
Colors: Beetlejuice, West Point metallic, urban camo, charcoal, clear, ice
Highlights: Here’s a cool slim case that recalls Michael Keaton’s outfit from the 1988 movie Beetlejuice, although you can get it in five other designs as well. Grip2ü’s cases look stylish, but even better, they all have a built-in grip band on the back. Slip your hand through it, and you’ll be much less likely to drop your phone. The case is reportedly “light as a feather,” too.
Totallee Ultra Thin Case (iPhone 11)
Colors: Transparent (soft), transparent (matte), frosted black, solid black, navy blue, red, black leather
Highlights: Totallee’s Thin iPhone 11 Case comes in seven different varieties that run the gamut from clear to leather, and I used the soft transparent iPhone 11 Pro Max version on my iPhone XS Max for a week before the latest announcement. (It fit fine, aside from some button misalignments.) And I loved it. It’s clear, but it’s also made of a grippy material that’s almost as satisfying to hold as one of Apple’s silicone cases. Also, my phone survived a tumble while wearing it, and that makes me totally happy.
Case-Mate Tough Groove Case
Highlights: Case-Mate’s cases are always so fun, and this year is no different. Head over to Amazon, and you’ll find a large selection of new cases to choose from, but my favorite is this literally groovy iridescent model. Its vertical grooves help ensure that your phone won’t slip out of your hand, and its multicolored iridescent sheen should catch glances from across the room. Impressively, Case-Mate claims it can survive 10-foot drops, which is a better rating than some of the outwardly “tough” models we’ve listed here.
Nomad Active Leather Rugged Case (iPhone 11)
Colors: Black or mocha brown waterproof Heinen leather
Highlights: If you’re more interested in water resistance, you’ll want to pick up this variation on the Rugged Case above. It also comes with the TPU frame that offers six feet of drop protection, but it’s also able to shrug off water more easily with German Heinen leather. Just keep in mind that it’s in no way a waterproof case: The ports, screen, and speakers are still exposed. As with the Rugged Case, you’ll have slots for attaching a lanyard around the reinforced speaker ports.
Pelican Protector EMS Recharge Phone Case
Highlights: You say you like cases that support wireless charging? This tough case actually has a detachable magnetic battery on the back! It can also survive some hard drops, thanks to a rigid outer shell that’s combined with a shock-absorbing inner lining. As for EMS? That actually stands for “Easy Mount System”—it’s got an auto mount system built right in.