The iPhone XS Max is no longer Apple’s newest and most powerful big iPhone — that’s the iPhone 11 Pro Max now — but it’s still an exceptionally beautiful device. Glass laid over a stainless steel frame makes for a jaw-dropping look — but glass can easily crack and shatter, putting an end to your phone’s beauty. The best way to keep your phone looking as gorgeous as the day you bought it is to add some protection with a case. But which case should you buy? There are a wide variety of protective cases available, from simple TPU gel cases to bulky rugged cases with full waterproofing.
There are a lot of cases out there, but we’ve done the hard work so you don’t have to — here are the best iPhone XS Max cases to keep your phone protected.
Did you know the corners of your phone are most likely to hit the ground first in a fall? That’s why so many case manufacturers load their cases up with drop-proof corner air-bags and reinforce those areas. This case from Skech prioritizes protection for your phone’s corners, but it also seeks to not obscure your phone’s design. The case’s absorbent TPU covers the top, back, and corners of the phone, but leaves the sides exposed, so you can directly touch the cool metal build and buttons. The soft TPU on the side provides extra grip, but it’s important to note you’re getting less than total protection, and scratches could mar the sides of your phone easily. Still, it’s still a great specialized clear case.
Snakehive Vintage Plum Wallet Case
Wallet cases are great for imparting a sleek and stylish feel to your phone, while also protecting them from a variety of threats. Each Snakehive case is handmade from quality European nubuck leather that will age over time and develop its own unique patina. It offers all-over protection, with a front cover over the screen, but it can also fold into a horizontal stand. A plastic holder on the inside holds your phone snugly in place, while a layer of soft leather on the inside protects it from scratches. The front cover also contains three card slots for keeping spare cash or cards.
Mujjo Full Leather Wallet Case
This case from Mujjo is an excellent example of a luxurious, sumptuous leather case. It’s made from a soft and beautiful leather that will develop a unique patina as it ages, and it also uses an inner layer of microfiber that pads your phone and protects it from scratches. It doesn’t have a folding cover, but it’s still a wallet case, thanks to the leather card pocket on the back that will comfortably accommodate up to three cards or some spare cash. It’s super-slim, comes with a raised bezel that protects your screen, and has leather button covers for complete protection. It’s expensive, but if you want some great protection with a beautiful style, it’s right here.
Incipio Carnaby Esquire Series
Looking for reasonably priced protection that also looks good? Incipio has always provided great-looking cases with lots of style, and the Carnaby Esquire case is one of its best. It protects against drops of up to 6 feet, and the TPU core that lends that shock-absorbance also increases grip, helping you to keep your phone in your hand. A layer of fabric is laid over the TPU, and it lends a nice look that’s different from the usual plastic appearance of most cases. It’s slim and stylish, and not too expensive. While the slimmer looks mean it won’t be as rugged as a bigger case, it’s hard to argue with 6 feet of drop-protection — especially at a good price.
Peel Super Thin Case
The new iPhone XS Max is a beautiful blend of glass and stainless steel, and we don’t blame you if you’re hesitant to cover it up. But even a little bit of protection can go a long way — and that’s where Peel’s super-thin cases come in. It’s exceptionally thin at just 0.35mm, and come in a variety of branding-free, minimalist colors. The clear option is completely transparent and thin enough that you’ll forget your phone is even wearing a case. Being so thin, Peel’s case is obviously not going to be as resistant to damage as larger cases, and you’ll likely find it’s only damage-proof against more minor bumps and scratches, rather than significant drops. But if it’s between this or going naked, Peel is a great choice.
Spigen Ultra Hybrid
Spigen’s name is well-known for providing great smartphone protection, and the Ultra Hybrid case is no different. It’s a hybrid of materials — hence the name — combining an absorbent TPU bumper with a hard and clear polycarbonate back panel to provide great protection against a variety of threats. The soft TPU provides an extra grippy surface for your fingers, while the transparent back panel gives a clear view of your phone — allowing you to show it off while also keeping it protected. Each corner is equipped with an air cushion for extra protection against drops, and it has been treated to prevent yellowing over time. It’s a simple but effective option.
Tech21 Evo Luxe
Looking for something a little bit different? Tech21’s Evo Luxe comes in a variety of styles, but we really like this Active Black option. It’s made from tough and flexible TPU, and uses a material known as FlexShock, which Tech21 claims is the “world’s most advanced impact protection material,” which helps protect your phone from drops of up to 12 feet. The back panel also has a layer of fabric, which should add to the case’s grip, and there’s a slightly raised edge to protect your iPhone XS Max’s large screen from damage. The Evo Luxe’s style is aimed at a sporty person, hence the bold colors — but we really like it regardless.
The iPhone XS Max has a water-resistance rating of IP68, which should mean it’s capable of being immersed in water for up to an hour — but if you’re heading into a watery environment and you want to be sure your expensive phone will be fine, consider grabbing a waterproof case. The Hitcase Splash is on the expensive side for a protective case, but this fully enclosed case comes with its own IP68 rating to keep mud and water away from your device, while a combination of TPU and polycarbonate protects against drops and bumps. It’s fairly bulky, as this sort of protection often is — but there’s a clear window to your iPhone, and it’s not a bad looker for what it is. But boy, is it expensive. It’s also compatible with Hitcase’s range of camera lenses, making this a great overall utility case.
UAG Trooper Series
Sometimes protection just isn’t enough, and you want your phone case to do more than just shelter your super-powerful pocket computer. Enter UAG’s Trooper Series. As befits UAG’s great pedigree, the Trooper case is super protective, with an impact-resistant core and tough rugged outside that safeguards your phone from damage. But unclip the back and you’ll also find room to store some spare cash or credit cards for use on the go. This makes UAG’s Trooper series perfect for anyone who needs to travel light with their phone or just likes to carry extra cash in case of emergencies. It has a rugged look that’s not for everyone, but it’s otherwise a good utility option.
Nomad Rugged Case
Nothing screams “style” quite like leather, and if you’re wanting to wrap your iPhone XS Max in some serious style, then check out Nomad’s rugged case. It’s made from a variety of materials, but it starts with a tough polycarbonate shell that clips onto your iPhone and holds it tight. A TPU bumper is then bonded onto the edges of the polycarbonate, adding extra impact resistance. Finally, the case is wrapped in high-quality Horween leather that ages over time to create a truly unique case. It’s not for everyone, but if you’re looking to make a statement with your choice of protection, then Nomad’s rugged case provides just that, as well as good protection.
Grovemade Walnut Case
On the other end of the case spectrum, you’ll find Grovemade’s hand-finished wooden cases. Crafted from walnut in Grovemade’s workshop in Portland, Oregon, each case has its own unique wood grain and hand-finishing. It’s slimmer than other wood cases, and rather than sliding into place, it’s attached to your phone with adhesive — which makes it a bad choice for anyone who likes to swap cases. Wood is also not the best protective material, and it won’t absorb impacts as well as other cases and can shatter. But if you’re in love with the simple wooden aesthetic of these cases and don’t mind paying top dollar for it, then this is a beautiful addition to your iPhone XS Max.
Speck Candyshell Grip
Speck cases are extremely distinctive — and the Candyshell Grip exemplifies that more than any other of its products. The Candyshell Grip’s eye-catching look comes from the use of a dual-layer construction that combines TPU and polycarbonate to create a case that Speck claims disperses shock extremely well. The stylish, raised ridges on the back of the case also add grip, while a raised bezel means the phone’s display stays elevated from surfaces. It’s been tested to meet military standards for drop testing, and it should keep your iPhone XS Max well protected.
Ted Baker Shannon Mirror Folio Case
One of the more stylish options on this list comes from famed British luxury clothing retailer Ted Baker. It’s a beautiful luxury wallet case made from vegan leather with a gold-colored hard polycarbonate inner shell to hold your phone in place. The leather cover folds around the screen when not in use, protecting your display, and it magnetically holds the cover behind the case when in use. The real selling point here, though, is the deluxe mirror laid into the cover’s inner fold that ensures you’re always looking your best when you’re out and about with your phone. It’s certainly on the expensive side, but it’s a beautiful case with a style you’ll remember.
Catalyst Impact Protection
Here’s another tough case with a ton of added utility. Catalyst’s Impact Protection case brings all the features you’d expect from a tough case, including drop resistance of up to 3 meters, a flexible TPU bumper, and a clear polycarbonate back panel. It also has a raised bezel to protect the screen, as well as a full seal for the back camera that helps to keep out dust and debris. There’s an attachment for a lanyard, so you can ensure you won’t be carelessly dropping your case, and there’s even a revolving switch for the iPhone’s mute switch. It’s also fairly slim, with a subtle but rugged style. The downsides? It’s expensive for what it is.
Noreve Tradition D Wallet Case
Leather wallet cases can be beautiful things, and they don’t get much more beautiful than Noreve’s highly customizable collection of wallet cases. No matter which case you pick, you’ll get Noreve’s usual high-quality materials and workmanship. But it’s the level of choice that’s the truly special element here. Buyers get to choose between 20 different types of leather, from the vegan-friendly PU leather, to the luxuriously aged Patine leather. You’ll get the choice of a range of colors and the ability to add a belt clip. Noreve also recently added the ability to choose from a selection of paintings to add to your case. If you want a very particular style of case, then Noreve is perfect. But be aware that those choices can add up, making your chosen case exceedingly expensive.