iPhone XR

The Toughest iPhone XR, iPhone XS, and XS Max Cases

The best way to protect a $1000 iPhone XR/XS thatʼs covered in glass? A case! We’ve gone through 100’s of cases over the last few years in order to figure out what the toughest iPhone XR, iPhone XS, and XS Max Cases are so that you don’t have to risk your $$.

For the impatient,TL;DR  group, the toughest iPhone case is going to be the Griffin Survivor Extreme. And the toughest iPhone case that doesnʼt have a belt holster is a tie between the Mous Limitless and the HitCase Pro.

Like the video? Make sure you subscribe to our YouTube Channel!

Belt Holster Tough Cases

NON-BELT HOLSTER TOUGH CASES

At Mobile Reviews Eh!, we do reviews based on actual usage. We do tests and use the products for days and maybe weeks. Weʼve been reviewing cases for a long time and for these products, we go out of our way to make sure that your iPhone is going to be safe in them.

If you like how we do our reviews, please consider buying the products on the links scattered on this article.

TOUGH iPhone CASES with Belt Holsters

Griffin Survivor Extreme

Score

4.1 Eh’s out of 5

Get them now on Amazon!

 

PROS:

  • Better than average dust protection

CONS:

  • Buttons are tough to use

If you need a tough iPhone case with a screen protector and belt holster, you should pay attention to the Griffin Survivor Extreme. The screen protector included with the Griffin Survivor Extreme results in rainbowing which some people might find annoying. But we’re guessing if you need the protection a plastic screen protector with the case, youʼre not terribly concerned with a bit of rainbowing.

The standout feature of the Griffin Survivor Extreme is the dust protection. This is the only case (other than the HitCase Pro which is waterproof) that offers a measurable amount of dust protection with an IP55 rating which means spraying your iPhone in the  Griffin Survivor Extreme from any direction will not have any harmful effects.

The biggest downside from our perspective is that the buttons are a little tough to use but thatʼs ~almost to be expected given the size of the  Griffin Survivor Extreme.

The Griffin Survivor Extreme has been our go-to tough case with a holster since the iPhone 6ʼs.

[ Back to top ]

Otterbox Defender Pro

Score

4.1 Eh’s out of 5

Get them now on Amazon!

 

 

Otterbox Defender Pro

PROS:

  • Has a fancy feature that prevents bacteria from growing on the TPU shell?

CONS:

  • Expensive

The Otterbox Defender Pro has all the benefits of the screenless Otterbox Defender. The TPU on the Otterbox Defender Pro is a little thicker and the texture of the case is more pronounced. The biggest difference is the Anti-Bacterial shield that keeps your cesspool of a smartphone relatively bug-free. This feature sounds incredibly fluffy to us as we havenʼt been able to test this feature.

But if you work in an environment where clean hands is a necessity, spending the extra $10 on the Otterbox Defender Pro might be a no brainer.

SEE ALSO: Which case is best? Otterbox Defender vs. Defender Pro vs. Otterbox Pursuit

[ Back to top ]

Otterbox Defender Screenless

Score

3.9 Eh’s out of 5

Get them now on Amazon!

 

PROS:

  • Well known product, handles well

CONS:

  • Expensive, bulky

The Otterbox Defender is probably the stalwart champion of tough iPhone cases. We know people who have bought Otterbox Defender for every one of their iPhones and swear by them. It will do a good job of protecting your iPhone from day-to-day mishaps. The Otterbox Defender is not a small case and the general rule of thumb is that the more stuff you have on a case, the tougher it is.

The best thing Otterbox did with the Defender was to remove the screen protector. If youʼve seen some of our earlier videos, youʼll know how much we hate that built-in screen protector. The latest version may not be as tough as the older versions without the screen protector but thatʼs what screen protectors are for!

[ Back to top ]

Pelican Voyager

Score

3.9 Eh’s out of 5

Get them now on Amazon!

 

PROS:

  • Decent handling case
  • Clear back
  • Comes with a screen protector
  • Works with other edge-to-edge screen protectors

CONS:

  • Drop height isnʼt stated
  • Comes with a screen protector that you shouldnʼt use.

When we got the latest Pelican Voyager, we thought it was a new case. The clear back really threw us off as our last Voyager didnʼt have a clear back. But thatʼs the biggest difference between the two versions.

We have two issues with the Pelican Voyager. The first being the fit of the mute switch cover. It looks a little too sloppy for our liking. The giant gap between the case and the cover is quite large which means dust and debris are going to accumulate in that area over time.

And speaking of dust and debris, the included screen protector is going to be a screen destroyer. From our experience, screen protectors with no adhesive on them will trap dust and debris between the screen protector and iPhone screen which results in scratches over time. Given that the best-looking parts of the newer iPhone are the screens, having something that might harm/scratch that feature is unacceptable to us.

There is a bit of reprieve as the Pelican Voyager is going to be compatible with most screen protectors, even the edge-the-edge ones. We’re a big fan of Pelicanʼs clear cases but their tough lineup just doesnʼt really do it for us.

[ Back to top ]

Tech 21 EVO Max

Score

3.8 Eh’s out of 5

Get them now on Amazon!

 

 

PROS:

  • Slimmer tough case
  • Has a protective camera cover
  • Great buttons

CONS:

  • The bottom is more exposed
  • The holster doesnʼt offer as much protection as others.

Tech 21 EVO Max is one of the most expensive cases on this list because we had to pay a 50% customs charge on the case. Which is odd because custom charges usually only occur on products that we can get in Canada but we couldnʼt find the Tech 21 EVO Max from any Canadian retailer.

As a side note, the Tech 21 EVO Max is Tech 21ʼs current tough case but it seems to pale in size when compared to the Tech 21 Patriot of old.

Regardless, the Tech 21 EVO Max is a decent tough case though weʼd put it beneath all the other cases with holsters in terms of protection. First of all, the edges of the case, like all Tech 21 cases is very low to get a screen protector if you want maximum protection for your device.

Second of all, the holster, despite being simpler to use, provides less protection when compared to a Griffin Survivor Extreme or Otterbox Defender. There isnʼt much friction between the holster and the case so the case can actually slide out of the holster without much effort. It also doesnʼt cover the entire device.

If you can look beyond those shortcomings or are planning on holstering your iPhone from top to bottom, then the Tech 21 EVO Max is going to be an attractive choice. The buttons are incredibly easy to press and the lower than average case edge means gesturing on your iPhone isnʼt going to be problematic or annoying.

The most unique feature of the Tech 21 EVO Max is the camera lens cover. But out of the dozen iPhoneʼs weʼve dropped over the last 5 years, weʼve actually never broken the camera lenses. So we’re not sure how practical the lens cover actually is. But if youʼre worried about potential breakage, then this is the only case in this list with that feature.

[ Back to top ]

Pelican Shield

Score

3.8 Eh’s out of 5

Get them now on Amazon!

 

PROS: I

  • Case fits well together
  • CF back is different

CONS:

  • Buttons are tough to use
  • Handling isnʼt great
  • The drop height isnʼt stated

Every once in a while, we come across a case that we really like but our scoring system just destroys it. The Pelican Shield is one of those cases. Our favorite part of the case is the latches that you use to secure the iPhone in the Shield. The carbon fibre back and metallic screws add a level of sophistication to the Pelican Shield that makes it different, especially when compared to something like the TPU-laden Otterbox Defender.

However, Pelican Shield doesnʼt handle well, the buttons arenʼt great and the glossy finish on the carbon fibre back shows fingerprinting easy. The things that make the Pelican Shield stand out donʼt make up for the shortcomings of the case. Which is why it getʼs a mediocre score.

From a protection standpoint, Pelican says that itʼs 3x military-grade drop protection but doesnʼt state if the 3x is for drop height or 3x the # of times you can drop it from the normal drop height.

Again, we personally like the look of the product but canʼt really go out of our way to recommend it, unfortunately.

[ Back to top ]

Speck Presidio Ultra

Score

3.7 Eh’s out of 5

Get them now on Amazon!

 

PROS:

  • Modular design

CONS:

  • Buttons are terrible

We love Speck Presidio Grip however we canʼt say the same for the Speck Presidio Ultra. In fact, the Speck Presidio Ultra is easily the worst case on this list. Despite having a modular design, swapping between the two cases is a pain in the butt and the buttons are so terrible to use.

The final kick to the face is the fact that the belt-holster isnʼt as sturdy as every other belt-holster in this list. Most belt holsters have a lip on the inside of the clip that would catch your belt or part of your pants But the Speck Presidio Ultra doesnʼt have this.

The Speck Presidio Ultra is big, bulky and very user-unfriendly. Thatʼs all we have to say about this case.

[ Back to top ]

NON-BELT HOLSTER TOUGH CASES

HitCase Pro

Score

4 Eh’s out of 5

Get them now on Amazon!

 

FULL REVIEW HERE!

HitCase Pro Review for the iPhone 7

PROS:

  • Ultimate iPhone protection

CONS:

  • Bulky
  • iPhone functionality might suffer a bit.

When it comes to functional tough cases, there isnʼt any product like the HitCase Pro. Itʼs tough, waterproof, mountable, can be used with external camera lenses and isnʼt that bulky.

We will admit that the current HitCase Pro doesnʼt have the girth of the old versions as it resembles more of a souped-up HitCase Shield but the metal frame is going to offer your iPhone with an incredible amount of drop and bend protection.

The clear back is actually a thin piece of polycarbonate and from our tests with the HitCase Shield, is pretty hard to break. The buttons are decent to use but the biggest downside is going to be the screen as youʼll occasionally notice the gap between the protector and screen. But honestly, thatʼs a small price to pay if you have a need for everything else the HitCase Pro offers.

[ Back to top ]

 

 

Mous Limitless

Score

4.5 Eh’s out of 5

Get them now on Amazon!

 

FULL REVIEW HERE!

PROS:

  • Great design
  • Slim
  • Tough

CONS:

  • No belt holster

Our fondness for the Mous Limitless is not a secret. We like the case because itʼs useful and tough. In fact, itʼs one of the few cases weʼd feel comfortable treating our iPhoneʼs like a toddlerʼs play toy. If you donʼt necessarily need a belt holster, just a tough case, get the Mous Limitless.

The Mous Limitless also comes with a pretty tough screen protector. Itʼs only one of two cases that have an included screen protector. And the best part of the screen protector is that itʼs pretty damn tough.

[ Back to top ]

Moshi Talos

Score

4.2 Eh’s out of 5

Get them now on Amazon!

 

PROS:

  • Fancy
  • Great handling
  • Above average dust protection

CONS:

  • No belt holster
  • Edges might be high for some

Weʼre pretty big fans of Moshi as their products are generally a notch above in terms of build quality. The Moshi Talos feels like a tough case. It fits your iPhone tightly and the overall design ensures that the iPhone isnʼt going to fall out of your hand easily.

The Moshi Talos is Moshiʼs toughest case with a supposed drop rating of 10ft. This isnʼt explicitly stated on their website though we’re very comfortable dropping our iPhones in the Moshi Talos without much hesitation.

From a tough case perspective, the standout feature is going to be extra dust/ debris protection the Moshi Talos offers. Unlike the Catalyst and Mous cases, the Moshi Talos has a mesh over the speaker grills, a port cover and the mute switch is covered with one of the best case mute switches weʼve used.

The only big downside is that there is no belt holster but if you didnʼt need that feature, the Moshi Talos is a worthy tough case.

[ Back to top ]

Catalyst Impact Protection

Score

4.2 Eh’s out of 5

Get them now on Amazon!

 

FULL REVIEW HERE!

Catalyst Impact Protection - The Best Cases for the iPhone X

PROS:

  • Slim
  • Easy to use mute button

CONS:

  • Low case edges

If you need an alternative to the Mous Limitless, check out the Catalyst Impact Protection. The Catalyst Impact Protection doesnʼt offer as much screen protection as the Mous Limitless because of the lower screen edges but from a corner drop, the two are ~almost equals.

The biggest difference between the Catalyst case and Mous case is the mute switch access. If being able to easily access that part of the iPhone is important to you, youʼre going to love the rotary switch on the Catalyst Impact Protection.

[ Back to top ]

Otterbox Pursuit

Score

4.2 Eh’s out of 5

Get them now on Amazon!

 

Otterbox Pursuit iPhone XS version

PROS:

  • The new design is great
  • Better than average dust protection

CONS:

  • Not as tough as the Otterbox Defender

Otterbox updated the Otterbox Pursuit for the 2019 iPhones. And the updated Otterbox Pursuit is a great case. Itʼs a tougher case and will offer your iPhone better drop protection than the average iPhone case. We donʼt think itʼs tougher than the Otterbox Defender in terms of drop protection but the Otterbox Pursuit will offer better dust protection and from our perspective, on a day-to-day perspective, thatʼs more important.

From a wear and tear perspective, the fused TPU and PC wonʼt last as long as the full TPU shell of the Otterbox Defender so it will show dings and drops over time.

The old Otterbox Pursuit snapped together along the center of the iPhone edge which isnʼt terribly strong. With the updated Otterbox Pursuit, Otterbox went with an overlapping lip over the front panel which does a much better job of keeping the case together.

[ Back to top ]

Gear4 Platoon

Score

3.7 Eh’s out of 5

Get them now on Amazon!

 

PROS:

  • Decent handling
  • Great buttons

CONS:

  • Bulky
  • Minor build quality issues

The more plastic, the more protection. We say that a lot. And it rings true for the Gear4 Platoon. This a fairly bulky case but it does offer your iPhone with 20ft of supposed drop protection. We say “supposed” because the last time we dropped a Gear4 case, our screen broke.

The standout feature for us with the Gear4 Platoon is the fact that the buttons are incredibly easy to use despite being buried in plastic. The texture of the case is also quite nice and the bumper design of the case is slightly different.

Gear4 Platoon uses a product called D3O in their products which is an impact absorbing polymer of sorts. Itʼs probably one of the reasons why the Gear4 Platoon can take a supposed 20ft drop but we’re guessing the gigantic size of the case doesnʼt hurt either.

[ Back to top ]

So this is our The Toughest iPhone XR, iPhone XS and XS Max Cases!  Have any questions? Leave them below! Definitely SUBSCRIBE to our YouTube Channel to stay on top of all the new things we review!

If you want to know more about what we do, check out this page!

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

To Top