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The Best iPhone SE, 5s, and 5 Cases  April 20, 2019 – 02:08 am

iphone-se-5s-5-cases-incipio-ngpApple’s 4-inch iPhone SE costs significantly less than its larger-screened counterparts, but protecting it with a case is still important. The same goes for the iPhone 5s and 5, which Apple doesn’t sell anymore but many people still use, as those older handsets are likely no longer covered by AppleCare. It’s better to keep a multi-hundred-dollar phone in a case that you like than to have to pay for repairs if you break the phone.

We’ve updated this guide for the iPhone SE by retesting our previous picks for the 5s and 5, and we’ve restructured the article to make finding the best cases easier. Whether you own an iPhone SE, 5s, or 5, the Incipio NGP is our favorite overall case, but we have other picks in various styles, as well.This guide is now archived. If you’re looking for an iPhone 6 or 6 Plus case, see here. While our editors have had few issues with our test units, reader and customer complaints of warped and smeared cases have convinced us to hold our recommendation of the SwitchEasy Numbers. Even with their new Amazon vendor page, we have heard complaints from customers who’ve bought directly from SwitchEasy. We suspect that quality control at the company has failed, and until we hear it’s remedied or SwitchEasy offers a sufficient explanation, we’re now recommending the superb Magpul Bump. It has exceptional button-feel, and a cushioned construction that’ll protect your phone from drops. It fits perfectly and is made in the USA. If the cross-hatch military styling is not for you, we also recommend Speck’s CandyShell line, with the CandyShell Flip being our favorite. It protects the buttons while springing back appropriately, and it’s available in a spectrum of colors. They’re slightly more expensive than competitors, but Speck consistently nails the fit, and it has enough cushioning to protect against drops. After reading hundreds of Amazon user reviews and reader comments, we saw complaints about the Numbers’ fit that none of our editors who have tested this case have ever noticed. SwitchEasy told us this is likely due to counterfeit cases being sold under the SwitchEasy name on Amazon and elsewhere. Since we still can’t find a case that’s as all-around great as the numbers, are linking directly to SwitchEasy’s site from now on to ensure that no readers end up with fake cases. We are awaiting a reply from SwitchEasy about the Numbers selling out, but a call to their customer service revealed that the brand is introducing a new vendor system through Amazon. It will be called SwitchEasy USA rather than just “SwitchEasy.” We can’t be sure that the new store will have new inventory that solves reader complaints of discoloration and poor fit (thank you to everyone who pointed this out) but we will update the review according to what we see and hear. Until that’s clarified, we are recommending the Magpul Bump Case (special thanks to readers who suggested we test it) as the next best case to buy and the Speck Candyshell Flip for those who don’t like the Magpul’s admittedly aggressive aesthetic.

iphone-se-5s-5-cases-apple-iphone-se-leather-caseUpdated with a new runner-up selection, the SwitchEasy Tones, as well as a case we recommend if you’re looking for maximum protection, the Magpul Bump Case (special thanks to readers who suggested we test it). We also updated the competition section with two more cases from Spigen that you can pass on.

Amazon has the Numbers listed as “temporarily out of stock.” We’re trying to find out when they’ll have it again, but you can get the Numbers from SwitchEasy’s own site in the meantime.

We heard back from SwitchEasy regarding reader complaints of some discoloration problems with the Numbers case. Scroll down to the “long-term test notes” section for their reply.

Added some long-term test notes describing a discoloration problem we found that seems similar to the one some readers have alerted us to. We’re continuing to look into it.

Added new Otterbox Symmetry cases ($40 - $45) to the What to Look Forward to section.

Readers have alerted us to a discoloration problem that has affected some SwitchEasy Numbers cases. We’re looking into it.

Any good case will protect your handset from scratches, dents, and dings. Some cases add useful features such as waterproof protection or even extra power, and a case also lets you personalize your iPhone. But no matter what you value in a case, you’ll find a model out there for you.

Our experienced staff has spent hundreds of hours over the past several years testing hundreds of cases across a variety of activities. We’ve collected below our favorites for the iPhone SE, 5s, and 5. (Any case that the manufacturer labels as fitting one of these iPhone models fits all of them.) No single case is the best for every person, but we think most people should be able to find a great case in this group.

Why you should trust me

I was the accessories editor at iLounge for a little over three years. During my tenure, I reviewed more than 1, 000 products, most of which were cases. Between there and here, I’ve tested products for many generations of Apple devices, from the iPhone 4 to the latest iPads. I’ve probably handled more iPhone cases than almost anyone on the planet, so I have a particularly experienced perspective and depth of knowledge when it comes to these products. In addition, a number of my fellow Wirecutter staffers regularly evaluate new cases.

How we picked

We’ve been covering iPhone 5 cases since the early days of The Wirecutter, and I personally reviewed hundreds while at iLounge. We stopped covering this case size when Apple discontinued the iPhone 5s, but with the release of the iPhone SE—which is identical in size and design to the 5s and 5—we decided to take another look.

The truth is, you have plenty of good iPhone cases to choose from—a bad case is actually a pretty rare thing. But in looking for a few cases that work for most people, we sought models that can adequately protect your phone without adding unnecessary embellishments or too much bulk—in a survey of our readers, 86 percent of respondents agreed that protection shouldn’t come at the cost of the iPhone’s feel and aesthetic. A respectable degree of shock absorption is also important, as is a secure fit. The case should cover as much of the iPhone’s body as possible, too, ideally including a raised lip around the glass display to keep the screen from getting scratched when you set the phone face down.

A case worth recommending should cover most of the phone while leaving its ports accessible for connecting cables and accessories. Installing and removing the case should be easy, but not so easy that the protector fits loosely or falls off. Different people will prefer different materials, but no case should feel cheap or shoddily built.


Waterproof iPhone 5/5s/SE Case, Eonfine Shockproof Protective Full-sealed Hard Cover, Underwater IP68 Certificated with Touch ID Snow Dust Dirty Proof Case for iPhone 5 5S SE Black
Wireless (EONFINE)
  • [Higher Quality Case] Use top-level TPU as manufacture material, uttermost reduce the effect to the signal to provide protection from scratches. Case comes with...
  • [Water Shock Dirty Dust Snow Proof] IP68 standard Waterproof, submersible to over 6.6 ft deep for 30 minutes; designed and tested to 2 meters high, protect your...
  • [Precise Cutout] The precision cutting fits iPhone 5S SE perfectly, all buttons and controls, like touch ID, cameras & speakers, power button, mute key, charge...
  • [Full-covered Protection] A must for water sports and outdoors and feel free to enjoy your swimming, skiing, diving, other outdoor activities and daily use. Record...
  • [Proper installation] Proper installation is extremely important to successful use, so please review and check the user manual to ensure correct installation to...

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