Pixel 3 XL case review round up

Google / Tech

Hopefully, this round-up helped make finding a case a little easier for your new Pixel 3 XL.

Cases and smartphones go hand-in-hand these days. With how breakable phones are these days, the case seems to be the first line of defense in protecting your phone. The Pixel 3 XL is no different. It’s been a few weeks since Google’s latest flagship was released and with it, so were a large assortment of cases.

With the wide assortment, picking the right one comes down at personal preference. Even so, having an idea of where to start from helps. So with that being said, here’s a breakdown and a Pixel 3 XL case review.

Incipio NGP

The Incipio Clear case offered minimal protection but a sleek low profile design.

Design

The first case I took a look at was a clear case from Incipio. I very much enjoyed the minimal design of this case. It adds protection within a small footprint. The clear case with the translucent bottom adds a nice touch to color scheme. Also, the case shows the mint green power button, and I like that in a case.

Protection

One thing that should be noted is that with the minimal design, is the drop protection is quite limited. It only comes in at 3 feet, but that’ll protect it from small drops out of your pocket or off your couch. The only other complaint is that the case gets dirty really easy. The white translucent bottom is now gray, even after multiple cleanings.

Wrap Up

This case is for those who want a little bit of protection. With a three foot drop rating, it won’t withstand much, but it beats having your phone get dinged up instead. The case comes in at $19.99USD.

Incipio NGP

$19.99 USD
9

Design

9.5/10

Protection

7.5/10

Price/Value

10.0/10

Nailed it

  • Case protects phone without a lot of bulk
  • Two tone design fits Pixel 3 XL quite well.

Needs work

  • Case offers minimal (3feet) protection
  • Case gets dirty quite easily.

Incipio Dual-Pro

The dual-layer case offered the highest level of drop protection at 10 feet.

Design

This case was the only other dual-layer case I used. Like the Defender, it offered a rubber inside layer housed in an outer hard plastic. The buttons are covered, but the charging port was not. The design of the case allowed for a more natural hold and that made finding the fingerprint scanner easier, too.

Protection

It was the only case I tested, that had a 10-foot drop rating. While I never tested it out, it’s nice to know that the phone can take a solid drop in the case. The case felt a bit slippery for my liking, but again, with that drop protection rating, I wasn’t too worried about it.

Wrap Up

This case offers a lot of protection for a sub-$30 price. Even if Active Edge wasn’t as easy to use, this is a solid case for the money. At $29.99USD you get the dual-layer protection seen in more expensive cases making it a good deal.

Incipio Dual Pro

$29.99 USD
9.3

Design

9.0/10

Protection

9.0/10

Price/Value

10.0/10

Nailed it

  • 10' drop protection
  • Easy fingerprint access

Needs work

  • Active Edge wasn't easily activated

LifeProof Next

The Lifeproof Next offered solid protection but was fairly large and a bit hard to hold.

Design

The clear case is solid. It’s two-piece construction sandwiches the phone inside of the case. The case is clear with a black border. It comes with a little plastic piece to help pry open the case, which will save many a finger nails.

Protection

The case packaging says that it makes the phone snow and dust proof and I believe it. Unlike other Lifeproof cases this one doesn’t have the plastic screen protector. The charging port was covered and it offered good drop protection at two meters or about 6.5 feet.

The case does make the already large Pixel 3 XL harder to hold, and texting one-handed isn’t going to be any easier. Another thing — and again, this is personal preference —is the case’s black border doesn’t show off the mint green power button.

Wrap Up

While this case was hard to hold, I never once feared dropping my phone. The Lifeproof offers a strong level of protection. From covered ports to a solid bumper around the phone, this case will keep the Pixel 3 XL quite protected. For $79.99USD, you’ll have yourself a solid case for your XL.

Lifeproof Next

$79.95 USD
9.2

Design

9.5/10

Protection

10.0/10

Price/Value

8.0/10

Nailed it

  • Great overall protection
  • Ports are covered and protected.

Needs work

  • Price might too high for some
  • The phone feels even larger in the case.

Otterbox Defender

The Defender was the bulkiest case used but offered solid protection.

Design

The defender offered the most drop protect besides the Lifeproof case. With that protection though, you’re getting a pretty bulky case. The design is a dual-layer one with a rubbery plastic inside covered by a hard plastic outside. The buttons and ports are covered as well, so you won’t be getting any dust or dirt in them.

Protection

There was no screen protector built-in, like the older Defender cases I’ve seen and you’ll definitely want a screen protector. With the added bulk you’ll definitely struggle with one-handed use as well. I also found that the added bulk did make the fingerprint scanner a little harder to find.

With that though, you have a solid case for protection. I’ve used the Defender case while on shift as an EMT and I’ve never worried about my phone whatsoever. The added belt clip ensures that your phone will fit snug on your belt as it fitting in your pocket comfortably is short of impossible.

Wrap Up

You get a lot of protection from this case. It’s quite large, but you do get an added belt clip. That’s a good thing considering you won’t likely get it into your pocket easily. Even so, for $59.95USD, you won’t find better protection for the price.

Otterbox: Defender Case

$59.95 USD
9.8

Design

9.5/10

Protection

10.0/10

Price/Value

10.0/10

Nailed it

  • Robust protection for the money
  • Added belt clip to carry the phone

Needs work

  • Case makes it difficult for the phone to be in one's pocket

OtterBox Symmetry

The Symetry offers decent protection in a more minimal design.

Design

This case is a single piece of molded plastic. I noticed that the phone was harder to pop into the case but once it was in, it fit fairly snug. You wouldn’t know that it was an Otterbox if it weren’t for the small, unobtrusive logo on the right side. The clear case also allows for the mint green power button to be seen.

Protection

This case offers a solid grip and I have no worries that I’ll drop my phone. The clear plastic did get a bit scratched up but it’s still a solid case. It offers Otterbox’s Drop+ Protection. If you’re looking for a height drop distance though, you won’t find any. With that being said, each case does go through 238+ hours of testing, and is put through 24+ tests to test its protection.

Wrap Up

This case offers solid protection in a more minimal design. It did get fairly scratched fairly easily despite being “scratch resistant.” Even so, the 3 XL felt safe and snug in the case. For $49.95USD, you’ll get a good amount of protection.

Otterbox Symetry

$54.95 USD
9

Design

9.5/10

Protection

10.0/10

Price/Value

7.5/10

Nailed it

  • Otterbox protection in a low-profile frame
  • Clear case shows off phone's color quite nicely

Needs work

  • Price is a bit high
  • Easily scratched despite scratch resistance

Final thoughts

One thing I should point out is that the Active Edge squeezing was easy to do with most of the cases. The only one I had a little bit of a harder time with was the Incipio Dual-Layer case. Even so, I was still able to activate the feature. If you’re worried about it with a particular case, you can always increase the sensitivity.

Hopefully this round-up helped make finding a case a little easier for you. As with your phone, cases come down to personal preference. Some prefer a slimmer profile and less drop protection, while others may want more protection and added bulk. Either way, a case usually adds a good layer of protection when it comes to your phone.

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