Google Pixel 3 case review roundup

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Google-Pixel-3-case-review

As is the case with most smartphones, there are plenty of cases to choose from when it comes to the Pixel 3. Like some of our recent phone case reviews, instead of doing up separate review posts for each one, we’ve decided to combine them into an easy to ready single post. With that being said, read on to see what we thought of these cases for the Google Pixel 3 — in alphabetical order.

Google Pixel 3 Fabric Phone Case

Google-Pixel-3-Fabric-Phone-Case-01
Google Pixel 3 Fabric Phone Case

Design

First up is the official Pixel 3 Fabric Phone Case from Google. Out of all the cases on this list, it is, in my opinion, the nicest looking case. Constructed from polycarbonate, the case is wrapped in nylon and polyester fabric. As a result, holding the case in hand provides plenty of grip and feels nice to boot.

The inside of the case is lined with a soft velvet-like material on the back to prevent rubbing on the back of your Pixel 3. As for the buttons, the volume rocker is simply an outdented region while the power button is a simple black polycarbonate piece. When the case is put on the phone, you can barely see the buttons aside from the power button.

As for cutouts, as one would expect, the fingerprint scanner and camera cutout are shaped perfectly for the phone. No surprise there given this is the official Google case.

When the case is placed on the phone, it fits nice and snug around all four edges. However, there isn’t much of a lip and I’m fairly certain that when the phone is placed screen down, you can slide it around on the screen. This effect is definitely exasperated when you add a screen protector to the mix.

Our review sample came in the Indigo colour, Carbon, Fog, and Pink Moon are also available choices.

Protection

As far as general protection is concerned, the case should do a good job of protecting the back and sides of your Pixel 3 from scrapes and scratches. Even though it’s a relatively thin case that doesn’t add much extra thickness to the phone, it should also do a decent job against protecting the edges and corners from accidental drops.

Unfortunately, the lack of a lip around the edges means that the case doesn’t do a very good job of protecting your screen, especially if you’re in the habit of placing it face down on a table or other surface. If that surface happens to have something on it, there’s no gap to compensate and that something will rest, and possible scratch, your screen.

Price/Value

With an MSRP of US$40, the Google Pixel 3 Fabric Phone Case is pretty reasonably priced given the fabric finish and materials used in its construction.

Wrap-up

The Google Pixel 3 Fabric Phone Case is a great looking and feeling case. While it offers decent back and edge protection, it falls short in properly protecting your screen when placed face down. That being said, if you don’t ever put your phone face down or plan on using the Pixel Stand frequently, this case is one of the nicer looking ones out there for the Pixel 3.

Google Pixel 3 Fabric Phone Case

$40 USD
8.7

Design

9.0/10

Protection

8.5/10

Price/Value

8.5/10

Nailed it

  • Fantastic looking fabric case
  • Fits snugly
  • Protects back, edges, and corners just fine
  • Works great with Pixel Stand (and wireless charging)
  • Comes in four colours to suit your taste

Needs work

  • Doesn't have a lip to lift screen off surface when placed face down

Moshi IonGlass Screen Protector

Moshi-IonGlass-Screen-Protector-for-Pixel-3-01
Moshi IonGlass Screen Protector

Design

The Moshi IonGlass Screen Protector isn’t a case but definitely an option for those wanting extra screen protection on their Pixel 3. Moshi states that their screen protectors are “atomically-strengthened” which makes them stronger than tempered glass.

The screen protector is very thin, and fits edge to edge nicely with black on the top, bottom, and edges. If you look closely, the curve of the black frame, if you will, doesn’t quite match the corners of the black frame on the Pixel 3 itself but its close enough that it’s not really noticeable.

The cutouts for the front cameras, speakers, and sensor are bang on and, in the case of the cameras, kind of add an additional design element to the phone. Finally, the edges of the screen protector are micro-beveled to make for a smooth transition from the edge of the screen protector to the phone.

Once installed the first time, we noticed a large portion of the middle of the screen that had a ring like rainbow on it which really made the phone a pain to use. After removing and reapplying the screen protector, it remained, albeit smaller. At first I thought this was an air bubble but after realizing there is no adhesive on the middle clear part of the protector, we reached out to Moshi for an explanation.

Moshi-IonGlass-Screen-Protector-for-Pixel-3-02
Newton’s rings…

After checking with our technical team, the screen protector uses a coating to create the seal between the screen which keeps air, water, and dust out. Due to the different layers used for our screen protectors, the light will shine through the top of our screen protector and reflect from both the bottom of our screen protector and the phone screen itself, creating this phenomenon called Newton’s rings. For more information, we recommend this Wikipedia article: Newton’s rings.

Although this is a natural phenomenon and cleaning the screen protector will not help, it’s possible that this effect is aggravated by using a phone case from another brand, as other phone cases might apply pressure to the screen protector and creating a slight gap between the middle of the screen protector and the phone screen, creating larger and more noticeable Newton rings.

Solution: Take off the phone case might work, but the screen protector would need a day or two to “sink back down” if it has been pushed up by the phone case.

Moshi PR

After a couple of days, the Newton’s rings did disappear. They do re-appear from time to time but very rarely and not for very long.

Once installed, the screen with its oleophobic coating does make it easier to wipe away fingerprints but, personally, I feel that it takes a way from the Pixel 3 screen itself and does seem to add a bit of extra glare to the phone when in certain lighting conditions.

Installation

Installation of the Moshi IonGlass Screen Protector is pretty easy. Previously, I mentioned a black frame on the screen protector. Upon closer inspection after installing, removing, and reinstalling the screen protector, this black portion is the only part that actually has adhesive on it.

As far as the actual installation, the process consisted of wiping the Pixel 3 screen clean with the included microfiber cloth, then using the included dust sticker to remove any remaining dust particles. Once that is done, peel off the backside film from the IonGlass and align it on the screen. Once aligned, gently apply pressure on the borders of the screen protector to secure it in place.

Protection

As one would expect, the Moshi IonGlass Screen Protector does a perfect job of protecting your screen. After using it for the past couple months or so, I’m hard pressed to see any scratches on the screen and I often put my phone face down on a table or nightstand when not in use.

While providing additional screen protection, it doesn’t seem to interfere at all with the functionality of the Pixel 3 when it comes to day to day use of the screen. One thing I will note though is that if you have a stylus for your phone, you won’t be able to use it with the IonGlass installed.

Price/Value

The Moshi IonGlass Screen Protector is available from Moshi for US$34.95. While this is more expensive than other tempered screen protectors, Moshi does claim it is stronger and it does come with a limited lifetime warranty once you register your purchase. During our daily use, we’ve found it to provide excellent screen protection with no visible scratches on the screen protector. Honestly, $35 is a small price to pay to protect the screen on your $800 smartphone.

Wrap-up

Glass screen protectors aren’t for everyone but for those who like them, the Moshi IonGlass Screen Protector can’t really be bit. It’s thin, fits perfectly, and — most importantly — very strong and scratch resistant.

Moshi IonGlass Screen Protector

$34.95 USD
9.4

Design

9.0/10

Installation

9.5/10

Protection

10.0/10

Price/Value

9.0/10

Nailed it

  • Easy to install
  • Fantastic fit
  • Molded fit
  • Oleophobic coating to easily keep clean
  • Very strong, no visible scratches after a couple months

Needs work

  • Rainbow Newton's rings appear occasionally
  • Alters the appearance of the Pixel 3 screen
  • Adds a bit of glare in certain lighting conditions
  • Bit more expansive than tempered glass options

Seidio Optik

Seidio-Optik-for-Pixel-3-01
Seidio Optik for Pixel 3

Design

Seidio is a brand I personally favour for phone cases and have used them almost religiously on my previous Nexus and Pixel devices. The Siedio Optik is a bit different from the usual two- or three-piece cases I’m familiar with and it’s the first clear case on our review list.

The Siedio Optik clear case is constructed from TPU and is only 2mm thick. There is enough of a lip that the screen of your phone is lifted when face down on a flat surface, which is something I like to have in a case. The corners are reinforced for extra drop and shock protection. The corners also add a bit of a rugged look to it. The buttons are fully covered as well with decent cutouts for the USB-C port, camera, and fingerprint scanner.

While the majority of the case is clear, roughly 80% of the left and right edge is textured for added grip. The SEIDIO logo is printed in silver on the back, just below the Google logo.

The reinforced corners do add for some ridges in that area, but fortunately the case rests nicely on the Pixel Stand with the extended corners barely resting on either side of the ledge on the base of the stand.

As with most clear cases, the Seidio Optik allows you to enjoy the look of your Pixel 3 without masking it with a solid colour or material. One fun side effect of the clear case is when you turn your flash on to use as a flashlight, it illuminates the entirety of the case creating a light ring around your entire Pixel 3.

Seidio-Optik-for-Pixel-3-02
It glows!

Protection

Gievn the materials used, the reinforced corners, and the fact it raises the screen off whatever surface your Pixel 3 happens to be facedown on, the Seidio Optik case offers great protection. Beside keeping it free from scratches, the reinforced corners offer added protection when dropped from normal Heights.

Price/Value

One of the cheaper cases on the list, the Seidio Optik will only set you back US$14.95. Given the fit and protection it offers up, this case is a great value for the price.

Wrap-up

If you’re after a clear case that’s super affordable and offers decent protection for your Pixel 3, you shouldn’t have to look further than the Seidio Optik case.

Seidio Optik for Pixel 3

$14.95USD
9.8

Design

9.5/10

Protection

10.0/10

Price/Value

10.0/10

Nailed it

  • Provides additional protection on corners
  • Snug fit
  • Proper cutouts
  • Allows wireless charging
  • Works well with Pixel Stand
  • Added grip on sides
  • Lets you see your Pixel 3

Needs work

  • Prone to fingerprints

Totallee

Totallee-for-Pixel-3-01
Totallee case for Pixel 3

Design

For those looking for a minimal phone case, Totalled has you covered. This California company offers up the slimmest phone cases I’ve seen to date. At only 0.02mm thin, these cases won’t add much to your Pixel 3 aside from some scratch protection.

Offered in two styles, the main style is offered in black or a clear frosted finished. While the black case gives your phone a nice consistent finish, the frosted case let’s some elements of the phone shine through. The slightly thicker clear gel is still super thin at only 0.03mm thick and allows you to enjoy the full design of your Pixel 3. The thinner cases feel paper thin and the cutouts are pretty much perfect. The cutouts on the back also include a bit of a lip to further protect the camera. Due to their flimsy feeling nature, the cases can be somewhat of a pain to get on but once on are super tight against the back and edges of your phone.

The thicker clear gel has slightly different cutouts around the camera flash but they are still pretty tight and offer the same ridge as the thinner cases. Even the extra bit of thickness makes this case a bit easier to out on for the same tight, snug fit. Like the Siedio Optik, when the flash is turned on, it illuminates the entirety of the case creating a light ring around your entire Pixel 3.

Unfortunately, due to their minimal nature, these cases don’t have any lip on them to raise the Pixel 3 screen off a flat surface when placed face down.

Protection

Given the minimal nature of these cases, while they’ll definitely protect the back and sides from scratches, they won’t protect from much else. The thicker case is thick enough for me to say comfortably that it should protect your phone from accidental drops. As mentioned above, don’t expect screen protection when placed face down due to the lack of a lip on the top edges.

That being said, of all your after is scratch protection, these cases definitely offer that for the back and sides.

Price/Value

With an MSRP of US$29, they are a bit pricey for the limited protection they offer. However, they do feel well constructed and fit nice and tight without adding extra heft to your Pixel 3.

Wrap-up

Some people love minimal cases and that’s where Totallee comes in. While they offer side and back scratch protection, don’t expect much more than that.

Totallee for Pixel 3

US$29
8.5

Design

9.0/10

Protection

8.0/10

Price/Value

8.5/10

Nailed it

  • Minimal design
  • Tight fit
  • Offers back and edge scratch resistance
  • Nice tight cutouts with ridge for camera/fingerprint scanner

Needs work

  • Don't offer much in the way of drop protection
  • Pricey for what you get
  • Bit difficult to put on
  • Doesn't have a lip to lift screen off surface when placed face down

UAG Plyo

UAG-Plyo-for-Pixel-3-01
UAG Plyo for Pixel 3

Design

UAG (Urban Armor Gear) is a case brand that has been around for ages and this happens to be my first experience with them. First up, the UAG Plyo. This is the third, and last, translucent case on our review list.

Unlike the other two clear cases above, the UAG Plyo is much more rigid and has a greyish tint the company calls “Ice.” You can also get a blue tinted Plyo case, dubbed “Glacier” if that’s more your style. The case itself is solid, fits tight, and has a cutout for the fingerprint scanner and a single cutout for both the camera and flash. The back is angled in slightly, more for design than anything, and the UAG logo is etched near the bottom of the back below the Google G logo.

The corners are slightly reinforced for better protection and the lip on the front edge adds extra protection for the screen when placed face down. The buttons on the side are slightly oversized and easy to feel to determine which one you’re pressing. While it looks bulky, it doesn’t feel like it adds much bulk to the Pixel 3.

Like the Seidio Optik and thicker Totallee case, the UAG Plyo also lights up slightly on the top and top of the left and right sides when the flash is on.

Protection

Like a couple other cases on this list, the UAG Plyo meets military drop-test standards (MIL STD 810G 516.6). The case is definitely rigid enough and thick enough and, as is sometimes the case, had the unfortunate opportunity to test its drop protection. After dropping my Pixel 3 — more like a soft launch which ended up with the phone launching across the kitchen when it caught the corner of the table — it landed face down unscathed.

Price/Value

The UAG Plyo retails for US$39.95 but given the rigid build, reinforced corners, and protection it offers, it’s definitely worth the price.

Wrap-up

The UAG Plyo is arguably my favourite case out of the bunch. I did like the greyish-tinted clear finish as it still allowed me to somewhat see the design of my Pixel 3. More importantly, it offers robust protection and saved my Pixel 3 at least once while being used.

UAG Plyo for Pixel 3

US$39.95
9.7

Design

10.0/10

Protection

10.0/10

Price/Value

9.0/10

Nailed it

  • Snug fit
  • Reinforced corners for added protection
  • Compatible with wireless charging and Pixel Stand
  • Comfortable to hold

Needs work

  • A bit on the pricier side

UAG Monarch

UAG-Monarch-for-Pixel-3-01
UAG Monarch for Pixel 3

Design

The second UAG case on this list, the UAG Monarch is a real rugged looking case. This case is very light with five layers of protection, includes top grain leather and alloy metal backing, a soft impact-resistant core, honeycomb traction grip, oversized tactile buttons, and a lip for added screen protection.

The case is fully black, although a black and red option is also available, and while the sides have some give, the back is fully rigid. Like the Plyo, it features two cutouts on the back for the fingerprint scanner and the camera/flash area, as well as oversized buttons on the side.

The corners are also reinforced for extra protection and the back has a rugged look with top grain leather inlaid underneath. The UAG logo is stamped into the middle of the back of the case with “screws” on three of the four corners. The sides have a honeycomb texture for added grip and it really is quite comfortable to hold.

If you’re into the rugged look, the Monarch definitely gets you there.

Protection

Out of all the cases on the list, this one definitely feels like it offers the best protection. UAG put this one through its paces and say that it meets 2X Military drop-test standards (MIL STD 810G 516.6). Given the flexibility of the sides and the rigidness of the back, this case is sure to protect your Pixel 3 from those accidental drops.

Price/Value

Of course, top-shelf protection also comes with a price. The UAG Monarch will set you back US$59.95 but is also backed by a 10-year limited warranty. A small price to pay for protecting your expensive smartphone purchase.

Wrap-up

If you’re looking for top-level protection on your Pixel 3, look no further than the UAG Monarch. The construction of the case is definitely solid and it’ll also add a rugged look to your device.

UAG Monarch for Pixel 3

US$59.95
9.8

Design

10.0/10

Protection

10.0/10

Price/Value

9.5/10

Nailed it

  • Rugged construction
  • Reinforced corners and back
  • Contains alloy metal
  • Top grain leather backs adds some class
  • Snug fit
  • Compatible with wireless charging and Pixel Stand

Needs work

  • One of the more expensive cases

Vena vCommute

Vena-vCommute-for-Pixel-3-01
Vena vCommute for Pixel 3

Design

The Vena vCommute is a more fully functional case than the others on this list. It’s thicker as well, due to the fact that you can store three ID or credit cards in the back. The back leather flap,which is held shut magnetically, also folds up and acts as a phone stand for landscape mode viewing.

The case itself is constructed from dual-layer polycarbonate and TPU with the company’s CORNERGUARD® design. The edges are very ridge and the buttons are somewhat stylized and angled slightly outwards on the case. The cutouts on the back fit the camera, flash, and fingerprint scanner perfectly. There is ample room around the USB-C port for your adapter as well.

Unfortunately, the ability to store your ID and cards with your phone case prevents you from using the Pixel 3’s wireless charging feature. Of course, this also means that it won’t work with the Pixel Stand and its added functionality.

Protection

Vena states that their case meets military drop-test standards (MIL STD 810G-516.6), surviving 26 drops from 4 feet high. Given the robustness of the case and the tight fit, this case can definitely protect your Pixel 3 from accidental drops.

Price/Value

With an MSRP of US$39.99, the Vena vCommute is one of the pricier cases on the list. It is currently available for pre-order from Vena, and at a discounted price of $24.99 at the time of this review. While pricier at the full price, you are getting decent protection as well as a place to store your ID/credit cards, and a built in stand for your Pixel 3.

Wrap-up

If you’re one of those who like storing your cards in your phone case and don’t care about wireless charging or the Pixel Stand, the Vena vCommute will do the trick just fine and offer decent protection as well.

Vena vCommute for Pixel 3

US$39.99
9.5

Design

9.0/10

Protection

10.0/10

Price/Value

9.5/10

Nailed it

  • Solid protection
  • Store 3 ID/credit cards
  • Back flap doubles as a stand

Needs work

  • Wireless charging doesn't work with this case

Final Wrap-up

As you can see, there are a wide variety of cases for your Google Pixel 3. Depending on your preference, you should be able to find one from the above list to suit your needs and style.

If I had to recommend just one, however, it would be a tough choice as each have their pros and cons. As much as I love the Pixel 3 Fabric Phone Case, I found myself using the UAG Plyo the most out of the cases reviewed above. If price is your key factor, the Seidio Optik offers similar protection as the UAG Plyo at a much more affordable price point. Then again, if maximum protection is your goal, the UAG Monarch is your best bet while the Totallee cases offer the opposite for the minimalists out there.

*We were sent samples of the above Pixel 3 cases and screen protectors for the purposes of this review.

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