The Google Pixel 4/4 XL smartphones have been out for a couple of months now. Over that time, we got our hands on more than a few cases to review. Instead of separate reviews, we thought we’d put together a Pixel 4 XL case review roundup. We’ll be adding to this as we get more so be sure to check back. That said, let’s get down to business with the cases being listed and reviewed in alphabetical order.
NOTE: Unless otherwise noted, the cases in this list work just fine for wireless charging, at least with the Pixel Stand as tested.
Catalyst Impact Protection
The Catalyst Impact Protection Google Pixel 4 XL case looks fairly simple, and it is. The outer edge is black with decent cutouts and low profile button covers. The bottom right corner, when viewing the screen, also has a spot to feed through the included thin string lanyard. The back of the case is clear, with a small black bezel around the camera array.
When put on your Pixel 4 XL, the case just adds enough of a look to your smartphone, especially if you have the white or coloured back version. The clear back allows the white to show through and for a simple case, it really looks smart — at least in my opinion.
As for the inside of the case, the back is clear and smooth while the edges do have a honeycomb design on the inside for added impact protection. Speaking about edges, they are also raised enough to help protect your screen from scratches or other damage when placed face down.
With the clear back, the case does attract a fair number of fingerprints. Personally, I didn’t notice them too much given the white back of my Pixel 4 XL, but it is more visible when used with the black or coloured version of the device. That being said, it does wipe clean pretty easily but is worth noting.
As with many phone cases these days, the Catalyst Impact Protection case meets MIL-810G specifications. According to Catalyst, this means it can survive 9.9ft drops. As this case instantly became my favourite, it spent the most time on my phone. In addition, that also meant it had the most opportunity to be accidentally dropped. And dropped it was — twice, from the top of an 8′ ladder. Both times, the phone landed on the floor unscathed. In addition, the case itself showed no signs of damage.
With an MSRP of US$39.99, the Catalyst Impact Protection case isn’t the cheapest on this list. Given its design and level of impact protection, the pricing is in line with similar cases.
I have to admit that while it doesn’t look like much, the Catalyst Impact Google Pixel 4 XL case is the clear (pun intended) winner and became an instant favourite for me. It is simple, but looks great, feels great, and offers up decent protection for the Pixel 4 XL while showing off the white back of the device. While it could be a bit more affordably priced, it is priced in line with other offerings for what it gives. The Catalyst Impact easily earns a Top Pick of 2019 Award here at Techaeris.Purchase from Amazon Purchase from Catalyst
Google Fabric Case
The official Google Pixel 4 XL Fabric Case is by far the most pleasant feeling of the cases on our list. While I do enjoy the tactile feel of the fabric, the case had its shortcomings with the Pixel 3, mainly the lack of a discernible lip for screen protection. However, these were rectified with the Pixel 3a XL version and carry over to the Pixel 4 XL Fabric Case.
As for the case itself, it features curved edges and rounded corners. The back features a cutout for the camera array. The case itself is finished with a soft, knit fabric in various colours. Our review unit was Sorta Smoky and is grey and black with the pink Google G printed on the back near the bottom and a pink power button. Other colours include Just Black, Blue-ish, and Could be Coral.
The case goes on pretty easy and fits nicely. The top, sides, and all four corners are completed covered by the case. The bottom, unfortunately, features a wide cutout for the speakers and charging port. While this isn’t a huge deal, it is a difference from the majority of the cases on this list and leaves the bottom front edge open to potential chips and cracking if dropped.
The inside of the back is covered with a smooth felt the same colour as the power button and G on the back. The smooth felt layer definitely sits nicely against the back of your Pixel 4 XL and should provide some added protection against scratches if it’s jostled.
While the fabric design is nice to look at, as well as having a nice feel while holding it, it will get dirty as it traps dirt from your hands. The good thing is that you can easily wash it with mild soap and water and let it dry. Depending on the level of grime on the case, it may not come completely clean but light dust and dirt should come off with no problem.
As touched upon briefly above, the Google Fabric Case doesn’t cover all sides and edges of the phone. It does offer decent protection for the back and corners of the phone with the bottom edge being exposed to potential damage.
As for the screen, the lip is enough on this version of the case to leave a bit of a gap when placed face down on a counter or table. That being said, if you install a screen protector on it, the lip may not be enough to cover it and you’ll find your Pixel 4 XL sliding around on the screen protector when laid face down.
The Pixel 4 XL Fabric case retails for US$40 on both the Google and Amazon websites. The pricing is in line with most cases out there, although this one does offer a bit less protection than others will.
If you’re o.k. with medium protection and are after a bit more of a sophisticated look which feels very nice in hand, the Google Pixel 4 XL Fabric Case is for you. It goes on easy, offers suitable protection, and is washable should you get the fabric finish dirty.Purchase from Amazon Purchase from Google
The OtterBox Defender is by far the most rugged case on the list, and the most time consuming to put on your Pixel 4 XL. The inner polycarbonate shell comes apart in two pieces. To install it, place your phone inside the back cover, then slip the ring over the top and snap it into place. Once that’s done, the synthetic rubber slipcover slides over top and is held in place with a seal around the front edge of the inner shell.
Once fully installed, the buttons on your Pixel 4 XL are completely sealed. While the cutouts are ample for the bottom speaker, camera array, and USB-C port, the outer shell also has a port cover for the latter. It is a nice touch but made charging the phone with a USB charging stand a bit awkward. It’s not the end of the world, of course, but something to mention. As mentioned at the start of this review roundup, this case does still allow wireless charging with the Pixel Stand so if that’s what you’re using, the port cover won’t be a big issue.
The inside of the inner shell also has an added soft absorbant layer which adds even more shock absorption in the case of accidental falls. While the Pixel 4 XL is snug in the case when fully installed, this added layer does leave a bit of a gap between the phone and the inner shell around the camera lens array. While not a big deal, this will allow for dust and small debris to gather here between the phone and inside of the case.
The OtterBox Defender also comes with a belt clip phone holster. The two corners on one of the long edges are thick and curved. The phone, inside the Defender case, of course, slides into these corners with the screen towards the back of the holster. You can then press down on the opposite long edge to snap the case in place with the clip in the middle of that edge. To remove, simply pull up slightly on the clip and remove your phone. The holster also doubles as a kickstand for hands-free viewing of your device.
Our review sample came in a blue outer shell with a grey inner shell. You can also get a black/black or purple/pink colour combination as well. As far as branding, the OtterBox logo is debossed near the bottom of the outer shell.
With its polycarbonate shell and synthetic rubber slipcover, the OtterBox Defender offers up “legendary protection.” OtterBox’s words, not mine. That being said, it truly is the most rugged-looking and feeling case here. Like the Symmetry below, Otterbox states that the Defender case design goes through over 24 tests and 238 hours of testing.
With an MSRP of US$60.95, the Defender is the priciest one on this list so far. That being said, it also includes a holster clip, not to mention that it is also the most rugged phone case we’ve reviewed here. If you’re looking for a deal, however, it is currently on sale on Amazon for just under $39.
If you’re looking for ultimate protection for your Pixel 4 XL, you won’t need to look much further than the Otterbox Defender. It is a bit pricier than other options at regular price, but it is still a reasonable purchase given the level of protection and included holster.Purchase from Amazon Purchase from Otterbox
The OtterBox Symmetry hasn’t changed much over the years, from what I remember, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The case packaging does indicate this is a new thinner design so it is likely thinner than previous iterations of the case.
While a single layer case, the Symmetry is comprised of both a polycarbonate hard shell back and a softer synthetic rubber bumper on the sides. The back of the phone has a nice raised square cutout for the Pixel 4 XL’s camera array. As far as branding, the OtterBox logo is debossed near the bottom of the case. The hard back warps around from the back and up to about halfway along the edges of the phone with the exception of around the buttons, charging port, and left side opposite the buttons.
The bottom of the case has ample cutouts for the speakers as well as the charging port. While the power and button area is encased in the synthetic rubber material, the buttons themselves are hard and very responsive. OtterBox has mirrored the softer surface on the edge opposite the buttons for looks on this case and that area is debossed with the OtterBox logo. As far as the edge goes, the rubber provides a decent sized lip for added protection when your phone is placed face done on a desk or other flat surface. The lip even provides enough room to install a glass screen protector like the OtterBox Amplify.
As for the inside of the case, the back of the hard shell has a honeycomb design motif. Unfortunately, the synthetic rubber doesn’t line the inside of the case outside of the edges and it might be a nice design addition in the future to add just a little bit of extra protection to the back of your phone from the case.
Being a one-piece design, the case is easy to put on and take off without much fumbling around.
Our OtterBox Symmetry review sample came in Aspen Gleam Yellow, which is more of a mustard yellow but the case is also available in Black, Sapphire Secret Blue, Clear, Stardust (Glitter), and Gradient Energy.
Of course, most people get cases to protect their often expensive investments. According to OtterBox, the Symmetry case design goes through over 24 tests and 238 hours of testing. The rigid polycarbonate shell coupled with the synthetic rubber edges definitely protects the Pixel 4 XL from the accidental drops and bumps of daily use.
The Otterbox Symmetry for the Pixel 4 XL retails for US$50.95 on the Otterbox website. While that is a bit pricey, it does offer up decent protection. On that note, it can currently be purchased from Amazon for as low as $35. In addition, the case comes with a limited lifetime warranty.
The OtterBox Symmetry provides durable protection while maintaining a relatively thin profile on your phone. The rigid back shell coupled with the synthetic rubber edges offers decent protection for your Pixel 4 XL for daily use. While a bit pricey at regular price, it is a good investment at the current Amazon selling price. In addition, there are various colour options to suit your preference!Purchase from Amazon Purchase from Otterbox
Peel is the most minimal case on the list. The company calls it “The Original Super Thin Case” and super thin it is. At only 2mm thin, you’ll be hard-pressed at a glance to even realize there is a case on your phone. Even though it is thin, the materials used do feel pretty sturdy.
The Peel case wraps nice and tight around your Pixel 4 XL and the cutouts are just barely larger than the ports, speakers, and buttons they surround. In addition, there is no branding whatsoever on the Peel cases.
It does feel a bit slippery, however, but not too much. While there is a small lip around the back camera array cutout, when placed face down, your screen does slide around on the table or desk.
The Peel Google Pixel 4 XL case is available in black and silver, which is actually more of a clear frosted finish.
As for protection, the Peel case will protect the back and edges of your smartphone from scratches, but not much else. As mentioned above, there is no front lip either so your screen isn’t protected when laid face down on a desk or table either.
The Peel case has an MSRP of US$29 and retails for as low as $24 on Amazon. Personally, while the thin quality feels o.k., I’d expect to pay more like $15 or $20 for a case this thin which offers little in the way of impact or screen protection.
There are those of you who enjoy having a super-thin case that’s barely there for your smartphones. If that notion appeals to you and you’re not worried about drops or impact resistance, the Peel case is a great choice.Purchase from Amazon Purchase from Peel
Another thin case design, the Totallee Google Pixel 4 XL case is a bit thicker and more substantial than the Peel thin case above. It is still fairly thin and features a rounded curved edge and corner design. The cutouts are ample and the buttons are fully covered by the button covers on the right edge. The case also has decent lips for the front screen and the back camera array.
Our review sample came in a clear finish while a solid black is also available. Personally, I do like the clear see-through finish as it does allow the design of your phone to be seen through the case.
As mentioned in the design section, the Totallee case is a tad more substantial than the Peel case and, as such, offers up better protection. Being a bit thicker, it offers decent protection against drops, although not as much as a more rugged case. Additionally, the lip on the front is just enough to allow you to put your phone face down on a flat surface and not have to worry about the screen touching it.
At US$35, the Totallee minimal case is approaching the price of some more substantial and rugged cases. I’d expect to pay more around $25 for a case this simple.
If you truly are after a minimal case with adequate protection, the Totallee case is just that. In addition, the clear version allows the design of the Pixel 4 XL to shine through.Purchase from Amazon Purchase from Totallee
The UAG Monarch is one of the more rugged cases on this list. The design of this case features five layers of protection. The outer back of the case has a top-grain leather finish underneath its raised metal bevels. These bevels are either black or red, depending on which colour variation you get, and the UAG logo is debossed in the center.
The left and right edges have a honeycomb finish for added grip. The corners are reinforced as well, while the cutouts on the top and bottom of the case are more than ample for access to the ports on the Pixel 4 XL. The front edge is also ample for placing your smartphone face down without it coming into direct contact with your table or desk.
Like its Plasma counterpart below, the buttons on the Monarch case also feature a slit along the long edges, which can allow for dust to get into the side of the case around the buttons.
The inside of the case features a honeycomb finish that covers most of the back and goes nearly to all edges.
According to UAG, the UAG Monarch Google Pixel 4 XL case meets 2X Military drop-test standards (MIL-STD 810G 516.6). This provides increased drop protection. Given the thickness of the edges, coupled with the reinforced corners and honeycomb inside, this case definitely offers up strong protection for your phone.
Regularly priced at US$59.95, the UAG Monarch is currently on sale for $49.95 on the UAG website, offering up pretty decent savings.
The UAG Monarch is almost a perfect case. It is a bit bulkier due to its increased protection and offers fantastic drop protection for your device. It would be nice to see future versions of this case come without the slit near the buttons to keep dirt and dust from getting into the case around the buttons.Purchase from Amazon Purchase from UAG
UAG is another brand that has been in the phone case business for awhile. The UAG Plasma offers up rugged protection and is a bit sleeker looking than the UAG Monarch. It is roughly the same thickness though so its just as bulky.
The semi-transparent back of the UAG Plasma has similary raised bevels to the Monarch but they are slightly wider and have a wider angle towards the back of the case. The UAG logo is debossed in the middle of the case, regardless of the colour style. The familiar (by now) square cutout for the camera array fits nicely around it but also leaves a bit of space between the edge of the array and the case.
The corners of the UAG Plasma are reinforced and are opaque. The same semi-transparency on the back wraps around the left and right sides and has some extra ridges for added grip. The top and bottom edge feature the same opaque black look as the corners. The bottom edge has cutouts for the speakers as well as a slightly larger one for the charging port which should accommodate most USB Type-C cable ends.
The inside of the case has a slight honeycomb motif where the case touches the actual phone. Where the back of the case is raised, there is an air gap between the back of the phone and the case.
As for the button covers, they are also opaque black. One edge of the button cover is cut out, which, as mentioned with the Monarch, does leave the buttons open to dust and dirt. The buttons do work as expected with the case on and do have a slight clicky feel to them.
This case is available in both Ice — with a clear back — and Ash (with a smoky back), depending on your preference.
The UAG Plasma offers decent protection on the back and sides. It also has an ample lip which gives user peace of mind when placing their Pixel 4 XL face down on a hard surface. The corners are reinforced as well for extra drop protection should your phone land on a corner when accidentally dropped.
With an MSRP of US$39.95, the UAG Plasma is reasonably priced given the level of protection it offers up. Currently, the case is on sale for $34.95 on UAG’s website.
The UAG Plasma Google Pixel 4 XL case is relatively light while still offering good protection for your smartphone. It does offer up a bit of bulk but not as much as some of the more rugged cases on this list. Like the Monarch, it is a shame there are slits alongside the buttons.Purchase from Amazon Purchase from UAG
NOTE: The Vena vCommute may interfere with wireless charging. When tested, the wireless charging did not work with the magnetic stand close, nor with cards in the back of the case. With no cards and the magnetic stand opened, the wireless charging did work.
The Vena vCommute Google Pixel 4 XL case is one of the thicker ones on this list, and for good reason. The outer edge of the case is nicely rounded, curved, and a bit thick. The top and bottom cutouts are nice and big, and given the thickness of the case, they need to be around the USB-C port.
The button covers, like the UAG versions above, do cover the buttons of the phone but also have a slit on one edge. I get that this makes them easier to press but it does allow dust and dirt to get inside the case.
The back of the case is where you’ll see why it is so thick. The top quarter of the case has a carbon fibre look which wraps around the camera array. The bottom three quarters, on the other hand, has a tri-fold leather flap. The leather flap is also reinforced with metal plates, allowing the case to be used with magnetic mounts without the need for an extra plate.
When pulled back, it can be folded over in various ways to offer different viewing angles as a stand. As well, when folded back, it exposes a compartment that is big enough for a couple or few cards. While the inside of the tray is plastic, the back of the flap and the back of the case where it meets is lined with a soft felt material. Personally, I could fit two cards with raised numbers and my driver’s license in the back just fine.
The inside of the case offers up extra protection as well with a unique debossed motif
As far as branding and colour, the Vena logo is barely visible on the leather stand. The case is also only available in black.
Again, this is one of the thicker cases on the list and as such, it offers up great impact resistance. In addition, the dual-layer polycarbonate and TPU with CORNERGUARD design meets military drop-test standards for extra peace of mind.
The Vena vCommute is listed for US$39.99 on the Vena website. However, the regular price is listed as $27.99 on Amazon. Even better, it is currently on sale for just over $22 on Amazon. For the functionality it gives you, the retail price is more than reasonable but the Amazon price, especially at the current sale price, really is a steal.
The Vena vCommute is an interesting, multi-purpose case. Not only does it offer smartphone protection but it also allows you to carry some of your important ID and cards, as well as has an integrated, multi-angled stand. If you’re not terribly concerned about wireless charging, this case offers plenty of extra functionality.Purchase from Amazon Purchase from Vena
And there you have our Google Pixel 4 XL case review roundup. We did just get another batch in so keep checking back as we’ll be updating this review roundup with as other cases arrive.