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The best Samsung Galaxy S21 cases you can buy
The Samsung Galaxy S21 might be the smallest of the series and comes with a “glasstic” build, but it’s still as prone to damage as any other smartphone. If you want to keep the phone in good condition for as long as possible, a good case is a must. Here at Android Authority, we extensively test both phones and cases, so we’ve done the research for you. These are some of the best Samsung Galaxy S21 cases you can get right now!
Looking to upgrade? Check out our Samsung Galaxy S22 Buyer’s Guide
Our picks include thin cases, rugged cases, wallet cases, and more. If you’d like to learn more about our favorite case brands or other smartphone accessories we recommend, check out our guides below.
Best Samsung Galaxy S21 thin case: Spigen Thin Fit
- Thin and light
- Tactile button covers
- Precise cutouts
- Not as protective
- Only one color option (black)
It doesn’t get much better than the Spigen Thin Fit if you’re looking for a thin and light case. The hard shell polycarbonate case snaps onto the phone and comes with a raised camera bump, button covers, and precise cutouts for everything else. It also offers a decent grip for a PC case. It’s not the best option if you’re particularly clumsy but can manage some bumps and drops.
Looking for more thin Samsung Galaxy S21 case options? We also recommend:
PHNX mnml case
If you want a truly thin case, this one measures just .35mm thin. That’s the thinnest and lightest Galaxy S21 case you can currently buy. Sure, it won’t offer too much drop protection, but if you’re careful, it won’t be an issue.
Caseology Nano Pop
The Caseology Nano Pop is a great option if you want something other than a boring black case. A “pop” of color adds an interesting contrast that looks great. The Nano Pop is also a good protective case, although it isn’t quite as thin as the Spigen option above.
Best Samsung Galaxy S21 clear case: Spigen Liquid Crystal
- Thin and light
- Precise cutouts
- Crystal clear
- Clear cases tend to yellow over time
- Difficult to keep clean
The Spigen Liquid Crystal is an excellent thin, light, and clear TPU case for the Samsung Galaxy S21. The soft TPU makes the case very easy to install and remove, and the buttons are covered but easy to press. It’s not the most protective case on this list but will help keep the phone free from scratches and smudges.
Looking for more clear Samsung Galaxy S21 options? We also recommend:
The Ringke Fusion is more protective than the Liquid Crystal. It combines a hardshell polycarbonate back and a soft TPU bumper to keep the phone safe. You also have the choice of different textures and designs to add grip and style. Like other Ringke cases, it also features two holes on the sides for straps and lanyards.
ESR metal kickstand case
As the name suggests, this clear case has the benefit of a built-in kickstand that lets you prop the phone up in both landscape and portrait. The metal kickstand is strong and sturdy and will last a while, although you may want to remove the case when using a wireless charger.
Best Samsung Galaxy S21 hybrid/regular case: Caseology Parallax
- Dual-layer protection
- Tactile button covers
- Multiple color options
- Difficult to install and remove
Hybrid cases are the way to go if you want added protection without adding thickness or weight. The Caseology Parallax is one of the best options you can get. A TPU case is coupled with a polycarbonate frame to keep the corners safe. You also get a choice of colors, and the diamond pattern on the back looks great.
Looking for more hybrid/regular Samsung Galaxy S21 case options? We also recommend:
Spigen Rugged Armor
The fan-favorite Spigen Rugged Armor finds the perfect balance between bulk and protection. Despite the name, it’s not a particularly rugged case, but it does an excellent job of keeping the phone safe from bumps and drops.
Speck Presidio2 Grip
If grip is what you’re after, the Speck Presidio2 Grip is the Samsung Galaxy S21 case for you. It comes with a soft-touch finish and no-slip ridges along the sides and back. You also get enhanced corner protection and an anti-microbial coating. It also happens to be one of the cheapest S21 cases you can buy, frequently running for well under 10 bucks.
Best Samsung Galaxy S21 wallet case: TUCCH wallet
- Can hold up to four cards and cash
- Folio cover doubles as a kickstand
- Plenty of color options
- RFID blocking
- Magnetic closure might loosen over time
- Need to take the phone out for wireless charging
The TUCCH wallet offers everything you’d expect from a wallet case. It’s made with premium faux leather that looks stylish. The folio cover doubles as a kickstand and has an extra layer for RFID blocking. You can store up to four cards and some cash on the front cover. You also have plenty of color options to choose from, from black to pink.
Looking for more Samsung Galaxy S21 wallet case options? We also recommend:
Spigen Slim Armor CS
The case comes with a sliding cover on the back that snaps into place and keeps your cards safe. It’s thinner and lighter than a traditional wallet but can still hold three cards. This makes the design very pocketable, but a little limited on what it can hold.
Like the Slim Armor CS, the Vena vCommute has a hidden card slot on the back that can comfortably hold your cards. Also helpful is a multi-angle lock stand. It’s a touch bulky but provides excellent protection as a result.
Read also: The best wallet phone cases
Best Samsung Galaxy S21 rugged case: Otterbox Defender
- Excellent protection
- Drop-tested to 4x as many times as military standard
- Port covers keep out dust and debris
- It comes with a belt clip holster
- Thick and bulky
Otterbox is the go-to name for rugged phone protection, and the Defender is one of the best cases you can get for the Samsung Galaxy S21. It packs all the protection you could ask for. From a thick raised lip around the display and rear camera unit to port covers to keep out dust and debris, the Defender does it all. It also comes with a belt clip holster. It’s big and bulky and probably isn’t for everyone, but it’s definitely built to take a beating.
Looking for more rugged Samsung Galaxy S21 case options? We also recommend:
Spigen Tough Armor
The Spigen Tough Armor does a great job of keeping your phone safe without adding too much thickness or bulk. It also comes with a built-in kickstand to prop the phone up in the landscape orientation, although it isn’t the most robust kickstand we’ve tested.
The UAG Monarch is a surprisingly light case, considering it offers five layers of protection. A thick bumper offers extra corner protection, and ridges along the sides help with grip. It’s still thin enough to allow wireless charging and NFC payments.
Read also: The best rugged phone cases
How we test phone cases
We rigorously test smartphones, accessories, and other products in our reviews here at Android Authority. There are plenty of factors we consider before choosing the best cases for the Samsung Galaxy S21.
- Protection: An ultra-thin case is great to keep the phone scratch-free. It won’t do much in case of an accidental bump or drop. We simulate real-world drops to test durability for hybrid and rugged cases, like if the phone falls while pulling it out of the pocket or if it slips off of a table. We also consider corner protection, the lip around the display and rear camera, and whether the buttons are covered.
- Build materials and quality: A bad case could do more harm to your phone than good. Poor-quality polycarbonate cases can break when installing or removing them. The fit also matters. If you have to apply a lot of pressure to remove a case, the case will crack. With softer TPU cases, continuously removing the case might cause it to loosen around the corners, affecting the fit and protection you will get.
- Grip: A case that will make your phone slip out of your hand kind of defeats its purpose. Along with hands-on testing, we slide the phone across different surfaces like wood and marble to see whether it is slippery. Cases get extra points if they have ridges or bumps to help with the grip.
- Installation and removal: Installing a case shouldn’t be difficult, and we don’t feature cases that can’t even be installed easily. However, removing a case can be a pain with high-quality cases as well and potentially damage your phone. It’s a big no-no if you have to apply a lot of force to the point where you feel the phone almost bending.
- Design and colorways: Design and color are personal choices, but it’s nice to have options. We also have a dedicated category for clear cases to show off the phone’s design.
- Price: You don’t have to spend too much to get a good case. $10 cases that offer as much protection, if not more, than $75 options.