Samsung’s latest flagship, the Galaxy S21, picks up where the Galaxy S20 left off, retaining the beautiful edge-to-edge display while adding ultra-slim bezels and a very sleek wraparound rear camera module. Available in four eye-catching colors, it looks stunning and promises to outperform most other phones on the market, given its use of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 chip.
However, as enticing as it looks, you’ll almost certainly need a case to protect it from damage. That’s why we’ve sorted through the best Samsung Galaxy S21 cases available right now, from lightweight covers to heavy-duty cases and leather wallets. Regardless of your particular tastes, you should be able to find one that suits your new phone.
Wallet cases are a great way to protect your phone without investing in a separate screen protector, but there’s nothing more annoying than having to flip your case open every time you want to check the time or notifications. Luckily, that’s an issue this case from Samsung solves. It has a hard shell interior and soft fabric outer, and the LED lights on the front of the case show you the time and your app, call, and text notifications. There’s an interior card pocket for your bank cards and ID, and the outer fabric boasts an antimicrobial coating, too. It’s not the cheapest case on our list, but if you’re after a wallet case, this is one of the best around.
Caseology’s Parallax Case is a classic for a reason. Not only does it look stunning with its cool Escher-inspired geometric design, but this dual-layered case also provides shockproof military-grade drop protection too. Raised bezels around the screen keep it safe even if you place your phone face down — we all do it — and you can choose from four colors: Ash Gray, Indi Pink, Matte Black, and Purple-ish (that one’s our pick, and it complements the Phantom Violet S21 nicely).
Opting for a wallet case doesn’t mean you have to settle for boring black or brown. Smartish Wallet Slayer’s flavor-of-the-month case comes in a cool blue-and-purple galaxy print that’s sure to stand out in a crowd. Of course, if you prefer your case a little less vibrant, you could always pick this up in Chef’s Special, a dark gray wood effect, or just grab a plain black version — but we love the galaxy print. This case is more than just eye-catching, though — there’s space to store three cards and cash, with a built-in spring that secures your cards in place. Grippy sides and air pocket corners add to the protection on offer. The only real downside is that storing more than a couple of cards in the case makes wireless charging tricky — but for the price of entry, this is one of our favorite wallet cases around right now.
If you want a case that slips easily onto your Galaxy S21 and provides military-grade protection, then this Commuter Series Case from OtterBox is just the ticket. It combines a softer inner layer with a hard outer shell, making it capable of withstanding drops from three times the heights needed to reach a military standard. It also comes with a silver-based additive that offers lasting antimicrobial protection, ensuring that it doesn’t turn into a breeding ground for bacteria. Aside from that, it boasts a stylishly minimal design, while OtterBox’s limited lifetime warranty means that you can rest assured it’s going to last.
Certain cases arguably detract from the aesthetic appeal of a smartphone, replacing a sophisticated modern design with bulky PVC that gets in the way of you staring admiringly at your phone. This certainly isn’t something that can be said for Olixar’s Ultra-Thin Case for the Samsung Galaxy S21, which is made from a 100% transparent gel material that provides flexibility and durability in equal measure. It perfectly retains the beauty of the S21, allowing you to show off your spanking-new phone while also keeping it guarded against everyday accidents. Not only does it fit snugly in your pocket, but it’s also precisely cut and molded, offering the same easy access to all of the phone’s buttons and ports.
If smartphones tend to have an unfortunate habit of slipping out of your hand, then the Presidio2 Grip Case from Speck is likely the answer to your problems. Its outer layer has been designed to provide a no-slip grip, while the case as a whole incorporates Speck’s “Armor Cloud” technology, meaning that it contains air cushions that absorb impacts and shocks. Speck claims drop protection of up to 13 feet, so you can be pretty sure that it will guard your S21 against the vast majority of thrills and spills likely to come its way. Its buttons are highly responsive, while it also uses a Microban coating, which reduces bacteria growth by around 99%. On top of this, its slim design ensures full compatibility with wireless charging.
Kickstand cases are usually pretty bulky, coming in the form of either heavy-duty military-grade covers or wallet cases. However, ESR has managed to produce a highly usable kickstand case that is also slim and stylish. It’s made of a polymer material that offers plenty of strength and resistance, while also offering enough suppleness to fit over the S21 easily. It has raised edges, ensuring that the phone’s touchscreen isn’t directly impacted whenever it falls face down. As for the kickstand, it’s built with a durable metal that opens sideways, letting you watch content or video-call friends without cramping your wrist.
LoveCases have released a range of arty cases for the Samsung Galaxy S21, but it’s this Abstract Rainbow case that has drawn our attention here. The design is the perfect antidote to overly generic cases and is great for anyone who wants a bit more color and character from their covers. It’s also ultra-thin and lightweight, with enough flexibility to let you take it on and off without a struggle. While it isn’t quite as durable as other cases on this list, it does sport raised bezels and edges, putting distance between the phone and any surface it might argue with. The cover features a non-slip coating that will reduce the chances of you inadvertently dropping your phone while admiring all the pretty rainbows.
Urban Armor Gear is known for some fairly bulky cases, but its Civilian Protection Cover for the S21 melds steely resistance and slimline looks. It combines a shock-absorbing softer core with harder bumpers, allowing it to meet military standards [MIL STD 810G 516.6] in drop testing. UAG has also built it using their HyperCush technology, which adds extra cushioning for your S21, just in case it slips out of your hand. As a lightweight case, it’s also fully compatible with wireless charging and NFC payments.
Transparent cases are the way to go if you want to behold the full beauty of your phone while still protecting it, and this specimen from Ringke is as good as any in this category. It has a see-through back that shows off your new S21, yet it also includes a strong TPU bumper, which not only offers more protection but also more grip. The case also makes use of raised lips and bezels, so that the phone’s touchscreen is kept out of harm’s way. As a bonus, it has built-in lanyard holes, so you can attach compatible straps.
Spigen’s Ultra Hybrid Case is an ideal solution if you want a sleek design and sturdy protection. It mixes a robust yet flexible TPU bumper with a harder PC back, offering protection against pretty much all everyday damage. At the same time, its clear, transparent design accentuates S21’s good looks. It also includes raised bezels for the screen and rear camera lenses, reducing the probability that a fall will directly impact either of these. If that wasn’t enough, its pronounced buttons and precise cutouts preserve the original functionality of the phone.
It may not be cheap, but Mous’ Limitless 3.0 case is one of the best all-around protective covers you’re likely to find for the Galaxy S21. Available in a wide range of designs, it will look distinctive and classy regardless of which style you go for, from the bamboo and walnut options to a black-and-white speckled version and, our favorite, this Aramid Fibre style. Not only that, but the case is seriously strong, being made from a combination of polycarbonate and TPU. Mous has also added its AiroShock technology to the case’s frame, imbuing it with a high level of impact protection. Other nice features include an eyelet for straps, a built-in magnetic mount, and full wireless charging compatibility.
Capable of withstanding drops of up to 14 feet, Incipio’s Grip Case will also make it highly unlikely that your S21 will fall out of your hands in the first place. Its surface material provides a multidirectional grip, preventing slippage regardless of whether you’re holding the phone upside down or upside up. The case’s impact struts are what give it such impressive drop protection, while it also includes raised edges and bezels to protect the S21’s display. To top this all off, it’s coated with antimicrobial protection, and includes scratch and discoloration resistance.
This good old-fashioned leather wallet case from FYY is made of a PU leather exterior that’s layered over a microfiber interior, which avoids scratching or scuffing the S21’s surface. Given that it’s dual-layered, it will help your phone avoid most of the damage that would otherwise spoil it, yet it retains full compatibility with wireless charging. It also looks very nice, with the sleek black leather cover closing discreetly over your phone with the aid of corner buttons. Because it’s a wallet case, it comes with slots for cards and cash, yet one distinction it has over other wallet cases is that it has a front flap that can be opened without opening the main compartment. This also helps avoid scuffing the phone’s surface.