Just a few bucks can save your brand new phone from disaster if you pick up a case. Every dent, ding, drop, and spill is an invitation for disaster, and just a few bucks can protect your multi-hundred-dollar investment. Since you’ll probably get one, you may as well get a really nice one — after all, it’s the part you’ll touch the most. So here are our top five picks for the best Pixel 4a cases in a handful of categories.
Best customizable case: dbrand Grip (Featured)
Most cases look like whatever they look like, but if you want to put a personal spin on things, the dbrand Grip offers a good mix of style and protection — but, most importantly, that style is customizable with dbrand’s more well-known skins. So rather than just accept what the back of your case looks like, you can get an interesting texture or pattern.
The fit is pretty good, and it has the sort of features you’d otherwise expect, like raised edges to protect the front of the phone. It also preserves the fun clickiness of the Pixel 4a’s buttons, though the fit around the buttons could be a bit better, and the cutout for the fingerprint sensor could be a little larger.
The Grip is our favorite customizable option either way — it’s a good case. At $30 for the plain model and $40 for a custom skinned version, it’s not what you’d call cheap, but compared to Google’s official options, it’s not exactly expensive, either.
Best rugged case: Poetic Revolution
If you want the beefiest, most over-the-top protection you can get, the Poetic Revolution fits the bill the best of all the cases we’ve seen in person so far. It’s utterly massive, offering a built-in screen protector, kickstand, port covers, and some serious rubberized chonk.
This case is massive. Poetic claims it’s shockproof and drop-proof, with a two-part polycarbonate and TPU design and what feels like half a centimeter of protective material in some spots. In short, it’s probably your best bet for some serious throwing around. It’s also a whopping $17 at the time of publication.
Best thin case: Spigen Thin Fit
Thin cases are usually my favorite. I don’t want a chunky phone in my pocket, I want the most svelte and slim experience possible, even if that means sacrificing some durability. But lots of thin cases out there are pretty terrible, and I do want the best experience possible. And right now, that’s Spigen’s Thin Fit.
It’s a little thicker than I like, and I’m not personally a fan of a soft-touch rubberized finish on anything, but it’s thin, protective, and the fit is excellent. It also doesn’t cost a lot ($12 when we published this post), which is good, since thin cases don’t usually last as long.
Best flexible case: Pela Case
Lots of folks specifically seek out those softer TPU-style cases that cover the entire phone in a single, solid, flexible material. If that’s you, then you can do one better than the usual boring TPU fare with a Pela Case. It’s the same sort of flexible experience, but without the TPU. In fact, it’s fully compostable, so when you throw it out, you don’t need to be worried about it sitting in a landfill forever.
There are a few things about the Pela Case I don’t like, but they’re the same objections I’d have for almost any TPU case: It’s a little on the thick side, the fit is a little too loose/flexible, and the colors and finish are a little polarizing — I think the colors themselves are fun, but the visible materials mixed in might seem a little cheap to some folks. The Pela Case has a cutout for the power button, but uses raised volume buttons, which some people might find odd. It’s also $40, which is quite a lot of cash.
Snazziest case: Google Fabric Phone Case
There are cases, and there are cases. If you’re after that protective “je ne sais quoi,” and want the snazziest, most premium experience, we’ve got just one case to recommend: Google’s official fabric one.
It’s not the most durable, or the thinnest, and it only comes in three rather muted colors: Blue Confetti, Static Gray, and Basically Black. But, it’s the nicest-feeling of all the cases we’ve tried. Google’s first-party case has a fun knit fabric finish stretched over a hard (probably plastic) body. It’s made of 70% recycled material, so you can also feel a little better about having it. But you will pay through the nose for it, though, as Google charges $40 for one.
Frankly, if looks and touch don’t matter, this isn’t the case for you. It’s too expensive, the fabric gets dirty and needs to be washed, and it’s not the most durable. But it’s really, really nice — probably the nicest Pixel 4a case you can get.
Which is best for you?
We’re not going to lie: the official Pixel fabric cases will always have a place in our hearts. They’re just so fun, different, and nice to touch. But their suspect durability and… unique look may not be for everyone. dbrand’s Grip presents a compelling option if you want a combination of protection and pop — you probably won’t ever see another Pixel 4a with the same skin as yours. But $40 to protect $350 of phone may not sit well with everyone, in which case, we remain fans of Spigen for basic protection on a budget. They’re cheap, reliable, and always fit well.