Protect your phone while keeping it easily accessible during a crowded commute with a hardshell phone case.

What to Consider When Choosing the Best Hardshell Phone Cases

While shopping for a hard-shell phone case, there are many things to consider. From the style and color of the case to its thickness and material, here are some key features to look for when choosing the best hard-shell phone case.


There are a variety of different shapes that can make a phone more comfortable to hold and use. The most common hard-shell phone cases are rectangular, square, or curved.

  • Rectangular cases fit in the hand well and usually have a slight curve to fit comfortably against the contours of a phone. These cases tend to be on the thicker side, with a heavier build quality than other shapes, such as squares and circles.
  • Square cases are easier to grip firmly at both ends, but they dont provide any cushioning for the fingers. These cases also tend to be on the thinner side, with a lighter build quality than rectangular cases.
  • Circles and ovals are typically used for smart phones, as they’re slim and can easily fit into a tight pocket. These cases are generally thin with a lighter build quality than rectangular or square cases.


Hard-shell phone cases come in a wide range of sizes to fit different types of phones. To find the right size, measure your phone first and then compare it to the measurements provided by the phone manufacturer. In general, these measurements will give you an idea of what size hard-shell case would work best.

If youre looking for a tough, durable case, you’ll want to go a bit larger in size than you would for a leather jacket. For a slim smartphone, a smaller case will do just fine. Remember that the thicker the case, the bulkier the phone will feel.


A hard-shell phone case should be thick enough to protect your phone but not so thick that it becomes cumbersome or uncomfortable to use. While the standard thickness for hard-shell phone cases is 0.5 inches, there are variations among products. Some manufacturers may add an additional 0.05-inch layer for reinforcement, known as laminates, which doubles the thickness to 0.1 inches.

For even more impact resistance, some manufacturers will add another 0.05-inch layer, resulting in a total thickness of 0.15 inches. This triple-layer construction is known as triplex.


Manufacturers use a variety of materials for hard-shell phone cases, including ABS plastic, polycarbonate, silicone, and rigid urethane.

  • ABS plastic is a lightweight option that wont rustle like silicone, but it doesnt have the same impact resistance as polycarbonate or rigid urethane.
  • Polycarbonate is a tough, shatter-resistant plastic thats heavy and durable. It can withstand being dropped on multiple times without breaking.
  • Silicone is flexible and soft, making it easy to grip your phone without slipping. However, this surface can become stained after repeated contact with oils and liquids.
  • Rigid urethane is strong and durable, and these cases are usually very thin (0.1 inches). Theyre great for those who like to drop their phone occasionally to test its durability.

Style and Color

The style and color of your hard-shell phone case will depend largely on how much protection you need from daily use as well as how visible the phone case needs to be. There are numerous colors available, including black, gray, blue, red, and green, in addition to the usual suspects of white, yellow, and silver.

White is still the predominant color for hard-shell phone cases, though there are more colorful options available today. If you’d like a more unique look, you can choose a nonstandard color or one that better represents your personality.

Additional Features

Some hard-shell phone cases come with special features, such as built-in screensavers, lights, alerts, vibrating functions, and camera lenses that extend out of the phone.

  • Built-in screen savers arent new technology; however, many manufacturers are now incorporating them into phone cases. This feature allows you to put a picture or video on display while protecting your phone.
  • Lights arent a new concept for phone cases either. Many manufacturers incorporate LED lights into their designs nowadays, allowing you to light up your phone for a little extra visibility.
  • Alerts can take the form of vibration alarms, lights, or sounds to get your attention if your phone is about to fall to the ground.
  • Vibrating functions arent just for notifications anymore. Some hard-shell phone cases allow you to set custom vibrations for different situations, such as when you receive a text message, make a call, or scroll through your emails.
  • Camera lens extensions are becoming more popular, especially for smartphones with cameras. This extension allows you to use your phone camera while keeping the main body of the phone protected.