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Best Google Pixel XL cases

There was a time when Google’s phones undercut high-end rivals, but those days are over, as evidenced by the Google Pixel XL, which is one of the most expensive phones on the market.

With a cutting-edge processor, loads of RAM, a QHD screen and a premium design it justifies the outlay, but it’s a phone you’re going to want to keep protected and a case is the easiest way to do that.

That just leaves the question of which one to buy, and with a large selection available finding the best could be a time-consuming job. That’s why we’ve done it for you, with the selection below suiting various different budgets and needs.

Note: we've ranked these from cheapest to most expensive according to prices at time of writing.

1. Case-Mate Naked Tough Clear Case

More than meets the eye

Specifications
Colors: Transparent
Material: Plastic
Reasons to buy
+Shows off your phone+Surprisingly protective
Reasons to avoid
-Cheap appearance-Pricier than it looks

The Pixel XL has a slightly divisive design, with an odd glass block breaking up the otherwise metal build, but it certainly looks premium, so it’s a shame to hide it away.

With the Case-Mate Naked Tough case you don’t have to, as it’s transparent, letting your smartphone’s design shine through.

The case is also slim and more protective than it looks, with a shock absorbing bumper, anti-scratch technology and even UV yellowing resistant materials.

2. Incipio Carnaby Case

A cotton-covered case

Specifications
Colors: Black, Gray, Olive
Material: TPU, polymer and cotton
Reasons to buy
+Unusual design+Soft feel
Reasons to avoid
-Average protection-Still just plastic underneath

Most cases are plastic, or if you spend a bit more perhaps leather, but the Incipio Carnaby case has a cotton finish, giving it a soft, comfortable feel and an interesting look. 

Admittedly, underneath the cotton it’s still plastic, but it’s hard, shock absorbent and reasonably cheap, while looking classy and a little bit different.

3. Tech21 Evo Check Case

Slim, light and strong

Specifications
Colors: Smokey/Black, Clear/White
Material: TBC
Reasons to buy
+Defends against impacts+Slim and light
Reasons to avoid
-Check pattern will be divisive-Bland design

Tech 21 claims that the Evo Check case is up to 30% thinner and 60% lighter than other cases offering similar protection, and while we can’t easily put that to the test it’s certainly slim and light.

It’s also strong, with impact protection from drops of up to two meters, and if you get the clear version it does a good job of showing off your Pixel XL too. Depending on your perspective the check pattern on the back either helps or hinders the look.

4. Photos Live Case

Endlessly customizable

Specifications
Colors: Various
Material: Polycarbonate
Reasons to buy
+Lots of options+A personal touch
Reasons to avoid
-Can look cheap-Middling protection

Got a photo that you’d love to see every time you pick up your phone? Well, you’re not limited to just making it your handset’s wallpaper, you can also plaster it over a case, thanks to this Photos Live Case.

This is an official Pixel XL accessory, so it’s well-made, and you can add a photo of your choice to it, making for a completely customizable case, at least in terms of the visuals.

5. Artworks Live Case

An arty option

Specifications
Colors: Various
Material: Polycarbonate
Reasons to buy
+Stylish looks+Customizable
Reasons to avoid
-Selection of artworks could be wider-Expensive for a functionally basic case

If you’re feeling spoilt for choice with the Photos Live Case, or all your photos are rubbish, then you might want to consider the Artworks Live Case.

This is the same idea, allowing you to customize the case with an image of your choice, but rather than one of your snapshots you can choose from a range of professional artworks.

So, while it doesn’t offer quite such an unlimited number of options as the Photos Live Case, or such a personal finish, it makes up for that in the sheer quality of the artworks available.

6. Places Live Case

A celebration of maps

Specifications
Colors: Various
Material: Polycarbonate
Reasons to buy
+Unusual idea+Various color and style choices
Reasons to avoid
-Basic protection-Limited appeal

Yet another official Google case, this one makes the most of the company’s detailed maps, by allowing you to choose any Google Maps location – zoomed in or out – in a range of colors and styles, as the background for your case.

It’s a bit different to most other cases out there, so if there’s a location that’s important to you, or one that you just like the look of in map form, the Places Live Case is a strong option.

7. Speck Presidio Grip Case

You probably won't drop this, but it should survive if you do

Specifications
Colors: Black
Material: TBC
Reasons to buy
+Good drop protection+Grippy design
Reasons to avoid
-Plain-Pricey

The Speck Presidio Grip case doesn’t look like much, with its fairly plain black design. But those ridges give you a firm grip, so the phone won’t slip out of your hands, and the case has been drop tested from 10 feet high, making it one of the most protective Pixel XL cases around.

It’s designed to absorb and disperse shock and fully protect the camera and all ports, all while staying slim, light and free of scratches.

8. Kate Spade Wrap Case

A premium and stylish leather case

Specifications
Colors: Black
Material: Saffiano leather
Reasons to buy
+Real leather+Stylish
Reasons to avoid
-Expensive-Only comes in black

If you want to put style ahead of protection you might like this Kate Spade Wrap case, which is made from premium Saffiano leather.

It’s a high-end look, and the contrast of black leather with golden accents is certainly eye-catching. In fact, arguably it’s an improvement on the Pixel XL’s own appearance.

The case also doesn’t add much bulk, thanks to a sleek design, and while it arguably puts form over function this case still provides a moderate amount of protection to your phone.

9. OtterBox Defender

A case that puts protection above all else

Specifications
Colors: Black, Borealis
Material: Polycarbonate and rubber
Reasons to buy
+Serious protection+Built-in kickstand
Reasons to avoid
-Serious bulk-Costs a lot

At the opposite end of the scale there’s the OtterBox Defender, a big, chunky case made of plastic and rubber, that won’t be winning any beauty awards, but will keep your phone seriously well protected.

It defends the Pixel XL against dust, drops and scratches, with three layers of protection – a solid polycarbonate shell, a rubber slipcover and an integrated screen protector.

OtterBox has put the case through over 238 hours of testing, across over 24 different tests, to ensure the Defender is as durable as possible, and along with protecting your phone it also has a built-in belt clip and kickstand.

10. Case-Mate Wallet Folio

A premium case at a premium price

Specifications
Colors: Black
Material: Leather
Reasons to buy
+Stylish and sophisticated+Includes card and cash slots
Reasons to avoid
-Very expensive-Only comes in black

The Case-Mate Wallet Folio is made of genuine leather and sports a refined, classy design, with the look of an expensive wallet, which is kind of what it is, as the case also includes card slots.

Unlike most cases this one also closes over the screen, adding a little extra protection to that part of your phone – though it lacks the fancy tech of the OtterBox Defender.