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.
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 (opens in new tab) 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.
Most cases are plastic, or if you spend a bit more perhaps leather, but the Incipio Carnaby case (opens in new tab) 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.
Tech 21 claims that the Evo Check case (opens in new tab) 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.
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 (opens in new tab).
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.
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 (opens in new tab).
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.
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 (opens in new tab).
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.
The Speck Presidio Grip case (opens in new tab) 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.
If you want to put style ahead of protection you might like this Kate Spade Wrap case (opens in new tab), 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.
At the opposite end of the scale there’s the OtterBox Defender (opens in new tab), 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.
The Case-Mate Wallet Folio (opens in new tab) 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.
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