The Galaxy S22 may be the most advanced model in Samsung’s flagship range – with— but that doesn’t mean you have to ditch your Galaxy S21. In fact, now more than ever you’ll want to protect with a good case. As , you’ll need to make sure you get a case designed for your specific model. The it boasts a 6.8-inch screen and the heaviest build – cases with integrated stands are a good option for this big boy. The is slightly smaller at 6.7 inches, while the is even smaller at 6.2 inches. But no matter what model you have, we’ve rounded up all the best S21, S21 and S21 Ultra case options available.
Note that some of the recommendations for these Galaxy S21 series cases are based on my experience using nearly identical models to previous Galaxy smartphones, as well as. When multiple products are shown, the price listed is the starting price for the line. Make sure you buy the case and tempered glass that fits the specific model of your S21 – Ultra, Plus or Standard.
Leading case manufacturer Speck provides a selection of protective case options for the Galaxy S21, including (from left to right in the photo above) Presidio Perfect-Clear, Presidio Perfect-Mist, Presidio Perfect-Clear Ombre and Presidio2 Grip. They also have cases for the Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus, Galaxy S20 Ultra, Galaxy Z Flip, Galaxy Z Fold and Galaxy S7, S8, S9 and S10 models.
All new models have very good drop protection (13 to 16 feet, depending on the model), as well as Speck’s Microban antimicrobial coating. Cases start around $40 in a variety of color options and can sometimes be found on sale for less.
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If you’re looking for a cheap clear case for your new Galaxy S21, Spigen’s Ultra Hybrid is a good price. I like the Ultra Hybrid S (pictured left), which has an integrated kickstand.
No drop rating is listed for this Samsung phone case, but Spigen’s clear cases seem to offer reasonable protection. If you want a rugged case with decent protection, Spigen’s Tough Armor case (pictured right) is an option and also has an integrated kickstand. Note that many of these cheaper clear cases have a habit of yellowing and degrading over time, making them less transparent. But they’re cheap enough that you probably won’t mind shelling out money for a replacement if and when that happens. This Samsung Galaxy S21 case is made of TPU bumper and provides maximum protection with a precise cutout for the camera. The housing material is polycarbonate and thermoplastic polyurethane.
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Available in brown or black, Samsung’s leather case offers a hardened protective layer around the cameras while providing a nice leather feel to the rest. The skin doesn’t affect wireless charging or anything, so you can put this on your phone and feel great without sacrificing anything. The soft leather case does not weigh down the phone and has good shock absorption.
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Samsung’s Clear Standing Cover isn’t anything fancy, but it’s a protective clear case with a built-in stand. You can prop your phone horizontally or vertically using the kickstand, which looks sturdy (it’s bigger than Spigen’s integrated kickstand). I use this case regularly.
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I’ve recently become a fan of Clckr’s cases, which feature a built-in stand and grip strap that unfolds and snaps into place on the back of your phone. Clckr only sells the stand strap accessory to stick on the back of your phone or case, but the case with the built-in stand accessory is better. The choice for the S21 is pretty limited right now (there’s only a clear S21 and S21 Plus, no S21 Ultra), but maybe the options will expand over time.
The cases aren’t rugged, but they’re protective enough, with raised edges to protect the screen. The ones I’ve used with other phones have held up well over time.
When the kickstand is clicked into place, you can use your device hands-free in portrait or landscape mode. Note that you can wirelessly charge your phone with this case, but you need to be more careful in placing it in the right place on a wireless charging pad for it to work. The new models have antimicrobial protection.
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The company’s super-protective Defender series case is available for all Galaxy S21 models, but most people want something less bulky. I like the Symmetry series cases — they’re slim with bevelled edges, which makes them a good mix of sleek and protective. However, I’ve grown to like the Commuter series of protectors more, thanks to the grips it has on the back and sides, as well as the raised edges on the front, which should help protect your screen. The raised bezel acts as a screen protector to keep your screen scratch-free, and the camera module gets the same treatment.
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Sometimes you need more than just a case, and while there are many that claim to be “rugged,” few are willing to back up that claim. ArmadilloTek’s Vanguard series is MIL STD 810G rated, meaning it can withstand a drop of up to 20 feet thanks to its multi-layer design and provides great protection for your camera lens. Even with these layers between the phone and the charger, one of which includes a retractable kickstand, this case still supports wireless charging.
British case maker Gear4, now owned by Zagg, makes cases that are right up there with OtterBox and Speck. All of them are lined with the company’s D3O shock-absorbing material and have chamfered edges to protect your phone. Shown here from left to right are the Havana (10-foot drop protection), Denali (16-foot drop protection), Crystal Palace (13-foot drop protection), and Copenhagen (13-foot drop protection). All use some recycled plastic in their construction, but the Copenhagen, made from 52% plant-based material, is the most eco-friendly.
Prices range from $30 to $50 for the top-of-the-line Denali, which is probably the Gear4 case I like the most.
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Especially with the two larger Galaxy S21 models, I find having an integrated kickstand to be a nice feature, and the ESR kickstand case is about as affordable as you can get.
Cyrill is a sub-brand of Spigen, and like Spigen, its cases typically sell for less than $20. Cyrill doesn’t have quite the same selection for the Galaxy S21 as it does for the iPhone 12, but it does have some protective clear cases with floral designs (pictured right), as well as the Brick Matte Finish Bumper case, which has a soft-touch finish (pictured left). It has a raised bezel on the back that provides extra protection for the camera lens. The corners of the case also have a raised lip.
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Some people like to have full screen protection, so they go with a film that covers the screen. The Strada Via is a new foil case from Otterbox that has a soft-touch finish and stays closed thanks to a set of magnets. It also has a slot for storing one or two credit cards. The only thing I didn’t like about it is that it doesn’t convert into a stand for watching videos.
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For the Galaxy S21, UK-based Mous makes its Clarity Lite transparent case with anti-yellowing technology, as well as its Limitless 3.0 case, which comes in several different eye-catching styles (Aramid fiber shown at left). All of them are lined with the AiroShock material, which the company says provides excellent protection in a slim design. They really seem durable and all include a lifetime warranty.
Mous’ Limitless 3.0 cases are compatible with the company’s Limitless 3.0 accessories. This includes a wallet that magnetically sticks to the back of the phone case and several mounts, one of which is a vent mount for your car.
It’s also worth noting that the Limitless 3.0 cases are the only ones I’ve seen that have a SIM card storage slot on the inside of the smartphone case for international travelers who have a habit of swapping SIM cards.
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Lifeproof’s Wake case is made from recycled ocean plastic. It’s an attractive design, but I wouldn’t call it super sturdy – it’s not sealed at the bottom and has 6-foot drop protection. (Note that some cases on this list have higher drop protection ratings.)