COOL LOOKS FOR EVERY OCCASION
Element Formula iPhone XS Case ($99.95) This decidedly rugged case packs high-quality and protective materials including carbon fiber and aluminum, resulting in a sturdy yet lightweight build. The biggest downside is that the sides are a bit bulky and don't include raised bezels, making a glass screen protector a must (see page 28 for some good options). Perhaps my favorite feature of the Formula is its button covers. While many protective cases make it more difficult to control the volume and sleep/wake button, these button covers are precisely built for a satisfying clicking sensation when you press a button.
Incipio Stashback Dockable Credit Card Case ($39.99) If you love to travel light, a wallet case is your new best friend. This option from Incipio is slim, while leaving room to comfortably fit three cards in the back compartment. Unlike many wallet cases that leave your cards visible, Incipio's has a secret compartment that keeps your cards out of sight until you pop open the latch. However, if you want to be able to slide a card out without even so much as a glance down, you can't beat our COO Noah's favorite pick, the Speck Presidio Wallet Case ($44.95). The Casetify Essential Woven Grip Wallet Case ($24) is a nice cheaper option, that, while not as smartly designed as the Speck, offers a good value for the price. Keep in mind that with all these cases, you'll need to remove the credit cards in order to use wireless charging.
WenBelle Blazers Series Folio Case ($11.99) A good folio case is ideal for any traveler, as it not only doubles as a wallet but also as a stand so you can read or watch movies during your vacation or business trip. This option from WenBelle includes slots for your license and credit cards as well as a pouch for cash, which is handy if you've got a few bills to carry. While not the slimmest of cases, the Blazer is sturdy and protective—our feature writer Tamlin put it through a lot of abuse on a recent vacation and said it held up beautifully. If you're looking for a stylish yet affordable option for carrying your cards and iPhone, then you should take a look at the WenBelle Blazer Series.
Catalyst Waterproof Case ($64.99–$89.99) Our managing editor Rheanne is iPhone Life's queen (or should I say mermaid?) of underwater photography, and she swears by this case. Whether you like to snap pictures of critters or friends under water or you like taking photos in questionable weather, the Catalyst case (available for the XS beginning December) has you covered. It comes with a lanyard, so you can attach it to your wrist and not risk losing your phone. It's surprisingly slim and attractive and is easy to install and remove. You should expect your screen response time to slow down a bit though, and be careful not to scratch the case over the lens or else photo quality will suffer.
Speck Presidio Grip Case ($39.95) If we had to recommend one case to everyone, this would be it. The Presidio Grip offers the right balance of a slim design and practical protection, including rubber ridges to keep your phone in hand and a raised bezel so your screen won't crack if your phone lands on its edge. Great everyday alternatives include the Incase Pop Case for iPhone XS ($34.95), which shows off Apple's design with a clear back, the Sonix Lemon Zest Case ($35) if you enjoy a fun print, or the Ringke Air Prism Case ($9.99) in rose gold for a more glam look.
BEST FOR EVERYDAY USE
FOR THE TRAVELER
FOR THE RUGGED ADVENTURER