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The 7 Best Cases to Protect Your New iPhone SE From Its Inevitable Demise

A photo of the iPhone SE 2 in Apple's official case.

The new iPhone SE is an affordable, powerful little device. But like all modern iPhones, the SE 2 has a fragile glass back for wireless charging. Let’s make the most of it with a durable, stylish case.

Manufacturers are already selling cases for the 2020 SE, and older iPhone 8 cases fit the device perfectly. In other words, it shouldn’t be too hard to find a case that matches your lifestyle or fashion sense.

Every case that we’re looking at today is shock-resistant and at least provides scratch resistance. They all support wireless charging, and they do not obstruct the SE’s home button, ports, or camera.

So let’s get right into it! Here are 7 killer cases to protect your new iPhone SE from physical forms of existential trauma.

Best Overall: Apple’s Official Cases

A photo of the official iPhone Se leather case.

Oh yeah, we love ourselves a good old fashioned Apple-branded accessory. The official Apple iPhone SE silicone and leather cases are lightweight, comfortable, and lined with a soft finish to keep your phone from getting scratched. The leather cases are particularly interesting, as they have machined aluminum buttons that feel nice and clicky. That’s the good stuff—clicky buttons.

The silicone and leather cases sell at $35 and $45, respectively. They’re about the same price as some of the other cases in this article, but they aren’t exactly “budget” options. If you’re looking for some wallet-friendly protection, then you should move on to the famous Spigen Liquid Air case.

One last note; Apple has a habit of not specifying the thickness of its phone cases. The official silicone and leather case are probably between 0.03 and 0.07 inches thick, but that’s just a guess from personal experience. If thinness is your game, then the 0.02-inch thick totallee Thin Case is your best bet.

Best Budget Case: Spigen Liquid Air

A photo of the Spigen Leather Air case.

The Spigen Liquid Air case is made from a durable, grippy, shock-resistant rubber. At 0.07-inches thick, it’s a bit chunkier than some of the other cases in this article, but it still works perfectly with wireless chargers and feels comfortable in your pocket. It’s also thick enough to protect the SE’s camera bump, which is more of a feature than it is a flaw.

For under $15, the Spigen Liquid Air case is a total steal. It’s about half the price of the other cases in this article, save for the HOOMIL Leather Folio Case, which sells for just under $15 (we’ll get to the HOOMIL case in a second).

Best Rubber Case

Spigen Liquid Air Armor Designed for iPhone SE 2022 Case/iPhone SE 3 Case 2022 / iPhone SE 2020 Case/iPhone 8 Case/iPhone 7 Case - Black

The Spigen Liquid Air case is made of a thin, durable rubber material. It's a lightweight case that comfortable to use and doesn't obstruct wireless charging.

Best Clear Case: totallee Soft Case

A photo of the totallee clear soft case.

Personally, I’m a big fan of clear cases. They protect your phone without obstructing its natural beauty. And the thinnest clear cases, like the 0.03-inch thick totallee Soft Clear Case, feel nearly transparent while in use. The totallee Soft Clear case is a durable, ultra-thin shield that’s free from any weird branding, which is all you can ask for from a clear case.

Best Ultra-Thin Case: totallee Thin Case

A photo of the totallee black thin case.

As I mentioned earlier, the 0.02-inch totallee Thin Case is the thinnest case in this article. It comes in black and white color varieties and is so thin that you can see the Apple logo through the case. The totallee thin case doesn’t offer any screen protection, but it does have some tasteful lips to protect the SE’s camera bump. Maybe “tasteful lips” isn’t the best phrase for this situation, but I’m going to stick with it because totallee’s cases kick ass.

Best Wallet Case: HOOMIL Leather Folio

A photo of the HOOMIL leather folio case.

Wallet cases free up your pocket space and make you look cool. What more could you ask for? The affordable HOOMIL Leather Folio Case is an impressive option, as it’s lightweight, built with a magnetic latch, and costs less than $15. It also comes in a variety of colors, works with wireless chargers, and can act as a neat little kickstand.

HOOMIL doesn’t specify the thickness of its folio case, but it’s thick enough to protect your camera bump yet thin enough to work with wireless chargers.

Best Rugged Case: Otterbox Defender

A photo of the Otterbox Defender case.

Need some beef on your iPhone SE? The Otterbox Defender case, which was designed for the iPhone 8, fits the SE perfectly and provides a crazy amount of protection. Its triple-layer design can endure some abuse, and its built-in screen protector ensures that your SE won’t crack and scratch after a painful impact.

For whatever reason, Otterbox doesn’t specify the size of its Defender case. But let’s be clear, this bad boy is thick. It’s real rugged, and it nearly doubles the size of the SE. (In terms of thickness, I mean. It doesn’t double the height. That would be weird.) Still, this thickness does not prevent wireless charging.

Best Rugged Case

OtterBox DEFENDER SERIES Case for iPhone SE (3rd and 2nd gen) and iPhone 8/7 - Frustration Free Packaging - BLACK

The Otterbox Defender is dense, shockproof, and has a built-in screen protector. It's the ultimate rugged case for the iPhone SE.

Most Customizable Option: dBrand Skins

A photo of a dBrand iPhone SE skin.

Here’s a curve-ball for you. A dBrand customizable skin may stand for the perfect alternative to a regular phone case. dBrand sells the highest quality custom skins on the market, and they can add a bit of scratch protection to your phone without making it bulky or downright ugly. And if you need more protection than a skin can offer, you could always buy one of dBrand’s customizable phone cases, which are tough, grippy, and wireless charger friendly.

If you’re into customizable stuff, then RedBubble’s custom cases are another solid option. RedBubble lets you print any image onto a phone case, and the website hosts a mess of pre-made cases for the iPhone 8 (which will fit the new SE). These cases don’t offer as much protection as the other options in this article, but the risk is worth it if you want to trick out your SE.

Andrew Heinzman Andrew Heinzman
Andrew is the News Editor for Review Geek, where he covers breaking stories and manages the news team. He joined Life Savvy Media as a freelance writer in 2018 and has experience in a number of topics, including mobile hardware, audio, and IoT. Read Full Bio »