The Samsung Galaxy S21 might be approaching two years old, but there’s plenty of life left in it. The S21 series can expect years of Android updates, and the hardware design has aged more gracefully than any other phone in recent memory.
Whether you just bought one or had one since launch, you’ll want to keep this pocket-sized metal and glass safe and sound. That’s why we’ve gathered the best cases for the S21, covering every possible need.
The Nano Pop balances form and function perfectly. Its air cushioning will protect your S21 from drops and bumps without making the phone too thick, and it does all of this while looking lovely. It comes in three finishes, Blueberry Navy (navy blue and yellow), Light Violet (violet and lavender), and Prune Charcoal (charcoal and light gray). Each of these combines a dark primary color with a pop of vibrant color around the camera. The result is a colorful case that avoids coming off as garish, and that’s a hard line to walk with a purple case. The Nano Pop has a soft-touch finish, so it feels as good as it looks, and you’ll be less likely to drop it.
Caseology Nano Pop for Galaxy S21
Pela phone cases are expensive, but they’re well worth the money. All of their cases offer solid protection while looking truly unique. There are dozens of designs available, each in multiple colors. Some of them let you add a cardholder to the back for an extra $10. The standout feature of Pela cases is the materials they’re made from. Each case is made of flax straw “Flaxtic” and other plant-based materials, making the cases compostable. While other phone cases will end up in a landfill once you’re done with them, these will naturally break down without causing harm to the planet.
Liquid Armor is designed to do two things: make it harder to drop your phone, and protect it when you do without making the S21 bigger than it needs to be. It accomplishes this with a geometric texture on the back and grooves down the side rails. Combine that with a rubbery soft-touch finish and slim design, and you get a case that nestles into your hand and stays there. The case benefits from Spigen’s Air Cushion Technology, so if you drop your S21, both the phone and the case should walk away undamaged. Our only downside is that it comes in just one color: Black.
Spigen Liquid Armor for Galaxy S21
The i-Blason Cosmo is made of a front and back piece that ensures your Galaxy S21 is protected from both sides. The front piece adds a lip that will stop your display from touching table tops when placed face down while remaining compatible with glass screen protectors. The Cosmo is comfortable to hold, thanks to how thin it is, and it will keep your S21 safe from most knocks and drops. There are colorful options that won’t be to everyone’s taste, but they certainly stand out from the crowd. You can choose between Marble, Ameth, and Ocean.
i-Blason Cosmo for Galaxy S21
The Snakehive Wallet Case is made of genuine leather that is a joy to hold. Inside the front of the cover, you’ll find three card slots that let you leave your wallet at home. The case can double as a stand if you need it to, but it won’t be as stable as a proper kickstand, and it only works in landscape. The case is available in seven finishes: Black, Bottle Green, Brown, Grey, Navy, Plum, and Teal. Given the texture and grain of the leather on this case, each case will wear into a unique, one-of-a-kind pattern based on how you hold and use the Snakehive over time.
Snakehive Wallet Case for Galaxy S21
The UAG Monarch can withstand some of the most extreme punishment imaginable. Its five-layer construction ensures that kinetic energy is dispersed without causing damage to the case or the S21 within. Its aggressive design isn’t for everyone, but we think it looks excellent in this carbon fiber finish. Its chunkiness might make it hard to hold for some, but the textured back and sides make it as comfortable as possible and should help you get a tight grip. The Monarch is available in Mallard (blue), Crimson (red), Black, and Carbon.
UAG Monarch for Galaxy S21
The Impact Case from Casetify will take almost any abuse you throw its way and look good doing it. Although it isn’t compostable like a Pela case, it is made of recycled plastics, including other phone cases. The recycled plastic still feels reassuring in hand, and there’s no doubt that your S21 will survive even harsh drops, thanks to this case. Above all else, the best reason to buy an Impact Case from Casetify is personalization. There are dozens of designs, each of which can be customized with different colors. These range from original designs from Casetify to partnerships with Star Wars and other artists and creators. Whatever your taste, you’ll find something to love here.
Casetify Impact Case for Galaxy S21
Otterbox cases are all about protection, and the Prefix Series is no different. While thicker than most cases, the Prefix is slimmer than most Otterbox cases, so it won’t feel unwieldy in hand. A lip around the front of the case keeps your display free from scratches, but it isn’t so big as to interfere with Android’s gesture navigation. The Prefix comes in black or clear finishes, with the latter available in four frame colors: Clear, Black, Blue, and Red, which can spark great contrast with your Galaxy S21’s color if you so choose.
Otterbox Prefix Series for Galaxy S21
The Supcase Unicorn Beetle Pro takes protection to the extreme. A front piece protects the display while remaining compatible with screen protectors, dust covers for the charging port, and an included holster make up for the added bulk. The sides have a stiff, rubbery feeling with grooves that aid grip, while the back is a hard plastic affair that will take whatever abuse you throw at it. The best part of the Unicorn Beetle is the sturdy kickstand that works in portrait or landscape and can even be used as a handle. The case is available in Black, Ruddy, Tilt, and Violte.
Supcase Unicorn Beetle Pro for Galaxy S21
The Ghostek Atomic Slim combines a metal frame with TPU, leather, or carbon fiber, depending on which version you choose. This unique design results in a case that will easily keep your Galaxy S21 safe and look good doing it. The only downside to the Atomic Slim is, despite its name, its thickness. It adds a lot of bulk to the S21, so you may want to look elsewhere if you have small hands. The Atomic Slim is available in Red Carbon Fiber, Black Leather, Phantom Black (TPU), Phantom Pink (TPU), Phantom Red (TPU), Phantom Violet (TPU), and Prismatic (TPU).
Ghostek Atomic Slim for Galaxy S21
The Ringke says the Air-S is one of the most comfortable cases on this list. The soft TPU has a satin-smooth finish that is as grippy as it is pleasant to touch. The soft coating prevents scratches, so the Air-S should look as good in a year as it will when you take it out of the box. While relatively thin, this case offers a lot of protection, thanks to raised bezels that protect the display and lanyard holds for wrist straps. The Air-S is available in Black and Pink Sand and should be near the top of your list of thin, comfortable cases.
Ringke Air-S for Galaxy S21
The NTG Shockproof Case features a two-layer construction, combining a flexible inner layer and a hard plastic outer layer to absorb the shock from even the harshest drops. The case manages to do this while remaining relatively thin, so your phone shouldn’t feel too big while using it. The material choices feel good, with textured sides aiding grip and the outer layer is grippier than most hard plastic shells. The case is available in Black, Blue, Cobalt Blue, Dim Gray, Forest Green, Green, Orange, Purple, and Yellow.
NTG Shockproof Case for Galaxy S21
The Galaxy S21 is the smallest of the S21 range, and if you want to keep that slim feeling Spigen’s Liquid Armor could be your best bet. The soft finish makes the case grippy, and there’s decent drop protection as long as it’s from a relatively short distance. If you like the sound of that but want something more eco-friendly, then Pela’s range of cases are 100% compostable while feeling high-quality and comfortable.
Casetify cases are available in dozens of designs, many of which come in different colors, and some variants can be modified with custom text. Although not biodegradable, the Re/Casetify series is made of recycled plastics (including old phone cases) while still offering outstanding drop protection.
Caseology’s Nano Pop is a case you’ll see a lot in our case recommendations, and that’s with good reason. Our own Ara Wagoner used this Light Violet one for a year without seeing any damage to the case or device within, and now my wife is trusting it to keep her Z Flip 4 safe. The two-tone colors spice things up and keep it interesting without being gaudy.
If you care more about utility than looks, the Supcase Unicorn Beetle Pro is an absolute unit that can take any beating you throw at it. In addition to solid protection, the case includes a holster attachment, a sturdy kickstand, and port covers. It may not be the prettiest phone case in the world, but it’ll ensure your phone lives through the apocalypse.