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The tile floors in my home are a graveyard for iPhones. Ever since we’ve moved in, I’ve lost no fewer than 3 devices to minor falls that are six feet or less. Why? Because I’m stubborn and refuse to put my iPhone in a case. Yes, I might have drunk deeply enough from the Kool-Aid that, over a decade later, I still believe Steve Jobs when he said the first iPhone was durable enough it didn’t need a case.
While it’s one thing to hew to blind devotion when you can zip down to the Apple Store and have your hubris-demolished iPhone replaced by a Genius, it’s another when the current replacement policy is a big shrug.
That’s why it’s more important than ever to keep your iPhone 11 Pro Max safe. Here are the toughest, most durable iPhone cases on the market right now, arranged by drop protection (least to most).
Otterbox Defender Series Pro
Built like a tank, the Defender Series Pro is a chunky screenless case that’s rigid and solid. It will protect your iPhone from drops and keep your charging port and mute switch free of debris. The soft microfiber backing will keep the glass back of your iPhone scratch free as well. It also comes with a belt holster that can double as a kickstand. Sadly, despite the fact that Otterbox touts drop protection and testing all over their site, they don’t actually provide a drop rating, hence their placement on the list. One big plus in their favor right now, though, is the fact that the Otterbox Defender Series Pro case is antimicrobial. It’s an extra bit of protection that we could all use.
Another stylish case that offers “high impact absorption” from a special material, the Mous Contour offers edge protection and a leather back. The AiroShock material in the case is a specially-created polymer that “absorbs the energy of drops and dampens the impact by slowing down the rate of deceleration.” By how much? From what height? They don’t say. But reviews and testimonies are all favorable. If you’re looking for protection in leather that stands out from the crowd, the Mous Contour case is worth checking out.
Nomad Active Rugged Case
Nomad’s Active Rugged Case for the iPhone 11 Pro Max is made from specially treated Heinen leather. Water beads up on the case and rolls right off. It also means your Clorox Wipes won’t immediately destroy the surface (though you might want to go easy, just in case). It also offers 6-ft drop protection and won’t interfere with wireless charging. If you’re looking for something that’s classy and durable, head to the Nomad site right now.
Dirtproof, waterproof, and droproof, the Lifeproof Frē is guaranteed to keep your iPhone 11 Pro Max safe from just about anything you can throw at it. I appreciate the slimness of the case. Rather than swallowing up your iPhone like a marshmallow, it hugs the edges of the design, with extra protection where it’s needed. The Frē also features a built-in screen protector, if you want to take your iPhone’s defense to the next level. It even comes in yellow (my favorite). With a drop protection of 6.6 feet, it’s a great way to ensure your Pro Max will survive just about any standard fall.
Casetify iPhone 11 Pro Max Case
I will admit, at first I didn’t take Casetify cases seriously. With such a wide variety of graphics, I assumed all those choices were covering up the fact that the cases themselves didn’t offer much in the way of protection. I was very, very wrong. With a 9.8 foot drop rating, Casetify leapfrogs past almost everything on this list, and does so while looking gorgeous. If you can’t find or design a Casetify case to fit your personal style, then you can’t find a case. Their qìtech bumpers stick out on the corners of the case, offering the most drop protection where your iPhone 11 Pro Max is the most vulnerable (as my chewed up iPhone edges can attest to). They also have a UV Sanitizer available to help keep your iPhone germ-free without having to resort to wipes.
Ghostek Atomic Slim
Offering one of the most striking profiles on this list, the Ghostek Atomic Slim sports a military-grade aluminum bumper, a raised bumper to protect your screen, a clear back, and an astounding 12 feet of drop protection. I really like the mixed materials of the Atomic Slim case – it offers more protection than nearly everything else on this list and does it without having to completely hide your Pro Max. If you’re not fond of the red, you can also get the case with black, pink (think rose gold), and a prismatic blue.
Coming in at the top of every chart is the Gear4 Platoon case by Zagg. Made of a two-part design, the back of the case is made of the same polycarbonate used in bulletproof glass and the bumper incorporates D3O – an industry-leading high impact absorption material used in helmets and other protective gear. With a material makeup like that, keeping your iPhone free of fall-related damage is almost laughably easy for the Platoon. And drops? 6 feet is OK. 12 feet is impressive. But what about 20 feet? That’s right, go to a second-story window, drop your iPhone 11 Pro Max out of it, and the Gear4 Platoon will keep it safe. Not that you’ll likely drop it. The knurl design on the back of the case makes your phone extra-grippy. If you want to make sure your iPhone survives anything – this is the case to get.