This story was originally published and last updated .
The Pixel 4a 5G may not come with a fancy glass back or a bio resin outer shell, but it’s a fantastic device — perhaps one of the best from 2020 — that’s deserving of protection. As you’ll find with any hot new smartphone, there are some really great cases on the market that provide style, functionality, and peace of mind from bumps or spills. These are our top seven favorite cases for the Pixel 4a 5G.
Best customizable case: dbrand Grip (Featured)
Once upon a time, you had to choose between getting a case or a skin for your phone. You could have customization or durability, but not both. Thankfully, the dbrand Grip is a thing now, and you can get a case with a specially shaped rear panel you can customize with any skin you want.
They come in various finishes, from plain solid pastel shades to carbon fiber and even a rough-looking “Dragon” skin, as well as textures that emulate natural materials like wood and stone. On top of those always-available options, the company offers regular special edition patterns like fun teardown cases à la Jerryrigeverything.
Beyond looks, dbrand’s Grip case also fits very well with tight, straight lines, clicky buttons, and correct cutout placement. It’s a hybrid-style case with a rear plastic panel and TPU sides that offer plenty of protection from every angle, including the front with an added lip to the top and bottom, and a sloped cutout for the fingerprint sensor. And at $30, it leaves space in your budget for a skin (or four).
Best wallet case: Vena Commute
If you’re the sort to pack your phone and wallet together, the Vena Commute case might be for you. It has limited capacity, with space for only 3-4 cards, but they stay in securely, and the magnetic faux-leather flap protects them from wear.
While the extra thickness does make the fingerprint sensor cutout a little awkward, the design offers plenty of different textures and accents without going too over-the-top. Buttons stay clicky, and all the remaining cutouts are a good size and correctly positioned.
The added wallet functionality necessitates some extra chonk, but beyond just utility, the additional volume goes to good use in other ways, padding out corners and bumpers with extra material. It is a little spendy, though, at $50.
Best dad case: Supcase Unicorn Beetle Pro
If you want the beefiest, dad-liest case with built-in screen protection and a belt clip holster, the Supcase Unicorn Beetle Pro is your jam. It’s almost offensively chunky, with a built-in kickstand, a retaining ring with a plastic screen protector, and it clips right into a plastic holster — included with the case.
Not everyone needs the Full Dad Case Experience when something simpler will do, but the Supcase Unicorn Beetle Pro is also pretty cheap at just $25, available in red, blue, and black.
Best premium case: Official Pixel fabric case
I have a minor love affair with Google’s fabric cases. While it does vary, they almost always have the best fit and a great design. The fabric might be made of 70% recycled plastic, but it’s both soft and durable while remaining easy to clean, and it’s nicer to feel against your hands than TPU or bare plastic.
These fabric cases come in four speckled colors: Basically Black (black and gray), Static Gray, Blue Confetti (blue, light blue, and orange), and Chili Flakes (which is hard to describe). They’re not the most protective cases out there — there’s no butterfinger-friendly TPU bumper or chunky padded corners — but it provides an acceptable level of passive protection against most wear and light tumbles, while looking and feeling good.
Ultimately your phone will probably spend actual days in your hands by the time you replace it. A premium case can make the experience a little more enjoyable.
Best case for photographers: Moment
Pixels are known for their photography prowess, and although the case itself is so-so, those looking to augment the camera experience with some third-party lenses might be interested in picking up the Moment Pixel 4a Thin Case. It’s not the most durable, but the camera cutout has a mount for the company’s various smartphone-compatible lenses, and it’s a whole lot easier to use than the clip.
The case itself is a little flimsy, with a looser fit than many others on this list. But the buttons remain clicky, the cutouts are all in the right spots, and it’s attractive in a simple, understated way.
If you’re lamenting the loss of a telephoto camera, you can pick up this case and get a 58mm lens, or enjoy some up-close tiny photography with a macro lens, or shoot some smartphone video in anamorphic, among other options.
Best budget case: Spigen Rugged Armor
Sometimes all you need is a good, cheap case. Whether that’s to tide you over until you get something else or you’re on a strict budget, you don’t need to spend a ton of money to get a decent one. And although there are cheaper cases out there, so far, Spigen’s Rugged Armor is our favorite.
It’s not just an inexpensive case; it’s of solid quality, with a good overall fit, clicky buttons, precisely positioned cutouts, and a general feel of durability. It’s also nicely textured and sports a few accents that make it a little more interesting than a boring TPU slab. And you can pick one up for less than $20.
Best “fun” case: Incipio Grip
Most cases favor hard edges, conspicuous accents, and other visual indicators of extreme durability or performance in a sort of toughness peacocking. The Incipio Grip puts a twist on that formula with a more “fun” design, sporting a deep blue plastic back paired with a lighter blue TPU bumper and grippy Y-shaped highlights.
It’s an attractive (if not slightly ostentatious) look I can’t help but enjoy, and it also feels durable. The Y-shaped nubs inspire confidence in-hand against accidental drops, and the case feels firm and solid with just enough flex to be protective. Cutouts are all good-sized and clean, though the buttons could be clickier, and the four feet that raise the back to protect it from unnecessary scratches are a bit too low-friction on some surfaces.
It’s more substantial-feeling than your average case or most of the others on this list. However, it is a little more spendy at $40.
Which should you buy?
I will always recommend the Pixel fabric cases first and foremost for a Pixel phone; They’re just great. However, they aren’t for everyone, and whether you need something a little more durable or just prefer to spend a little less, there are other good choices, like Spigen’s Rugged Armor or the customizable dbrand Grip. (I’m personally a big fan of the blue Incipio Grip, as well.) But in our opinion, you can’t go wrong with anything on this list.