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The Best Samsung Galaxy S3 Protective Cases

Updated on November 23, 2012

I first learned how important smartphone protection was when we had a cat that liked to knock anything on a table or desk straight onto the floor (where she could play with it).

Tiled floors are great for wrecking phones!

Only an Otterbox saved me choosing between my cat and my phone.

Nowadays, there are a lot of protective cases for smartphones and not everyone needs something as rugged as an Otterbox (although it is available for the S3).

  • Most hybrid cases with a hard shell and soft, shock absorbing layer offer good drop protection.
  • Folio cases offer good all round protection against scratches and dust,
  • Zippered cases keep out lint and rain (usually).

Of course, no case will be truly worth having unless it fits snugly (but not so snugly it cannot be removed). It will not be much use if you cannot access all the ports, either. The cases below pass that simple test and offer a good deal more.

Acase Superleggera

Acase have always made decent cases for smartphones. The Superleggera case for the S3 combines almost unbreakable polycarbonate with a soft but resilient silicone.

The principle is pretty much the same as Japanese medieval armor where soft fabric alternated with rigid lacquered, bamboo to provide protection against sword and arrow.

With any luck your case will not suffer a samurai attack, but the Acase will give a chance if it does!

The best feature of the Acase right now is price. Not many other products of this quality can be found at under ten dollars.

There is a reasonable choice of colors too.

Acase colors
Acase colors

Otterboxes for the Samsung Galaxy S3

You cannot ignore Otterboxes. They are the great-granddaddy of rugged but in the last few years they have developed way past mere practicality.They are plenty of color choices, the styles are more woman-friendly and you can opt for heavy duty protection without looking like you imagine you are a Ninja stealth assassin.

The downside for some will be price. But you get what you pay for.

Colors for the Otterbox Commuter
Colors for the Otterbox Commuter
Glacier White
Glacier White


The glacier white Otterbox pictured right is one of the most popular S3 cases around. It feels good in the hand. The high gloss resists scratches better than most (Otterbox use the best grades of polycarbonate for the outer shell). This means it is a great looking case even after several months of use. Which is something, I can testify to.

The detailing is precise enough for you never to have any difficulty accessing ports yet they covered with well cut flaps to keep out dust and lint.

In fact, attention to detail has been Otterbox's route to success as much as the reputation for toughness. Details matter when you are using a phone all the time and Otterbox gets them right.

Defender- with removable Holster Clip

One of most noticeable differences between the Commuter Otterbox and the Defender is the ratcheting holster that allows you to securely clip your S3 to a belt.

The most important thing though is the thickness of the case. The Defender is noticably thicker which offer that little bit of extra protection. The smooth finish still makes it easy enough to get in and out of pockets, though.

The front lip is a little higher than the Commuter and it wraps a fraction further onto the screen but not in a bad way. It is usually enough to protect the edges of a screen protector without impeding use.

Seidio ACTIVE Case

Active cases are distinguished by a clever internal skeleton that protects edge and corners without being too bulky.

This case is only 2.2 mm thick!

The style is very masculine, which suits me. Perhaps less appealing Paris Hilton fans.

Seidio stand
Seidio stand

S3 Folio Case

Wallet Case

This is the case my wife wanted. It is practical as well as eyecatching. There are card slots to make sure that as long you don't lose your phone, you won't be broke either.

This might not the case for extreme sports but it is perfect for the mall.

The magnetic closure, and secure fit mean that the phone isn't suddenly going to slip from the case and leave you broken-hearted.

Wallet Case with Wake/Sleep Function

With battery life always a concern, a case that can put your phone into sleep mode when closed and wake it on opening is a big plus.

This case also has the advantage of plenty of room for cards, ID and cash.


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