Not all cases are created equal and neither is any smartphone. My personal (and subjective) opinion is that the Pixel 3 is a great looking smartphone only let down in a few areas. Because of that, I’ve recently been testing out four superb clear case options, all at different price points.
I have become a big fan of clear cases on my devices as it keeps everything safe from scratches, scuffs and dings without covering it up from view completely. This isn’t an extensive list by any stretch and includes a few from my personal favorite brands and one case that I have used pretty extensively since launch.
As is often the case, it’s always difficult to cover all the options for the Pixel 3 and I must say that I’m still a little disappointed that there is no official clear case option. I also get that some people will think that these cases are overpriced, not worth the money or simply a waste when you can get cheaper options that protect to the same level.
That said, these are a few that might be worth a look if you want a case that doesn’t obscure the look of your Pixel 3 or Pixel 3 XL. If like me, you’re toying with the idea of putting a skin on the back of your Pixel but also want a case, I think these are solid options.
Hardcore clear case
We all know Otterbox, and while some might call them overpriced or bulky, that isn’t the point. The company has a slightly different target market — those that usually work in industry or often have their device in harm’s way.
If you ever have felt or used an Otterbox case before, the thickness and strength is most definitely one of the most impressive aspects. The Otterbox Symmetry clear case is no different as it feels like a piece of flexible bullet-proof glass. Of course, it can’t withstand that level of damage but this thing is a beast.
Once installed, it does add a decent bit of bulk but the plastic back and grippy rubberized sides feels extra reassuring when holding. Stick a piece of tempered glass on the front and I genuinely think this could survive a serious drop without batting an eyelid. I don’t recommend attempting to test that though. The case also comes in black if transparent options aren’t your taste — but you’re here for clear case options, right?
Speck Presidio Stay Clear
Up until recently, I had the Speck Presidio in black, but I wanted to try out a clear option as I love the grip Presidio offers. It isn’t quite as thick as the Otterbox Symmetry, but it does offer a similar feel in the hand.
The raised bezel protection is great mainly as it seems to be where any phone I’ve ever dropped ends up receiving some sort of damage on the bezel edges. It also plays really nicely with my Whitestone Dome Glass — which is a massive bonus selling point in my opinon.
I will say that from certain angles the clear back does have a sort of rainbow banding effect that is only really visible when held viewed from odd angles. It hasn’t bothered me but is definitely something worth pointing out.
Complete Pixel protection
This is the case I would take if I were going on a boat trip. There is just something reassuring about a case that seals off all of your pluggable ports for that extra bit of protection. For me, the Lifeproof Next case is almost like an ultimate safety net for your Pixel.
Unlike every other clear case I’ve tried and recommend, this comes in two pieces. The frame detaches and closes over the edges for a seal, unlike any other case you’ll probably try. I adore the button cutouts, as they give you a nice clicky feedback that is hard to really replicate without a solid plastic structure.
Once clipped together, the rubberized side gives you exceptional grip, but the case does add some substantial width to your Pixel 3. Oddly, I kind of like it, the phone doesn’t feel any thicker but the extra width is comfortable in my oversized hands. Those with dainty mitts may want to skip this one, unless they want arguably on of the best all around protective cases I’ve used for any device.
Spigen Liquid Crystal
Best value clear case
I have so much love for Spigen, mainly as I’ve used their cases since they were still selling them as SPG back in the iPhone 3G days. It’s one of the reasons that I always like to have a few of them lying around so I can change up the feel or look of any phone I am currently testing or using.
The Spigen Liquid Crystal case is much like the others. It’s cheap, it’s lazer cut to all of the contours of the Pixel 3 and it does the job exceptionally well. That said, it’s the thinnest clear case I’ve tried and doesn’t have quite as much bezel edge protection as I would have liked.
I can’t fault it for the cost though, like anything from Spigen, it’s a superb value and offers all-around solid protection for the $10 entry price.