Protection for every scenario [Updated continuously]

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With phones getting as expensive as they are, you'd have to be nuts not to get a case to protect your investment. A base model Pixel 2 is nearly $700 out the door, with the 128GB Pixel 2 XL going into four-figure territory. But even after you've made the decision to spend a few bucks on a case, you might be wondering which one in particular you should buy.

This roundup will feature a wide variety of cases from several different manufacturers. We'll dive into the pros and cons of each case, then award it a letter grade for easier perusal. Also included will be reviews of whatever screen protectors we come across, as those are sure to be pertinent to the kind of person who's reading this in the first place.

We plan to continuously update this post with new reviews as more cases come in. If there's a particular case you'd like to see reviewed, let us know in the comments section and we'll do our best to get one in for review. These are alphabetically listed for easier perusal; the order does not in any way reflect our preferences.

Reviews of the following products were added on January 30th, 2018:

Cases

  • KerfCase
  • Incipio DualPro
  • Incipio UA Protect Verge
  • Peel Super Thin Pixel Case

You may have heard of Bellroy before if you've been in the market for a wallet or a backpack. Lately, though, the company has been branching out into tech accessories, including a sleeve and 'Pen Clip' for the Pixelbook. As part of its collaboration with Google, Bellroy is also producing leather cases for the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL. These sound great on paper, but unfortunately, they're a complete and utter letdown.

As a big fan of Apple's leather cases, I was excited to check out what Bellroy had in store for the Pixel 2. Since these ~$50 cases are sold on the Google Store and the packaging proudly sports the 'made for Google' designation, you'd imagine that the case would be at least halfway decent, but I'm appalled at how poorly it's made.

For starters, the main selling point of the case - the leather - feels like cardboard. If someone on the street randomly handed me this, I'd think it were faux leather. It's rock-hard, and there appears to only be a thin layer of it. Adding onto the crappy feel is an extremely cheap-feeling black frame that is the opposite of confidence-inspiring. The bottom is left wide open, and the lip on the front is almost nonexistent.

It gets worse when you put the case on your phone. There are no buttons, only cutouts. This is fine when executed properly, like on the Spigen Thin Fit, but Bellroy has made the phone's buttons a royal pain to use by literally just putting holes where the buttons on the phone are. Additionally, the case itself feels like it has to stretch to actually fit the phone. Again, not confidence-inspiring. From what I can tell, the only aspect of this case that can be considered 'premium' is the microfiber lining inside, but that's minuscule in the grand scheme of things.

I'm legitimately confused how this case made it past the drawing board. It's horrible in every single measurable way, and yet Google wants $49 for one (or $45 for the standard Pixel 2). It simply oozes cheapness. If you do want to pick one up for whatever reason, the Bellroy leather case is available in four (admittedly pretty good-looking) colors: Black, Navy, Caramel, and Stone.

Recommendation: Don't buy it under any circumstances.

Buy: Google Store

Carved has been around for a while, but I haven't had the chance to try one of its cases out until now. I opted for the Mount Bierstadt Inlay option, which features an intricate design on the back in the shape of - you guessed it - a mountain. While the wood is very nicely done, I have mixed feelings about the overall quality of the case.

When you open the packaging, you're greeted with the wood back facing you and a strong wood smell. I'm no woodworker, but the back definitely seemed very well-done. The design is very intricate, with the mountain in the background and some trees and a hill up front. The pieces fit together perfectly, and there are no real sharp edges. I don't see any way the woodwork could be improved. Interestingly, the inside portion of the back is hard plastic, which is probably necessary for the wood to adhere.

However, the rest of the case is not nearly as nice. While it is protective, it feels fairly cheap, like one of those $1 cases you'd buy off Alibaba. Half of it is glossy and half is matte, with textured grip areas going up and down the sides. The buttons are a major issue, as they're raised from the rest of the case about half a nanometer. The texture on them is slightly different, but it's not enough to make them stand out when you're just trying to raise or lower the volume. I hit the wrong area when trying to press a button quite often while using this case. At least the cutouts are precise.

Should you buy one? If you can look past its shortcomings, the wood inserts are truly unique. My Mount Bierstadt Inlay version will run you $39, but they range all the way from $24 for a plain wood back to $55 for one with a seahorse. Given the craftsmanship of the backing, I'd like to say that pricing is reasonable, but I was personally let down by the lackluster frame. Check out all the selections on Carved's site to see if there's a design that really draws you in.

Recommendation: Buy one if the frame won't bother you.

Buy: Carved (Pixel 2), (Pixel 2 XL)

If you're looking for protection and relatively good looks on a budget, you may be considering Caseology's Legion to install on your shiny new Pixel 2 or Pixel 2 XL. Like its very noble-sounding name suggests, it's a strong, protective case. It's also pretty good-looking, though it isn't without a few minor flaws.

Have you heard of Spigen's Slim Armor and Tough Armor lines? If so, great! You know exactly what the Legion is. The moment I opened the box, I was instantly reminded of those two lines of Spigen cases, albeit without the handy little kickstand. The Legion features a dual-layer design, with a TPU inner layer and a polycarbonate shell around it. This earns it a MIL-STD 810G drop rating. The polycarbonate actually has a subtle soft-touch finish, which is actually quite comfortable in the hand. What's not comfortable, however, are the sharp edges that dominate the sides of the case. These edges look good, but they aren't very pleasant-feeling. Rounding these just a little bit would do wonders for the overall feel.

Sharp edges aside, the rest of the case is fantastic. The buttons are tactile and easy to push, which unfortunately can't be said of every case. Cutouts for the camera and fingerprint sensor are well-done, and the gloss black accents surrounding them are a nice touch. The Caseology logo is small and subtle, and the little feet on all four corners of the back prevent the back from getting scuffed up when you put it down. The inside has an interesting pattern to prevent dust from getting squished and possibly scratching your phone up, which an increasing number of cases have these days. The lip is large enough to clear a glass screen protector.

 

The Legion is a nice case, though I'd personally drop an extra couple buckaroos to get the Spigen Tough Armor for one simple reason: the kickstand. To my eyes, the Legion is actually better-looking, but you can't beat not having to hold the phone up while watching video. If you don't mind that and the slightly crude edges, this is still a great buy. Both the Pixel 2 and 2 XL versions come in 'Warm Gray' (read: gunmetal), though the Pixel 2 has an exclusive white color and the 2 XL has 'Copper Gold' (light pink).

Recommendation: Buy it if you don't need a kickstand.

Buy: Amazon (Pixel 2), (Pixel 2 XL)

The Parallax isn't my favorite Caseology case, but it's still a good one. It's a full $2 more expensive than the Vault (which will be mentioned below) and adds some niceties, including a more interesting texture, several color options, and more. It reminds me a bit of Spigen's Neo Hybrid line thanks to the separable frame, but I'd argue that these cases are a better buy.

The Parallax's highlight feature is its soft-touch back with an eye-catching diamond textured pattern. This genuinely feels good to the touch, and it's something no other major manufacturer does. The top and bottom portions are flat TPU for contrast, with a small Caseology logo on the bottom part and gloss trim surrounding the camera and fingerprint sensor. Buttons are tactile, and there are ridges on the sides for maximum grip when holding your phone. The USB-C port opening should fit any normal cable just fine. The lip up front will clear a glass screen protector with no issues.

The plastic frame probably doesn't do much for durability since it wraps around the corners. I'd imagine that in a drop onto concrete, while the frame would shatter, your phone should be fine. In spite of this, it sports a MIL-STD 810G rating, and it does allow for added flair on the case. If you own multiple Parallax cases, you can even mix and match them. My one gripe with this line of cases is that the frame can be a little constricting when you're putting the case on or taking it off. Specifically, I've noticed that the TPU around the USB port can slightly flex, and the frame can pop out of alignment with the TPU, leaving a gap. These aren't a big deal, and the latter is easily alleviated with a bit of force, but it's worth noting.

  

In my eyes, the Vault is still the better buy, but the Parallax has more interesting color options and a slightly more unique design. The Parallax does end up being a little wider and a little taller because of the external frame, so the added flair doesn't come at no cost. $13.99 is still a great price, and you won't find the diamond texture anywhere else.

Oh, and fun fact: the case is mislabeled as 'Legion' inside. Caseology, you should probably fix that.

Recommendation: Buy it - it's a great all-rounder.

Buy: Amazon (Pixel 2), (Pixel 2 XL)

Caseology is a relatively well-established case brand, but their products have mostly been overshadowed on retailers like Amazon by more popular offerings from other manufacturers like Spigen. But if you search "Pixel 2 XL case" on Amazon right now, the Vault comes up as the first result with an 'Amazon's Choice' banner next to its photo. After some hands-on time with it, I totally understand why.

It'd be hard to find a more well-rounded case than the Vault. The back is mostly faux-brushed aluminum, which has a nice, subtle texture. The bottom part of it features a discreet Caseology logo surrounded by the same soft TPU that the frame and buttons are composed of. The beveled lip up front prevents even glass screen protectors from hitting anything when the phone is laid face-down. The buttons are nice and clicky - maybe not the most clicky, but adequately so. Despite this being Caseology's cheapest Pixel 2 XL case, it also comes equipped with a MIL-STD 810G rating.

The camera is surrounded by a full-length bar with ridges on it and the fingerprint sensor by a gloss black ring, both of which add some contrast to the top area for your eyes' pleasure. That gloss black ring slopes into the fingerprint sensor, and it legitimately feels nice when you're unlocking your phone. The USB-C cutout may be a bit small if you have an abnormally large cable, but most cables, including the one included with your phone, will fit just fine.

 

The attention to detail continues on the inside, where there's an interesting pattern that prevents dust from rubbing against and ruining your phone's finish. If I had to nitpick about something, it would be that the case only comes in black. Then again, I'd imagine that the design works much better in black than in any other color, and I love the sleek look that it provides. In other words, I really have no complaints.

I wouldn't blink an eye if Caseology were charging something like $25 for this. But this virtually perfect case can be yours for just $11.99 from Amazon, which I find pretty incredible. I really don't think you can get better bang for the buck on any other case, and I actually prefer this to Caseology's other two offerings for the Pixel 2 and 2 XL. For those of you who want mild protection and handsome looks (which will be most of you), the Vault is the case to buy. I can't praise this thing enough - it's that good.

Recommendation: Buy it - it has virtuallu zero flaws.

Buy: Amazon (Pixel 2), (Pixel 2 XL)

The vinyl skin game is one that dbrand's dominated for many years now. There's a good reason for that; the Lamborghini-obsessed company offers good quality and a ton of customization. I've had a couple on previous phones, and while I usually opt for a case instead for increased protection, I'd always appreciate the extra eye candy that a skin provides.

This time around, I was sent several white backs, black glass covers, and orange 'G' logos. As someone who bought the black Pixel 2 XL only because the panda one had delayed shipping times, I was pleased that dbrand decided to send what is essentially a panda transformation kit along. I'm not going to lie - I did go through one skin because I thought I knew what I was going, but after watching dbrand's video guide, I got the skins on. It's still a little tough to install them since you have to line everything up perfectly, but the result is rewarding.

While dbrand does sell a full-body skin, I installed the back-only one. dbrand sends both in regular purchases. I'm a much bigger fan of this version, as it's easier to install and allows you to put a case over it. I currently have a Ringke Fusion over mine, and since the skin doesn't add much thickness at all, the case is unaffected. Until dbrand starts shipping out its Grip cases, this is probably the best solution if you also want some protection.

If you have the patience to install a skin, go for it. In a sea of black and white smartphones, it's nice to have the option of an orange, faux wood, or purple one. Or maybe you're just in the same boat as me, wanting to transform your black Pixel 2 into a panda version. For less than $20, you'll be able to give your phone a whole new look.

Recommendation: Buy it if you don't need much protection (or you're willing to buy a case to go over it).

Buy: dbrand

While companies like Spigen and Caseology produce cases with more traditional designs, Ghostek's theme seems to be selling cases that deviate from the norm. Take the Atomic, for example; it combines a metal frame, a clear back, and independent buttons into one package. But whether or not this uniqueness amounts to anything is another question.

The Atomic feels like an absolute tank in the hand. That's mostly thanks to the beefy aluminum surround, which also has rubber extrusions on the bottom two corners and TPU on the top. It's a dual-layer case to improve shock absorption, and it definitely feels like one. Compared with a normal case, the Atomic is noticeably wider, taller, and slightly heavier, meaning that it probably isn't the best choice if you have smaller hands and already think the Pixel 2 XL is too big. The branding on the clear back is a little aggressive for my tastes, but it could be worse. All in all, I'm not a huge fan of the way the case looks, but I can see how it'd appeal to some.

Unlike with most cases, the Atomic's clear back is actually hard plastic. It's fairly scratch-resistant, though it is smaller than most clear backs thanks to the aluminum surround. That being said, the cutout for the fingerprint sensor is still decently-sized, though there are two circular holes on the bottom for some reason. The buttons, despite being pushed as a feature, are ultimately a letdown. As far as I can tell, they're metal, and the volume rocker even has arrows etched into it. However, they actually dig into your fingers since their edges aren't rounded, and they're very hard to push. I'm actually impressed at just how bad they are.

Ultimately, I would have to caution against buying the Atomic, especially given its higher $29.99 price. The design is a little odd-looking, and the buttons are plain annoying. Keep in mind that a single drop onto concrete or some other hard surface will surely leave some noticeable marks on the metal frame, if that was your reason for buying one. If you do want an Atomic, you can have your choice of six colors for the metal piece: black, gold, pink, red, silver, and teal. (The Pixel 2 version doesn't seem to be on Amazon.)

Recommendation: Don't buy it.

Buy: Amazon (Pixel 2 XL); Ghostek (Pixel 2), (Pixel 2 XL)

Suppose you like the Atomic from Ghostek, but you don't want to blow $30+ on a case. You might be drawn to the Cloak 3, a cheaper dual-layer case with a clear back. Unfortunately, this less-pricey Ghostek offering suffers from the same major issue that the Atomic does and more, and as a result, it gets a similar verdict.

It seems like any clear TPU cases are privy to the rainbow effect, and the Cloak 3 is no exception. Catch the light at the right angle, and you'll get a giant splattering of random colors, which isn't exactly ideal. There's some large "GHOSTEK" branding right in the middle, and it doesn't look great either. The entire panel is also a big fingerprint magnet. At least the cutouts for the fingerprint sensor and camera are accurate and sized correctly.

The clear back - or more accurately, the clear layer - is surrounded by a plastic frame. This is made out of soft-touch plastic, which actually feels awesome in the hand. It's a shame that this is ruined by two more instances of branding (kind of excessive), as well as another set of horrible buttons like we saw on the Atomic. These aren't as bad since they don't jab you, but they're still much harder to press than they should be. The power button in particular takes a metric buttload of force to push down. I don't know how anyone could green-light them.

From all of my complaints, you can probably tell that I don't like the Ghostek Atomic 3. It's weird-looking, it has the infamous rainbow effect on the back, and the buttons couldn't be easily pressed by The Rock himself. You'll probably want to skip this one, as there are a ton of superior alternatives for the money. But if you do want one for whatever reason, it comes in six colors: black, gold, pink, red, silver, and teal. (Again, the Pixel 2 version is oddly not available on Amazon.)

Recommendation: Don't buy it.

Buy: Amazon (Pixel 2 XL); Ghostek (Pixel 2), (Pixel 2 XL)

As we've learned so far, a clear TPU back is basically always going to have the rainbow effect. Because of this, many cases utilize hard plastic backs instead, which manage to avoid this issue. The Covert 2 from Ghostek is one of those cases, and thanks in large part to the hard plastic back, it's not a bad option.

Single-layer clear cases are usually pretty plain (and that's the way I like them), but Ghostek decided to spruce the Covert 2 up a little bit. The oversized corners are a welcome touch, as they probably absorb a lot of shock, but the same can't be said for the rest of the case. The triangle pattern over the glass portion and on the lower sides isn't ugly, but it's not particularly useful and I think the case would look better without it. I'm also not a huge fan of the large branding, of which there are two instances on the back.

Unlike its siblings, the Covert 2 has buttons that are actually usable. They're still slightly harder to press than they should be, but they're tactile and don't feel like complete crap. The cutouts for the fingerprint sensor, camera, and USB-C port are all accurate. I'm still confused, however, by the two circular holes at the bottom. Why do they exist?

While the Covert 2 isn't horrible, that's not enough to distinguish it from the competition. It's not the easiest on the eyes, it isn't the best at any particular category, and $14.95 isn't a bargain. It's also only available at Ghostek's site and not Amazon, which pretty much guarantees that nobody will buy it. And I don't mean to sound harsh, but given the quality of other cases, I'm fine with that. It's available in black, orange, pink, red, teal, and white.

Recommendation: Don't buy it - it doesn't excel at any particular thing.

Buy: Ghostek (Pixel 2), (Pixel 2 XL)

I know a lot of people who stick one of those cardholders on the backs of their cases. If you have an ID or credit/debit card that you access frequently, you might want to consider getting one. Alternatively, you could buy a Ghostek Exec 2 and not have to add anything. Which route should you take?

I'll be honest: my first impression of the Exec 2 was not very positive. The case is a lot thicker than most inherently, and the cardholder on the back only makes things much worse in that regard. Plus, the cardholder looks rather cheesy - almost like something a five-year old would think looks 'cool.' The leather looks fake (even though it's supposedly real), there are 12 silver squares on it for visual effect, and the Ghostek branding really shouldn't be on there.

 

After using the case, none of those thoughts have really changed; in fact, they've probably gotten worse. The back is topped by a layer of fabric, giving it a nice texture (though you can't feel much of it thanks to the giant pocket). The buttons are extremely tactile and a pleasure to use (finally!). But unfortunately, the pocket - the main selling point of the Exec 2 - is a little bit of a letdown. Not only is it tacky-looking, it also doesn't do very well at holding cards. It's extremely hard to get even one card out of the pocket without creating a commotion. Five cards will fit in there, as Ghostek claims, but good luck getting them out. Seriously - I yanked and pulled until my fingers hurt before the cards finally came out. On the plus side, when the pocket isn't crammed and only has one or two cards in it, those card(s) won't fall out easily.

The Exec 2 is a good idea with some added flair in the form of a fabric back and a leather pocket, but it's ultimately a usability nightmare. The cards are difficult to take out, the pocket takes up so much space that you can't even feel the fabric back, and all of this makes the case extremely thick. If you have skinny jeans and struggled to fit the phone itself in your pockets, good luck with this monstrosity. It's a shame that the fabric back and tactile buttons were used on a case that isn't nicer overall. It comes in black, brown, pink, purple, red, and silver.

Recommendation: Don't buy it - it doesn't work as it should.

Buy: Ghostek (Pixel 2), (Pixel 2 XL)

Google doesn't seem to have developed a real name for this fabric-covered case, which is a shame since it's a damn good one. Eye-catching and comfortable to hold, the Fabric Case makes a stylish companion for your shiny new phone. However, it's on the pricier side at $40.

I usually don't purchase manufacturer cases due to their high prices, but this one is so different that it might just be worth picking it up. The texture is courtesy of a polyester and nylon knit, and the polycarbonate core underneath keeps things strong and lightweight. The inside is lined with microfiber, allowing for a more premium appearance and a smaller chance of scratches from dust and other particles trapped within the case. This microfiber matches the power button, which is a nice touch.

In daily use, this is almost the perfect case. The fabric feels great in the hand, and the design has gotten more inquiries than any other case I've ever used. Both the orange plastic power button and the fabric-covered volume rocker are nice and tactile. The cutout for the fingerprint sensor isn't in the way at all, and the little 'G' near the bottom is subtle. A minor lip on the top prevents the screen from making contact when the phone is placed face-down, though a screen protector will protrude from it.

Taking the case off and putting it back on is easy, but not so much so that it'll separate from the phone in a drop. My only real gripe with it overall is the exposed bottom, which could potentially lead to disaster in the wrong circumstances. Oh, and if you get it dirty, you'll have to hand wash it due to the fabric nature of the case. You can't just wipe stuff off of it like you would with any other case, so if you're a messier person, you might want to avoid this one.

All things considered, the Fabric Case has probably been on my Pixel 2 XL the most of any of the cases I've reviewed. It's also caught the most eyes of any case I've ever owned. It's available from the Google Store for both the 2 and 2 XL in Carbon, Cement, Midnight (pictured), and Coral for $40.

Recommendation: Buy it if you like having conversations with people about your case. 

Buy: Google Store

This year's Live Case isn't as much of a gadget, but a better case. It loses the (nifty?) NFC button that allowed you to trigger things such as your flashlight, but I always thought that was pretty poorly implemented given the sheer amount of pressure it took to activate. But the case itself, especially the double-layered version that I have here, is a better product overall. That being said, unless you're really into customization, it's still a poorer value than virtually any other case.

As a case, the Live Case is above average. The dual-layer design is very nicely integrated, providing a nice two-tone look and a slim profile while still giving you two layers between your phone and wherever it ends up falling. The buttons are tactile, though they could stand to protrude from the case a bit more. The cutouts for the camera and fingerprint sensor are both pretty standard, and the one for the USB Type-C port is a little wider than other cases'. The lip up front is very minimal, so if you have a screen protector of any kind, it'll scrape when the phone is put face-down. There's a small 'G' embedded into the back of the case, just in case you forget what company made the case.

Moving onto the whole 'Live' aspect, my unit is the Google Earth 'Rock' dual-layer model. Setup is pretty interesting. After installing the 'Live Case' app from the Play Store and logging into your Google account, you're told to grab the four-digit code that's printed inside the case (on both the polycarbonate and TPU layers, in the dual-layer version's case). Enter this code, which presumably identifies what kind of case you purchased exactly, and you're in.

If you have Google Earth installed, a simple double-tap on the daily wallpaper will open Earth and reveal what exactly is being depicted, at least for the Google Earth case. There are 1500 of these wallpapers, so you'll have a unique wallpaper every day for about four years. And let's be honest: your Pixel 2 XL is going to be long out of your hands at that point.

 

If you're the type of person who likes their case to be unique, a Live Case is pretty much the only way to go. You can print your own photo, get a map of any location, or have a piece of artwork printed on the back. The cases these prints are attached to aren't bad, but they're certainly not the best. Spend the extra $10 for the $50 dual-layer model if you're getting one of these, as the slim version is just a slippery piece of plastic that will probably shatter as soon as it's dropped.

Recommendation: Don't buy it unless you really need a custom graphic.

Buy: Google Store

Arguably Incipio's most popular model, the DualPro has been around for a long time. It's always been a reliable way to get quality and protection out of a case. That statement reigns true with the DualPro for the Pixel 2 XL, which really doesn't have any downfalls. Even the price is extremely reasonable on Amazon, which was a surprise to me.

[review-not-good]

Fingerprints: The soft-touch back is very prone to them.

[/review-not-good]

You wouldn't know the DualPro is a dual-layer case unless you looked at it closely. Unlike with other two-layer cases, the DualPro's seams are very tight, and the case doesn't try to look tough. The similarity in color between the two layers doesn't hurt, either. The bottom layer is made of silicone, and the top is a hard plastic with a soft-touch coating. That coating makes the DualPro comfortable to hold, though it does yield fingerprints more easily than other cases. Overall, though, this is a premium-feeling case.

In terms of protection, the DualPro would rank near the top of this roundup. It looks unassuming, but all four corners are covered by two layers, and the front lip is beefy. That also helps means it can clear a glass screen protector without issue when put facedown. The buttons are awesome, being tactile and easy to push down. Cutouts are all accurate, and I'm a fan of the subtle black accent around the camera. The only branding is some "INCIPIO" text raised over the silicone layer that sits flush with the hard plastic piece.

At the MSRP of $29.99 on Incipio's site, the DualPro is a decent buy. It gets everything right, and it has a level of fit and finish that I feel makes it deserving of that price point. But over on Amazon, a DualPro for the Pixel 2 or Pixel 2 XL can be had for as little as $15 if you're willing to live with the boring black color. The navy blue I have here, the red, and the gunmetal are all sitting around $20, with the merlot color still around the $30 MSRP. I'd imagine most of you will go for one of the former, and $20 is a very good price for a case of this caliber. It's a great all-rounder.

Recommendation: Buy it.

Buy: Amazon (Pixel 2), (Pixel 2 XL); Incipio (Pixel 2), (Pixel 2 XL)

We're still waiting on Incipio to respond to our request for review units, but in the meantime, Google sent over the only Incipio case it carries on the Google Store: the Oh Joy! x Incipio. Incipio sells these cases with different patterns under several monikers, but they all feature the same basic clear case base that you see here. It's a good case, even if it isn't the most feature-filled.

The Oh Joy! x Incipio case features a harder level of TPU than most clear cases. It's still shock-absorbent and flexible, but it feels a lot more rigid in the hand. It also seems like it gets rid of the rainbow effect, which most manufacturers usually just get around with a hard plastic back. Incipio also claims that the back is scratch-resistant, which I didn't really find to be true. Even pressing your fingernail too hard will leave a permanent mark, and keys will leave marks at almost any pressure. That being said, the clear back hides scratches fairly well, so I wouldn't worry too much about it.

As for the rest of the case, it's pretty decent. Cutouts are precise, even if the one for the fingerprint sensor is a little larger than most cases'. Buttons are about average: not the easiest to push, but still tactile overall. Branding is fairly minimal; there's an "oh joy!" logo on the bottom of the back and some subtle Incipio lettering on the right side. The lip on the front is average, and it barely clears my glass screen protector.

If the designs on the back really call your name, this Incipio case might be worth the higher price it commands. The Google Store has the two options pictured available for $29.99 apiece, but Incipio has those and more for $23.99 (at least for now). You can find them at the links below.

Incipio sent me the TheMintGardener versions of this case, which are the exact same as the Oh Joy! ones, but with different designs. Here are some pictures.

Again, these aren't really worth buying unless the designs really speak to you.

Recommendation: Buy it if you don't mind paying a bit more.

Buy: Google Store; Incipio (Pixel 2), (Pixel 2 XL)

Of all the case companies there are out there, Incipio seems to enjoy partnering with other companies and designers the most. For the UA Protect Verge, Incipio worked together with... you guessed it, Under Armour. Interestingly, this isn't just a case of Incipio throwing a big Under Armour badge on and calling it a day; the UA Protect Verge actually works in conjunction with the UA Connect mounting system.

[review-not-good]

Price: $40 is not cheap for what is essentially a fancy clear case.

Rainbow effect: It's not severe, but it's definitely present at an angle.

[/review-not-good]

Even without the giant chrome-looking Under Armour logo on the top right, the UA Protect Verge does have a fitness-y look to it. It's hard to explain, but the gray color, the clear buttons, and clear strips on the side give off that kind of vibe. Those strips aren't just for show; they also allow the UA Connect mounting points to exist, and they do provide more protection. However, the UA Connect mounts are expensive. Of course, you don't have to have that mount to use this case, but I'd imagine that most owners of this case will own at least one.

But how does the UA Protect Verge do as a case? It's... meh. Even though it is unique, I'm not a fan of the look. The buttons aren't very good; they require quite a bit of effort to depress. The hard plastic back is prone to the rainbow effect at certain angles, too. That being said, it is protective, with a sizable lip and adequate protection all around the phone. The cutouts are accurate, but they are on every case.

I can't recommend a purchase of this case given its $40 price. On top of that, you'll have to spend at least another $35 on a UA Connect mount if that's what you intend to buy this case for. For $75, I'm sure there's a more cost-effective solution out there. At least it looks like a case that someone who goes to the gym often would use. Verizon's currently offering it for $29.99, for what it's worth.

Recommendation: Don't buy it unless you're really invested in the UA Connect system.

Buy: Amazon (Pixel 2), (Pixel 2 XL); Verizon (Pixel 2), (Pixel 2 XL)

If I'm being honest, it took me a couple of minutes of comparison and research to figure out if this Kate Spade Flexible Hardshell case is the same one, sans design, as the Incipio Oh Joy! case above. What I've determined is that while Kate Spade cases are produced by Incipio, the two actually have slightly different materials, along with a very different price.

You might be wondering how exactly the Kate Spade case differs from the Oh Joy! one. According to the Google Store product pages, while the Incipio-branded case only uses TPU, the Kate Spade one uses TPU, polycarbonate, and PET. I can see where the polycarbonate comes into play, as the back of the Kate Spade case is harder and much les

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