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The best Galaxy S23, S23+, and Ultra cases: Protect your new Samsung phone

The best phone cases for the Samsung Galaxy S23 are durable, antimicrobial, and eco-friendly.
Written by Sherin Shibu, Contributor
OtterBox Defender Series Pro Case | Best Samsung Galaxy S23 case overall
OtterBox Defender Series Pro Case
Best Samsung Galaxy S23 case overall
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Zagg Santa Cruz | Best clear Samsung Galaxy S23 case
Zagg Santa Cruz
Best clear Samsung Galaxy S23 case
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Spigen Neo Hybrid Case | Best Samsung Galaxy S23 case under $20
Spigen Neo Hybrid Case
Best Samsung Galaxy S23 case under $20
View now View at Amazon
Pelican Ranger | Best eco-friendly Samsung Galaxy S23 case
Image of a Pelican Ranger on a Samsung S23 phone overlayed on a green background.
Pelican Ranger
Best eco-friendly Samsung Galaxy S23 case
View now View at Amazon
Casetify Custom Samsung Exclusive Case | Best custom Samsung Galaxy S23 case
Casetify Custom Samsung Exclusive Case
Best custom Samsung Galaxy S23 case
View now View at Casetify

The Samsung Galaxy S23 is officially out! Available for preorder starting on Feb. 1, the three variations of the phone will launch in stores and online on Feb. 17.

The three versions of the S23 come at different price points and they're each available in phantom black, cream, green, and lavender:

  1. The Galaxy S23 Ultra (6.8-inch screen) retails at $1,199 or $33.33 a month for 36 months.
  2. The Galaxy S23+ (6.6-inch screen) retails at $999.99 or $27.77 a month for 36 months.
  3. The Galaxy S23 (6.1-inch screen) retails for $799.99 or $22.22 a month for 36 months.

For a limited time, retailers are offering discounts on Galaxy S23 cases and screen protectors. ZDNET experts factored in price, protection, durability, sustainability, and feel to find the following best cases for the new Galaxy S23.

Pros & Cons
  • Antimicrobial
  • Made of more than 50% recycled plastic
  • Wireless charging compatibility
  • Discounted bundle
  • DROP+
  • Higher price point
  • Thicker case
More Details

The Otterbox Defender Series Pro is a tough line of cases. Offering more than just a rugged exterior for your phone, the Defender has a lasting antimicrobial component to protect your hands from common bacteria. If your phone goes everywhere with you, the Defender Series Pro is the case to get. DROP+ protection means that your Galaxy S23 will be protected from four times as many drops as the military standard. 

The Pro series has a holster that you can clip to your belt or use as a kickstand. The case is made of more than 50% recycled plastic, works with wireless charging, and has multiple layers of defense within it. It's offered at multiple retailers, with a discounted bundle at Verizon going for $40 off. 

The only downside? The extra layers of protection add bulk to your phone. There's also the $65 price tag.

Pros & Cons
  • Scratch-resistant
  • Protects phone from drops up to 13 feet
  • Made with D30
  • Antimicrobial agent
  • Discounted bundle
  • D3O stamp on the back of the case feels unnecessary
More Details

The Zagg Santa Cruz is a clear case that shows off the color of your phone. It's slim, lightweight, and scratch-resistant while also protecting your phone from drops up to 13 feet or 4 meters. Zagg emphasizes that the case is made with D3O, which is a flexible material that protects your phone from bumps, drops, and anything else. 

Fun fact: D3O is used in other protective gear, like football helmets and the insoles of pro running shoes. D3O is injected and molded into the Santa Cruz case to highlight the color of your phone and offer additional protection. The Santa Cruz Snap also has an antimicrobial agent built-in. These cases are made from partially recycled plastics and cost around $40.

Pros & Cons
  • Slim
  • Precise cutouts
  • Lightweight
  • Shock absorbing
  • Dual-layer
  • Herringbone pattern
  • Unspecified level of drop protection
More Details

The herringbone texture of the Spigen Neo Hybrid case sets it apart from the rest, showcasing double protection with a shock absorption TPU layer and a polycarbonate bumper. The case has precise cutouts with raised bezels to protect the screen and cameras from surface scratches. 

If you're familiar with the Spigen Liquid Air series, which retails for about $17 per case, you'll like the Neo Hybrid -- it's an upgrade on the Liquid Air with its reinforced bumper, and it has a textured surface that makes the case easy to grip.

Pros & Cons
  • Made of recycled materials
  • 15 feet military grade drop protection
  • 360-degree protection
  • Scratch resistant
  • Raised bevel around corners and edges
  • Tactile grips on the sides
  • Wireless charging compatibility
  • Only two color choices, matte black or clear
  • Clear case with holster costs $15 more
More Details

The Pelican Ranger is a scratch-resistant, antimicrobial case made of standard certified recycled materials. It has impressive military-grade drop protection of up to 15 feet. The 360-degree shock absorption is due in part to reinforced sides and cushioned corners. 

It has tactile grips on the sides so you won't drop your phone as easily. The Pelican Ranger shines in its slim yet robust frame, with an exterior that's more functional than flashy. You can choose between a matte black case or a yellow-resistant clear case (the latter is $15 more). 

Pros & Cons
  • Partially made of upcycled phone cases
  • EcoShock material
  • Can withstand drops up to 8.2 feet and four times the military standard
  • Wireless charging compatibility
  • Cases are partially sheer, clear, or matte depending on the color
  • Higher price point
More Details

Casetify, a celeb favorite, sells one-of-a-kind customizable cases that are good for the planet too. You can add your name to a Samsung exclusive design, like Nightography, Gradient Warp, or Galaxy Ticket (all linked below) or you can add your favorite picture(s) to the back of your case with the custom photo design option

Casetify cases are made of a plant-based EcoShock material that can withstand drops up to 8.2 feet at four times the military standard. Each phone case is made in part through the Re/Casetify initiative that aims to repurpose old phone cases. 

More than 160,000 old phone cases have been repurposed through Re/Casetify. The cases are on the pricier side, at $62-$72 depending on the specific Galaxy S23 device.

What is the best phone case for the Samsung Galaxy S23?

The best phone case overall is the OtterBox Defender Series Pro for its advanced antimicrobial and drop protection.

Phone Case


Can withstand drops up to…

Standout material

OtterBox Defender Series Pro


4x military standard

Antimicrobial, more than 50% recycled plastic

Zagg Santa Cruz


13 feet

Antimicrobial, partially recycled plastics, D3O

Spigen Neo Hybrid


Military standard

TPU and polycarbonate

Pelican Ranger


15 feet

Antimicrobial, recycled materials

Casetify Custom Samsung Exclusive


8.2 feet

Plant-based EcoShock, upcycled phone cases

Which is the right phone case for you?

Each of the phone cases below has a unique use case. Three out of the five cases have antimicrobial properties and four out of the five contain recycled materials. Here are the differences between the cases.

Choose this phone case…

If you want…

OtterBox Defender Series Pro

A tough case that gives you peace of mind

Zagg Santa Cruz

The color of your Galaxy S23 to show through your case

Spigen Neo Hybrid

A phone case under $20 that still has great drop protection

Pelican Ranger

A sleek case that can withstand drops of up to 15 feet

Casetify Custom Samsung Exclusive

Customizable options that prioritize the planet, too

How did we choose these phone cases?

Sustainability was a main focus of ours. The Pelican Ranger, Casetify custom case, Zagg Santa Cruz, and OtterBox Defender Series Pro are all made of at least partially recycled materials. 

Drop protection was also key -- after all, the purpose of a case is to make sure your expensive new phone stays protected. The phone cases on this list can save your Samsung Galaxy S23 from drops at precipitous heights.

Antimicrobial protection emerged as a focus as well. Bacteria on your phone case can lead to unpleasant odors at best. 

Is it worth upgrading from S22 to S23?

The biggest changes between the Samsung Galaxy S22 and S23 lines are the new 200MP primary camera in the S23 and a better system-on-a-chip with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2. The design elements of the two phones are the same, with both phones having nearly the same dimensions and weights. 

One design improvement of the S23 is its Gorilla Glass Victus 2 protection, which is better than the Gorilla Glass Victus of the S22. 

Also: Samsung Galaxy S23 vs S22: Which model should you buy?

What is the difference between S23 and S23 Ultra? Does the S23 have a pen?

There are three models in the Galaxy S23 lineup: the S23 ($799), the S23+ ($999), and the S23 Ultra ($1,199). The Galaxy S23 has a lower price point and a smaller display of 6.1 inches compared to the Ultra's 6.8 inches. It's also less heavy, at 5.93 oz compared to 8.25 oz, and has a 3,900mAh battery compared to the Ultra's 5,000mAh battery. 

The two phones have the same SoC, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy, and both are IP68-rated devices, meaning that they are waterproof for longer periods of immersion (think 30 minutes in about 5 feet of water) and dust-tight. 

The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra has a pen, specifically an embedded S Pen for a phablet experience.

Also: Every Samsung Galaxy S23 model compared: Which model should you buy?

Are there alternative options worth considering?

Yes, there are. The Samsung Galaxy S23 lineup is new, so cases are limited. The bundles below, however, offer a solid case with a screen protector and a charger for a discount. The Incipio Duo bundle, the OtterBox Symmetry bundle, or the Gear4 Crystal Palace bundle are each $30 off. 

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