Best heavy duty cases for Samsung Galaxy S21 in 2023
Take care of your phone and your phone will take care of you.
We're big proponents of slapping a case on your smartphone to protect it, but some cases just aren't up to snuff. That's why we compiled a list of the best heavy-duty cases for the Samsung Galaxy S21, so you can keep your flagship safe and protected from the elements and your own clumsiness.
The ArmadilloTek Vanguard series has earned a reputation for providing maximum protection to your smartphone. Its dual-layered system is MIL-STE 810G-certified to withstand drops up to 20 feet, and its industrial design will scare off even the most stubborn scratches. Even though it's a bit thick, you can still take advantage of wireless charging and NFC payments with it on. Plus, it features a built-in kickstand so that you can prop it up and enjoy content without having to hold it in your hands.
The Gear4 Denali features reinforced D30 material for enhanced durability and shock protection. Its non-slip textured finish provides extra grip and adds an interesting visual element to the case. The case's interior is a bright orange, and orange highlights continue on the case's exterior. The case also features a RepelFlex antimicrobial treatment, which protects against odor and disease-causing germs.
A subtle lip
Not only does this case wrap your Galaxy S21 up tight to protect it from accidental drops or scratches, but it features a raised lip around the screen for additional coverage. It keeps dust and lint from getting in the case and causing micro-abrasions on the phone, and it also comes with a hole that you can attach a lanyard to, so you don't leave your phone behind or misplace it.
This rough and tumble first-party case pulls double-duty, as it not only protects your S21 from falls but can prop the phone up for hands-free viewing thanks to its integrated kickstand. The sides have a ribbed tactility that makes it easy to keep a hold of your S21, but if you drop it, it is certified at MIL-STD 810G for drops.
Urban Armor Gear is another premier case manufacturer with a reputation for thick, bulky protective cases, but that's not quite what you get here with the Civilian model. Sure, the HyberCrush technology is great at protecting your S21 from impacts or drops, but it's still a relatively slim, lightweight, and low-profile case that anyone would enjoy using.
Shock and awe
The Niter Rugged Shield case is one of the most low-profile heavy-duty cases we've found for the Galaxy S21, but that doesn't mean that it's one of the least protective. Its combination of a hard outer TPU shell with soft inner TPU lining gives it a one-two punch, and its textured surface and PMAG style ribs make for a grippable phone you're not likely to drop easily. It's available in black, blue, silver, and a really cool army green.
Subtle and strong
This one-piece case is made of a sturdy, shockproof TPU and is textured and contoured to make it easy to grip. The case is fingerprint resistant and is one of the sleekest heavy-duty options we've seen. The buttons and cutouts are precision-crafted, and the case is backed by a one-year full refund.
Clearly the case
First-party cases are often our favorites because they are generally made to a very high standard (often reflected in their prices). This Clear Protective case from Samsung is no different, offering great impact protection and the ability to see the colors of your S21. It also has a built-in lanyard holder and fabulously grippy side rails to help you avoid dropping your prized possession.
A tough standard
Otterbox has made a name for itself as the go-to for heavy-duty phone cases, and the Defender series is one of its toughest yet. Not only is it durable, but the case incorporates an antimicrobial additive that inhibits bacterial growth. It's also made of 50% recycled materials so that you can feel a little better about the relative environmental impact of your purchase.
Low cost, high protection
Most of Spigen's excellent and affordable phone cases are slim, lightweight, and low profile, so it may surprise you that they are also pretty darn tough too. The Rugged Armor has a flexible TPU shell with Spigen's Air Cushion technology to provide maximum protection. The buttons are clicky, and the back has a really nice, subtle texture that looks and feels great and makes it more difficult to drop.
A nice ring to it
This case provides dual-layer protection with a thick, durable outer shell, but there's even more to it than that. You also get a handy, built-in ring grip on the backside, so you can hold your phone without fear of dropping it (no extra PopSocket required!). Additionally, that back panel is magnetic, which means that it can adhere to magnetic car mounts to stay securely in place while you're driving.
Security you can see
This tough case looks a bit more traditional than some others on this list, but it has built-in extra protection. All four corners and the camera housing area are reinforced with raised TPU edges to cushion from accidental drops, and the back panel is made of anti-slip material to help it stay in your hands. While the main part of the back panel is clear, you can choose from different colored trims like blue, black, purple, and red.
These are the best heavy-duty cases for your Galaxy S21
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The Samsung Galaxy S21 is definitely one of the best Android phones of 2021, with high-end specs and high-end style to match. However, sometimes the most premium phones are also the most fragile. If you're going to shell out nearly four figures on a new device, don't you want to make sure it is as protected as possible?
When it comes to heavy-duty cases for the Galaxy S21, our favorite has to be the ArmadilloTek Vanguard. The case itself is built like a tank, and it features a built-in kickstand for an enjoyable multimedia experience. However, if that case is a bit too bulky for your tastes, consider a more slim yet still protective option like the Niter Rugged Shield or the Sucnakp Shock Absorption.
Whichever option you decide, make sure it's one of the best Samsung Galaxy S21 cases from our Android Central roundups. We'll be updating our S21 case roundups frequently, so be sure to check back for even more great options!
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Jeramy is the Editor-in-Chief of Android Central. He is proud to help *Keep Austin Weird* and loves hiking in the hill country of central Texas with a breakfast taco in each hand. You can follow him on Twitter at @jeramyutgw.