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Guide to Protecting Your iPhone with the Best Cases

written by: •edited by: Simon Hill•updated: 9/15/2011

iPhones would look naked without a case, and no matter how beautiful its natural form is, it is not a sturdy beast, so you are likely to be met with some serious damage should you drop it. Therefore, a certain amount of protection from iPhone cases is necessary, but how do you find the best ones?

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    Just as can be said for apps, there is no shortage of cases for iPhones, but that doesn't mean they are all good. It seems everyone wants a slice of the iPhone commercial action and cases are easy to sell. From online retailers to supermarkets -- they are everywhere. The problem, of course, is knowing which of these offerings are the best ones. They might look alright on a website photo or through the plastic packaging on the shelf, only for you to be disappointed when you dress your iPhone up. And even if they look OK, that is no guarantee of protection.

    We've split up our guide to iPhone cases into easy to follow sections depending on the type of case you are after, although we begin with the very best options regardless of category. If you need a case with some sturdy protection then our rough and tough section is what you need, but for something to make you stand out from the crowd our "Kitsch, Bling and Just Plain Strange" section is for you. For an air of sophistication and earthy appeal we have our back to nature round-up, and the ultra-desirable designer and custom-made iPhone cases complete the line up.

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    Simply the Best

    Whatever your style, you are guaranteed to find something here that will suit you. Think about the level of protection you are likely to need before making your choice -- no matter how nice some of the cases look, if you are accident prone, you might be wise shopping for something a bit more rugged. We also take a peek at battery cases to keep you going on the move, as well as some cheap choices that are anything but nasty, and even some retro style with iPhone carry cases (those with a strap).

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    Rough & Tough

    Cases that offer your iPhone all round protection don't have to be ugly looking, as this round-up of rough and tough cases will show. Many of these options offer different levels of protection too -- if you are going mountaineering then you obviously need an indestructible case, as opposed to if you're just a bit clumsy and are likely to drop your phone now and then.

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    Back to Nature - Leather, Metal & Eco-Friendly

    These cases don't have to try too hard to win you over, with their understated style. It's also worth noting that many of these cases also offer a high level of protection from drops and knocks too, as well as looking pretty darn stylish. If you want something a little bit edgier than the standard leather or metallic options then take a look at our round-up of wooden and eco-friendly cases.

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    Kitsch, Bling & Just Plain Strange!

    As wonderful looking as the iPhone is, the problem now is that it seems like everyone has one, so this selection is the absolute best place to start looking for a case that will make your iPhone more individual in an instant. There are glittery, blinged-up numbers as well as kitsch cartoony options from the Hello Kitty corner. Indulge in some aromatherapy with the jelly belly and scented iPhone cases or really stand out from the crowd with our gathering of weird and wonderful iPhone cases - worth a look if only to amuse.

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    Designer & Custom Made

    For those of you with a little more cash to splash, who don't mind spending more for an individual design then our last section is just what you need. There are designer classics from Gucci, as well as other exclusive designer looks, or go all bohemian with some unique cases made by artists. If you just want to design your own case, or customize one to be uniquely yours then have a peek at our top options for custom made cases.

    We are always keen to hear from our readers, so please drop us a comment if there's anything you think we've missed from this guide and I'll look into it. And remember -- Stay protected out there!