Case round-up: Google Pixel 2 XL

Another month, another case round-up, for the new Google Pixel 2 XL, covering a variety of styles, and all supplied by MobileFun, kind people that they are. See their complete range of Pixel 2 XL cases and covers.

Olixar Leather-style Wallet Case, £10

Darn it, this case is so close to being perfect. Admittedly you have to like the all-encompassing 'folio' style (I do, with caveats), but the materials (faux leather and neoprene, but hey, check out the price) are good, smell nice(!) and the Pixel 2 XL is protected from all sides.

In situ, the phone is held VERY snugly and the ports, camera and buttons are all accessible. The fingerprint sensor is recessed quite a way, but still worked in my tests, thankfully.

The magnetic flap is about right too, not too strong, not too weak, and it only gets slightly in the way when you want to flip the stand case open in order to watch some media.

My only concern is that the case is such a tight fit that you're not going to want to take it off again - for example to change SIM cards - there's a serious risk of breaking fingernails! So maybe not one for serial SIM swappers.

Great value overall - when it starts to wear and perish after a year, just treat yourself to a new one!

Score: 8/10

Olixar ExoShield Tough Snap on, £10

Protecting the Pixel 2 XL on all angles and edges, this is a good shout at the price - the TPU plastic is rigid and feels premium.

The buttons are covered by hinged hard plastic versions, but they work very well.

All this protection does come with a couple of caveats though - the rigid sides have edges which give great grip in the hand but also make the svelte Pixel 2 feel significantly chunkier than it actually is. But then that comes with the territory. Along similar lines, you don't get to feel the edges of the Pixel 2's 2.5D screen glass.

But a superb piece of protection and, again, great value.

Score: 8/10

Spigen Slim Armor, £22

I've been a fan of the Spigen Slim Armor cases for years and this is another good example - super grippy, super protective, fits like a champ. An incredible fit. As with the Olixar case above, though even more so here, your Pixel 2 XL is almost indestructible when encased.

Yes, the phone is now significantly thicker and yes, the 2.5D glass can't be fully appreciated, but you do get a big bonus on the back in the form of an integral kick stand - just flip it out and you're watching media on that big 6" 2:1 screen.

The only caveat is the price - this is expensive at £22, but then isn't top quality worth it, and besides you just paid £800+ for the Pixel 2 in the first place, so protecting it should be a no-brainer!

Score: 9/10

Spigen Thin Fit, £16

A step down from the Slim Armor, this gives you 80% the grip and 50% the protection, yet only adds a couple of millimetres to the overall thickness. But for someone who wants something with protection against corner drops yet with minimal bulk this may fit the bill.

There are no gimmicks and the buttons are 'naked' here - everything's minimalist, making the price something tough to bear, I'd have liked to have seen this cheaper.

Although the Pixel 2 XL fits securely in this case, the sheer amount of exposed glass at the sides and bottom do give the impression that it's quite a bit more vulnerable than any of the cases mentioned so far.

In short, you could do a lot worse than house your precious Pixel in this design, but don't take this one camping or cycling or whatever you do outdoors. One for the office, perhaps!

Score: 7/10

Zizo Static with kickstand, £25

The most expensive case in this round-up, this is also the thickest and heaviest. And with a full, double-hinged kick stand. And heavily textured back with faux-metal inserts. In short, it tries to look as big, as brutal, as tough as possible.

And it succeeds after a fashion. But there's no finesse, the button covers require significant extra pressure, the kick stand is over engineered, and so on.

The comparison here it to the Spigen Slim Armor design, above. Which is like comparing a 20 year old Volvo to a Porsche 911. The Spigen case is arguably just as protective, thinner, far sleeker in the hand, better looking.... AND it comes in cheaper.

Sorry, Zizo, your case is like an Imperial Star Destroyer - thick and beweaponed, while more agile case designs from the likes of Spigen run rings around it.

Score: 6/10


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