Case roundup for the Google Pixel 4 XL

In my reviews of the brand new Pixel 4 XL so far, I've pointed out that the painted finish on metal and glass is worrisome - surely it's going to rub off and look tatty at some point? So here we go with some likely case contenders...

As usual for my case roundups, I'll cover a variety of styles, with most samples supplied by MobileFun, kind people that they are. See their complete range of Pixel 4 XL cases and covers.

But on with the individual cases, each link goes to the relevant product page, of course.

(I'll update this initially-brief round-up as and when more cases arrive for review from MobileFun and from other sources.)

Olixar Soft Silicone, Black, £10

A terrific option at the price, the feel in the hand is super-premium. Soft and smooth, yet not too smooth - there's still grip.

There's minimal corner protection, but you do get enough of a lip all round the front of the Pixel 4 XL so as to protect it when placed face down on a surface, or even from face drops.

The fit is pretty good, though some of the Pixel's original colour shows around the inside of the camera island cutout. I'm being super picky here though.

A basic case that looks like it's worth three times its price - and that has to be a good thing.

PS. Do try not to get greasy 'fast food' fingers on this though, since the soft finish does tend to accumulate fingerprints!

Score: 8/10

Olixar Canvas Wallet, Grey, £13

I do love Olixar's 'Canvas' range, in that they provide all the advantages (screen protection, landscape media watching, card storage) of a 'folio' design without excessive bulk.

The material exterior is lovely to the touch and it makes you want to hold the cased phone at all times - yes, it's that premium. The interior flap has a single card slot - probably sensible, since the aim here is to keep the thickness down, after all.

In fact, everything about the design just works - with one exception. And it's not the case's fault. You see, the Pixel 4 XL is designed around its 'Soli' radar chap and 'ambient awareness'. Yet with the case flap closed, the sensors can't do their thing to respond to gestures or presence. I guess you could keep the case opened out on your desk, but the match-up of folio to phone ID/gestures still seems a little awkward.

If you love folio designs and the protection and smartness that they embody though, look no further - at £13 this is a steal!

Score: 8/10

Olixar Carbon Fibre Protective, black, £13

One of the most protective (hence the name!) cases in this round-up, this is a classic tough and textured TPU design with a good millimetre clearance all round the phone on the front and a couple of millimetres on back and corners - so you can essentially throw your Pixel 4 XL around and you'll be fine here.

The fit around the back, around the camera island again seems a little lax, in that I see the white of my Pixel 4 XL's rear peeking through, but it's not a functional problem and Olixar does say in the packaging at the moment that this is a 'day 1' case and that they've been working to dummy units, not retail Pixel 4 XLs, so hopefully the camera island fit can be improved in future production runs. Olixar are pretty good in this respect.

There's little to complain about here, other than perhaps the button covers are a little stiff, you have to press in slightly harder than on other case designs I've tried. Still, it's the case my Pixel has ended up in (so far), which speaks volumes...

This is tough, it's functional, the textured ('carbon fibre') back screams 'I mean business' and, happily, no muggers will suspect that you're using a £1000 smartphone! Well, hopefully.

Score: 9/10

Ghostek Covert 'Smoke', £15

What's tougher than the case above? This, from Ghostek, which totally anonymises and protects your expensive Pixel 4 XL, to the point where it doesn't look attractive at all. Which is an odd thing to say about a case, but the 'Smoke' tint in the clear TPU just looks as if the cased phone is several years old and, perhaps, not worth nicking to a mugger?

Apologies to Ghostek if I've misinterpreted the intentions here, but the tinting and the bulbous corners do the case no favours in the beauty stakes.

The reinforced corners though, plus the couple of millimetres of tough TPU above the screen all round, do mean that the Pixel 4 XL is protected from every kind of drop. Which may be your primary goal?

The fit is great apart from, again, showing the phone colour around the black camera island:

Still, overall, good value for money if your going ultra-urban, of perhaps out into the wilds, where some extra dirt on your precious phone case won't make a blind bit of difference!

Score: 8/10

Watch this space for more cases in this roundup....


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