Case roundup for the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G

As usual for my case roundups, I'll cover a variety of styles, with many samples supplied by MobileFun, kind people that they are. See their complete range of Galaxy S21 Ultra cases and covers. See also those from MyTrendyPhone, S21 Ultra cases (and first time buyers get 10% off)

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

Olixar Ultra-Thin, £7

Let's start with something simple and insubstantial, yet still worthy of consideration. Olixar's Ultra-Thin range has a unique place in the case world, in that it really does live up to its name. With this in place, you hardly feel any extra bulk. Or weight, this is only a couple of grammes. But you get a load of extra grip.

There's even a pretence at raised ends, but don't be too fooled - if you drop your S21 Ultra in this then it's still going be at risk - you're using the Ultra-Thin case so as to get enough grip as to not drop the phone in the first place. Yet without adding bulk or distracting cosmetics.

The concept really works, I've been using this case on my older Galaxy S9+ for over a year and it's just as good here on the S21 Ultra.

I particularly liked the reinforced ridges around the 'camera corner' on the S21 Ultra.

A case for every day if you don't travel too much or demand rugged protection. And bumped up a notch by the low, low price.

Score: 9/10

Olixar NovaShield, £13

Let's get this out of the way right up front. This is my favourite from the entire round-up. The NovaShield design has been refined over the years and has everything - clear and tough TPU lets you enjoy your phone's cosmetics; reinforced corners and raised top and bottom for maximum drop protection; precision moulding means that it fits like a glove; and the price is very definitely right.

As with most of the other designs here, extra attention is made to the camera corner in terms of adding in a tough ridge, to protect it.

In the hand, there's extra bulk, but it's marginal and easily balanced out by peace of mind - with this in pace, I'd bet on a 2m drop onto concrete with not a scratch on your £1100 smartphone.

If you're looking for an all-rounder, or are not sure where to start with phone cases, start with this one.

Score: 10/10

Samsung Ultra-Clear Protective, Black, £28

The marketing talks about 'military grade protection' and I'm not sure I'd go that far. But this is certainly very sturdy indeed. From rubberised and ribbed sides to thick clear back to lanyard loop at the bottom, this is one tough cookie.

Although the corners aren't reinforced beyond the thick plastic, there's drop protection front and back.

Despite the angles of the side ridges, the edges of the case aren't as grippy as you'd expect, leaving the Samsung Ultra-Clear Protective more about that - protection - than it is confidence in the hand.

Plus it's on the expensive side, as you'd expect from Samsung itself.

Score: 8/10

Olixar Ultra-Soft Silicone, £10

It's all Apple's fault, it really is. They started this whole 'Soft Silicone with open bottom' trend and it's dangerous. I've already lost one phone's screen to this - unluckily, but it shows that any impact on the bottom edge leaves the phone's screen utterly vulnerable.

The upside of the design is that swipes upwards (typically to go 'home') are less obstructed, but it's a dangerous compromise to accept, I contend.

Away from the bottom, the soft touch feel and velvety interior bely the low price - this looks and feels super-premium. It just doesn't offer much actual, you know... protection. The bottom half of the case comes off too easily, there's not enough protection all round, but hey, it'll look great around the carpeted office!

Score: 7/10

Olixar Soft Silicone Ultra Wallet, £13

The thing about 'wallet' cases is that they tend to end up too thick for practical use - by the time they're folded up and a card or two inserted. Olixar has this 'reduced hinge' design that I really like, wherein there's less material to fold and so the closed case is more manageable.

Here, they've done everything right. Soft silicone for the outer skin, smooth neoprene for the inner, with just one card slot, on purpose, to keep thickness down, and with a super-thin clear TPU shell for the phone itself.

In place it's very secure and feels super. Actually getting the card out is fiddly, but then in most cases you'll be using it with contactless payments, I'd have thought?

Not shown here, but also available, is a typical half-folded media-watching stand set-up and this also works well.

Available in several colours, this is one of my favourite 'wallet case' designs.

Score: 8/10

Araree Mustang Diary Wallet, £30

Another top-notch 'slim wallet' case, this time with no holds barred on the wallet side of things. The trade off is obvious, but if you stuff three cards and numerous notes into the various internal folds then the combined folded phone case gets thicker and thicker, and therefore less manageable.

But 10/10 for effort and design - the Araree case is superbly designed (and hand made). The leather, the stitching, the clear protection around the camera corner, it's all top notch. Except... the cheap paper inlay where the back of the phone sits. I'd have expected neoprene or TPU there.

Protection is high because of the folio flap, of course, but the top and bottom of the phone holder are also raised slightly - just in case.

A really nice case if this design is exactly what you're imagining!

Score: 8/10

Samsung Ultra-Silicone Cover, £24

Unlike the Olixar example above, this 'Silicone' case has a closed bottom, which is good in terms of security and protection. It's surprisingly rigid, surprisingly tough too.

The top and bottom edges are raised for drop protection, as shown above. Note also the lanyard holes, very nice to have indeed.

All the cutouts and button covers are perfect, as you'd expect from an 'official' case, though there's also the 'official' price. So treat yourself etc?

Nice touches include a choice of colours and the way the cameras peek out from custom holes in the back. Best of all worlds?

A super case, even if I'm not sure about the 'violet' one here!!

Score: 9/10

Samsung Ultra-Clear Standing Cover, £24

This is the case my S21 Ultra arrived with and it's phenomenally secure. The thickness of the plastic and TPU, the snug fit, the phone feels bombproof in it. At the price of a little extra bulk, but then what price protection?

Also adding to the thickness is a built-in kickstand module. This folds out when needed with a very securely-made hinge, and then snaps shut and stays shut, lightly sprung, I suspect. Very well made.

As usual, there are top and bottom raised lips, for drop protection, and the clear nature helps you appreciate the cosmetics of your expensive new toy!

Hard to fault, except perhaps on absolute thickness - which kind of comes with the presence of a kickstand?

Score: 9/10

Puro Magnetic 2-in-1 Wallet Case, £23

Wallet cases are all very well (and this does the money thing very well indeed), but you don't necessarily want to carry a huge, thick wad of a cased phone around with you all day. On that walk, on that bike ride. So what we really need is a wallet case where you can take just the phone holder out, using it as a traditional in-situ case. And this is what Puro has delivered here.

Finished in smooth and well-finished faux leather, there's a nice magnetic catch to keep things closed, and space for three cards and some spare cash. I loved the neoprene internals and rubberised plastic. The phone is gripped adequately and there's some face drop protection even when 'out' of the wallet environment. 

The magnets holding the phone case into the wallet backplane are nice and strong and there's no chance that the expensive Samsung will fall out. Top notch, and good value at this price.

Score: 9/10

Nillkin Frosted Shield, £14

This cover/case is all about minimalism, yet throws in both a super textured grippy back and sides, plus a bonus standalone fold-up kickstand. Which you'll probably lose, but well done to Nillkin for making the effort.

The cover here is phenomenally strong - think indestructible, and features deliberate flexi-gaps on two of the corners. These help get the phone into and out of the case, and also provide some shock-absorbing 'give' if the cased phone lands on that corner.

There's also face drop protection top and bottom, thanks to the top and bottom ends being gently raised. 

But it's the texture that stands out here - all over the back of the case, but moreover up each side, providing excellent grip.

This is well made and good value, again, and if you fancied a kick stand for watching media as well then that's a welcome bonus.

Score: 8/10

Anti-slip TPU, £8

Nothing fancy here, I'll keep this brief, but the clear TPU is indeed crystal clear and achieves the usual goal of providing basic protection (including from face drops, with slight raises at either end) while keeping any increase in bulk to a minimum and also letting you enjoy the cosmetics of your new phone.

At £8 this competes, no doubt, with similar cases from your local market or even the similarly priced Olixar at the top of this feature. But it's slightly more solid in terms of plastic used and so I have to at least match the score for that one!

Score: 9/10


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