Back to School: Cases to protect your phone or tablet


smartphone cases aug 16

You’ve got your textbooks, your new laptop, and your brand new school sneakers all ready to go. You’ve got the first week of back-to-school lunches planned out, and a few dinners prepped and waiting for you in the freezer. But do you have a cute case to keep your smartphone or tablet safe during the coming storm?

(And yes, by storm, I do mean school year.)

Cases to protect your smartphone

Smartphone cases are always my favourites to pick for articles, simply because there’s so many of them. You can go super rugged, like this webbed-looking UAG Samsung Galaxy S7 case, super girly like the phone cases below, or anywhere in between.

Recently, I’ve been really loving the look of clear cases with detailing–I think because the current generation of iPhones just look so darn pretty on their own. If you’re going to drop $800 on a gorgeous smartphone, why cover it up, you know?

10423825_2My first favourite from this category is the Case-Mate Rebecca Minkoff iPhone 6/6s Kaleidoscope Fitted Soft Shell Case, which I’ve talked about here before. It features a really beautiful, unique “shattered colours” design, and I love pretty much everything about it. I feel like it looks like what would happen if a prism broke and ended up on your iPhone case, or if a really beautiful watercolour painting got torn up and you saved its pieces in a thin layer of silicone.

I also really love the Iridescent Clear Case-Mate Naked Tough Fitted Hard Shell Case, which is almost disingenuously simple. At first glance, it looks like a plain, transparent soft shell case; however, upon further inspection, it’s actually a light-reflective hard case with a shock resistant bumper and sleek metallic buttons. It basically turns your phone into the jewel version of itself (or the beetle version, but that sounds gross.)

The last iPhone case that I picked on its own is the Viva Madrid Metalico iPhone 6/6s Soft Shell Case, again in Rose Gold. (It was an accident, I swear!!) Viva Madrid is a company that’s new to me, but if the rest of their products are half this pretty, I may have a new go-to. The Metalico case gets great reviews on the Best Buy site, and again, it does a lot with very little. It has a transparent TPU backing with a shiny, metallic rose gold edge.

Cases to protect your tablet10391671

I’d be remiss if I didn’t at least mention a couple of tablet cases, because hey: while they’re not quite as common as smartphones, you can still be pretty hard-pressed to find someone who hasn’t worked with one at some point or another!

Tablets need protecting just like smartphones do, but for the most part, their needs are a little different. I recommend looking for a nice, thin smartphone case unless you’re extremely accident-prone, but for a tablet, something thicker is often a better choice. A fold-over cover will help keep a tablet’s large screen scratch-free, and if you can find a folio case that works well as a stand, even better.

The first tablet case that caught my eye while I was researching for this post was the Christian Siriano iPad Air 2 Tablet Folio Case, because a) did you know that Christian Siriano was making tech cases now? And b) that desaturated oxblood inside lining is pretty gorgeous. The entire case looks like a really trendy portfolio-style clutch when closed, and it’s a pretty sure thing for any outlandish fashion lovers.

If you want to go with something a little more subtle, there are plenty of solid-coloured cases at your service. Try, for instance, the purple and mint Modal iPad Pro 9.7″ Reversible Folio Case for your brand new iPad Pro, Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 9.7″ Book Cover Case in the shade Wine. The Samsung Tab case also comes in black and white, but let’s be honest: black is boring, and white gets dirty far too easily!

10383162Finally, for an iPad case that’s a little more plush, check out this fabric-covered grey OtterBox Symmetry iPad Air 2 Folio Case. It gets a ton of 5-star ratings on the Best Buy site–a whopping 33 of them as I type this–and it’s made to adsorb impact from any drops or falls. I’m actually thinking of buying this very case for my mom at the moment–she’s even clumsier than I am, and somehow managed to wear her way right through her last two iPad cases.

(Don’t ask me how. I don’t know, and I’m perfectly happy staying in the dark on this one! Was it spaghetti? Was it a staircase? We may never know.)

Getting matchy-matchy with your tech protection!

If you’re the kind of proper lady who always matches her lipstick to her nails, why not match your tablet case to your iPhone case? With all of today’s case options, it’s easy to do, and there’ll be no mistaking which smartphone is yours in the dinnertime phone pile.

Think of it like carrying around a matching luggage set, except cuter. And more unexpected.10394274

Kate Spade makes matching your tech protection easy, as the range typically produces each print in a variety of options. For instance, there’s the kate spade new york iPad Mini 1/2/3 Magnet Folio Case and the matching kate spade new york iPhone 6/6s Hybrid Hard Shell Case, both of which feature a cute black and ivory polka dot pattern.

The two cases are just different enough that being matchy-matchy isn’t too on the nose, and each product is ideally suited to do its job. The hybrid hard shell iPhone case protects primarily for drops and falls (we carry our phones around all day long, so they get dropped far more often), while the magnetic iPad folio case keeps your iPad screen securely covered throughout the day and serves as a stand when you’re using it.

Or, if you’re in the kind of relationship that comes with matching accessories and a couple’s Halloween costume, you can match your smartphone cases with your partner. Try choosing the same case in different colours, or switch models so to compensate for any iPhone/Android differences.

10397390(Although really, the couple that smartphones together stays together.)

My partner and I are currently in an Apple vs Samsung war of attrition, but so mixing and matching our cases with something like the purple LifeProof Fre iPhone 6/6s Fitted Hard Shell Case and the grey LifeProof FRE Galaxy S7 Fitted Hard Shell Case would serve us pretty well … at least for the time being.

One of us is bound to break someday, and at that point, I guess we’d have to go back to not quite matching (or risk having literally identical smartphones!)

If something in this post caught your eye and you’d like to see more, make sure to check out the rest of the tablet cases and smartphone cases available at Best Buy. It’s never too early to make sure your electronics are safe!

Rae Chen
Rae Chen covers everything from handbags to speakers here on the Best Buy Plug-in Blog. They can also be found at, where they've been writing about beauty & wellness since 2007.