Universal Mentors Association

Best Apple iPhone SE Case for 2023


$18 at Amazon


Spigen Tough Armor

Tough case with integrated kickstand

$6 at Amazon


Incipio NGP

Simple and see-through (Update: Currently unavailable)

The iPhone SE (2022), also known as the third-gen iPhone SE, might be an old product at this point, especially with its design and configuration similar to the iPhone 7 and 8. But it packs upgraded internal components, such as Apple’s A15 Bionic processor and 5G support, that make it a decent iPhone in 2023 — and certainly worthy of a case to protect it. 

In general, case-makers will label their SE cases as being compatible with the iPhone 7, 8, iPhone SE (2020) and iPhone SE (2022). iPhone 7 and 8 cases will also fit the 2022 SE. As a result of this backward compatibility, some of the iPhone SE cases on this list are ones we tried with earlier iPhone models and we can recommend them based on our previous experience using them.

While I’ve included a wide variety of cases, I’ve put an emphasis on cases that are also a good value. If you’re buying a so-called value phone like the iPhone SE, you probably don’t want to spend too much on a case. And since some of these cases have been on the market for a while, you will see some nice discounts on excellent iPhone SE cases. There are also some listed with special features such as a built-in wallet or kickstand.


Amazon/Screenshot by CNET

Speck makes several cases for the iPhone SE3 and you can find several on sale at Amazon for less than $15. The two cases pictured here are part of the Presidio Grip Series, which comes in a variety of color options (prices vary by color). Here are some additional deals on Speck SE3 cases:

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Amazon/Screenshot by CNET

My two favorite Otterbox cases are the Commuter Series and Symmetry Series, both of which come in a variety of colors. The dual-layer Commuter Series is a little more protective and has a latch that covers the charging port. Prices vary by color.


Amazon/Screenshot by CNET

Zagg’s Gear4 cases for the iPhone SE are similar in quality to Speck and Otterbox cases. I initially linked to the Piccadilly (pictured above), which is selling for only $10. The Crystal Palace ($10) is very similar but completely clear.

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Amazon/Screenshot by CNET

Spigen’s Tough Armor cases have been around for a while and are notable for their circular cutout exposing the Apple logo and their built-in kickstand. They do offer decent protection and hold up fairly well over time, though not quite as well as some Otterbox and Speck cases. The Tough Armor is available in multiple color options.

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Amazon/Screenshot by CNET

Otterbox’s Symmetry Series comes in a variety of color options, including a clear version with glitter. As I said, the Otterbox’s Commuter Series case offers slightly more protection but you can’t go wrong with its Symmetry Series cases.

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Amazon/Screenshot by CNET

Spigen Slim Armor CS comes in a variety of color options and has a slot that allows you to store a couple of credit cards (or a single credit card and some cash) inside the case. The only downside is that it’s not compatible with wireless charging.

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Amazon/Screenshot by CNET

Urban Armor Gear offers a few different case designs for the iPhone SE in a variety of colors. I personally like the Plasma, but the Armor, Pathfinder and Plyo are also good, with the Plyo having the slimmest design. UAG’s cases all feature good corner protection and meet military drop-test standards.


Amazon/Screenshot by CNET

Incipio’s NGP case is a simple translucent case that offers decent protection in a slim package. The blue version is currently $6 at Amazon. It’s listed as being compatible for the iPhone 8 but will fit the iPhone SE, both 2022 and 2020 models.


Amazon/Screenshot by CNET

Spigen’s sister brand Cyrill makes a few different cases for the iPhone SE. I like the Leather Brick (it’s “vegan” leather, not real leather), but all of Cyrill’s cases are well-designed and decent for the money. The Leather Brick is available in a few color options.

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LifeProof’s Wake case is made out of recycled ocean plastic. While I wouldn’t call it supertough — it isn’t enclosed at the bottom — it’s rated for 6-foot drop protection and is attractively designed. Available in three color options, price varies by color.

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Smartish makes three cases for the SE, the Gripmunk, Wallet Slayer Vol. 1 and Wallet Slayer Vol. 2 (the latter two are wallet cases). I’m slightly more partial to the Slayer Vol. 2, which comes in a couple of color options for the SE. It’s a pretty basic case but offers decent grip and can hold a couple of credit cards along with some cash. You can use your credit card as a kickstand by inserting it into the slot in the back of the case.

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Amazon/Screenshot by CNET

I bought a similar version of this case to use with a Samsung phone. It’s a faux-leather wallet case that has a magnetic clasp with room on the inside for three credit cards and some cash. It also converts into a kickstand for watching video.

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Available in a few colors, Raptic’s Shield case costs less than an OtterBox case and offers similar toughness with 10-foot drop protection. Currently, the rose gold version is only $10, while the other colors, including the red model pictured, are $20.


Amazon/Screenshot by CNET

Griffin’s Survivor cases offer 6-foot drop protection with reinforced (and raised) corners that can help your phone avoid damage should it fall facedown.

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Amazon/Screenshot by CNET

Incipio’s Organicore case is another eco-friendly case that Incipio says is 100% compostable. The oat-colored version is on sale for $10.

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Amazon/Screenshot by CNET

The third-gen iPhone SE has an IP67 water resistance rating, which means it can survive being dunked in up to 1 meter of water for 30 minutes. But if you want an even more waterproof option, LifeProof’s Fre case is the way to go. This once-popular case (before the iPhone got some waterproofing) is still quite expensive but it does offer maximum protection for your phone.

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Watch this: 2022 iPhone SE Disappoints in Drop Test


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