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A case will keep your phone clean and protect it when dropped. A few are waterproof, but even those which are not will give you an extra second to pick it up out of a spilled glass of beer before it get wet.
iLounge.com lists 295 cases for the iPhone 5
See 2016 update
Materials: Silicone - Soft - Mostly cosmetic (Skin) and scratch protection. e.g. Otterbox Commuter $18 or XtremeMac Tuffwrap. TPU - Thermoplastic polyurethane - Ranges from soft to hard PC - Polycarbonate - hard - Silicon is the least protective. It's a more sticky than the phone so you may be less prone to drop it, but it will be harder to get it out of your pocket. - Snap cases which generally just - A thick plastic case is good but takes up a lot of space - A hybrid with two materials is a compromise The most common is a thin plastic covered by silicone. However I think the outer silicone serves more as a non-slip surface. A drop on the corner is going to compress the silicone and transfer all the force to the corner of the phone. See hybrids with a hard outer shell and soft inner one below. Features on some: Built in belt clip Screen protector (may come with the case or be separate) Waterproof or resistant Reinforced Corners for corner drop protection A kickstand to hold it up for watching video Battery cases (built-in battery) Arm band for use while running, biking, skiing Wallet case - slots for credit cards 2016 Notation: sss (r) -Amazon score (# of reviews), [cnet score] TheWireCutter 1 piece rubbery Silk Base Grip (TPU) $12 Spigen Ultra Hybrid (transparent) $13 Polycarbonate shell w/ rubbery inside The hard case spreads I like cases with ribs inside to give a bit of an air cushion. Speck Presidio Grip $40 4.2 (142) 10 ft drop tests Slimmest case yet. We've created the slimmest dual-layer case #1 at Top 10 Slim iPhone 7 Cases - Mobile Reviews Eh (Oct. 18, 2016) Speck Presidio GRIP Review - iPhone 7 cases (Video Review) - Mobile Reviews Eh Best iPhone 7 cases and iPhone 7 Plus cases | BGR RhinoShield CrashGuard Bumper Case ($25) 4.2 (143) (Pogue drop test) 2.5mm thick, weighs 12 grams 11 ft drop test Evo Gem tech21 ™ thin 3-layer impact absorption system $40 Ballistic Tough Jacket Case ($35) Cygnett WorkMate Pro Case ($30) The 15 Best iPhone 7 Cases | Digital Trends Tech21 Best iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus cases - CNET - Page 4 2014 Popular models DT = Drop Test Score at Tom's Guide [x, y] = Amazon user review x=score, y=reviewers Otterbox: Defender (DT=7) [4.3, 10,515] A- 3-layer protection $25-$40 Ballistic Hard Core (DT=8) [4.4, 119] $60 Griffin Survivor (DT=8) [4.2 388] B+ $28-$60 5 Smartphone Cases to Survive (Almost) Any Drop (Support for 5C/5S only) Otterbox Defender (see above), Case-Mate Tough Xtreme [4.4 193] $25 G-Form Extreme [3.0 50] Ballistic Hard Core (see above) Hybrids with a hard outer shell and soft inner one This makes sense because the outer case will spread the shock over the whole case The soft inner will cushion the phone. They also tend to be smaller and lighter than other multi-layer systems See 2016 models above. . - Impact Gel Xtreme Armour 4.5 at MetaGamers youtube $35 ($20 WalMart) I got this one. It's a semi-ridged outer case with a gel inside. - Spigen Neo Hybrid Amazon $16 - Otterbox: Commuter [4.1 6,424] B $30 - Speck CandyShell [3.8 1,426] A- Speck CandyShell Amped cases Passive sound amplification [4.1 42] - RhinoShield Crash GuardBumper $25 [5, 4] David Pogue review Trident Apollo Series Case Trident KRAKEN AMS [3.9 295] Other popular cases: Belkin Grip Candy Sheer [4.0 3,579] A- Amzer: Jelly case $25, Soft Gel TPU $10 Poetic Atmosphere $17 Bodyguardz: Full-Body Protection $49, Urban Armoor Gear - Composite Armor shell and impact resistant soft core $35 Tech21 $30 Best Buy Tech21 iPhone 5 Drop Test - YouTube Sealed and Waterproof Pouch w/ audio extension cable | Meritline.com See: iPhone How to choose a good mobile phone cases-Shenzhen A&T Industry And Trading Co. Comparison between the silicone, TPU and PC material - Shenzhen A&T Real Usage. Real Reviews - Mobile Reviews Eh Top 10 Slim iPhone 7 Cases (updated Oct. 18, 2016) - Mobile Reviews Eh 5 Smartphone Cases to Survive (Almost) Any Drop 10 Best Protective Cases For Samsung Galaxy S4 Smartphone | RemoveandReplace.com What is the Best kind of Case for Your Smartphone? iPhone 5 Case Gallery | iLounge has the biggest list Smartphone Damage Drop Test: iPhone 5 beats Galaxy S4 - YouTube The Indestructible Smartphone: Closer Than You Think The Best iPhone 5 Slim Cases | MetaGamers youtube Poetic Atmosphere top pick Best iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus cases | cnet Tablet-cases