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Google's Pixel 7a is the company's latest midrange A-series phone, boasting specs that put it even closer to the flagship Pixel 7. This makes it a fantastic pick for those who want nearly everything a Pixel phone offers without the higher price tag. In fact, it's among the best budget Android phones you can buy right now, edged out slightly by its predecessor, the Pixel 6a, only due to the much lower price of the older model.

Nevertheless, just because you're not investing in a premium flagship phone doesn't mean you should skimp on protection. Although the Pixel 7a has the plastic back of its A-series predecessor and not the more fragile glass of Google's flagships, it's still prone to cracking when you inevitably drop it. Plus, the front glass is only Gorilla Glass 3 instead of the considerably tougher Gorilla Glass Victus used on the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro, so it's a good idea to grab a screen protector, too. Still, you'll find that many of these heavy-duty cases do a great job protecting your screen with extra-raised edges, and some even include built-in screen protection.

  • Caseology Parallax for Pixel 7a
    Source: Amazon
    Caseology Parallax for Pixel 7a
    Best overall
    $17 $27 Save $10

    Caseology's Parallax features a 3D Hexa Cube design that's attractive, practical, and anything but boring. The two-tone colors complement the style of the Pixel 7a, while the rear surface and textured sides let you keep a solid grip on your phone. It looks and feels great, but don't let the understated design fool you, as it can still handle everyday bumps, scraps, and drops of up to four feet.

  • Otterbox Commuter for Pixel 7a
    Source: Otterbox
    Otterbox Commuter for Pixel 7a
    Premium pick

    Otterbox is a trusted name in protection, and the Otterbox Commuter honors that tradition by delivering a case that goes 3X beyond military-grade drop test standards in a pocket-friendly design that doesn't add too much bulk. You also get port covers to block dust and dirt from getting into your Pixel 7a, plus grippy sides to help ensure you don't drop your phone in the first place. It's also made with more than 35% recycled plastic.

  • Poetic Neon for Pixel 7a
    Source: Poetic
    Poetic Neon for Pixel 7a
    Best value

    Case trends come and go, but the dual-layer hybrid never dies. While every manufacturer and their mother makes one, the Poetic Neon is among our favorites, thanks to its grip pads and a rubberized accent ring that make it easy to keep hold of without being a lint magnet. Plus, the bright, two-tone color schemes leave a bold impact that competitors from Spigen and OtterBox simply can't match.

  • Supcase UB Pro for Pixel 7a
    Source: Amazon
    Supcase UB Pro for Pixel 7a
    Promoted pick

    In partnership with Supcase

    $25 $30 Save $5

    The Supcase Unicorn Beetle Pro is a rugged and protective case for your Pixel 7a that looks the part. It's not just window-dressing, either; the UB Pro has been tested to protect your phone against drops of up to 20 feet, thanks to its multilayered construction. You also get a bunch of extras packed in here, such as an included screen protector in the front frame, a built-in kickstand that doubles as a ring holder, and a rotating belt clip holster.

  • Spigen Rugged Armor for Pixel 7a
    Source: Amazon
    Spigen Rugged Armor for Pixel 7a

    Spigen's Rugged Armor offers slim and subtle coverage for your Pixel 7a in a design that still distinguishes itself thanks to the carbon fiber accents. Air Cushion technology provides military-grade drop protection, with spiderweb molding — and raised edges around the screen and camera — for absorbing impacts. In addition, grippy sides help you keep hold of your phone.

  • Dbrand Grip Case for Pixel 7a in TMNT Michelangelo
    Source: D
    dbrand Grip for Pixel 7a

    Dbrand's Grip Case offers you the best of both worlds: the sturdy grip and careful corner cushions of a heavy-duty case and the customization of applying a new case skin when you get bored with your current design. For instance, if you opt for TMNP (Teenage Mutant Ninja Pixels), it comes with four different camera bar skins, allowing your 7a to be any or all of your favorite pizza-loving turtles. The holographic Warzone and Acid also look sublime.

  • i-Blason ArmorBox Lite for Pixel 7a
    Source: i-Blason
    i-Blason ArmorBox Lite for Pixel 7a
    Promoted pick

    In partnership with i-Blason

    While we desperately hoped i-Blason would give us some fun Cosmo Series color options to match the Pixel 7a's fun colors, at least its ArmorBox Lite gets the essentials right. Rather than using a front frame and plastic built-in protector, this kickstand case is easy to apply and comes with two sturdier tempered glass screen protectors.

  • Itskins Spectrum R for Pixel 7a
    Source: Amazon
    Itskins Spectrum R Clear Case for Pixel 7a

    Most heavy-duty cases hide the fun colors of your Pixel 7a, but that's where the Itskins' Spectrum R differs from the rest. While not the most rugged case on our list, it still offers 10-foot drop protection thanks to its Hexotek shock absorption technology, raised edges around the screen and camera, and textured sides for a good grip. The best part, however, is that it's fully transparent and includes an anti-yellowing and scratch-resistant coating, so it will stay that way.

  • Urban Armor Gear Scout for Pixel 7a
    Source: Amazon
    Urban Armor Gear Scout for Pixel 7a

    Urban Armor Gear is best known for rugged cases in both design and appearance, but the Scout series turns that slightly on its head with a much more understated design. While it's still unmistakably a UAG case, the lines are cleaner and sleeker, making it feel much more comfortable in hand. UAG hasn't skimped on protection with the more muted design, though; you still get military-grade drop protection with raised edges around the screen and camera.

  • Speck Impacthero for Pixel 7a
    Source: Speck
    Speck Impacthero for Pixel 7a

    The Speck Impacthero is a minimalist and pocket-friendly case for your Pixel 7a that delivers durability and protection without adding too much bulk. Its eight-foot drop protection should be more than enough for everyday use, and the usual raised edges protect the screen and camera against bumps and scrapes. Also, a soft-touch coating with Microban protection makes it feel great while holding and reduces stain and odor-causing bacteria to keep things clean.

  • Incipio Duo for Pixel 7a
    Source: Incipio
    Incipio Duo for Pixel 7a

    Incipio's Duo is another great rugged option for folks who prefer an understated design. Thanks to its internal Impact Struts technology, a two-piece design with dual-layer protection can withstand drops of up to 12 feet. Antimicrobial treatment prevents 99.9% of surface bacteria, and the soft material feels comfortable and solid. Sadly, the Pixel 7a version of the Duo is available only in more muted black or midnight navy/inkwell blue; there's no bold scarlet red like there is for the Pixel 7.

Even an affordable phone needs heavy-duty protection

Just because the Pixel 7a has a less fragile plastic casing and a lower price tag doesn't mean you shouldn't get the best protection you can, and this is even more crucial if you have a more adventurous (or clumsier) lifestyle. In fact, one of the downsides to more affordable phones is that many folks aren't as careful with them as they are when dealing with $1,000+ premium flagship devices.

Thanks to newer materials and technologies, we're long past the days when rugged cases had to look like you were wrapping your phone in tactical armor. Today, many cases offer military-grade drop protection without sacrificing aesthetics, and some look so nice that you may have a hard time believing they offer the level of protection they do.

Caseology's Parallax and Poetic's Neon are great examples of this, delivering fun designs and colors without skimping on protection. The Parallax features an especially nice design with its 3D patterns and two-tone colors — while offering grippy sides and durable military-grade four-foot drop protection that should be enough to cover most folks. Poetic's Neon also offers rugged drop protection with an even wider variety of color options at an affordable price.

Of course, there are always tradeoffs, so you have to consider where you're likely to be taking your Pixel 7a. Wilderness adventures and extreme athletes will likely require something much more rugged. That's where Otterbox's reputation could make its Commuter case worth the splurge since it promises to handle up to 3X as many drops as the military standard certifications. If you plan to use your phone outdoors and on the go frequently, then Supcase's UB Pro is also a solid choice, with 20-foot drop protection and a versatile set of features for holstering it, holding it, and propping it up just about anywhere.