I recently reviewed the MNML Case for Google Pixel 2 XL, an absolutely minimalist case that just barely protects the smartphone. I’ve two other cases to review: a clear TPU case from Tauri, and TPU shock absorption case from Vinve. Both these, and the one from MNML Case, are all very different styles to suit individual preferences and needs.
In most cases, you want a case that offers good protection, yet want it to look good, don’t add bulk, and even to retain the look and feel of the smartphone it protects. You can’t have all of them.
The MNML Case is almost unnoticeable (see photo above). However, it doesn’t offer any useful protection against drops. If you want something more practical, consider these two other cases in this review.
First up, the Tauri Scratch Resistant Slim Thin Clear Flexible Soft TPU Protective Case Cover is a slim-fit clear gel case. Tauri cases are also available for many other smartphones, and they are quite popular.
This case has all the right cutouts. The edges around the fingerprint sensor is bevelled, so your finger can rest comfortably through that cutout. The power button and volume rocker are covered, and pressing on them remains easy.
The clear gel has about 1 mm of thickness, which should suffice to cushion moderate drops. The thickness is also sufficient to keep the rear camera clear.
The inside of the case has a dotted texture which prevents air bubbles from forming at the back of the smartphone, ensuring that the Pixel 2 XL will always look good. The whole point of a clear gel case, after all, is to show off the smartphone within. To this end, this Tauri case shows off the Pixel 2 XL beautifully.
Over on the front, the case features a lip over the Pixel 2 XL’s glass display, ensuring that when placed face down, the glass will not come into contact with the surface.
Overall, this is a nice case that offers decent drop protection, and allows the original design of the Pixel 2 XL to show through. A minor design distraction is the small Tauri branding featured in a bottom corner on the back of the case. Also, the gel material tends to attract fingerprints.
This Tauri Scratch Resistant Slim Thin Clear Flexible Soft TPU Protective Case Cover is available from Amazon (affiliate link) for US$6.99, with option to ship directly to Singapore at US$4.51.
The second case is the Vinve Slim Thin Carbon Fibre TPU Shock Absorption Anti-Scratches Flexible Soft Protective Case Cover. It is quite different from the Tauri one above.
Despite the words Carbon Fibre in the name, there is no carbon fibre in this case. Instead, there are just some carbon fibre-like design accents in a top and bottom strip on the back of the case. The back is, otherwise, mostly covered by a subtle wire-drawing textured pattern which offers some extra grip, and easily conceals (or repels) fingerprints.
The TPU on this case feels like some sort of soft rubber. It is totally opaque in colour, so the design of the Pixel 2 XL within is hidden. There is enough thickness to offer decent protection from moderate drops, provided of course the smartphone doesn’t fall face down.
Like the Tauri case above, this Vinve one has all the right cutouts, and bevelled edges around the fingerprint sensor so your finger can rest comfortably. The power button and volume rocker are also covered, and pressing on them remains easy.
A significant difference from the earlier case is that this has very minimal lip cover over the front display glass. I would advise to be careful with placing the smartphone face down when using this Vinve case.
Unlike the Tauri case, the Vinve case gives the Pixel 2 XL a new look. If you like to have a different look to your smartphone from time to time, you could use this as an alternate case.
This Vinve Slim Thin Carbon Fibre TPU Shock Absorption Anti-Scratches Flexible Soft Protective Case Cover is available from Amazon (affiliate link) for US$7.82. It won’t ship to Singapore directly. Reviewed here is the Blue colour case, and there other Black and Red colours available.
I had said both these cases should work for moderate drop protection. To be clear, my definition for that is simple drops from, say, waist height. You might be pushing your luck with drops from head level. This doesn’t include strikes against the front display, of course. Notably, the Vinve has just very minimal lip over the front display, so I would still advice to be careful in that regard.
Both these Tauri and Vinve cases work for general everyday protection. They have different designed styles, so you can pick which suits you, or even get both for variety in protecting your Google Pixel 2 XL.