(Updated August 7th, 2014)

Now that we’re two months removed from the global launch of the Galaxy S5, we have a pretty good picture of all of the rugged Galaxy S5 cases out now.  All of the major brands have released their entry into the space, including OtterBox, LifeProof, Spigen, Griffin, and more.  If you’re looking for the most protective case based on quality, size, price, and style, here are the best of the best rated on those factors.

OtterBox Preserver (Review)

Galaxy S5 Preserver OtterBox

Protection
100%
Size
80%
Style
85%
Price
80%
Overall
95%

The Preserver comes after the acquisition of LifeProof by OtterBox, and with it the Preserver has emerged as the most rugged Galaxy S5 case we’ve ever seen.  It is extremely impact resistant just like the Defender Series OtterBox and also adds the waterproof capabilities that LifeProof is known for.  It allows usage of the Fingerprint scanner as well, and the only knock is how difficult it can be to get to the USB 3.0 charger and the fact that there’s no belt clip included.  If you’re serious about protecting your S5, the Preserver is the most capable case yet.  Read our review here…


OtterBox Defender (Review)

Galaxy S5 Defender Series OtterBox Cases

Protection
90%
Size
80%
Style
85%
Price
80%
Overall
95%

OtterBox has been in the game awhile, and their Defender series remains one of the best cases in terms of protection from drops and in harsh work environments.  You get an extremely solid polycarbonate shell as well as a very firm rubber skin that fits on around it.  The material OtterBox uses for the skin is much different than its competitors, and maintains a great firmness while not being as bulky as equivalent cases.  There’s also a built-in screen protector and included holster with belt clip.  While the case doesn’t protect your Galaxy S5 from being dropped into water, it protects against everything else extremely well.  Read our review here…


LifeProof frē (Review)

Galaxy S5 LifeProof frē Case

Protection
90%
Size
85%
Style
80%
Price
75%
Overall
90%

Where the LifeProof lacks in impact protection, it makes up for in its waterproof capabilities.  This is one of the only cases for the Galaxy S5 that is completely waterproof, but there are some very slight disadvantages that some may notice, including a screen protector that sometimes does not fit flush against the screen.  For those who need something completely protective against being submerged in water, the trade-off is not bad at all, and these cases remain a household name among smartphone lovers.  There is no belt clip or holster included, but instead a headphone jack adapter is included for using your headphones while inside the case.  For the water protection though, it’s the clear leader.   Read our review here…


Element Case Recon Black Ops Pro (Review)

Element Case Recon Pro for Galaxy S5

Protection
95%
Size
80%
Style
85%
Price
70%
Overall
90%

Combining CNC machined aluminum, polycarbonate, and TPU into a single case is what Element Case set out to do with their Recon Black Ops Pro for the Galaxy S5.  The three materials combined make this case withstand outside force and pressure far more so than any other rugged cases out.  It is missing a built-in screen protector, but makes up for it with an included privacy screen protector.  You also get a belt clip and stand combination that isn’t quite as protective itself as the OtterBox Defender’s holsters, but it still works well.  This case also includes a Sound Boost System to redirect audio to the front of your Galaxy S5 and even raise the volume a bit.  The only downside to this case is the price, coming in at over double the price of the OtterBox Defender, which is its closest competition.   Read our review here…


Griffin Survivor (Review)

Galaxy S5 Griffin Survivor Rugged Case

Protection
90%
Size
75%
Style
80%
Price
75%
Overall
85%

The Griffin Survivor for the Galaxy S5 was designed with the same language as the OtterBox Defender, but handles the belt clip and holster a little differently.  You can’t get full screen protection inside the holster like the OtterBox offers because it connects via arms on the bottom and top as opposed to a traditional holster setup.  The rubber used is a lot thicker, increasing the overall size and there are grooves in the sides of the case which kind of eliminate the sleek look.    The Survivor can be considered just as rugged as the Defender, but the size is too much of a difference that we feel it should be priced slightly lower.  It’s still extremely protective, and more so than most other rugged cases out.  Read our review here…


Poetic Revolution (Review)

Poetic Revolution for Galaxy S5

Protection
85%
Size
85%
Style
85%
Price
90%
Overall
85%

The Poetic Revolution is a relatively slim rugged case when compared to equivalent cases out.  It comes with a built-in screen protector and the traditional polycarbonate and rubber skin setup.  The case itself isn’t as protective as the Survivor or the Defender series OtterBox, but that’s made up for in the pricing which is a fraction of the cost of the former two.  Feature wise, it’s up there with those two in regards to port plugs and coverage, but there is no holster or belt clip included.  For the price though, it’s a very compelling option for some.  Read our review here…


Honorable Mention

Ballistic Tough Jacket MAXX

Do you know of a case we didn’t mention and you feel should be in the top?  Let us know!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *