If you’ve got a Pixel 4, you’ve no doubt noticed that the square-shaped camera lens on the back protrudes a bit. As tempting as it might be to carry this surprisingly non-slippery phone without a case, you need to protect its screen, its corners, and the protruding camera lens on the back if you’re prone to dropping things; Gear4 can help!
Gear4 sent me two cases to try —the Battersea and the Crystal Palace — that they say will do an excellent job of protecting your Pixel 4, or in my case, the Pixel 4 XL. Let’s take a look!
Gear4 Battersea Case for the Pixel 4 XL
The Gear4 Battersea Case has a protective yet somewhat slim design that offers 16′ of drop protection while covering all edges and corners with integrated D30 impact absorption material (on the back, corners, and sides) and polycarbonate (on the back); TPU is used on the corners and sides. The case is wireless charging compatible and compatible with Active Edge functionality.
A grooved matte black back offers excellent grip while the TPU sides aren’t slick or slippery.
The power and volume buttons on the right side are covered with TPU, and there are wide cutouts on the bottom for the microphone, USB Type-C port, and speaker.
There is a protective TPU ridge around the display that will offer substantial face-down protection even when a glass screen protector is added. In this case, it’s the Invisible Shield I recently reviewed.
Also important, there is a deep (~3mm) protective wall around the rear camera and LED area. I have a friend who shattered the glass on the back of her Pixel 4 XL last week; she had a case on her phone, but it wasn’t quite as protectively engineered around the rear glass.
I know it’s a little thing, but I liked that the cutout around the raised rear camera and LED area shows a bit of the Pixel 4 XL’s back color; in my case, the color of my phone just happened to match the little orange “Protected by D30″ label and the orange oval around the gear4 label.
The Gear4 Battersea is a good looking and protective Pixel 4 XL case. The trade-off for so much protection, however, is that the case adds a little bit of bulk and weight to the Pixel — nothing shocking, but I’d be lying if I didn’t say it was noticeable. A naked Pixel 4 XL measures 6.33″ long by 3″ wide by 0.3″ thick and weighs 7.1 ounces; in the Gear4 Battersea, the Pixel 4 XL measures 6.55″ long by 3.2″ wide by 0.5” thick and weighs 9 ounces.
If you are trying to protect your $1,000 phone, a protective case is a smart investment. I’ve already dropped my phone while it was in the Battersea case several times; I even have scratches on one of the upper corners where it bounced on concrete (gulp), but my phone and all of its glass surfaces are just fine. If you are a bit of a klutz, the Gear4 Battersea is an excellent case for protecting your Pixel 4 XL.
The Gear4 Battersea retails for $49.99, and it is available directly from the manufacturer.
Source: Manufacturer supplied review sample
What I Like: Deep ridges on the back make the case very grippy; ~3mm wall around camera protects the raised rear camera and LED area; TPU ridge around the display is tall enough to protect the screen even when a protector is installed; Wireless charging compatible; Compatible with Active Edge functionality
What Needs Improvement: Adds a little bit of bulk and weight to the Pixel 4 XL
Gear4 Crystal Palace Case for the Pixel 4 XL
If you got an “oh so orange” Pixel 4, you might prefer showing off that coral-colored back versus covering it in a black case. That’s where the Gear4 Crystal Palace Case will come in handy. Composed of D30 Crstalex on the sides and corners with a clear polycarbonate back, the Crystal Palace is billed as the “clearest, thinnest, and most advanced impact protection material in the world. The Crystal Palace is certified for 13′ of drop protection, and it is wireless charging compatible; it is also compatible with Active Edge functionality.
The D30 Crystalex and the polycarbonate back are supposed to be anti-yellowing, and the shiny case says it offers fingerprint protection. In the weeks that I have been using the case, I haven’t noticed any yellowing, but to be fair, it is a total fingerprint magnet.
The power and volume buttons on the right side are covered with the D30 Crystalex, and there are wide cutouts on the bottom for the microphone, USB Type-C port, and speaker. There is also a protective ridge around the display that for excellent face-down protection even when a glass screen protector is added.
As with the Battersea, there is still a protective wall around the rear camera and LED area, but it is not as deep as that on the Battersea — maybe 1mm total.
A naked Pixel 4 XL measures 6.33″ long by 3″ wide by 0.3″ thick and weighs 7.1 ounces; in the Gear4 Crystal Palace, the Pixel 4 XL measures 6.5″ long by 3.2″ wide by 0.45″ thick and weighs 8.4 ounces. This case is a very good option if you want to show off your Pixel 4’s color while keeping it protected in something a bit thinner and lighter than the Gear4 Battersea, but I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that the case’s clear back is slick. At least the sides are grippy!
The Gear4 Crystal Palace Case retails for $39.99, and it is available directly from the manufacturer.
Source: Manufacturer supplied review sample
What I Like: ~1mm wall protects the raised rear camera and LED area; Ridge around the display is tall enough to protect the screen even when a protector is installed; Wireless charging compatible; Anti-yellowing clear case; Compatible with Active Edge functionality
What Needs Improvement: Fingerprint magnet; Back feels slick, but sides are grippy