Protect Your Google Pixel 4a with Cases from UAG, Incipio, and Vena

So you bought a Google Pixel 4a. You love its smaller size, the pure Android operating system experience, and the 4a’s excellent camera. Perhaps you still can’t believe that you got it for just $349! Now it’s time to put a case on your 4a to protect its polycarbonate body and Gorilla Glass 3 display. We’ve got three fantastic options for your consideration: the UAG Scout, the Incipio DualPro, and the Vena Wallet Case vCommute.

Each one of these cases offers serious, military-grade drop protection. They also each have corner protection, camera array protection, and button covers, and even more importantly, they all have face-down protection to keep your display protected as well. Let’s take a look.

Urban Armor Gear (UAG) Scout Series Google Pixel 4a Case

The UAG Scout case comes in black to match your phone; it measures approximately 5.9″ tall by 2.9″ wide by 0.5″ thick at the sides, and it weighs 1.4 ounces without the phone installed. The Scout is made of TPU, and it has a sleek, minimalist appearance. It features textured side grips to help keep the phone from slipping out of your hand, but if you were to drop it, the case meets the Military Standard, meaning it has been drop-tested 26 times at 48″ with zero damage done to the phone. As you’re looking at these photos, it might appear as if there is quite a raised section in the middle of the case’s back that might make your phone wobble when lying on its back. But that is mostly an optical illusion; the center ridge is slight (it adds interest when touching or looking at the case), but it isn’t significant enough to make your phone unstable. Although the power and volume buttons are covered, there are rectangular cutouts at the bottom of each, likely to make the buttons easier to press since the case material is quite stiff.

In these photos, you can see how there is approximately 3mm of face-down protection for the display, as well as a ~4mm bumper round the camera array with a 5mm bumper around the fingerprint reader. Even with the ~5mm drop from the case to the fingerprint reader, I had no issue getting my fingertip to scan, but someone with a much larger finger might need to adjust their angles. I tested the Type-C port with several of my aftermarket cables, and I didn’t have any issues with them fitting. This is an excellent case for someone who needs protection but doesn’t want a plain black case; the textures and the ridge on the back give the UAG Scout tactile as well as visual interest.

The Urban Armor Gear (UAG) Scout Series Google Pixel 4a Case sells for $29.95, and it is available directly from the manufacturer.

Source: Manufacturer supplied review sample

What I Like: Doesn’t add significant weight or bulk to the Pixel 4a; Protective TPU with textured sides for better grip; Face-down protection for the display, camera array, and fingerprint reader; Visually attractive since the case has slightly raised vertical lines on the back and textured side grips; Allows full access to all ports and buttons; 4′ drop protection

What Needs Improvement: The fingerprint reader has a 5mm drop which might make it a tight space for someone with larger fingers

Incipio DualPro for Google Pixel 4a

The Incipio DualPro for Google Pixel 4a comes in black or midnight blue, so if plain black is boring to you, you have an option. It measures approximately 5.9″ tall by 3″ wide by 0.5″ thick, and it weighs 1.5 ounces without the phone installed. As the name implies, the DualPro has a two-layer design; the inner layer is made of a shock-absorbing soft-touch TPU, and the outer layer is a rigid, scratch-resistant polycarbonate soft-touch shell. Even though there are two layers, the case feels thin and light. These two layers also provide military-grade drop protection; Incipio states that it can handle 10′ drops.

In these photos, you can see how there is approximately 3mm of face-down protection for the display as well as a ~3mm bumper round the camera array with a ~5mm bumper around the fingerprint reader. This fingerprint reader bumper is much more steeped on the sides, so I don’t think it will give anyone any issues when scanning their fingertips. I tested the Type-C port with several of my aftermarket cables, and I didn’t have any problems with them fitting. The Incipio case has a nice, businesslike appearance, and the soft-touch material used feels excellent in-hand. While the edges aren’t textured, the soft-touch finish isn’t slick, and it should be easy to grip without slipping continuously.

The Incipio DualPro for Google Pixel 4a retails for $29.99, and it is available directly from the manufacturer.

Source: Manufacturer supplied review sample

What I Like: Doesn’t add significant weight or bulk to the Pixel 4a; Protective soft-touch polycarbonate shell over a soft-touch TPU inner layer for 10′ drop protection; Face-down protection for the display, camera array, and fingerprint reader; Allows full access to all ports and buttons

What Needs Improvement: Nothing

Vena Pixel 4a Wallet Case vCommute

The Vena Pixel 4a Wallet Case vCommute comes in a dark space gray with black trim. It measures approximately 5.9″ tall by 3″ wide by 0.7″ thick, and it weighs 2.1 ounces without the phone installed. As the name implies, the Wallet Case vCommute has added functionality due to its built-in wallet, which we will discuss further down. The vCommute is visually as well as tactilely appealing; it has a black soft-touch TPU top half, which cradles and protects the phone and the phone’s display. The bottom half of the case is composed of polycarbonate, but it almost looks like brushed aluminum. Adding further interest is the textured leather cover that stretches across about 80% of the back as well as the shiny black PPU area around the camera array; it looks like carbon fiber at first glance, although it is not. The vCommute also provides military-standard drop protection; it is rated to survive 26 drops from 4′ without damage to the phone inside or any cards held. The TPU-covered power and volume buttons are slightly raised for easier access, and they each have a cutout that follows the shape of the button underneath.

In these photos, you can see how there is approximately 4mm of face-down protection for the display as well as a ~5mm bumper round the camera array with a ~7mm bumper around the fingerprint reader. This fingerprint reader bumper is quite steep all the way around; while I am easily able to get the tip of my fingerprint on the reader (which is really all it needs), someone with a more massive finger might have a bit of difficulty. I tested the Type-C port with several of my aftermarket cables, and I didn’t have any issues with them fitting.

Of course, the vCommute has one feature that sets it aside from the other cases mentioned above. The black textured leather cover flips open to the right to reveal a molded TPU slot that can securely hold up to three ID, credit, or business cards — or your Metro pass if you live in the city. If you have a thicker metal card like some of the credit card companies are now issuing, you might only be able to fit two cards. The leather cover is held securely in place with three long magnets, which give the flip cover further functionality as you’ll soon see.

Because the leather cover has three vertical segments which each hold a magnet, they can be staged along the lines that are embossed along the top of the credit card area to provide varying degrees of viewing angles when the phone is positioned horizontally or vertically.

Here are a couple of examples showing how that works. The extra functionality built into the vCommute case makes it an excellent choice for someone who doesn’t want to carry their wallet everywhere, and it’s also handy for impromptu video calls or watching videos at your desk or on a plane.

The Vena Pixel 4a Wallet Case vCommute retails for $39.99, and it is available directly from the manufacturer

Source: Manufacturer supplied review sample

What I Like: Add a bit of extra weight and bulk to the Pixel 4a, but the trade-off is a built-in wallet for up to three cards and a built-in stand for vertical or horizontal viewing; Face-down protection for the display, camera array, and fingerprint reader; Visually and tactilely appealing; Allows full access to all ports and buttons; 4′ drop protection for your Pixel 4a and any enclosed cards

What Needs Improvement: The fingerprint reader has a 7mm drop which might make it a tight space for someone with larger fingers

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About the Author

Judie Lipsett Stanford
I've had a fascination with all types of gadgets and gizmos since I was a child, beginning with the toy robot that my grandmother gave my brother - which I promptly "relieved him of" in 1973. I'm a self-professed gadget magpie. I can't tell you how everything works, but I'm known world-wide for using a product until I have a full understanding of what it does, what its limitations are, and if it excels in any given area — or not.