Apple’s latest iPhone model is the best yet, adding lightning-fast LTE wireless capabilities and a beautiful 4-inch display. The iPhone 5 is a durable device that can withstand most day-to-day activities. However, some feel the need to put the phone in a case in order to protect that $600 or higher investment.

The hundreds of iPhone 5 wraps on the market range from stylish and contemporary to those offering extreme protection from the outside world.

Of course, some will prefer to leave their phone naked in order to preserve Apple’s beautiful design. These brave souls should consider a solid warranty with a company such as Square Trade to protect their investment. Just in case.

Maximum security

The OtterBox Defender ($49.95) fits the mold of maximum security. The case almost covers the device completely, leaving only a hole for the front speaker and rear camera. The phone snaps into a hard shell that is wrapped with a rubbery material that feels very comfortable to the touch.

Flaws with the latest OtterBox case fall in line with previous models. The added weight and bulk is enough to turn people away at first glance, as the Defender almost doubles the size of the phone.

Dirt is not a friend to the case, and you’ll notice that it builds up fairly quickly during regular use. It gets a little annoying having to take the phone out every few days to keep everything looking good.

Many might argue that it’s a small price to pay for a high level of protection, and I’d agree wholeheartedly.

Good protection

Griffin’s Survivor ($49.95) case is another option for those wanting the most security for their iPhone 5. In fact, the Survivor and the OtterBox share many positive and negative traits. However, the Survivor is simply not as comfortable to hold as the Defender. It does prevent dirt and grime from getting to the phone better than the OtterBox.

Two levels of protection surround the phone to keep it safe from harm. Griffin’s case is much easier to take apart for cleaning, but that’s not such a good thing. Those that use the included belt clip will notice that it often pulls at the bottom of the front panel when removed for use. This causes a catch between the case and the clip that is less than pleasant.

Easy to use

Griffin’s Protector ($19.99) case is less secure for the phone but much easier to use.

A simple silicone skin surrounds the back of the device, while also covering the top and bottom of the front panel. The Protector feels natural to the touch and doesn’t add much bulk. The low price point of this model makes it a very attractive option for those that want a minimum addition to their phone.

Security and comfort

X-Doria’s Shield ($39.95) is a hybrid between the two Griffin models. Offering three levels of security, the Shield is one of the better iPhone 5 cases on the market.

It starts by protecting the screen with a shatter resistant front case that is snapped on. The phone is then placed inside a rubber body to prevent impact damage of a dropped device. Finally, a hard cover snaps on for a sturdy finish.

Surprisingly, the final product is extremely thin and barely adds any bulk to the phone. It feels comfortable to hold, while maintaining thorough protection of the phone.

The Shield’s biggest problem is dirt collection, which is more annoying than the other cases mentioned due to the extra part.

That said, the comfort and security factors make this a case that will serve most iPhone owners perfectly.

Good value

ZooGue’s Social Pro Case ($15) is a cheap solution that has few flaws.

Made from special thermoplastic polyurethane, the Social Pro Case offers power protection with an extremely tight fit.

ZooGue’s product covers the back and sides of the iPhone 5, with a small cut for the camera. The screen is not protected, but the case protrudes a little past the front panel in order to prevent face-first drops.

Still, this is the main negative with the case, as the screen can get scratched in a busy pocket. Keeping the phone away from keys and pens will eliminate this issue.

The Social Pro Case is a terrific value for the price.