For the past couple of years, Google has been making fabric cases for the Pixel smartphones. These are great looking cases that add a ton of grip to the phone, and don't add a lot of bulk to it either. But it misses out on one key thing that any smartphone case should do. And that is protecting your smartphone.
Most smartphone cases have a lip that go over the front of the phone, to protect it from being dropped on the ground. The Google Fabric case does not have that. It basically is the same height as the phone, sitting flush between the case and the display. Meaning that if you do drop your smartphone on the ground, your screen is going to get shattered, which is not something you want, especially from a $40 case.
The Pixel 3a case has a bit less protection than the cases for the standard Pixel 3 smartphones. The top and bottom of the case are basically all open. Now this is necessary on the Pixel 3a, since you do have the down-firing speaker and USB-C port on the bottom and then the headphone jack on the top. Users are going to want to access those ports, and covering up the speaker is going to downgrade the sound experience even further. But it does leave the top and bottom open to damage as well.
Don't get me wrong, the fabric case from Google is one of the best looking cases out there. Especially if you pick one up that matches the color of your Pixel smartphone. But it's definitely not going to be the best case for you, if you are looking to protect your smartphone. The fabric doesn't fray at all, so you won't need to worry about it fraying and looking pretty disgusting in a couple of months.
However, it does pick up dirt and dust, not to mention it gets stained, pretty easily. In fact, there is already a pretty small stain on the back of the fabric case for the Pixel 3a XL from getting water on the back of the phone. That is from less than a week of use. So you're going to want to be pretty careful about where you put the phone down, and make sure your hands stay clean.
At $40, the Google Fabric case is all about the looks, and not about the protection. If that's what you want, then this is a pretty good case to pick up. There's no denying that it is one of the best looking cases out there. However, if you are clumsy, or drop your phone a few times, then this is not the case you're going to want to get. There are plenty of other great cases out there that are much cheaper, and will provide more protection.
The Google Fabric case is available for the Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL in three colors: Fog, Carbon and Seascape – to match the colors of the Pixel 3a. It is also available for the Pixel 3. Which you can pick up from the Google Store using the link below.