Review: Pela cases for Google Pixel 7 offer dozens of designs and a comfortable feel

In hunting for the best case for the Pixel 6 series last year, I was quickly enamored with the compostable cases from Pela. For the Pixel 7 series in 2023, Pela is still one of the best case makers, and now that includes many more design choices.

Pela is a case brand known for using eco-friendly materials. The company builds its cases from plant-based materials which allows the cases to be broken down in compost. In the right conditions, they’ll break down quickly, and certainly much faster than a traditional plastic case.

What sold me on Pela’s cases for the Pixel 6 was the bizarrely soft feel of the material, as some of the options felt remarkably close to the fabric cases that Google had opted to do away with on its latest smartphones. That soft feeling remains in place on the brand’s Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro cases, and it’s one reason I’ve really enjoyed my time using a Pela case on my phone over the past few weeks.

The fit of Pela’s cases tends to be pretty solid, especially after a few days of use as the softer material “settles” in the design of the phone. That soft feeling is also great if, like me, you use your finger to prop up the phone while holding it. Unlike a lot of other cases I’ve tried, this one didn’t really dig into my finger even as I used it for hours on end. Really, the only thing I’d knock off points for on this case is the quality of the buttons. The volume keys are easy to click and remain quite tactile, but the recessed cutout for the power button is uncomfortable and makes it much harder to press. It’s easy to find the button, yes, but it takes much more force to actually press down on it, which is especially annoying for screenshots. A deal-breaker? Not quite, but if you’re particularly picky about buttons, you might want to steer clear here.

But what stood out to me more this year over the feel of the case in my hand was the arrival of a way larger library of designs to choose from on Pela’s Pixel 7 case lineup. 

Where the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6a only had a handful of designs to choose from at launch, Pela has greatly expanded that lineup. There are dozens of designs to choose from on Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro, from clean colors to textured designs, all the way up to graphics on the back of the phone.

For my Pixel 7 Pro, I’ve been using Pela’s “Black Boreal” design, a graphic case that has a black case overall with a print of a blue-green mountain on the back with trees and stars to complete the scene. It’s a great look, and the quality of the print is quite good. Despite being exposed to my hands and pockets, there’s been no degradation of the print thus far. I did notice that, at first, the print felt a little tacky in my hands, but that’s gone away in active use.

Meanwhile, my wife and her friend have also been using Pela cases on their Pixel 7’s, with the “Sage Green Oasis” case on my wife’s phone, and “Seashell Vintage Bee” on her friend’s. Both of these cases show the variety in Pela’s designs, with the Oasis case being a textured option that effectively engraves the design into the case itself. It adds a lot of extra grip, though I did feel like this option was a lot less soft. Meanwhile, the Vintage Bee case was wonderfully soft in the hand. 

The green case, though, can quickly pick up stains from clothing though. My wife’s case has a blue tint around the edges from her jeans, but luckily it’s not that hard to clean off, and we’ve noticed the same with previous Pela cases. It’s just something to keep in mind if you’re picking up a lighter color – Pela actively does not recommend using the lighter colors with denim.

On the whole, Pela cases for Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro have some pros and cons. The power button and easy staining of some colors are certainly negatives in my view, but the super comfortable material and breadth of design choices means that, for a lot of people, these are some solid choices. It’s still harder than it should be to find a Google Pixel case that lets you express yourself, and Pela has done a great job making that possible.

Of course, it comes at a cost. $59.99 is the price you’ll pay on average for a Pela case for Pixel 7 or Pixel 7 Pro, which is certainly not an easy pill to swallow. That said, Pela is currently offering a buy one, get one 50% off sale for New Years, and it’s not uncommon to find 10-20% discounts.

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Author: Ben Schoon
Source: 9TO5Google

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