I should start this round up with full disclosure.

I have always seen mobile phone cases in the same light as pocket protectors and car door guards; ugly add-ons designed for clumsy people who don't mind sacrificing style for practicality.

But as time goes on and handsets become increasingly fragile and expensive, the case to fit a case becomes more compelling.

With the launch of the new iPhone 5s and 5c models a slew of new cases has hit the market. I've picked a few of the latest releases to see how they stack up.

The Case Mate Naked Tough (£24.99) gets us off to a strong start for the iPhone 5c. Available in a range of colours, the translucent case has a two-piece construction with a hard plastic shell surrounded by a rubber bumper. The case feels great - it's not at all showy, but robust and nicely finished - a perfect complement to the iPhone.

Also tested is the QDOS Intaglio (£14.99). This clear case lacks the bumper protection of the Naked Tough but shaves a few millimetres off the overall size which could be an important consideration in tight jeans. However, I have to veto the Intaglio on taste grounds: all four designs sport hackneyed old sayings like "All or nothing" and "Never say never" which make me want to drop my phone in disgust.

Owners of the iPhone 5s have a bewildering range of options since the handset is identical in size to the year-old iPhone 5.

The Pong Gold Reveal (around £59) deserves a special mention as it promises not only to protect the phone, but also protect the user from wireless radiation by using its built-in antenna.

My personal top pick is the Grove SkateCase (pictured, £85) for iPhone 5/5s which uses waste material from a skateboard factory to produce beautiful multicoloured cases milled from blocks of laminated maple.

While all of those cases do a good job of protecting the back and edges of the phone, they do little to protect it from a frontal impact. QDOS aims to fill this gap in the market with the OptiGuard TG (£24.99), a screen protector made from tempered glass that is just half a millimetre thick. The glass cover bonds cleanly and without bubbles to the front of the phone, helped by a wet-set adhesive that makes fitting straightforward.

Once in place, the OptiGuard feels identical to the original iPhone screen, featuring the same oleophobic coating that makes the iPhone such a slick - if slightly greasy - pleasure to use.

I must admit to some scepticism when I tried the OptiGuard. It's difficult to imagine how such a thin layer of glass with no elasticity can protect the phone from impact damage. While I was fortunate enough not to drop the phone during my week-long test, I found independent YouTube videos showing the OptiGuard protect an iPhone from eye-watering abuse including direct hammer blows.

If you like the idea of protection, without the look of a case, the OptiGuard might be for you.