Our 21 Favorite Cases for iPhone 12
Apple’s new iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro are now available for purchase, with the iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12 Pro Max scheduled for release next month. And whether you’ve already brought one home or you’re thinking about getting one, you’re going to need to wrap that shiny and expensive new phone in a protective case. While the iPhone 12 is more durable than previous models, it's certainly not shatterproof. The question is: are you looking for fashion or function? Leather or rugged protection? Or what about one of the new MagSafe cases that snap into place? To help you decide, we’ve rounded up our favorite new iPhone 12 cases out there – or coming soon – for the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro models.
MagSafe Cases for iPhone 12
Apple announced MagSafe, a new ecosystem of cases and accessories for the iPhone 12 line that use magnets to attach. The magnets embedded in the phone easily and quickly align and attach to an accessory, such as a case, a charging device, or a car mount. The magnets make it easier to attach and detach accessories and line up the phone’s sweet spot with a charger, so you get the fastest possible charging experience.
Apple’s Silicone Case with MagSafe comes in a wide assortment of solid colors and has a sleek, clean-looking design. The outside is a soft-touch silicone that feels nice and silky in your hands, while the inside is lined with a micro-fiber designed to keep your phone dust and grit-free.
The case itself has built-in magnets that align perfectly with the iPhone 12 and 12 Pro, making it easy to attach and detach it from the phone without twisting and bending or prying it off.
Price: $49.00 on Apple
If you want a MagSafe case to show off your gorgeous new iPhone’s color, get the Apple Clear Case. It’s thin and light like the Silicon case and easy to grip. It has a scratch-resistant coating and fits easily over the side buttons to protect your phone. This case, however, isn’t entirely clear, like previous models. Because of MagSafe, you’ll see a circle outline around the Apple logo on the back. That’s where the magnets that outline the charging coil are.
Price: $49.00 on Apple
OtterBox, known for its functional and durable protective phone cases, is currently the only official third-party MagSafe case provider. They have three case models to choose from; all are compatible with Apple’s MagSafe standard.
The Otterbox Symmetry Series+ is the most protective of the line, drop-tested to 3X military standards. While the case is slim enough to easily get in and out of your pocket, it has raised edges to protect the screen and camera, keeping it safe from accidental drops and bumps. There’s easy access to the phone’s buttons and switches, and the exterior has an antimicrobial coating. These cases come in four solid colors: pink, black, navy, and white.
Price: $59.99 on Otterbox
If you’re prone to accidental drops and need a grippier feel, check out the Otterbox Aneu line. The exterior has a textured material for a better hold. The raised edges are there to keep your screen safe if it drops on the tile floor, and the ultra-slim form keeps the sleek-looking lines of the iPhone front and center. It also offers a splash of whimsy, with the exterior being one color and the edges another.
Price: $49.95 on OtterBox
Want even more color? The Figura Series comes in an array of colorful graphic designs, almost like a painting. The case is made of flexible, soft-touch material that is easy to hold and protects your phone while looking stylish.
Price: $49.95 on OtterBox
While not officially MagSafe compatible, accessory maker ESR says its HaloLock technology works with the iPhone 12 lineup. So far, ESR has the HaloLock Cloud Soft Case and will be adding HaloLock wireless chargers very soon. The case is very similar to the Apple Silicon case with a soft, silky feel on the outside and a soft lining on the inside to protect the iPhone 12 from scratches. Bezels protect the camera and the screen.
Price: $35.99 on ESR (check price on Amazon)
Drop-proof protection for iPhone 12
If you’re prone to drops and have shattered more than your share of screens, you’re going to want to get a very protective case to protect your investment. As we noted, OtterBox makes some of the best protective cases, but if you want to save a few dollars and don’t need a MagSafe case, then you have a few excellent options.
Zagg's Gear4 cases use D30 impact protection, engineered for full protection from drops of up to ten or 13 feet in a slim design. And, each of the new Gear4 cases for iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro is wireless charging compatible and has an antimicrobial coating to protect against bacteria. There are several models to choose from that are both protective and lightweight, but the Holborn Slim and Hackney 5G really caught our eye.
Gear4 Holborn Slim is, as the name implies, thin enough to slip in and out of your pocket or purse and easy to hold in your hand. Made from recycled bottles, the Holborn Slim has a soft-touch finish, a textured surface for a good grip, and will come in black and a stylish lilac. The back and sides are reinforced with D30 to guard against drops from up to ten feet.
Price: $39.99 on Zagg (available soon)
Many new iPhone 12 cases say they’re 5G compatible, meaning they cause minimal disruption of 5G cellular bands, which all iPhone 12 models can use. Gear 4’s Hackney 5G uses a new version of the D3O shock-absorbing material called D3O with 5G Signal Plus Technology. According to Zagg, the new 5G-friendly D30 material was engineered to allow 5G signals to pass through the case more successfully with no compromise on drop protection. The Hackney 5G protects from drops up to 13 feet.
Price: $49.99 on Zagg (available soon)
With a 15-foot drop protection rating, Catalyst’s Influence Series is the perfect choice for those that drop the phone a lot. The case is slim and light with air-cushioned engineering and raised edges to protect the screen and camera.
Catalyst has added a frosted back, which they say will help keep the case fingerprint free. We especially like the Crux attachment system on the corners of the case so that users can add straps, lanyards, or carabiner clips to carry or hang their iPhone. No bright colors here; the series is available in clear and Stealth Black.
Price: $39.99 on Catalyst (check price on Amazon), available November 4, 2020
The Vibe series from Catalyst has the same engineering, raised bezels, and Crux attachment system but offers only 10 feet of drop protection. However, it does have a much grippier feel, if that’s something you’re looking for in a case.
Price: $39 on Catalyst (check price on Amazon)
Do you take your phone to the beach, hiking, and other places where you’ll encounter sand and dirt? Then, you’ll need the FRE from LifeProof. It has an integrated screen cover plus speaker, mic, and port shields to keep out dirt, snow, and debris. Of course, all this protection means it will be a bit heavier and bulkier than other cases, but you’ll have peace of mind. It’s made of over 60% recycled materials and comes in three attractive colors: Ocean Violet, Diver Blue, and Black.
Price: $89.99 on LifeProof (coming soon)
Stylish iPhone 12 cases
If style and color selection is essential to you, you’re in luck. There are lots of options and styles available, and you don’t have to give up protection.
Speck’s Presidio2 Pro is extremely durable with Armor Cloud technology to cushion your phone like an airbag and 13-foot drop protection. It’s also wireless charging compatible and has antimicrobial protection. It has a soft touch and comes in four stylish colors: Cathederal Gray, Storm Blue, Black, and Azalea Burgundy.
Price: $44.95 on Speck (check price on Amazon)
Fashion tech company Casely makes cases in a multitude of designs and colors, so if you’re so inclined, you can get more than one and change them out for different occasions. Designs include flowers, dinosaurs, space themes, bright colors, even Grateful Dead cases, and come in two styles, Classic and Bold.
The Classic Collection cases have a super slim design with a 1.5 mm raised lip, great for light protection while making a fashion statement.
Price: $25.00 on Casely
The Bold Collection is for you if you tend to drop your device. It offers more drop protection, up to 8-foot drops, and a hard shell. The raised lip extends to 3mm along with a 1.5mm raised camera lip, and there are side grips for a secure hold.
Price: $35.00 on Casely
For full-on fashion and functionality, the Bandolier Cross Body is the perfect fit. It comes in two styles: the Emma and the Hailey Side Slot, each in pebbled black leather.
Both come with an adjustable shoulder strap (available with gold, silver, or pewter hardware) that transforms your phone into an elegant purse. That leaves your hands free to do whatever you need, whether you’re walking the dog, shopping, or just not looking to carry more than a phone and a credit card. The leather strap detaches, leaving a standalone open-face phone.
The Emma case has a hidden credit card compartment that’s easily accessed, and the Hailey has a snap pocket on the back to hold your credit cards, license, or cash safely. A slightly raised lip around the camera and display provides some protection.
Price: $95 for the Emma case and $105 for the Hailey case on Bandolier Style, available October 30, 2020
We like the Moshi Altra, a slim case with a textured back for a secure grip for a less expensive hands-free option. It comes with a detachable wrist strap, and soon there will be an optional crossbody strap ($9.95 on Moshi) available to wear it crossbody style, around your neck or over your shoulder. It comes in Midnight Blue and Sahara Beige.
Price: $44.95 on Moshi (coming soon)
Folio and wallet cases for iPhone 12
Nomad’s Rugged Folio Case is handsome, durable, and simply classic. The Horween leather on the back of the cases feels like butter and weathers beautifully with use and time. The left side of the folio has three slots on the soft lined inside for credit cards, a license, and some cash.
The case is as protective as it is attractive. It has an internal shock absorption bumper and an exterior rubber bumper so that the phone can withstand a 10-foot drop and a lanyard attachment point on the bottom. It’s also compatible with wireless charging. It’s available in Rustic Brown, Black, and Natural. Nomad also makes AirPod cases, Apple Watch straps, and iPad covers to match the cases. If you don’t need the folio, you can purchase the Nomad Rugged for $49.95 on Nomad Goods (available now, check price on Amazon).
Price: $69.95 on Nomad Goods (coming soon)
Want more color options in a leather case? Check out Mujjo’s line of iPhone 12 cases. They come in a vibrant Monaco Blue and Slate Green, in addition to Black and Signature Tan. Mujjo Wallet Style cases are made from full-grain leather, and the color becomes richer with use. These cases have a slightly grippier feel to them than the Nomad cases.
The leather wraps all around the case, including the sides, and the inside is lined with microfiber to protect your phone. There’s a holder integrated into the back to store cards and cash.
Price: $46.19 on Mujjo (check price on Amazon)
If you’re not looking for leather, the Wembly Flipfolio from Gear 4 is a protective case with 10 feet of drop protection and D3O-reinforcement in the top, bottom, and corners. That way, if you fumble and drop your phone while pulling out a credit card from the integrated slots in the folio cover, your phone is safe. It comes in black and clear.
Price: $39.99 on Zagg (coming soon)
A more stylish folio model is the Overture Case from Moshi. It’s a 3-in-1 case and wallet. You can use the soft-touch case as a standalone in the house or to slide in your back pocket and then attach the magnetic vegan leather wallet case when you’re going out. When you open the folio, there are two slots on the inside for credit cards and easy access to your phone. Flip the case over, and it converts into a stand for watching a video or talking on a video call. It comes in Black and Pink.
Price: $44.95 on Moshi (coming soon)
[Image credit: Apple, Bandolier, Casely, Catalyst, Zagg, Electronic Silk Road, LifeProof, Otter Products, Moshi, Mujjo, Nomad Goods, Speck]