Summary List Placement
- The best iPhone 12 cases are measured by the protection and user-experience they offer.
- The Mous Limitless 3.0 is our pick for best overall iPhone 12 case for its beautiful design, great protection, and functionality.
- We’ve also selected top picks for iPhone 12 cases for people who want extra protection, a better grip, or simply to save money.
Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky
While this enhanced protection will likely make a lot of iPhone users happy, the reality is that the iPhone 12 series still has a long way to go for it to be genuinely drop resistant. We admit that the durability of the new iPhone is impressive, but based on our personal experience with the phone and various crash tests that we’ve seen online, it’s still prone to get damaged.
This means users will still have to rely on a case for better protection. Besides that, Apple only says that the new iPhone is tougher and better prepared for drops — it doesn’t say anything about being scratch resistant. This, again, suggests that a phone case is still a worthwhile investment if you own this expensive device.
When it comes to phone cases, each person has a different preference. There are people who opt in for fashionably designed cases, those who want extra features like straps or cardholders, those who only care about protection, and even people who go caseless because they simply enjoy the naked aesthetic of the phone. While there are myriad iPhone cases on the market, created with various materials, intents, and special features, we prioritized cases that enhance the experience of using the phone and offer the best protection in our picks.
We’ve also considered Apple’s new MagSafe feature, which is a round shaped magnet inside the phone that allows you to magnetically attach a MagSafe wireless charger and add certain attachments to the back of your phone.
Here, we made this guide to help you pick the best and most suitable phone case for yourself.
Here are our top picks for best iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro cases:
- Best case overall: Mous Limitless 3.0
- Best for protection: OtterBox Defender Pro XT with MagSafe
- Best grip: Speck Presidio2 Grip
- Best slim case: Pitaka MagEZ Case
- Best cheap case: Spigen Ultra Hybrid
The best iPhone 12 case overall
With the Mous Limitless 3.0, you get everything you want in a high-end protective case, plus several innovative features that take your iPhone experience to the next level.
Pros: Beautiful design, good protection, magnet and attachments, compatible with Apple’s MagSafe wireless charger, color options
Cons: Pricey, magnet is proprietary and isn’t specifically designed for MagSafe accessories
While there are many well-designed iPhone 12 cases out there, our top choice is Mous Limitless 3.0. This case is more than just an aesthetically pleasing protective case, it is also one of the most functional cases you can purchase. Every detail is well-thought-out, and as a result, you get the most out of attaching a case on your phone.
From the exterior, the case looks stark and simple with its clean minimalist design. The case comes in five different colorways, including aramid fiber, bamboo, black leather, speckled fabric, and walnut. Each style variation has a different color and texture, but they all offer the same durability and soft feel.
The build of the case has a pleasing texture with just the right amount of grippiness. It doesn’t add a lot of bulk to your phone and comes with precise cut-outs and tactile buttons. Moreover, the one-piece case wraps around your phone perfectly, and offers extra protection with its slightly enlarged corners. Size and protection-wise, you get first-class protection for a decent size. You also get an extended lip design around the screen and camera for protecting those exposed zones. This protective build is supported by Mous’s own AiroShock technology, which provides impact absorption.
Within its stark exterior design, this case holds some neat little details and special features. The most prominent feature is Mous’s proprietary AutoAlignPlus magnetic technology, which allows you to attach accessories from the brand’s own ecosystem. You can attach a card wallet, folio cover, suction mount, wall mount, as well as the brand’s own wireless charger. This magnet is also advantageous when using a MagSafe wireless charger, as it helps the magnet attach to the phone more easily. However, it’s not quite compatible with Apple’s own MagSafe accessories, where the magnets are designed to perfectly align.
Another great detail is the soft interior fabric lining, which is not something you see in every phone case, and contributes to its luxurious feel. The fabric interior also has the practical benefit of keeping the inside of the case dust free. Even more unique is the recessed section inside the case where you can find two sim card holders, and a space to keep your sim card remover. In addition to that, you get a tiny hole on the right lower corner of the case that you can use to attach a wrist strap. Each feature is integrated to the case seamlessly.
Although, Mous recently came up with their newer Limitless 4.0 model with MagSafe, we still prefer this model, as there aren’t currently a lot of MagSafe accessories, and the newer model lacks the interior fabric lining, and doesn’t include the storage space for your extra sim cards. As Apple or third party brands come up with more and better MagSafe accessories, it will make more sense to buy the newer model or another case with MagSafe compatibility. If you do specifically want full MagSafe compatibility, get the Limitless 4.0.
The best for protection
OtterBox cases don’t come cheap, but the OtterBox Defender Pro XT with MagSafe is one of the most protective cases you can get for the iPhone 12.
Pros: Protective build, antimicrobial technology, MagSafe compatible
Cons: Expensive, somewhat bulky
When it comes to protective cases, few brands are as established as OtterBox. The company’s whole line-up of mobile device accessories is designed to safeguard your devices. What is particularly impressive about Otterbox cases is that they are not as bulky as other cases that promise the same level of protection. Among the company’s many designs, the Defender Pro series offers the most protection. The XT version of this classic model comes with MagSafe compatibility.
Even the appearance of the Defender Pro is enough to suggest you that your phone is well protected. The rugged and tough build of the case also has a nice feel and grip. The minimalist design of the case works its magic through its subtle details. You get raised edges around the camera and screen to ensure the protection of these exposed parts, the dedicated cutouts are precise, and all the buttons are covered with protective buttons that click. OtterBox also claims that this case offers four times military grade drop protection.
Additionally, the case has a silver-based antimicrobial additive that protects it from bacteria. So, this case not only protects your device, but also your hygiene. Unlike the regular Defender Pro model, the Defender Pro XT does not come with a holster in the package, but you receive a card with your purchase that allows you to redeem a holster, if you want one. Another difference of the XT model is that it does not have the same rubbery surface as the classic Defender Pro.
If you are in the market for a reliable, drop-protective case, you can’t go wrong with the OtterBox Defender Pro XT. It’s not a slim case, but the extra protection justifies the bulkiness. Another downside of the case is its price, as it costs $69.95. This isn’t surprising, as OtterBox is a premium case brand, and even Apple sells their cases at their own stores. Since we are talking about protection here, it seems right to go for a trusted brand.
The best grip
Speck Presidio2 Grip is a popular case model that offers easier handling of your phone with its no-slip grips.
Pros: Excellent grip, slim yet protective, antimicrobial protection
Cons: Expensive, weak magnetic connection with MagSafe charger and accessories
Just like OtterBox, Speck is also a well-established brand in the phone case world. Over the years, Speck has come up with some of the most popular and cutting-edge phone case designs for iPhones and various other devices. The Presidio2 Grip is among the company’s most popular case models — it’s a slim yet protective case that is specifically designed to give you a better grip of your device.
The Presidio2 Grip is known for its textured grips, which allow users to have a firmer hold of their phone and prevent the phone from slipping. In this new model of Presidio2 Grip, Speck has improved the patterned grip section of the case making it smoother and less rubbery, which gives the case a more comfortable grip, and works better for the overall look of the case. This grippy design is complemented with its scratch resistant, soft- touch surface, which gives a satisfactory feeling when handling the phone.
Like all of the other Speck Presidio models, this case is equipped with the company’s proprietary Armor Cloud technology that has an airbag effect, effectively cushioning your phone from drops up to 13 feet. Just like OtterBox cases, all Speck models come with high edges for protecting the exposed parts of your phone, and also offer antimicrobial protection, which is always good to have. As always, the cut-outs are perfectly aligned, the buttons are covered, and the iPhone gets firmly nestled into the case. The slim design also makes the device compatible with wireless charging. It works with Apple’s MagSafe charger, but the magnetic connection is very weak, and it’s not the case to get if you plan on using a MagSafe charger or accessories.
Overall, the Presidio2 Grip is a very well-designed slim, protective case that is good for all kinds of users. Even with the patterned grip surface, the case still manages to look sleek and minimalist. The only big problem with this case is the price. The case is currently on the market for $44.95.
The best slim case
Pitaka MagEZ Case might be one of the most slim and stylish cases out there.
Pros: Sleek and elegant design, super thin and lightweight, compatible with MagSafe wireless chargers and accessories
Cons: Not very protective, expensive
Pitaka currently offers two thin case models for the iPhone 12 and 12 Pro, including the Mag EZ case which is 0.85mm thick, and the Air Case, which is only 0.65mm thick. Although the Air Case is thinner, for this segment, we chose the slightly thicker MagEZ Case because it has a built-in magnet that offers the MagSafe experience. Since both the cases are super thin, you will have no problems with wireless charging with either one of them.
At a first glance, the whole brand and all the cases it makes look very high-end, and have an opulent feel and texture. The matte look and minimalist design of the case looks very elegant. The cases are made from Kevlar, which allows the case to be thin and durable at the same time. The Pitaka cases are snug and compact, and they latch onto your phone perfectly. The Mag EZ model also utilizes its magnet to stick to your phone, and allows the case to host MagSafe attachments including Apple’s MagSafe charger and Pitaka’s own matching MagEZ card sleeve, which is separately sold.
The downside of these thin Pitaka cases is the protection they offer. Even on their own website, Pitaka openly states that the MagEZ Cases only offer partial protection. Additionally, Pitaka’s case designs don’t have dedicated cutouts for each button and outlet — instead they have large cutouts at each side, which leaves more vulnerable areas on the phone. At the end of the day, you don’t buy a Pitaka case for the protection, but for the thin and lightweight design. You can get the MagEZ Case in 8 different colorways, and all of them have a patterned design. At $49.99, the sophisticated build of the Pitaka MagEZ cases doesn’t come cheap.
The best cheap case
Spigen Ultra Hybrid is not only a solid budget option, it is also one of the best clear cases you can buy for the iPhone 12.
Pros: Inexpensive, clear case option, thin and compact
Cons: Can get dirty easier, does not have a MagSafe magnet, does not offer the most advanced drop protection
If you want a high-quality case but don’t want to spend a lot of money, one of the best cases you can get is Spigen’s Ultra Hybrid. The Ultra Hybrid is one of the company’s cheaper cases, and if you are a fan of clear cases like me, you will love the Ultra Hybrid. The clear case lets you enjoy the raw design of your iPhone while still affording protection. It is a thin and minimalist case that will keep your phone compact, and will support all forms of wireless charging. While it’ll let your iPhone 12 charge with a MagSafe charger, the magnetic connection is weak.
Not only is the Ultra Hybrid one of the best cheap case options for the iPhone 12, but it’s also an overall excellent case that has a very clean look. The case has a smooth surface, which feels good in your hand, and the material inhibits the phone from slipping. You get dedicated cut-outs for your speakers and charger port, and your phone buttons are nicely covered by tactile protected buttons.
The sides of the case are thicker, and each corner has shock protection against impact. Like some protective cases, you get lip protection for the screen and camera. The case is also equipped with Spigen’s own air cushion technology, which mitigates the impact when you drop your device. However, we can’t say that it offers as much protection as some of the bulkier cases.
Like any clear case, the Spigen Ultra Hybrid does get scratched more easily and gets dirty more quickly, but this problem has more to do with the case being clear than its quality. Alongside the clear option, you also get the option of a colored frame, which comes in red, matte black, and navy blue. With a price just under $15, The Spigen Ultra Hybrid is a solid, stylish case.
What to look at when buying a phone case
The main reason a lot of people buy cases is protection. Our phones are not only expensive devices, but are also a vital component of our everyday life. Naturally, people would want to protect their phone’s the best way they can, especially when you consider that getting your phone repaired is costly and time consuming. Phone cases have been a very popular accessory for the last decade and luckily almost all well-known case brands manufacture durable cases with raised edges and impact resistant elements. So, if you are buying a case from a reliable brand, you are most likely getting decent protection regardless of the bulkiness of the case. If you are looking for extra protection, you will want a bulky case that is built with high-quality durable materials. Almost all brands specify the drop protection capabilities of their cases. What determines the protection offered by each case is their thickness, durability of the material, and the kind of drop cushioning technology placed inside. You can find this information on the product spec sheets. We have seen cases that are claimed to resist up to 15 feet drops.
Feel and Grip
As phones are handheld devices, the way the case feels in your hand is important. Ideally, you would want your case to be slim and grippy to have an easy and firm grasp over your device. What makes the difference in a case is the texture and material. A good case would be made from a material that doesn’t slip from your hand easily and that has a great feel. You would want to avoid heavy cases as well as bulky ones which makes carrying your phone more cumbersome. On the flip side, bigger cases do tend to offer more protection. Beyond that, some cases have patterned textures and recessed sections to offer a better grip. This can be a nice touch depending on your personal preferences.
Besides offering protection and an ergonomic design, cases can come with additional features that can make them more functional. Kickstands, wallet compartments, antimicrobial protection, and pop socket attachments are just some of these additional features you can find in phone cases. For the new iPhone 12 series, an important feature is MagSafe compatibility. While some thin cases support the MagSafe chargers, you will want a case with a built-in MagSafe magnet that can boost this feature. MagSafe support in a case is probably one that many would want to get for their new iPhone, as you can connect a MagSafe charger or wallet attachment using this technology.