Alongside the introduction of the iPhone 12, Apple released a wave of new accessories compatible with the MagSafe ecosystem. If you have or you’re planning to get an iPhone 12, you probably want a case. Apple’s first-party offerings are far and away my top picks.
For the first time ever, you can get any of the 2020 cases for all four flagship models all the way from the tiny iPhone 12 mini to the ginormous iPhone 12 Pro Max. So which case is right for you? Apple is currently offering clear cases, silicone cases, and two different styles of leather case.
If you want to show off…
Apple’s clear MagSafe case has been a little controversial among fans for two reasons. The first being that the bottom of the phone is exposed, meaning that the bottom section of the aluminum or steel band could easily be scratched. Although the open bottom does have its benefits. It makes it easier to swipe up from the bottom of the display to go home and leaves more room for thicker lightning connectors.
Arguably the best parts of the clear case are the MagSafe ring and alignment magnet that are highly visible on the back of the case. Lots of fans have hated on it, but if you want to show off the fact that you have a new phone, this is the best case of the pack. Of course since this case is clear, it’s also perfect for showing off any of the brand-new colors introduced this year, like the two new shades of blue.
If you’ve had one of Apple’s previous clear cases like the ones for iPhone XR, iPhone 11, or iPhone 11 Pro, you might be concerned about the button covers. Well, for iPhone 12, they’ve made the buttons far easier to press.
If you want the best grip…
The silicone case has been around since the introduction of the iPhone 6. Every year Apple’s introduced new seasonal colors, and with every new model of iPhone, they’ve made incremental changes to the overall design. The silicone case had remained mostly the same up until this year. With the iPhone 12 silicone case, Apple has made a bunch of welcome changes. The first one being that the entire antenna band of the phone is covered. Previous silicone cases left the bottom exposed like the clear case.
They’ve also added a nice matching hard plastic rim around the camera cutout. The case is a bit more rigid than previous silicone cases, and that’s mainly due to the MagSafe ring that’s built into the back of the case. It’s only visible when you take the case off of your phone. Otherwise the case looks super clean from the back.
Perhaps the biggest reason to get the silicone case is that it continues to have the most grippy finish of all of the cases. It feels really great in the hand, although it can attract lint when you put it in your pocket.
The silicone case also comes in eight different colors, the widest variety of all of Apple’s current offerings. The large camera cutouts make it fun to mix and match different tones. Plus, if you add the MagSafe Wallet, you can create even more combinations.
If you want something sophisticated…
Apple’s leather cases tend to be best in class. They’re always made out of high-quality European leather, and this year is no different. This year’s leather cases have the new plastic rim around the camera cutout like the silicone case but also include matching aluminum button covers. They also have covered up the bottom of the phone like the new silicone cases. Previous leather cases from Apple left the bottom exposed.
The leather cases are $10 more expensive than the silicone ones, but if you prefer a more sophisticated look they are certainly worth the upsell. If you also choose to pick up a MagSafe Wallet, there are matching ones for all of the leather colors, except for the (Product) Red one.
One key aspect of the leather cases that some see as a bonus and others see as a drawback is the way in which they patina over time and show the circular MagSafe ring, if you choose to use those accessories with this case. Personally, I think these cases age beautifully over time, particularly the saddle brown ones.
- For iPhone 12 mini ($59)
- For iPhone 12 & 12 Pro ($59)
- For iPhone 12 Pro Max ($59)
- iPhone 12 Leather Wallet ($59)
If you want the most unique one…
Apple also offers an entirely new case design this year in the form of the MagSafe Leather Sleeve. It’s a pricey accessory at $129, but it’s very nice. It protects the display but leaves a small cutout for the time, battery level, and caller ID. There’s also an included strap so that you can carry your iPhone 12 like a wristlet.
If you want to do some good…
Apple’s (Product) Red accessories have always been some of my favorite products. It certainly helps if your favorite color is red, but these cases also do some good for the world. Usually Apple shares some of the profits from (Product) Red purchases to fight AIDs, but has been using those contributions to fight coronavirus recently.
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