No matter how nice the latest iPhone 12 looks – and the iPhone 12 does look nice – we know you’re most likely to whack a case onto it. It’s a slippery price of hardware that costs upwards of £700. So, it makes perfect sense to protect it. But that doesn’t mean your phone has to become ugly or boring and some cases even add further functionality – like a stand or wallet.
The case game has been taken to another level with the iPhone 12 too – with the introduction of MagSafe. MagSafe makes wireless charging more secure but also adds a way to magnetically attach additional accessories. Some case manufacturers are fully onboard and you’ll be able to use MagSafe alongside their products while others won’t – a key thing to bear in mind when buying a case this year.
From durability or sustainability to style or sitting neatly in your hand – and various combinations of all four – we’ve brought together all our favourite phone cases available for the iPhone 12 right now.
What’s the best iPhone case in 2021?
Nomad’s Rugged case (£45) is the best iPhone 12 case around. It gets a lot of points for being one of the most stylish accessories you can add onto your iPhone, with a Horween Leather back, while it is also built extremely well for those fumbles and drops.
The best budget iPhone 12 case is both cheap and a customisation wonder. The Rhinoshield MOD NX (£25) gives you a ton of options for changing up your look on a regular basis. Rhinoshield has evolved from just a bumper to a modular set up that lets you switch in and out colours rims and backplates for a price that’ll lead you to buy a few for all occasions.
The best sustainable iPhone case around comes Wave (£15). These bio-degradable cases do a great job of feeling as robust as many plastic rivals along with a similar soft-touch feel.
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Nomad Rugged Case | MagSafe
WIRED Recommends: An iPhone 12 case that’s stylish, understated and functional
Available for: iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro, iPhone 12 Pro Max, iPhone 12 Mini | Colours: Rustic Brown, Black, Natural | Works with MagSafe: Yes
iPhone 12 cases come in many shapes and sizes, and many will prefer handy features while others just want simplicity. The Nomad Rugged leather case (£45) definitely lands on the simplicity side of things, alongside off heaps of style. This no-frills leather case from Nomad looks stunning, with its Horween Leather on the back. In particular, the Rustic Brown case we tested turns your iPhone 12 into a smart-looking accessory. The leather will also weather with time, giving your case a unique look without compromising the integrity of the case.
The case may look classic but it doesn’t mean it’s behind the times. The Nomad Rugged leather case is one of the best we tested for working with MagSafe – enabling the easy-to-attach but hard-to-fall-off experience of the new charging system that Apple has sold. The buttons on both sides of the case work perfectly well too – if requiring a tad more pressure than if you were caseless or some thinner case rivals, like the Spigen Mag Armor, Mous Infinity and Wave. You get a strong level of durability here too, with the Nomad providing up to 10ft of drop protection.
The Nomad Rugged leather case is a true all-rounder option for the iPhone 12 – offering unsurpassed style, strong protection and great compatibility with MagSafe.
Also consider: If you fancy that one extra feature for your iPhone 12 case, you can pick up a Nomad Rugged Folio (£60) that brings added wallet space for cards and the like.
Pros: The best looking iPhone 12 case; perfect for MagSafe; offers great protections
Cons: Buttons a tad stiff
Spigen Mag Armor
Best for protection
Available for: iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro, iPhone 12 Pro Max, iPhone 12 Mini | Colours: Black | Works with MagSafe: Yes
The Spigen Mag Armor case (£25) is a great example of phone cases that offer added protection not needing to be bulky and ugly. The Mag Armor has shock absorption tech along with using polycarbonate materials to keep your phone protected at all times. These combine with raised lips around the screen and camera to prevent smashes of even the most exposed parts of your iPhone.
In daily use, this case is great too – a far cry from some certified boxes that pass as cases when you usually up the protection factor. This case is slim and feels grippy – but not uncomfortably rough – in the hand. It also has some of the most responsive buttons of any cases we tested, with many feeling spongy compared to this one. The Mag Armor works amazingly well with MagSafe too – providing a very strong connection with the new wireless charging tech.
While the Spigen Mag Armor case doesn’t offer the luxurious look of the Nomad Rugged leather case, it is good-looking in its own right – via a simple, textured design. The decent looks are combined with impressive protection and good MagSafe compatibility. Mag Armor is the pick for those who aren’t too fussy and want something that just works.
Pros: Great protection; refreshingly simple design; works well with MagSafe; clicky buttons
Cons: A bit bland
Price: £25 | Check price on Amazon
Rhinoshield MOD NX
Best for customisation
Available for: iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro, iPhone 12 Pro Max, iPhone 12 Mini | Colours: Various| Works with MagSafe: Yes*
The Rhinoshield MOD NX case (£25) is one of the most unique case options out there. If you are constantly overspending on buying new cases because have the same one for more than a few months is just far too boring, the MOD NX offers an easy and cost-effective way to shake things up.
The MOD NX utilises Rhinoshields signature Crashguard bumper, available in several colours and with a further customizable rim, with a rear backplate that can also be switched up. From clear or coloured to brand collaborations like with Naruto, you can pick up a ton of different bumpers and backplates that let you quickly change your case for the day. Starting at £24.99 for the set featuring a basic backplate, and going up from there for fancier backplates and additional rims and bumpers, the MOD NX is unrivalled in its customisability.
From a functionality point of view, the Rhinoshield MOD NX offers solid protection. The bumper has long received plaudits for the safety it offers the edges of phones and the MOD NX as a whole offers 11ft of drop protection. The buttons are clicky and responsive too. Where the case does lack is in the MagSafe department. It’ll just about stay in place against the backplate when you hold it up, but barely. However, you can still use it for simply charging on a flat surface.
Pros: Unrivalled customisation; great value for money; strong drop protection
Cons: Backplate not compatible with MagSafe features
Best for sustainability
Available for: iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro, iPhone 12 Pro Max, iPhone 12 Mini | Colours: Various | Works with MagSafe: Yes*
Many eco-friendly cases around today offer a different texture and feel to a traditional plastic case, and that’s all well and good. But, if you’re looking for sustainability but in a package that feels a bit more like a traditional phone case then the Wave case (£15) is the best option.
These biodegradable cases are made from wheat straw and offer a simple thin design. While it doesn’t offer any customisation, as the Rhinoshield MOD NX does – at only £15 – you might want to pick up a couple of these to take advantage of a great range of colours. There’s everything from a basic Black to wonderfully bright Turquoise and Yellow then a refreshingly stylish Khaki. Each colour has a slightly speckled look when you get in close but mostly look to be a full block colour when using day-to-day. The matte texture also makes these easy to handle when you’re going about your business – far from being at all slippy.
Despite being fairly thin, these cases won’t support your MagSafe charger, or accessories, sticking to the back. You can still use typical wireless charging methods here, however. The buttons also aren’t the clickiest but are still responsive enough.
Also consider: There’s a broad range to choose from when it comes to eco-friendly cases, and some are a bit more off-the-wall than others. The Pela (from £28.95) range of cases isn’t too far a cry from the Wave but has a bit more of a textured feel that lets you know you are using a case that’s different from the norm. While 15:12 (€39) goes all in and is a case made completely of cork. This won’t be to the taste of many but it’s certainly unique.
Pros: Great range of colours; eco-friendly with traditional case vibes
Cons: Buttons aren’t that clicky; not compatible with MagSafe
Price: £15 | Check price on Wave
Pipetto Origami Snap Case
A unique design and a useful stand
Available for: iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro, iPhone 12 Pro Max, iPhone 12 Mini | Colours: Black, Dark Blue, Dusty Pink | Works with MagSafe: No
The Pipetto Origami Snap case (£30) is one of the more unique cases on this list – blending the handy functionality of a stand into the overall design of the phone. For those who like the idea of a stand but don’t want a bit of plastic just wedged into a thicker case, this is a clever and stylish solution.
At first glance, the Pipetto case looks like a fairly unremarkable accessory, with translucent plastic sides and a simple geometric design on the back. However, look closer and you’ll see that towards the bottom of the case it can be lifted up. You can then simply raise up the whole flap and it will clasp together to form a stand, which can be used for resting your iPhone in landscape or portrait. It’s a neat solution and doesn’t look awkward when you aren’t using it – gripping tight to the device when flat.
The case is a bit weightier than some rivals, likely owing to the thick plastic rim going all the way around the edge of this case. This thick plastic does enable the inclusion of some well-sized and extremely clicky buttons, so you won’t have trouble there. You will have trouble with MagSafe – in that it just isn’t usable with this device and a MagSafe charger won’t even loosely stick to the back of it. It is still compatible with traditional wireless charging, though.
Pros: Clever stand; stylish geometric design and soft-touch material; clicky buttons
Cons: A bit heavy; won’t work with MagSafe
Price: £30 | Check price on Pipetto
Our fave clear iPhone case
Available for: iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro, iPhone 12 Pro Max, iPhone 12 Mini | Colours: Slate Grey, Light Grey, Blue | Works with MagSafe: Yes
When looking for a clear phone case, you may often find a lot of options closer to a skin rather than something that will actually protect your phone. The Mous Infinity case (£55) is very much a case – offering both protection and support for the iPhone 12’s new charging tech.
As you’d expect with the clear case, the Mous Infinity does a great job of showcasing whatever colour iPhone 12 you’ve chosen to pick up. The case is completely clear though, with a circle and short line on the back to indicate where its own magnets are stored – and you can get these shapes in blue or two grey variants. These magnets combine with the MagSafe tech already in your iPhone to make for a secure fit for your new magnetic accessories – so you’ll have no worries there. The case also comes with anti-yellowing tech, which anyone who’s had a clear case before will know is a great addition, as they’re known to discolour with time.
This thicker-than-you’d-expect clear case brings a strong amount of durability for your phone too – offering drop protection as well as significantly raised front edges to prevent damage to the front of your screen too. The top and bottom edges of the rear of the case are slightly raised too – a clever idea that adds some more grip whether you’re holding it in portrait or landscape. It wouldn’t be unfair to say this is probably needed too, as this clear case can feel quite slippering when handling day-to-day.
Pros: Clear design showcases new iPhone 12 look; extremely strong and sturdy; made with MagSafe in mind
Clckr Stand & Grip Case
A handy case with a stand and a grip
Available for: iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro, iPhone 12 Pro Max, iPhone 12 Mini | Colours: Various| Works with MagSafe: No
Having something to hold onto on the back of your phone has become all the rage in recent years and large phones have become infeasible to simply hold with the average hand without worrying it’ll take a tumble. The Clckr Stand & Grip case (£16.40) offers a solution for this problem as well as another handy feature too – all within a thick strap that tucks neatly into the back of your phone.
The design is fairly simple – there’s a manoeuvrable strap on the back of the case that can either click in to sit flat against the phone, click in further down the phone to create a stand or just float loose to provide a comfy gap for your hand to sit in. The strap didn’t always click in perfectly the first time in our testing but you get the hang of it eventually. The stand works both portrait and landscape while the gap is fairly big, allowing for hands of all sizes to be wedged in to whatever extent is comfortable. There’s 2M drop protection too if you do fumble this phone – even with the grip.
The buttons are quite stiff and the materials aren’t going to wow onlookers but there are plenty of colours to choose from to let you find your ideal style. The hefty grip on the back means there is no chance of this working with MagSafe but you can still use wireless charging as normal.
Pros: A smart all-in-one grip and stand case; drop protection
Cons: Stiff buttons; uninspiring materials
Moshi Altra Slim Hardshell Case with Strap
A case with a strap, if that’s your thing
Available for: iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro, iPhone 12 Pro Max, iPhone 12 Mini | Colours: Sahara Beige, Midnight Blue | Works with MagSafe: No
Grips and sockets aren’t the only way to stop your shiny new iPhone 12 from scarily flying out of your hand. The Moshi Altra (£45) decides to use a good old strap as a solution.
The strap really is quite handy as it means, once it’s on, you don’t have to think about it and can just handle your phone as normal – rather than wedging your fingers in between grip and a case every time you want to use your iPhone 12. The strap is also easy to attach and detach, if you don’t think you needed it just pottering around at home.
The two colours and design choices are quite an interesting proposition too. Both layer a textured grippy design on top of a fabric back – with the Midnight Blue option showcasing a triangular design and the Sahara Beige offering a camo look. The rim going around all edges of the case is ridged too, adding even more grip. Both look great and the clever combo of materials (as well as the strap, of course) mean you won’t be dropping this iPhone 12 case very regularly.
This interesting case isn’t perfect though. The buttons are the worst on this list, feeling stiff and fairly cheap. While the case also doesn’t offer support for Apple’s MagSafe – the charger will simply fall off. Regular wireless charging is, thankfully, still supported.
Pros: Grippy textured feel; unique designs; useful strap
Cons: No MagSafe; poor buttons
Price: £45 | Check price on Moshi
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