(Pocket-lint) - Apple's iPhone 12 series made waves with its return to the old ways, offering a beautiful, flat design that's reminiscent of the iPhone 4.
Flat, angular edges are the sort of thing that can make dropping your phone all the scarier thought, though, so you'll want to pair the Apple smartphone with a solid case in order to protect it.
You might opt for one that supports Apple MagSafe and secure itself with magnets, or perhaps you're fine with a traditional fit.
Either way, we've tested and assessed a huge range of cases for Apple's phones. We've tried them on, used them for weeks at a time and compared their build quality, weight and protection, along with the all-important visual side of things, to work out which are the best choices.
We've gathered some of the top options out there, right here.
Our Top Pick
Apple Silicone Case with MagSafe
- Great range of colours
- Fits like a glove
- Not too chunky
- A bit expensive
- Not the most protective
As is often the case, the case that will suit most people the best for the iPhone 12 is Apple's own soft case - although it's far from the most affordable option.
It fits perfectly, and the soft silicone finish is great to grip. Plus, you've got MagSafe on board in case you decide to pick up a snap-on magnetic accessory later.
Apple iPhone 12 cases we also recommend
If that option doesn't quite fit for you, here are four more top choices we've tested:
- Really thin
- Solid protection
- Shows off your colour choice
- Obviously a bit plain
For many people, the top priority is just getting a case that's as thin as possible, to protect from superficial damage without covering up the phone too much or making it too thick.
Totallee has the best of the bunch in that section, with wafer-thin, tight-fitting cases that have really impressed us.
We particularly like this clear version, which makes sure that your phone looks as good as it should.
- Beautiful texture
- Ecologically friendly
- Unique design
- Minimal protection
For a step away from the mainstream, we're really taken with this handsome cork case, designed and made in Sweden and sensibly sourced to make sure that you can feel good about how your phone case was made.
It gives your phone a nice rustic look, and is soft to the touch, while it also adds impressively little bulk and clips on and off more easily than almost any other case we've tried.
It's a great choice for something a little less corporate in nature.
Apple Clear Case with MagSafe
- MagSafe compliant
- Clean design
- Divisive design
If you're taken with MagSafe, and want it in your case, but also want the colour of phone you chose to shine through, you might think about this clear case from Apple.
It's much like those for previous versions of the iPhone, with an obvious exception - those MagSafe magnets give it a funky, patterned look on the back. It won't be to everyone's taste, but it'll get the job done.
Spigen Mag Armor
- Really great protection
- MagSafe compatible
- Slightly chunky
It's taken a little bit of time for third-party cases to catch up with Apple's surprise reinvention of MagSafe, but Spigen's got a really great case here..
It's nice and matte black, with really solid drop protection and bumpers, but most importantly packs those magnetic coils to ensure that your MagSafe accessories and charger will work perfectly.
Other products we considered
The Pocket-lint editorial team spends hours testing and researching hundreds of products before recommending our best picks for you. We consider a range of factors when it comes to putting together our best guides including physically testing the products ourselves, consumer reviews, brand quality, and value. Many of the devices we consider don’t make our final best guides.
These are the products we considered that ultimately didn't make our top 5:
- Speck Presidio Grip 2
- Spigen Thin Fit case
- Tech21 Evo Check
- Otterbox Strada Via case
- Moshi Vitros
- Cyrill Cecile case
- Incipio Grip case
- Greenwich Blake case
How to choose a case for your iPhone 12
Choosing a case for your new iPhone (or replacing an old or broken case) can feel like almost as big a decision as choosing the phone in the first place - it'll make such an impact on what the handset looks and feels like, after all. Here are some of the key questions to ask yourself before you pick a case.
What sort of look do you want?
The design of a case is really important, in our mind, but that might not be the case for you - it's all up to personal taste. After all, you might prefer a clear case so that your phone can actually be recognised, or you might instead opt for a more colourful or unique design. Whatever your approach, it's worth thinking about this as you check out the different options.
How much protection do you need?
Related to a case's design is how much protection it offers - and how much you need will be down to your own experience. Do you drop your phone often? Are the floors in your home largely hard and liable to damage a dropped item? You can check out how much a manufacturer rates its case for protection on almost all product pages, and see how high you can drop it from without fear, so definitely think about this if you know you're a little clumsy.
Are you going to use MagSafe?
Apple introduced MagSafe with the iPhone 12, and it makes wireless charging even more reliable - but not every case is thin enough, or contains the right magnets, to work with the system. It's well worth your time to check on the product page whether it'll be able to stick to a charging puck, as this might be something you'll want down the line.
What's your budget?
Of course, as with any other tech accessory, your budget is the final but maybe the most important factor. If you're looking at Apple's own cases but know you can't afford them, you could find a less expensive option that looks pretty similar, although the quality likely won't match them. There are loads of options at different price points, so figure out your budget and you shouldn't have a significant issue finding a case to fit it.
More about this story
Every product in this list has been tested in real-life situations, just as you would use it in your day-to-day life.
When it comes to cases for the iPhone 12 series, that means exactly what you'd assume - we've used the case for at least a few weeks, checking out how well it works. That means assessing its materials and build quality, and seeing how bulky or annoying its design might be beneath the surface.
There's also an aesthetic side to this, of course, so it'll depend on your taste, but we've put some considerable thought into which cases look best as we finalise the rankings.
We aren’t interested in pointless number crunching or extraneous details - we just want to provide an easy to understand review that gives you an idea of what it's going to be like to use. And don’t for a second think that the products aren't tested fully because the reviews are concise.
We’ve been covering tech since 2003, and, in many cases, have not only reviewed the product in question but the previous generations, too - right back to the first model on the market. There are also plenty of models we've considered that didn't make the cut in each of our buyer's guides.
Writing by Max Freeman-Mills. Editing by Conor Allison. Originally published on 20 October 2020.