Review: Twelve South SurfacePad for iPhone X

Twelve South has just released an updated version of their SurfacePad cover for the iPhone X. There are several new enhancements in the new version, and I had a chance to test it out the past few days.

Take a look at the SurfacePad for yourself in our quick video.

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A cover for people who hate cases

I’ve always been a fan of the SurfacePad line. They are so minimalistic, but still offer some degree of protection. They work pretty well for me as I’ve always hated cases, and to a lesser extent, wallets.

The last couple cases that I’ve taken a shine to have all been cases with room for a couple credit cards along the back. The iPhone X put an end to that, as I’d have to choose between wireless charging, and my cards on the back.

That’s where folio-style cases come in. It seems folio cases have been rising in popularity as of late, with even Apple getting in on the game.

When they released their leather folio alongside the iPhone X, it garnered a lot of attention. Personally, I was very impressed with it, though it carried a hefty price tag.


The SurfacePad is different from most, because as it points out right on the box, it is not a case. It is more of a cover for your phone.

This is pretty much the protection I want. Just enough to cover the front and back of my phone from any scratches the come from everyday use.

It affixes using a removable adhesive right to the back of your phone, which means it doesn’t protect any of the edges of your phone.

It also has a pair of card slots right in the front, making it a suitable wallet replacement for me.

New in the iPhone X version is a pair of really useful features.

First, it can instantly wake/sleep your phone whenever it opens/closes.

Secondly, it can fold back into a display, perfect for watching a video or chatting on FaceTime.

Day to day use

Using the SurfacePad each day, you notice all the little things, both good and bad.

On the bad side, it can be irritating to constantly be opening and closing the folio.

However, it alleviates this a little bit by automatically waking, and unlocking, the iPhone X whenever you open the case.

I’m loving the convenience of having my cards quickly available, and the ability to prop the phone up for watching videos seems like it should have been here all along.

What would I change?

I really enjoy the SurfacePad on my iPhone X. The colors all look great (I opted for teal, but black and cognac are also available).

This new version also has an updated leather, using the full-grained leather from the Relaxed Leather cases. Not going to lie, while the full-grain leather gets a nice patina over time, I think I preferred the Napa leather they used previously.

The full-grain leather does have a longer lifespan, which is better for your investment in the product. So it has that going for it.

Really, the only thing I’d perhaps change is the adhesive on the back. I wish the adhesive only went halfway across, instead of full width. This would make it easily to remove, and re-adhere over time.

Wrap it up

I bought the original SurfacePad for my iPhone when it launched all those years ago. This newly updated version is just as great as the original, with a few welcomed improvements.

The slim nature, and wealth of functionality makes this a no-brainer for me.

They are available for order right now for the iPhone X as well as other iPhone and iPad models.

You can pick it up for $49.99 from Amazon.