The iPhone 12 is one of most durable smart phones ever produced. It has a Ceramic Shield display cover that is 4x stronger than other screens, and an IP68 rating, meaning it can survive in 6 meters of water for up to half an hour. That being said, you’re still more than likely going to want a case for the handset to protect it from scuffs and scratches, drops and falls, and harsh work/play conditions. So we’ve put together a roundup of the best cases for iPhone 12, including options for all models and case types.
Best Cheap Cases
Most of the cases you’ll find on this list have price tags that range from $20 to $100, depending on their purpose and build materials, so obviously for the ‘cheap’ category we want to be below that. Sure, you could probably find a case on Amazon for under $5, but you wouldn’t be too happy with the quality—poor fit, degraded materials, etc. I find the sweet spot between price and quality for cases to be somewhere between the $10 – $20.
Spigen Liquid Armor
At the time of publishing this roundup, this is the case I am using on my iPhone 12 Pro. It’s thick enough to offer some protection, but not too thick that it’s unwieldy, and I like the minimal design. From afar it looks like an all-black case, but up close you can see a subtle pattern. It also hits our preferred sweet spot of price and build quality, making it a great option for a cheap case.
- Plus: this case feels really great in the hand. Again it’s not too thick and it has a nice, square-like shape with a rubberized texture. In fact, you can put it on a sloped surface without worrying about it sliding down.
- Price: $13
Best Rugged Cases
Rugged cases are the best line of defense in protecting your iPhone. They’re bulkier than the average case and are typically sought by those who work, live or play in harsh environments. Standard features include multi-layer construction for superior drop protection, port and button coverings to keep out dirt and sand, and many of them come with belt clips, as they are too bulky to fit in pockets.
OtterBox Defender Series
OtterBox has been making rugged phone cases since before it was its own category. They have a few solid offerings, but for the most complete protection, you’ll want the Defender Series. Features include a 3-piece construction, port covers, and a belt-clip holster that doubles as a kickstand.
- Plus: OtterBox says its DROP+ tech is 4X stronger than the Military Standard
- Price: $60
Best Ultra-thin Cases
As the name suggests, an ultra-thin case is a case for your phone that is thinner than the average offering. There are a lot of cases that claim to be thin or ultra-thin, but we feel anything over 2mm (or .08 inches) doesn’t deserve the distinction. We like ultra-thin cases because they make your phone more pocketable and protect it from scrapes and scratches, but they offer [very] little protection from drops.
Totallee Thin iPhone case
Some cases claim to be ultra-thin, but this one embodies it. At 0.02 inches (or roughly .5mm), the Thin case from Totallee really is ultra-thin—to the point where you almost don’t notice it. Now it won’t protect from significant drops or impacts, but it’s perfect for guarding against scratches and scuffs.
- Plus: there’s no branding, no gaudy patterns, and the subtle rough texture is nice and grippy
- Price: $35
Best Clear Cases
This category shouldn’t need too much explanation. A clear case is one that is completely transparent, thus allowing you to both protect your device and enjoy its aesthetics. They are typically made of a flexible TPU (plastic) material and we like to look for features such as a raised lip over the display area to aide in drop protection. There’s not much else to it, so without further adieu, here the are best clear cases for iPhone 12.
Totallee Clear iPhone case
While totallee is very well known for their ultra-thin cases, they also make one of the better clear cases on the market. They use the same clear TPU material that you see on most clear cases, but somehow theirs doesn’t seem to yellow after a bit of usage and it’s much, much thinner—0.32 inches or just over 8mm.
- Plus: this might be our favorite all-around case here. It’s thin enough where it shouldn’t make your phone too bulky, yet not so thin that it doesn’t offer drop protection, and it’s clear, logo-less design allows you to enjoy the iPhone’s aesthetics.
- Price: $35
Best Leather Cases
Here’s another case category that should be self-explanatory. The biggest thing we look for here is obviously that the manufacturers use real leather—you’d be surprised how many ‘faux’ leather offerings there are out there. After that it’s really just personal preference—color, thickness, etc. We like leather cases for professional settings or for those that prefer a premium-looking case.
Nomad Rugged Leather
Nomad uses Horween leather from one of the oldest tanneries in the USA. It’s premium and beautiful, and only gets more-so as it patinas over time. This ‘Rugged’ model features a high-grade polycarbonate body and an internal shock-absorbtion bumper for protection on drops up of up to 10 feet.
- Plus: it has dual lanyard attachment points if you’re into that sort of thing
- Price: $50
Best Wallet Cases
There are various types of wallet cases out there, but most of them can be boiled down to two main categories: standard, which is just a case with card slots on the back, and folio, a case with a flap containing card slots that folds over the display. What we typically look for here is the thickness of the case, the quality of materials used, and number of card/ID/cash slots available. Here are the best wallet cases for iPhone 12.
Rugged Leather Folio
It’s no surprise that the maker of our of our favorite leather cases, Nomad, also makes one of the best wallet cases for iPhone 12. Their Rugged Leather Folio features the same great Horween leather and a flap that both protects your iPhone’s display and provides 3 slots for credit cards ands ids, and a spot for cash.
- Plus: like its Leather counterpart, the Folio has a high-grade polycarbonate body and raised TPE bumper along the display for maximum protection
- Price: $70
Best Pink Cases
This section should need almost no explanation. And honestly you could replace pink with blue or purple or green, and maybe one day we will. I just wanted a section where we could highlight high quality cases that didn’t feature the typical [boring] black/clear minimal designs. So with that being said, here are the best pink cases for iPhone 12.
Speck Presidio2 Grip
Speck has been a staple in the iPhone case game for as long as I can remember, and having gone hands on with the latest Presidio2, I can say they’ve still got it. It’s a little thick for my taste but I really like the large grips and the overall look/design. If you don’t love the Vintage Rose/Royal Pink colorway, there is also Coastal Blue and Graphite Gray.
- Plus: the case features Armor Cloud technology, which Speck says protects your phone like an ‘airbag’ from drops of up to 13 feet. That’s about twice the drop distance that your typical case will claim protection from.
- Price: $45
Best Waterproof Cases
The iPhone 12 is already waterproof up to 6 meters for up to 30 minutes, but if you plan on spending longer than that in deeper water, or doing things like taking underwater photos, you’ll want a waterproof case.
*Note: we are currently still testing waterproof case options, and will be sure to update this post once we’ve made our pick.