Home GADGETS Best iPhone 12 Cases for 2023

Best iPhone 12 Cases for 2023

$23 at Amazon

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OtterBox Symmetry SeriesBest slim OtterBox case

Best slim OtterBox case

$30 at Amazon

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X-Doria Raptic Cases

Premium case for a little less

$40 at Amazon

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Catalyst Vibe and Influence

Clean look, lanyard-friendly

$30 at Amazon

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Smartish Crossbody Case

Affordable crossbody wallet case

$18 at Amazon

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Wildflower x Coachella Case

Best case for festival lovers

$7 at Amazon

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YouMaker Clear Case

Cheap clear case (Update: Out of stock)

The iPhone 12 might be a couple of generations old now, but there’s still a wide variety of phone cases on the market for it. If you are holding on to your iPhone 12 for another year, it might be a good idea to invest in a good case. The best iPhone cases keep the device in good working condition and may retain some trade-in value when you’re ready to upgrade. That’s why we’ve rounded up a list of phone case options worth checking out.

Read more: Best MagSafe and Magnetic iPhone Accessories for 2023

The iPhone 12 has what Apple describes as “an array of magnets” embedded around a charging coil that can pull up to 15 watts of power. That’s twice as powerful as wireless charging on previous iPhones, but on par with the power that many Android phones can draw from standard Qi wireless chargers. So the best iPhone 12 case will support that 15-watt charging speed while also protecting your phone. 

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Watch this: iPhone 12 cases for every type of user

To get 15-watt charging, you’ll need an Apple MagSafe charger or an Apple-approved MagSafe charger from a third-party accessory maker, but your phone will still charge at up to 7.5 watts with standard wireless chargers that support that speed or higher. Most of the cases on this list are compatible with wireless charging and some are Apple-certified MagSafe cases with integrated magnets. If you’re looking for the best iPhone 12 case, just keep scrolling to see our picks.

Read more: Best Eco-Friendly iPhone 12 and 12 Pro Cases

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David Carnoy/CNET

I have expensive tastes, and I personally like Speck’s Presidio2 Armor Cloud (white model on the right in the photo). But the Presidio2 Pro (gray case in the photo) is also excellent. If you want an apple clear case, Speck has several models for iPhone 12 case to choose from, including the Presidio Perfect-Clear with Grips.

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Amazon

If you’re looking for a cheap clear case for your iPhone 12, Spigen’s Ultra Hybrid is a good value at around $12 to $15, depending on the trim color and which version of iPhone 12 you have (yes, there are a few color options).

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I’ve recently become a fan of Clckr’s cases, which feature a built-in stand and grip strap that folds out and clicks into place on the back of your phone. Clckr sells just the stand-strap accessory to stick on the back of your phone or on a case, but the case with the integrated stand accessory is better and comes in a few different styles, including clear (I like the Saffiano blue but it’s currently only available in black).

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David Carnoy/CNET

I only recently learned that Cyrill is a sister brand to Spigen and its cases are arguably slightly better, although they cost a few bucks more. We’re linking to the Leather Brick case, pictured here in tan and navy (it’s faux “vegan” leather), but the Silicone case (pictured in light blue) and transparent Cecile cases are also good. The Silicone case is basically a knockoff of the Apple Silicone case without the MagSafe feature.

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Amazon

OtterBox’s super protective Defender series case is available for all the iPhone 12 models with Magsafe compatibility, but most people want something less bulky. The Symmetry series is slim with beveled edges, making it a good mix of sleek and protective. A raised bumper helps act as a screen protector.

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Brooklyn, New York-based Casely makes “cute and protective” cases that have a variety of graphic artists behind their designs. The cases usually cost $25, but the online store often offers discounts.

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MagSafe accessories will still stick to your phone if you have a standard thin case, but not nearly as well as if you use one of Apple’s MagSafe cases, which have their own set of embedded magnets that line up with the magnets in your phone.

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KerfCase has been making handmade wooden cases for a while, and its new Plywood case is not only more durable but less expensive than some, starting at $50, with 6-foot drop protection and a limited lifetime repair warranty. I like it better than other wood cases I’ve tried. It’s also worth noting that Apple’s MagSafe charger will stick to the back of it, and KerfCase sells matching charging docks for the Apple MagSafe charger (yes, it’s an accessory for an accessory).

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David Carnoy/CNET

British case-maker Gear4, now owned by Zagg, makes cases that are right up there with OtterBox and Speck, all of them lined with the company’s D3O shock-absorbing material and featuring beveled edges to protect your phone. My favorites include (from left to right) the Wembley Palette, Crystal Palace Iridescent, Battersea and Piccadilly. All of them are rated for 13-foot drop protection and the Battersea is rated for 16 feet. 

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X-Doria’s Raptic cases come in a variety of styles and cost a little less than competing premium cases from Speck and OtterBox. The thicker Raptic Shield (pictured on left) costs $30 while the Raptic Air (pictured on right), which I personally like, is $30. The Shield has 10-foot drop protection while the Air is rated for 13-foot drop protection. Both have an antimicrobial treatment.

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David Carnoy/CNET

Casetify is known for eye-catching designs on the back of a clear case. They’re relatively slim, sleek-looking cases that offer decent protection and come in a variety of design patterns, with some definite appeal to teenagers. Some of the designs are hit-or-miss but I liked the samples I got. I should note that prices appear to have gone up. 

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Rokform’s been making tough iPhone cases for years and aside from their durability, their key feature is the ability to use them with various mounts — including bike and motorcycle mounts — that are sold separately. I personally prefer the Crystal series but the Rugged case is slightly more, well, rugged.

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BodyGuardz was initially known for its screen protectors, but in recent years it’s put out some interesting iPhone cases. I personally like the $45 Harmony (pictured left), which has a more square bottom. The Stack (picture in the middle) is $25 while the Avenue (on right) is $30. They come in a few color options.

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David Carnoy/CNET

Smartish’s affordable, simple, slim cases and wallet cases return for the iPhone 12. The Wallet Slayer 2.0 case (pictured on left and right) costs a little more now ($25) but comes in a variety of designs. It holds three credit cards plus cash and you can use one of your credit cards as a kickstand.

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David Carnoy/CNET

UK-based Torro makes some nice leather-clad cases that aren’t too expensive (a leather case typically tends to cost over $50). The Torro Leather Bumper ($38) is a pretty straightforward bumper case with a leather back while the leather Wallet Case ($40) is a bit swankier overall, has a magnetic clasp and multiple card slots and converts into a stand for video viewing. It’s one of the better folio wallet cases you’ll find for the money. Both leather case options are available in multiple colors.

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Like Lifeproof, Catalyst made a name for itself with waterproof cases, but it now focuses on standard protective case options and has two new models for the iPhone 12: the Vibe (left) and the Influence (right), which has a see-through frosted back. Both cases have perforations on the corners that allow you to attach various accessories (sold separately), such as lanyards and carabiners. The Vibe is rated for 10-foot drop protection while the Influence is rated for 15 feet.

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David Carnoy/CNET

I’ve always liked Moshi cases and the company’s made versions of its iGlaze, Altra and Vitros cases (pictured from left to right) for the iPhone 12, 12 Pro, 12 Mini and 12 Pro Max. The Altra is the most distinct-looking and has a geometric rubber finish that makes your phone nice and grippy. It also includes a lanyard. Not pictured is the Overture (coming soon), a two-in-one folio wallet case. You fit your iPhone into a slim shell case that then magnetically adheres to the cover, which has slots for storing credit cards and cash. Moshi’s cases range in price from $25 to $50.

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Nomad makes a line of nice iPhone 12 Horween leather case styles that are designed to develop a “rugged” patina as the oils from your skin interact with them over time. The new Rugged leather case options are available in black, brown and a lighter natural color that I like. They’re rated for 10-foot (3-meter) drop protection. 

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David Carnoy/CNET

I’m personally not a crossbody case guy (meaning a case with a long strap so you can wear your phone like a purse), but some people love them. You can find some fancy ones out there that cost a lot of money, but if you’re looking for something simpler, the Smartish Crossbody case is around $30 and comes in multiple colors. The iPhone case design incorporates some faux leather and the case offers decent protection along with three slots for storing up to five credit cards and cash in the wallet compartment. You can choose to go with a shorter hand strap or the longer adjustable crossbody strap.

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David Carnoy/CNET

Incipio has an assortment of cases for the iPhone 12 lineup, including the sturdy Duo with 12-foot drop protection, the Slim, the Grip and the Organicore, an eco case that’s 100% compostable. All are available in multiple color options, and the Slim comes in a variety of translucent options.

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David Carnoy/CNET

You know all those compact discs you no longer listen to? Well, Nimble makes translucent iPhone cases out of them. They have antimicrobial protection, are scratch-resistant and aren’t supposed to turn yellow over time. While the Disc Case is slim, it’s rated for 6-foot drop protection. 

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David Carnoy/CNET

Case-Mate makes a variety of color cases, some of which have glitter integrated into their translucent designs. I only got a look at the twinkle ombre iPhone case, but the iridescent soap bubble and tough groove cases also look cool.

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David Carnoy/CNET

If selfies are your thing, then you’re probably aware of the LuMee cases that have built-in lighting. This Paris Hilton-endorsed Holographic version has an iridescent design. It charges via USB-C and gives you 30 minutes of “studio lighting” at full brightness. The case does allow wireless charging and you can adjust the brightness levels of the light.

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David Carnoy/CNET

I wasn’t a fan of earlier Pelican cases, which were very protective but just a little too bulky (and ugly), but in the last couple of years (starting with the iPhone 11), the company, now owned by Case-mate, added some slimmer designs, including two that I like: the Protector (pictured, middle in camo color) and the Rogue (at left and right), which has a soft rubber bubbled pattern.

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David Carnoy/CNET

Apple upgraded the cameras in its iPhone 12 models, with the iPhone 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max offering step-up camera options (the iPhone Max is the best in the imaging department). But a select few accessory makers like Moment allow you to enhance your shooting with add-on lenses and filters. Sold separately from the case, the lenses aren’t cheap, but they are high-quality.

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David Carnoy/CNET

Razer, which makes laptops and gaming accessories (among other products), also makes iPhone “gaming” cases. They have something called Thermaphene-Based Heat Dissipation that “redirects trapped heat through a thermally conductive lining adjacent to vented airflow channels to significantly improve cooling compared with traditional cases.” It’s a bit of a gimmick, but it seems to help a little when you’re playing graphics-intensive games for long periods.

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Wildflower

Showcase your love for music festivals with the Wildflower x Coachella iPhone 12 phone case collaboration. I love the fun design of the case, which includes palm trees, flowers and the iconic Coachella ferris wheel. The case itself is decent quality and offers a medium level of protection for your phone without being too bulky.

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David Carnoy/CNET

There are plenty of inexpensive clear cases and iPhone 12 accessories on Amazon. It seems to be a perfectly good clear case that offers decent protection with raised edges. Whether it will yellow over time, I can’t tell you, but it seems like a good value.

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