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The Best iPhone X Cases: Wirecutter Reviews

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In evaluating this collection of cases, we had to find small differences between them to make our decisions. If you see a case listed here that you happen to like, don’t necessarily consider it a bad choice; simply understand that we considered our picks to be better for most people, for the reasons we’ve described.

All-purpose cases

Silk’s Base Grip is our pick for the iPhone 7 and 8. A version of the case with a reformulated material was briefly available for iPhone X, but Silk stopped selling it based on what the company called a “propensity to warp as users fidget and tug at the material.” A replacement version of the case using the same material as earlier models will be coming soon, and we’ll test it once it ships. For those customers who did purchase the Base Grip for iPhone X, the company told us it’ll “be sending free advance replacements of the new version for all customers that see the issue with the original version…We’ll also contact customers to mention the potential defect and offer free replacements.”

The AmazonBasics Textured Protective Case felt just a bit cheaper than the other inexpensive, basic cases we tested, and its lip was just a little shorter than the 1 mm Apple recommends. The color selection also seemed limited.

With its faux carbon fiber and screws, the look of Anker’s Karapax Shield isn’t for everyone. It fits well and everything works as expected, so if you like the style, go for it. We just don’t think it’s the aesthetic choice for most people.

It should come as no surprise that Apple’s own Silicone Case fits the iPhone X perfectly. The material is smooth yet has a good amount of grip, the camera opening is precisely tailored around the camera bump, and the buttons click perfectly. We don’t love the open bottom edge, though—it leaves too much opportunity for the steel frame to take damage. You could argue that this design makes more sense on the iPhone X, because of how often you’ll need to swipe up from the bottom edge, but we haven’t run into any issues with cases that offer full coverage. There’s also the price: At $40 currently, this case costs much more than our pick.

Incase’s Facet Case and Lite Case both have open bottom edges rather than properly tailored openings for the Lightning-connector port, speaker, and microphone, and they both have flush button coverage that makes it next to impossible to feel where the buttons are along the sides. We also don’t particularly like the openings on the back of the Lite Case that expose the iPhone X’s glass to dust and other elements.

Our testing panel preferred the smooth yet grippy cases we recommend over the textured feel of Incipio’s NGP Advanced.

The top 60 percent or so of Incipio’s NGP Sport case offers the same feel as the standard NGP does, while the bottom is a glossier, grippier material. The design looks nice, but we don’t think the design is worth the premium Incipio charges for it.

We like the look and grippy-silicone feel of Incipio’s Siliskin, but the material attracts dust like crazy and can be difficult to slide into jeans pockets. The biggest drawback, however, is the flimsy, stretchy silicone along the bottom edge: Within minutes of use, the material was already sagging on our review unit, and we could easily see it getting torn off.

Spigen’s Thin Fit is a simple plastic, snap-on shell that provides minimal protection due to its fully exposed top and bottom edges.

Spigen’s Liquid Air has a textured back that our testing panel wasn’t as fond of compared with the smoother feel of our pick, and gaps around the side and volume buttons offer an opportunity for dust to get under the case.

Caudabe’s The Sheath is fairly similar in look and feel to other simple TPU cases we tested, but it offers no obvious benefits for its higher price.

Caudabe’s The Synthesis has a frosted transparent back with a colored border, and is a little slick feeling. It’s a nice case, but not better than our pick at more than twice the price.

Leather cases

Mujjo’s Full Leather Case is essentially a clone of Apple’s Leather Case, minus the aluminum buttons and with Mujjo’s own branding in place of Apple’s. Our review unit was a bit too tight at the bottom, and the volume buttons felt too mushy through the case.

We prefer a full-leather, wrap-style case, like Apple’s, over the hybrid approach of Nomad’s Rugged Case, which has a leather back with rubber sides. In early testing we could already see some small fraying at the seams where the two materials met, and accessing the iPhone’s Ring/Silent switch through the thick case was particularly tough.

Wallet cases

Speck’s Presidio Wallet is a great alternative to Silk’s wallet cases, with a look and feel pretty similar to the design of the Vault Slim. The biggest difference is price: Speck’s case costs two to three times as much.

Case-Mate’s Tough ID has a supple leather back with two card pockets. We found removing the cards difficult (something that, to be fair, may improve over time and with wear), and the case makes the Ring/Silent switch too hard to flip unless you have longer nails.

Nomad’s Wallet Case holds only two cards and suffers from the same design issues we noted for the Rugged Case.

Spigen’s Slim Armor CS is the only wallet case in our test group that uses a slide-out door to hide your cards. It holds only two of them, though, and the whole thing feels pretty bulky because of this design. We also found removing the last card difficult without long fingernails, and the plastic door felt like it might snap off under pressure.

Silk’s Q Card Case is very similar to our top wallet case pick, but instead of a molded TPU card holder, it has an expandable pocket. We found accessing cards easier with the Vault, however, and we like that our pick hides more of the cards than the Q Card Case.

Folio cases

Spigen’s Wallet S is the best bet if you want a folio on a budget. It has some of the same downsides as other folios we dismiss, including no button protection and an exposed top edge, but those aspects are more forgivable on a much less expensive, synthetic-leather case. The case holds as many as three credit cards, and it has a pocket for cash underneath those slots. We like that it converts into a landscape-orientation stand, and that the magnetic latch to hold the cover shut works well.

Apple’s iPhone X Leather Folio is both the thinnest folio case we tested and the most expensive. It’s more or less the company’s Leather Case with a cover, a first from Apple. It easily has room for four cards inside, and it includes a pocket for cash underneath—even when fully loaded, it feels thinner than the competition. Much like an iPad Smart Cover for the iPad, the Leather Folio has embedded magnets that lock and unlock the iPhone’s screen, a nice touch. It’s hard to justify spending $100 on a case, however, which is why we don’t recommend this one, but if you’re willing to splurge, it is a good choice.

Burkley’s Detachable Leather Wallet Case is a great-looking leather folio, with room for three cards plus cash. The phone fits into a removable leather case that magnetically attaches to the inside of the folio, allowing you to ditch the wallet portion when you don’t need it. Unfortunately, the iPhone’s screen rises above the case’s lip—not an issue when the case is in the folio, but it means less protection when you’re using the case on its own—and the case’s embedded magnets prevent wireless charging.

Although Case-Mate’s Wallet Folio is a strong contender, it doesn’t cover the phone’s buttons or top edge.

Nomad’s Clear Folio combines a transparent plastic case, a rubber bumper, and a leather cover with three card slots and and a cash pocket. In our tests, the lid moved around more than we liked, both above and below the height of the phone, and away from its screen (although the cover will likely lie flatter after being broken in). Some of our testers thought the leather, designed to wear over time, felt too flat and smooth. We also noticed significant scratches on the clear back after simply transporting the Clear Folio in a duffel bag with a few dozen other cases. And the case’s lip measured just shy of Apple’s suggested height. Nomad’s Leather Folio uses the same material all the way around, doesn’t protect the buttons, and leaves a bit of the iPhone’s top edge exposed to damage.

Silk’s Folio Wallet is another affordable option that’s very similar to Spigen’s Wallet S. We don’t like this design’s vertical elastic band as much as the magnetic closure, though, and this case’s grainy texture isn’t as nice.

Urban Armor Gear’s Metropolis takes the company’s military-drop-test-rated case and adds a lid with a card slot. In our testing, we were able to fit only one card in the slot, and the lid cover flapped around more than we wanted when it was open.

Twelve South’s BookBook is the company’s flagship case. The design appeals to book lovers the most (because, well, it looks like a book), and we think it’s pretty neat. It has room for up to four cards, including a clear window for an ID, although because of how deep the cards slide in, it’s kind of hard to remove them. Our favorite aspect of the folio is the removable inner case, as it means you can ditch the somewhat bulky outer folio when you don’t need it, though the way the case attaches to the folio makes it a bit of a hassle to remove and reattach.

Transparent cases

Our panelists preferred true transparent cases over those with some clear elements combined with other designs. That’s not to say that anything that’s not totally clear is bad, but if you’re looking to show off your iPhone X as much as possible, it makes sense that you’ll want your case to be totally see-through.

Incipio’s NGP Pure is almost identical to our transparent-case pick, and a great option if the Spigen Liquid Crystal case is out of stock. But it’s expensive, and it has more-obvious branding than the Spigen.

Nomad’s Clear Case has a panel of leather taking up about two-thirds of the back, and we don’t love the somewhat sharp feel of the raised seam along the bottom edge.

On X-Doria’s Dash, a panel of faux leather occupies about half of the back, so it isn’t a fully transparent case.

X-Doria’s Defense Clear and Defense Shield are mostly clear, but with colored rubber or rubber and metal borders, respectively, that make them less than fully transparent.

Incase’s Pop Case has an opaque border that totally hides the power and volume buttons and keeps them from being easy to find via touch. Plus, it leaves the iPhone X’s bottom edge exposed.

Caudabe’s Lucid Clear is a simple plastic shell with no button coverage, and it’s expensive to boot.

Case-Mate’s Naked Tough has no side button coverage, and we don’t like the feel of its sharp edges.

Case-Mate’s Tough Clear has a two-piece design that is more complex than better one-piece cases.

Silk’s Pureview features a diamond pattern inside the transparent backplate that isn’t as appealing as a simple clear case.

Spigen’s Neo Hybrid Crystal shows fingerprints like crazy, and we don’t like the way the border and case can separate during installation and removal.

Spigen’s Rugged Crystal is bulky and doesn’t offer enough separation between the volume buttons, so finding the right volume button without looking is difficult.

The polycarbonate back of Spigen’s Ultra Hybrid shows fingerprints more readily than transparent TPU cases. The Ultra Hybrid S is the same case, but the built-in kickstand is a nice touch.

Urban Armor Gear’s Plyo is bulkier than other cases, the button covers aren’t raised enough to make them easy to feel, and you can see a rainbow distortion on the back when you hold the case at off angles.

OtterBox’s Symmetry Series Clear is a little bulkier than most of the competition. We don’t like the seam along the border, and the back has prismatic distortion.

Tech21’s Pure Clear shows fingerprints easily and is expensive compared with our top pick.

The buttons of Speck’s Presidio Clear feel a little mushier than we prefer, and this case is rather expensive.

More-protective cases

Case-Mate’s Waterfall, Karat Petals, and Compact Mirror Case are all fashion-driven protectors. If you like them, we can’t persuade you not to get them—and we’re not trying to. But we can’t recommend them because in our tests they didn’t perform well against the criteria we find important. All three cases are two-piece designs, with a rubber frame that wraps around the phone’s edges (or, with the Compact Mirror Case, the edges and back) before snapping into the case. We generally don’t prefer this setup because it makes installation and removal a bit more difficult, as it is here. The back of the Waterfall case is outfitted with glitter and small ball bearings suspended in a liquid that sloshes around as you move it, while the Karat Petals case has real pressed flowers sandwiched between layers of transparent plastic. Both of those designs make a bit more sense to us than the Compact Mirror Case, which has a mirror and a four-card slot attached to the back. It’s bulky, and the mirror seems redundant considering the iPhone X’s front camera. It also blocks wireless charging.

Anker’s Karapax Shield+ works as expected and fits well, but its design won’t appeal to everyone.

The same goes for Urban Armor Gear’s far more expensive Monarch, which is a bit bulkier than the Karapax Shield+ but adds more premium elements such as real leather-and-metal accents that don’t inhibit wireless charging. It also has fake screws.

Anker’s Karapax Rise fits well and offers good protection. It has a built-in metal loop that you can use like a PopSocket for extra grip or as a connection point for a strap or hook; the loop also rotates, so it can prop up an iPhone in both portrait and landscape orientation. Although that feature is useful, the black-carbon-fiber-on-red-rubber design is a little garish, and the kickstand extends a bit beneath the lower edge of the case, meaning it might prevent docking with some accessories.

Anker’s Karapax Breeze is a sharp-looking case, but we didn’t like the feel of the layers separating from one another when we removed the phone.

We had similar impressions of Spigen’s Neo Hybrid.

Rokform’s Rugged Case has a militaristic design aesthetic that’s not bad, but likely won’t appeal to a broad swath of people. The case has an embedded magnet that allows it to connect to an included car vent mount and other magnetic accessories but prevents wireless charging.

Speck’s Presidio is a great case, but for the same price, we think you’re better off choosing the Presidio Grip, which has a bit more, well, grip.

We liked the look and feel of the X-Doria Defense Lux, with its premium back material (our review unit was woven nylon, but it’s also available in carbon fiber, leather, and rosewood versions) and metal frame, but gaps around the button protectors that could allow dust in were enough to prevent this case from being a top pick.

Tech21’s Evo Wave is bulkier than other protective cases, including models from the same company, without any obvious benefit.

Silk’s Silk Armor looks like it would stand up well to bumps and drops, but it may be a bit too bulky and rugged feeling for most people.

OtterBox’s Pursuit Series is likely overkill for most people. This expensive, two-piece case looks like it would stand up to more abuse than most, but for everyday use by most people, it’s probably more than necessary. We’ll reconsider it if we choose to evaluate ultra-tough cases.



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