Apple iPhone XR has launched, and you can read my review here.
Your first decision, as soon as you have unwrapped your new phone is what sort of case you want for it. Although it’s significantly cheaper than the other 2018 iPhones, since it costs $749 and up, it’s still worthy of a case to keep it safe and sound. I’ve been testing a lot of them – more than a dozen from different manufacturers – since I started using the XR a week or so ago.
There are sleeves, best if you like the feel of the iPhone in your hand as Apple designed it. Or folios that close like a book and offer pockets for credit cards. Some folios fold open the other way, opening at the bottom, though the thought of a big flap of leather hanging down when you’re on the phone has always seemed preposterous to me.
There’s no official iPhone XR case from Apple, at least not yet. This is unusual. If it changes, I will be the first to test it out and update this post.
Meantime, of all the ones I have put through their paces, here’s the best of the bunch.
Incidentally, as you’ll know, the iPhone XR has a glass back, making it capable of wireless charging. All the cases below are compatible with wireless chargers.
1 Sena UltraSlim Leather Sleeve
Sena makes some of the best-quality phone cases around, in shapes and colors to suit everyone. If you want a holster for your belt, a snap-on case for the back, a version with a pocket for notes and cards or a wallet, Sena has one to suit. Sena uses high-quality leather that feels great and is long-lasting.
The UltraSlim sleeve lives up to its name and is highly tactile, with a soft, comfortable feel. The disadvantage of most cases is that your beautifully designed iPhone is kept out of your hand by the protective case. With a sleeve, though, you get to see and feel the phone itself when you slip it out of its case so you can use it.
$39.95 from senacases.com.
2 Mous Limitless
Mous uses a protection technology which includes tiny air pockets and cross-linking polymer chains. No, I’m not sure what they are, either, but the point is it really works. Check the website to see videos of phones surviving scarily big drops in the case. I have seen this demonstrated in the flesh: one of the company’s founders invited a stranger standing in line for an iPhone to throw it on the sidewalk. The guy threw it 25 feet in the air and it landed with a sickening crash. The phone inside, I’m here to tell you, was completely unscathed. The box also contains a screen protector, which is thoughtful. You can pick from different materials on the back including shell, walnut and carbon fibre. The case has a lip that protects the front of the phone if it falls that way. It fits very tightly so this case is not for you if you need to slip it on and off all the time (perhaps you keep your gym card in the back, or something like that).
What you can keep in the back, though, and here’s a nice attention to detail, is your iPhone sim tray opening tool and a spare nano sim. Mous has cleverly built little cut-outs inside the case where they sit perfectly.
All iPhone XR cases are currently on special, $39.99 or $49.99, depending on the model.
From $39.99 from mous.co.
3 Peel Super Thin
I’m going to come clean with you, these are my absolute favorite. You can read my indepth review of Peel here.
The trick to Peel is it’s another way to feel that you’re handling an iPhone that’s almost as lovely as not having a case at all. The case is so thin it really doesn’t add any bulk or weight to the phone. It’s not super-strong but certainly enough to keep your beloved phone safe from scratches and scuffs. I kept one of these cases on my iPhone X for months and it stayed safe inside.
Mind you, it doesn’t protect the screen as there’s no raised lip stretching round to the front. So, you may want a screen protector, too.
There are plenty of colors to choose from, including a clear version which won’t clash with your iPhone XR, no matter which color you’ve gone for. Then there’s the semi-transparent matte finish options including rose gold, black and silver. These are delicate and attractive and even let the iPhone Apple logo show through. Or there’s the solid color ones: glossy jet black and jet white versions and a solid matte black finish. The jet white is my choice, offering the shiny opulence that the jet black iPhone 7 had, but in white instead.
$25 from buypeel.com.
4 Lucrin Classic Case for iPhone XR
Swiss manufacturer has luxurious, stunningly-made cases in a dizzying range of styles and finishes. Lucrin says it’s the widest range of leather covers and sleeves for the iPhone, and that’s probably right.
So, what would you like? How about a wallet, a pouch with a pocket or a case with a pull tab to whip the phone out the second it rings? Or you could pick a cover with a silicone base as well as the leather finish, or a zipped wallet case.
Think you’re done with decisions? Oh no, now you need to pick the color and finish. Smooth leather, granulated leather or metallic leather? If that’s not enough, you can go for vegetable tanned leather, crocodile style calfskin or real ostrich leather. Then you get to pick from literally dozens of colors from a subtle mouse grey to a tangy orange, from pink to vibrant red.
The Classic case is simple but elegant and feels wonderful. I’ve tested a lot of Lucrin’s cases over the years and they are consistently comfortable, long-lasting and hard-wearing.
If the colours and finishes weren’t enough, you can also customise the cases further with your initials or contrasting threads. You even get the choice to remove the Lucrin logo if you wish – it’s like going off-menu at a classy restaurant!
From $52 from lucrin.com.
5 Snakehive Vintage Wallet
Snakehive is a British company that makes high-end accessories but at competitive prices. For the XR, this neat folio case comes in a series of shades including deumure options like black, navy and chestnut brown, or cute brighter colors such as moss (it’s a kind of lemony green, to be honest) and a delightful honey gold. There’s room for three credit cards and banknotes in the wallet and a cute magnetic closure plops into place automatically to hold the iPhone securely. The leather is hard-wearing, but soft to the touch with a pleasing, suede-like finish on all the cases in the Vintage collection. The cases are well-priced, and seem pretty hard-wearing.
$29.99 from snakehive.com.
6 Pipetto XR Slim Wallet
Choose from black, navy or what’s called dusty pink in this simple and elegant case. The leather is appealing and attractive and a simple magnetic closure keeps the wallet closed, with a microfiber lining to keep the screen protected. There’s room for one or two cards in the pocket on the front panel – any more and the case won’t be slim any more, though Pipetto has other cases that hold more if that’s your preference. Pipetto is a strikingly good brand, with good-value, sophisticated and well-made cases for iPhone and iPad.
$44.95 from pippettolondon.com.
7 Nodus Access Case III
Nodus is brilliant: it matches elegant, smooth, vegetable-tanned leather with cutting-edge feature, such as wallets which have RFID shielding to keep your cards save from electronic thieves, plus one section without the shielding, so you can us it for contactless payments. For the iPhone XR, the Access Case III is thinner and lighter than many because there’s no solid clips and cradles holding the iPhone in place. But it’s still safe thanks to a panel in the back of the case which is covered in tiny microscopic suction cups. There are millions of them and they hold the phone securely without adhesive.
Currently on special offer at $51.99 until November 4, after which it’s $63.99.The case starts shipping on October 29.
$51.99 from noduscollection.com.
8 Gear4 Platoon
D3O is a special material which hardens when it is hit, dissipating the energy – it’s a remarkable thing to watch and is built into protective clothing as well as phone cases like this one. This means that you can drop your iPhone in this case from a height of 20 feet without damage. The D3O sits in the edge of the case and the back features polycarbonate, as used in bulletproof glass, the company explains. But it’s still slim and light though it certainly adds a bit of size around the edges.
$59.99 from gear4.com.
9 Casetify Impact
Casetify has a wide range of cases for iPhones, with various levels of protection from basic to what’s referred to as ultimate. The Impact series falls into that category and uses a special shock-absorbing material called qitech which is effective at keeping your iPhone safe inside. The qitech makes the case look subtly different thanks to the bumpy protective material visible through the clear corners. As well as a lot of different designs – really, there are a huge number to choose from – you can pick cases with glitter built into the back and even ones that glow in the dark. Casetify products are well-made and look good. And with so many designs you’re bound to find one you like.
From $29 from casetify.com, case pictured is $45.
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