Over the course of the next couple of weeks, I’m taking a close look at iPhone X cases from a wide range of manufacturers. Case reviews aren’t often featured on MacRumors, but with the launch of the iPhone X and its entirely revamped design, we felt that it was worth exploring some of the case options out on the market.
This is the third review in the series, with the other two available here and here.
For all of my reviews, I’m looking at the general usability of iPhone X cases. Extreme drop tests and in-depth testing aren’t covered because those factors are less important than how a case works on an average day, and it’s often fairly easy to tell from design how protective a case is going to be.
Factors like bulk, button accessibility, general protection, grip, thickness, and appearance are what I focused on below.
Nodus is known for its line of high-quality leather cases, and its Access Case 3 has been made available for the iPhone X. Priced at £49.99 (~$65), the Access is a folio-style case that’s surprisingly slim.
The Access has a simple design that actually holds the iPhone X in place with adhesive that Nodus calls micro suction, with “millions of microscopic suction cups” holding onto the iPhone. The adhesive (or micro suction) doesn’t feel particularly sticky when touched and so it doesn’t pick up lint and other detritus, but it grips tightly to the glass of the iPhone X.
I turned the Access upside down and shook it and my iPhone X didn’t dislodge even a little bit, so I’m confident that it’s safe enough for daily use. What I can’t test, though, is how the suction holds up over time. Since it’s not sticky and doesn’t get dirty, it shouldn’t lose hold, but it’s a small risk.
It takes a good amount of pull to get the iPhone X out of the Access, but the adhesive can be used again and again so you can take it out whenever you want. Since there’s no inner case holding the iPhone X in place, this is the thinnest folio case I’ve seen for the iPhone X.
I like the folio design because it keeps the iPhone X’s display safe in a pocket, but there’s no protection for the sides of the phone and I wouldn’t want to drop it in this case because it could fall with the flap open. Inside, there’s a soft microfiber and a little flap that can hold cash, credit cards, or whatever else you’d like. At the back, there’s a cutout for the camera. Those of you who don’t like the lip at the bottom of the display that some cases have will like the Nodus.
With folio cases, I find the volume buttons of the iPhone a little hard to access, and that’s no exception with the Access. It’s awkward when using gestures that require both buttons at the same time (like a screenshot or powering down). The Access case does support wireless charging functionality.
Rokform makes two cases for the iPhone X, the Crystal Case and the Rugged Case, both of which are priced at $50.
Rokform’s cases are made from a hard plastic with rubber edges that wrap around the sides of the iPhone X and come up to protect the display. The volume and power buttons are protected, but there are cutouts for the camera, mute switch, Lightning port, and speakers. The Crystal Case is fairly slim, while the Rugged case is thicker and bulkier as it’s made from a thicker material. Both are easy to grip because of the rubber edges.
All of the Rokform cases have magnets built in and ship with an included car vent mount. The car vent mount, as the name suggests, fits into a car vent for mounting the iPhone X in the car for use with Maps and other apps while driving.
With the magnets, the Rokform cases can also stick to magnetic surfaces like refrigerators, but since the magnets are positioned right over where the wireless charging module is within the iPhone X, it means the Rokform cases do not support wireless charging. I could not get wireless charging to work with either Rokform case.
Both cases are also compatible with other kinds of mounts and accessories for bikes, cars, and motorcycles, so I’d say that while these aren’t suitable for most people, they have niche applications for customers who need mounting options and rugged protection more than wireless charging.
Moshi has several cases available for the iPhone X, and sent me the StealthCover to check out. Priced at $39.95, the StealthCover is definitely the strangest of the iPhone X cases I’ve used.
It offers 360 degree protection for the iPhone X thanks to a plastic front cover. It’s designed like a standard iPhone X case with a hard plastic back and protective rubber edges, but the left side attaches to the plastic cover, which also protects the display.
The display cover is a dark gray plastic that allows the time to show through, and because it has cutouts for the TrueDepth camera, Face ID works so you can unlock it. To use the iPhone, though, you have to open the cover (which snaps shut magnetically), which can be a hassle.
The cover is attached to the case through a flexible bridge material, so it folds backwards when you want to use the case unimpeded, and the volume/power button covers are designed to leave them easy to press. I like that this offers complete protection for the iPhone X and that its cover snaps shut — this isn’t a feature offered on most other folio-style cases.
While you can glance at the time and your notifications, some of the text is obscured by the cover’s connection to the case, which is an unfortunate design oversight.
The StealthCover is made from a nice smooth plastic that’s easy to grip, and the design is sleek and stylish. If you’re planning to toss your iPhone X in a pocket or in a bag most of the time and are worried about the display and the edges, this kind of case is a potential solution. The StealthCover works with wireless charging.
Peel cases, priced at $25, are designed to be ultra thin at 0.35mm. These cases are similar to the thin plastic cases that are available from a range of other manufacturers. As an example, I reviewed two pretty much identical cases from Caudabe and Casetify in a previous case roundup.
The Peel cases have no branding and because they’re so slim, they look amazing on the iPhone X. There’s no weight and almost zero bulk added with these cases, but there’s a caveat. These are going to protect the iPhone X from scratches, but these are made of plastic that’s not much thicker than a piece of paper, so there’s not much drop protection here.
There is no lip around the display to keep it from scratching when the iPhone X is placed face down (and so there’s no lip when swiping up from the bottom of the phone), and if you drop the iPhone X with one of these cases, I’m not sure it’d be much better than dropping a naked iPhone. Because the Peel cases are made from a smooth plastic, they don’t add a lot of grip.
Peel cases come in a wide range of colors, all of which look nice with the iPhone X. There are several shades of black, including a glossy option, a glossy white, gold, and rose gold. There is no clear option though, so you’re going to lose the shiny stainless steel rim with one of these.
The Peel cases are akin to having nothing at all on your iPhone, but they offer scratch protection. Pair them with a screen protector and the finish of your iPhone will stay pristine for the life of the device (provided you don’t drop it).
Unless you need mounting options, I’d avoid the Rokform because it doesn’t allow for wireless charging and the cases are all built around mounting functionality. If you want a folio case, I think the Nodus is about as thin and unobtrusive as they come, and if you want something super thin that’s like using a naked iPhone, the Peel is a good choice.
Since this was a brief look at the cases available from several different companies, I’m happy to provide additional photos and answer questions about any of the cases listed down in the forums. I’ll be covering additional cases from companies like X-Doria, MagBak, Spigen, Otterbox, Caseology, and more in roundups that will be shared later this week and next week.
Note: Nodus, Rokform, Peel, and Moshi provided MacRumors with iPhone X cases for the purpose of this review. No other compensation was received.