For such a seemingly straightforward product, we take into account a plethora of aspects when selecting the best iPhone 13 cases, from objective measurements like physical dimensions and level of protection to subjective evaluations of style and feel.
Despite the fact that we have tested cases for many years and have had several reliable selections over several iPhone generations, no case is automatically designated a pick merely because we have previously selected earlier iterations of it. We tested each new case for iPhone 13 pro max, 13 mini, 13 Pro, and 13 Pro Max to evaluate how well it fit and worked.
While we have a wide range of suggestions for many genres, we take into account each of the following factors to determine our selections:
We look for cases that can sufficiently safeguard a phone without adding extraneous details or being overly bulky. While we don’t perform drop testing, we do search for scenarios that can clearly sustain some impact. (Even a sturdy cover can’t ensure that your phone will survive every situation unscathed; a direct blow to the screen, for instance, may still cause damage.) Super thin cases, which intentionally sacrifice some drop protection in lieu of a slimmer profile, are the clear exception to this rule.
Generally speaking, the more of the phone that a case shields from damage, the better; we like cases that shield everything but the screen of the phone. The best covers protect the buttons with a tactility that resembles—or, in some cases, even improves—how the buttons feel on an iPhone in its raw form.
While such exposure isn’t always a deal-breaker, we prefer cases that don’t show the top or bottom edge of the phone. However, we don’t take into account cases that include a circular cutout that exposes the Apple logo on the phone’s back because they give less general protection and offer no genuine value.
Apple’s case rules say, “Exposed glass on the device may not come within 0.85 mm of a flat surface, such as a table or floor, in any position while the case is connected.” The screen of the phone has a lip around the edges to help avoid cracked displays, one of the main concerns with any smartphone, but it also helps prevent scratches if you rest the phone screen down. We test each case with a 0.85-millimeter feeler gauge in accordance with Apple’s specifications.
The cover material also has to be higher than the iPhone 13-series handsets since they have particularly noticeable camera bumps that need to be protected.
Apple’s MagSafe system, which includes magnetic wireless chargers, accessories, and cases with magnetic rings built in to support them, is a little delicate. If the case is thin enough, it might still enable charging with a MagSafe charger, but it probably won’t function with a vehicle mount or wallet.
Although a case’s absence of support for MagSafe isn’t a deal-breaker in and of itself, we’ve seen enough excellent cases with MagSafe at comparable pricing that we normally prefer them.
No disruption of wireless transmissions or other operations: Any wireless signal performance—Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, cellular, NFC (near-field communication, which is required to utilize Apple Pay), or Qi wireless charging—should not be impacted by a case. We confirm in our tests that each of these features functions with the case active. Although wallet cases might be able to handle wireless charging, you shouldn’t count on them too. If you do, we suggest looking at a folio.
Furthermore, you shouldn’t be limited in your use of gestures by circumstance. With the iPhone 13 series, which depends on an upward swipe from the bottom edge of the screen as its principal interface, that is a particularly crucial point to take into account.
Despite the fact that there is a case to meet any visual style, we search for cases with straightforward, even attractive designs—cases that are likely to appeal to the majority of people—rather than models that strictly follow one or more particular aesthetic preferences.