You’ve got a shiny new iPhone XS or XS Max, and you want top keep it that way. Thankfully, there are already a ton of cases available for you. For simple protection, there’s Apple’s own leather or silicone case, but why stop there? You can choose for rugged cases, cases that hold two phones, cases that also work as wallets, and cases that can carry your EarPods.
Even if you don’t normally go for a case, you may like one just so it covers up the iPhone XS’ big camera bump, which really does make the phone wobble on the table. So, sit back, relax, and read our guide to the best iPhone cases around right now.
The good news is that your old iPhone X case probably will fit your new iPhone XS perfectly. According to Apple’s own specs, the new XS is the exact same size as the X.
True, there are some physical differences — the antenna band gaps are in different spots, and the camera bump on back is slightly bigger. Plus, the iPhone XS has asymmetrical speaker grilles, so there could be some muffled audio or other weirdness. However, size-wise you’re most likely good.
For the iPhone XS Max? Not such good news. If you have an old iPhone 7 Plus case, you will probably be able to squeeze the Max in there if you want some protection from Day One. The 7 Plus is ever so slightly bigger in all directions except thickness, but it might fit. However, even if you manage that, the dual cameras on the 7 Plus are set horizontal, while on the Max they’re set vertically. So, time for a new case.
The extra-good news is that there are already plenty of iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max cases available. Here are some of our favorites so far, along with some rather entertaining extras .
Nomad Rugged Tri-Folio
Nomad’s leather folio lets you stow three credit card inside the front flap, plus a bunch of paper cash in yet another flap. The nice part of this dual-flap design is that they close face-to-face, so that they don’t rub against the iPhone’s screen when the case is shut.
There’s also a polycarbonate bumper around the edge, so it’s also protected against drops. Nice.
Buy from: Amazon — $44.95
Waterfield Fused Suede
We’re big fans of Waterfield stuff here at Cult of Mac. In general, Waterfield cases and bags will way outlast any gadgets that you place in them — not because those gadgets break, but because they will grow old and obsolete. That’s why the brand spanking new Fused Suede for iPhone XS case is great — its like a close fitting sleeping bag for your iPhone, and it will continue to be useful in future with any similarly-sized iPhones.
The suede sleeve coddles the iPhone within (any size from naked iPhone 7 up to XS Max in another case), has a hole in the bottom for the charger cable, and a mesh pocket on the side, for earbuds or whatever. And just $29.
Ullu Dual Case
Take two phones out into the world, not one? Then you need the Ullu Dual Case, a leather sleeve that can hold two iPhones XS (or Max) at once. Aimed at businesspersons who carry two iPhones to make themselves look important, the Ullu has an open bottom so you can hear and charge the iPhone while cased.
Why carry two iPhones? To keep work and business numbers separate. It’s ironic, then, that the case is for the XS, which can use two SIM cards (one virtual, one physical).
Unfortunately, Ullu’s marketing manager Manish Hazarani doesn’t appear to have read about that part: “Should Apple ever develop a handset with two SIM card slots, Hazarani said people will carry one less phone and the niche market for the two-phone case will dry up,” wrote our own David Pierini earlier this week.
Alter Ego Stealth — expensive iPhone XS case
If you can wait until “early October,” then you can buy a titanium monokini for your iPhone XS for around $1,850. The Alter Ego Stealth is just as difficult to put on as a real monokini, too — you have to use a Torx screwdriver to fit the X-shaped exoskeleton to the iPhone.
Should this titanium excess not be expensive enough for you, there’s also a gold version for $2,250 (not made of actual gold, but gold-colored titanium). An “Aurora” version, “hand-torched” to add color, costs $2,750. LOL, as they say.
What is the seller, Gray, spending all that money on? Not ad copywriters, that’s for sure. Here’s the blurb, pasted in full, because … well, you’ll see.
Engineered to thrill both you and those around you, the Alter Ego sees the iPhone radically transformed with a distinct jaw-dropping aesthetic persona, allowing it to look and feel like nothing you have ever seen before. The Alter Ego was not made the same, but then neither were you.
The Alter Ego was made for You. You, the individual who refuses to blend into the crowd, instead seeking to excel at every step of the way. You, who chooses everyday to live different, work different, be different. In creating the Alter Ego, You were at the top of our minds. The Alter Ego turns your phone into an object of mystery and power, stopping the world at its tracks every time it leaves your pocket.
But, hey, Gray’s PR team is definitely fast.
Nodus Access — handy iPhone XS case
This is the Nodus Access, a leather book-cover type case for the iPhone XS, XR and XS Max. Prices start at $53, and the cases look pretty sweet. They remind me of the old Twelve South SurfacePad I used to use, and the Access uses the same kind of reusable adhesive pad to stick itself to the back of the iPhone. It also packs a vertical pocket inside the front flap, for cards, metro tickets and bills.
If you have an iPhone XS MaXXXXXXX on the way, you’ll have to wait. But iPhone XS owners can buy the iPhone X version right now.
Buy from: Amazon — Out of stock
Grovemade — beautiful iPhone XS case
Grovemade doesn’t just have a new iPhone case. It has also a wireless charging pad, one that’s made of cork. In fact, the pad is way more interesting than the case, so let’s take a look at that instead.
The charging mat, or rather charging coaster, is topped with a layer or cork. This does more than protect your iPhone’s finish. It also means that every single person you invite into your home will place their tea of coffee cup onto the mat. What could be less annoying?
Oh, the cases are cool, too. They’re made of wood and/or leather, and come in the form of bumpers (remember those?), regular open-face cases and wallets. I really like the look of the Maple & Leather iPhone wallet case, pictured above.
Buy from: Amazon — Out of stock
Encased holster clip — commuter-ready iPhone XS case
What could be cooler than a holster clip for your iPhone? You’re getting ready for a day at work, or a night on the town. Your jeans are freshly pressed, creases sharp. Your shirt is tucked in tight, giving your belly a nice comfy place to rest, and your collar is buttoned down. All you need is a manly holster to hook that phone in your belt, ready for a quick draw.
The Encased iPhone XS Max Belt Clip Clear Case with Holster Clip has your six, big boy. It’s a clear case with a clip-on frame that also clips to your belt. And oh is it tough. How tough? This tough:
Built to last with a solid-core commuter ready polycarbonate frame and a rotating belt clip for vertical or horizontal use.
Say that again. Whisper those words to yourself. “Solid-core commuter ready.” Hoo boy. And look at that price.
Buy from: Amazon — $15.95
Pad & Quill Traveler — classy iPhone XS case
Here’s Pad & Quill’s new offering, available for all three new iPhones as they become available. I’m partial to the Traveler shown here, because I like a case to be slim and lightweight. That’s the beauty of leather — it combines light weight with resilience. It’s also pretty grippy, and more or less water-resistant. Just ask a cow.
The Traveler for iPhone XS is available now. The iPhone XS Max version will arrive in October.