OtterBox iPhone case’s pop-up handle plays nice with MagSafe [Review]


OtterBox OtterGrip Symmetry Series review★★★★☆
The OtterBox OtterGrip protects your iPhone and adds a handle that doesn't impede wireless charging.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

OtterBox’s new OtterGrip Symmetry Series case protects your iPhone, plus it includes a pop-up handle. What sets it apart from the competition is the handle doesn’t interfere with MagSafe wireless charging.

I wrapped my own iPhone 14 Plus in an OtterGrip. I found a lot to like.

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OtterBox OtterGrip Symmetry Series review

Carrying your iPhone around in a protective case simply makes sense. It’s a harsh world, and one accidental fumble can easily lead to an expensive repair bill.

Over many years, OtterBox built a solid reputation for very protective iPhone cases. I can’t count how many of my devices have gone into a case from this company.

After PopSockets revolutionized the way many people hold and carry their handset, OtterBox teamed up with them to make cases with built-in handles. But these won’t work with MagSafe chargers or other accessories.

The OtterBox OtterGrip Symmetry Series is the response. It’s both a protective case and a PopGrip rival that will let you wirelessly charge your iPhone in without taking off the pop-up handle.

Protective iPhone case

OtterBox OtterGrip is a protective iPhone case with a handle.
OtterBox OtterGrip is a protective iPhone case whose handle folds flat.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

As noted, OtterBox makes top-quality cases, and OtterGrip is a fairly standard mid-range model from the company. It’s not so bulky as the company’s rugged Defender Series, but it offer more protection than slimmer cases.

How much bulk you’ll put up with in an iPhone case is a personal decision — there’s no right answer. The OtterBox OtterGrip adds two ounces to the weight of my iPhone 14 Plus, and makes the handset a quarter of an inch wider and an eighth of an inch thicker.

OtterBox promises it provides three times MIL STD drop protection, which should give you confidence that a single accident won’t smash your phone. That’s a significant amount of protection for fairly modest additional bulk.

There are the usual openings for the camera hump, Lightning port, speakers, etc. The buttons are protected behind covers that’s don’t interfere with their use.

The edges are nicely rounded so it’s comfortable to hold. I used my OtterBox OtterGrip test unit for about two weeks and do not have any complaints.

Mine is basic black, but the case also comes in green and pink, and there ate a handful of patterns to choose from, too. All are made of approximately 50% recycled materials, and some include antimicrobial protection.

iPhone case with pop-up handle

OtterBox OtterGrip is an iPhone case with pop-up handle
The pop up handle is what gives OtterGrip its name.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

What sets the OtterGrip Symmetry Series apart from most other cases is the pop-up handle. This sits flush with the back of the case when not in use. It’s completely out of the way.

Give it a tug and the handle slides out about 0.8 inches. There’s room for two fingers underneath, giving you an easy way to hold your iPhone.

The grip rotates 360 degrees, and the sides are soft, making the handle generally comfortable for me. The fit is a little bit tight, but anyone with smaller fingers should find it just right.

Many pop-up handles also function as stands. Not this one. When I try to prop up my iPhone 14 Plus on it, the handle collapses flat again. I suspect this is because OtterBox used the minimal amount of material in the handle so as to not impede wireless charging.

Still supports MagSafe wireless charging

Very protective cases and handles often block wireless charging, but OtterBox clearly wasn’t going to put up with that. My own tests confirm the claim that OtterGrip offers “no-fuss MagSafe compatibility.”

Simply place the iPhone in the case on a MagSafe charger and power will immediately start to flow. I tested it with Apple’s own wireless changer as well as a third-party one and never had a problem.

That includes the magnets that are part of the MagSafe system. I can use charging stands designed to hold up my iPhone so I can see the screen. And my Apple Leather Wallet with MagSafe clings as tightly to this case as it does directly to the iPhone.

OtterBox video

OtterBox OtterGrip Symmetry Series final thoughts

I see people with their iPhone in an OtterBox case all the time. And I see people using pop-up handles even more. The appeal of both in one product is clear.

OtterBox did an excellent job of adding a handle to its case so that it doesn’t impede MagSafe wireless charging. I wish it also acted as a stand, but I understand why it doesn’t. And I hope more colors are on the way.



OtterBox OtterGrip Symmetry Series cost $59.95, no matter the color.

Buy from: OtterBox or Amazon

There are versions for iPhone 14/13, iPhone 14 Plus, iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max.

If you’d like to add the original PopSockets handle to the MagSafe-compatible case you already own, don’t miss my review of PopSockets PopGrip for MagSafe.

OtterBox provided Cult of Mac with a review unit for this article. See our reviews policy, and check out other in-depth reviews of Apple-related items.


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