Your iPhone 13 doesn’t always need a case


There are a lot of fairly iPhone circumstances on the market. But the iPhone is fairly by itself, too.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Ever since I skilled the anguish of back-to-back iPhone screen-shattering accidents, I’ve been firmly pro-case.


“It’s simply safer and extra pragmatic,” I advised myself after my iPhone 7, and later my iPhone 8, had their screens irreparably cracked following unintentional drops. “Why danger spending one other thousand bucks on an iPhone?”

But all it took was a single, seemingly mundane second to change my perspective: after I slipped off the case to extract the SIM card from my iPhone 12 Pro Max after months of leaving it swaddled in rubber.

I used to be immediately reminded of why these telephones are premium: The flat show regarded all of the extra beautiful with out the case protruding from the edges. The cellphone felt lighter and extra snug in my fingers and the soothing Pacific blue shone by, unadulterated. It was as if the very integrity of the iPhone’s {hardware} had been revealed. The newly unveiled iPhone 13 lineup is simply as aesthetically pleasing — listed below are all of the design adjustments and shade choices. 

Discover the most recent information and greatest critiques in smartphones and carriers from CNET’s cell specialists.


“Maybe it is best to go caseless, it’s going to be superior… ” a voice in my head whispered. 

“Nah, you are loopy!” interrupted one other, louder voice. “Pop the case again on ASAP and neglect about it! Not definitely worth the danger.”

Ignoring the rational voice in my head, I made a decision to search out out if I used to be the one individual bonkers sufficient to secretly wish to carry a $1,200 iPhone with out a case. I wasn’t. 

After a fast Google I found droves of caseless iPhone crusaders: Fans claiming that utilizing a bare iPhone is the one option to expertise the best-known client tech product on the planet.


“This cellphone [iPhone 12] is simply too attractive to cover away,” said one Reddit user in response to a query about going case or caseless.

“I’m rocking it bare. Bought AppleLook after peace of thoughts,” wrote one other individual on Reddit. “Ceramic coming in clutch,” the submit stated, referring to Apple’s Ceramic Shield, which the corporate stated provides 4 occasions higher drop safety than the iPhone 12’s predecessor had. 

Read extra: See the outcomes of our iPhone 12 drop check, iPhone 12 Mini drop check and iPhone 12 water resistance check.

Former CNET contributor Chris Matyszczyk put it this manner: “You do not buy a BMW and canopy it in black rubber, do you? … You do not buy a Prada purse after which wrap it in pink cling movie simply to verify not one of the corners get scratched.”

Sarah Tew/CNET

Encased iPhones

Tucking your iPhone “safely” into a case is a norm woven into the material of world smartphone tradition. Take a have a look at the protecting cellphone case trade, which is already value billions and is projected to broaden alongside cellphone possession. Add nonstop advertising and marketing into the combination, and it begins to really feel like cocooning your iPhone in a case is an absolute necessity. The selections are limitless: There are shock-resistant circumstances, eco-friendly circumstances, circumstances with sparkly purple dinosaurs, circumstances fancied by Miley Cyrus, 3D-printed circumstances you can also make full with a photograph of your individual canine — in the event you’re so inclined — and so forth. 

But this lifestyle did not come out of nowhere. (*13*) your iPhone has melded into our mainstream tradition for legit causes, after all: Nobody desires to danger their iPhone’s destruction (most are simply too costly), and everybody desires to preemptively save time, cash and assets. Despite all that, I nonetheless imagine iPhones are greatest skilled with out a case. (And sure, I completely acknowledge this way of life selection is not going to attraction to the pragmatic — an uncased iPhone in all probability sounds outrageous — but it surely may make sense to the purists of this world.)

Read extra: Not satisfied? These are one of the best circumstances for iPhone 12 and listed below are one of the best iPhone 13 circumstances.

In current years, Apple has invested tens of billions on analysis and design, of which a portion has gone towards fastidiously crafting the luxurious feel and look of every 12 months’s iPhone. It’s additionally straightforward to neglect that Apple employs groups to check its iPhones to verify they’re designed to perfection, even when they do not fairly get there. The actuality is iPhones are sturdier than ever, too. Apple’s ceramic-glass shielding, which debuted with the iPhone 12, went above and past expectations, defending the {hardware} from drops as excessive as 9 toes. (Take a have a look at the outcomes of CNET’s iPhone 12 drop check in the event you need extra proof.)

Also, circumstances do not essentially assure full safety. In reality, in line with some insiders, many broken-phone claims reportedly are made about iPhones that had been in circumstances. Just take a have a look at Amazon critiques for sure extremely protecting circumstances and you will see a smattering of critiques from individuals who broke their cellphone within the first week of utilizing a case. 

Read extra: Stop shopping for breakable telephones, and you will not even need a case anymore

Case for the caseless iPhone

After doing analysis, I made the knowledgeable choice to go caseless. Here’s what I’m having fun with: the lightness, thinness, portability and in-hand really feel. I’m additionally appreciating that I can now reap the benefits of Back Tap extra simply. (To make certain, it labored after I used an iPhone case, however I observed I needed to faucet barely tougher with my case.) I’ve programmed it to carry out duties like launching TikTookay and taking screenshots. And guess what? Because of this way of life selection, I’ve developed into a extra cautious human being. Will that transcend into different components of my life? Maybe. 

Still, the caseless iPhone way of life — though far superior to the encased expertise — hasn’t been good. As it turned out, I had sacrificed peace of thoughts. I hadn’t totally accepted the danger related to carrying a caseless iPhone round Hong Kong. Anxiety over my iPhone 12 Pro Max slipping then crashing down onto rock-hard flooring hit me in waves some days (even when I do have AppleCare). My Pro Max, which options a matte end, remains to be fairly slippery. 

Then, as I made my option to a charming Hong Kong seaside, I nervous about grains of sand infiltrating my iPhone’s stainless-steel chassis — no matter its IP 68 score, indicating it is each dust- and waterproof. 

“Don’t underestimate the form of harm even a single grain of sand can do to your iPhone,” my rational interior voice cautioned, but once more.

Maybe the caseless life wasn’t for me, in spite of everything. So I made a decision to combine it up and swing for one of the best of each worlds.

Now I save the case for higher-risk actions like hitting the seaside and climbing trails, and for after I finally hop aboard an airplane. For lower-risk shenanigans like hanging out at residence, heading to my neighborhood haunts or catching up with my girlfriends over dinner, I can benefit from the iPhone the way in which Apple meant. Complete with double faucets on the again. 

Perhaps the “proper” means for me is not about dwelling a pro- or anti-case life, or about being divided between case-haves and have-nots — however as a substitute it is taking a hybrid strategy, the place case and caseless days can peacefully coexist.

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