Apple Leather Case (iPhone 11 Pro)
Colors: Saddle brown, black, red, forest green, lemon, midnight blue,
Highlights: Apple itself makes one of the thinnest leather cases around, and unlike many other cases in this category, this case has plastic tactile buttons grooved into the sides so you’re always certain that you’re making contact with the side or volume buttons. Other cases are typically made from one slab of leather, so you often have to feel your way around in order to find the buttons. As a bonus, Apple’s cases come in a wide variety of colors. Apple’s leather case is so thin and smooth that it hardly looks like leather—at least at first. If you get the saddle brown model in particular, it’ll develop an attractive patina within a few months.
As with most leather cases, though, there’s a substantial gap in the leather along the bottom (where you’ll find the speakers and Lightning port)—although the corners remain protected. If you drop your phone just right, all the protection around the rest of the phone will end up meaning little at all. Unfortunately, Apple does not make leather cases for the regular iPhone 11.
Woolnut Leather Case
- iPhone 11: $38.00 (estimated)
- iPhone 11 Pro: $38.00 (estimated)
- iPhone 11 Pro Max: $44.00 (estimated)
Colors: Cognac, black, green
Highlights: Apple’s case is so smooth that it doesn’t really look like leather at first. If you want a great leather case that’s unmistakably leather and also works as a minor conversation piece, then check out Woolnut’s cases. They’re made from vegetable-tanned full-grain leather from Scandinavia, they have a microfiber lining inside, and each case has a grippy texture. And unlike Apple’s case, you can even get it for the regular iPhone 11.
As a slight downside, this is one of those cases that only has subtly raised grooves for the side buttons, and it’s also a tad thicker than Apple’s leather case. It also doesn’t offer much protection for the bottom of the iPhone, but as we said above, that’s to be expected with iPhone cases. Still, I slightly prefer it over Apple's case. Unfortunately, as these cases ship from Europe, you’ll also have to pay approximately $8 minimum for shipping.
Mujjo Leather Case
Colors: Black, blue, tan, alpine green
Highlights: Mujjo’s case is a lot like Apple’s own leather case. It’s thin, light, and it comes in a variety of colors. It also fits tightly—and for that matter, it feels much like Apple’s own case. It’s even a bit grippier.
The main difference is that, while the buttons are raised on the sides, they’re still made from the same leather as the rest of the case. As you may have read above, Apple includes separate tactile buttons on the sides of its leather cases. Mujjo’s buttons are prominent enough that they feel as though they’re separate from the rest of the case, but they definitely require some extra effort to press. This resistance may soften over time as the leather gets more supple, but it will take some getting used to.
Nomad Rugged Case
Colors: Brown, black
Highlights: The exterior of Nomad’s Rugged Case is mostly leather, although it has a black rubber TPE band that surrounds the exterior for some extra damage protection if you drop it. The polycarbonate body is tough enough to survive six-foot drops (and feels like it).
My favorite thing about this case, though, is the Horween leather Nomad uses, which will develop a patina over several months that will especially give your case some rugged good looks. If you’d like to keep your phone hooked up to a lanyard on a hiking trip, Nomad left subtle slots on either side of the speakers for attaching one.
Best wallet cases
Some of us like to carry everything in one convenient bundle, and that’s where the wallet case comes in. The cases here typically have one or two slots for carrying credit cards—usually inside in a folio cover that doubles as extra protection for your iPhone’s display.
Bella Fino Edition Wallet Case
Colors: Brown and blue, black and purple, black and gray, whiskey and blue, whiskey and green
Highlights: If there are “classics” of iPhone case design, surely Pad & Quill’s Bella Fino full-grain leather iPhone case counts among them. This year’s version looks much as the same as it ever did, although P&Q now lets you freely switch between eight different buyable elastic bands.
You’ll also get four slots for cards on the 11 and 11 Pro models (and five for the Pro Max), as well as a lengthwise cash slot and a display window for your ID. Also, I love the ampersand logo stamped into the Bella Fino’s back spine.
OtterBox Strada Folio Case
Colors: Black, espresso
Highlights: If you want a minimalist wallet case with a degree of the same protection you get from OtterBox’s tanky normal cases, check out the Strada Folio. Your phone sits in a case with a polycarbonate back and rubber edges, and the leather flap stays closed with the help of a magnet that meets with a metal tab on the right side of the main case.
Inside, you’ll find two card slots, including a “window” for sliding out your ID card with your thumb. And that’s about it. You’ll find no pocket for cash, and the slots are so tight that you’ll only get around two cards in there. This is a good case, but don’t expect to stuff it.
Best charging cases
By all accounts, the new iPhones have phenomenal battery life—but sometimes you still need a bit of extra oomph. These cases help ensure your phone still has a charge when you need one most. Review units are still scant for this category, so look for more updates in the future!
Apple Smart Battery Case with Wireless Charging
Colors: Black, white. Pink sand (for Pro models only)
Highlights: There’s a camera button on the side of Apple’s new Smart Battery Case, which grants instant access to the camera app without having to swipe on your screen. We found that Apple’s claim of the case delivering 50 percent of your phone’s battery life is right on the money. As with Apple’s previous smart cases, you can see the case’s precise charge though the Notifications panel in iOS, and you only need the single Lightning port to charge both the case and your phone. The case also charges wirelessly and features a durable and grippy silicone shell, although it’s worth wondering if that silicone will hold up with heavy use. It’s pricey at $129, but it’s also our favorite battery case option for the iPhone 11. Read much more about it in our review.
Pelican Protector EMS Case + Battery
Battery cases tend to make me feel as though I’m stuffing a brick in my jeans. Pelican’s case works around that issue with the help of a 20,000-mAh magnetic battery pack you attach to the Protector’s magnetic backside (which is also used for Pelican’s Easy Mount System). It uses wireless charging, so you simply attach the pack when you need the extra juice—and Pelican says it can deliver up to 38 percent of extra battery life. Unfortunately, the magnet is the only thing aside from your hand keeping the pack on the case, so you’ll have to make sure you don’t accidentally knock it off.
On its own, the case Protector case is sturdy, shock-absorbent, and grippy, but the magnetic battery is the true star. At the moment, it’s one of the only battery cases on the market.
Mophie Juice Pack Access Wireless Charging Battery Case
Colors: Black, blush pink, red
Highlights: Mophie is one of the best-known names in charging devices, and its Juice Pack Access is an affordable alternative to Apple’s own Smart Battery Case. It looks very similar, in fact, and I found it delivered a bit more battery life than Apple’s case (although it still won’t reach a full charge). You can choose when to turn on the backup battery with this case, which is an option Apple’s case doesn’t allow. For other differences, you’ll have to look at LED lights on the case’s rear in order to see how much juice you can still access, and you have to split the case in two before you can put it on your phone. (Apple’s case is in one piece.) There’s also no protection along the bottom of the case, and if you don’t charge the Juice Pack Access wirelessly, you’ll need to charge it with a separate USB-C cable. Considering that it’s around $50 cheaper than Apple’s case, though, it’s easy to live with these limitations.
iPhone sleeves offer a middle ground for folks who want to keep their phones protected and who want to enjoy their iPhones in all their flashy naked glory. Just reminder: A sleeve offers no protection once your phone is out of it.
WaterField Designs Executive Leather iPhone Sleeve
Colors: Black bison, chocolate
Highlights: If you prefer sleeves instead of cases, you should check out WaterField Designs’ Executive Leather iPhone Sleeve. It comes in both black bison leather and chocolate (regular cow) leather, and each variety has a handy hole at the bottom for charging your phone without removing the sleeve. If you spend $5 more for the carabiner option, your sleeve will have a small leather loop with a carabiner for attaching the sleeve to bags, belts, or other items.
Best kickstand cases
Cases are great for protecting your iPhone from bumps and bruises, but they're even better when they can add a feature that will always come in handy. These cases will keep your iPhone free from scratches and also let you prop it up when you want to watch a movie or make a call.