I upgraded to an iPhone 13 Pro this year, and was confronted with the case dilemma.
TL;DR : the Totallee Matte Frosted Clear is my new everyday case.
July 2022: This post has been revisited in “iPhone 13 Pro case (revisited)” with Peak Design’s Everyday Case.
Do I need a case?
I don’t like wrapping my phone in a case, but iPhones have been way too slippery of late (since the naked robotic core of the iPhone 6), so I’m always on the lookout for a thin case that feels good to the touch, adds that missing grippiness, while not getting in the way and provides a minimum of protection without disfiguring its design.
I was hoping that the return of the squared edges would provide sufficient grippiness to avoid using a case at all, but alas…
My favourite case of late has been the Mason Aramid case. Super slim, grippy to the touch (but slides in and out nicely of your pocket) and shock resistant. It’s not the prettiest case on the block, but it served my needs down to a tee. So, I ordered one for my new phone.
But as it took ages to be delivered, I tried out a few more that were recommended to me in the meantime. As usual, only Apple’s cases were available on day 1, so I ordered a selection to try out.
- Apple Silicone Case with MagSafe - (PRODUCT)RED
- Apple Max Leather Case with MagSafe - Golden Brown
- Nudient v3 - Pine Green
- Totallee Super Thin Case Matte - Frosted Clear
- Pitaka MagEZ Case 2 - Matte Black
- Mason Aramid Fiber iPhone Case - Matte Black
Mind the edges
The main issue I discovered using aramid fibre cases with the square edges of the current iPhone design is that the edges are rough and unpleasant to the touch. Especially when you run your finger over it to swipe the screen. This wasn’t the case with the round edges design.
All the cases below work perfectly with MagSafe, by either providing a ring of magnets in the case, or by their super thin design.
The Apple MagSafe design ones fit the phone perfectly, as usual, and provide it with a good deal of protection, but make the phone to big to my taste. The edges are pleasant to touch, nice and rounded, but large. The buttons feel sturdy and strong. Colour wise, the silicone red is striking, I love it, but is a bit too grippy to carry in your jeans pocket. It gathers up a lot of lint too… The leather version slips in and out a bit better but makes the phone feel to large in my opinion.
I’ll be keeping the silicone one for when I go out on the boat as it protect it really well, but I won’t be wearing it on a daily basis. I returned the leather one.
The Nudient v3 case is well designed and fits perfectly and I like the feel of it. I had trouble choosing a colour and went with the pine green which pops out less than the screenshots. Maybe I should have chosen the Saffron Yellow, but we already have a similar colour in the family and it might be confusing. The button cut outs fit perfectly and give it a nice look. The edges are thin and feel good to the touch.
If it wasn’t for the colour, I may have gone for this case. The Nudient logo is discrete enough, but I don’t love it.
The Matte Frosted Clear case is one of my all time favourites, and the one I am using now. It looks and feels smashing, especially on a white iPhone. It provides the extra grippiness you need not to drop your phone, slides easily in and out of your pocket and offers smooth edge to the touch. I was immediately impressed by the case. The button cutouts are super precise, and it works perfectly with a MagSafe charger thanks to its thinness. It reminds me a bit of Mason’s M3 line - in better.
This case doesn’t get in the way of the phone’s design, and shows it off beautifully.
4/ Pitaka Aramid Fibre
I was seduced by the cutout of Pitaka’s case, which turns around the buttons and offers an edge free bottom of the screen. It fits well on the phone, but the edges are way sharp and unpleasant, which is a deal breaker for me. I returned it.
5/ Mason Aramid Fibre
Sadly, the same goes with the Mason case. They didn’t find a way to reduce the sharpness of the edges. I am willing to trade the look (aramid fibre is ugly) for resistance, but the feel of the case must be a nice experience. Moreover, the button cutouts were off center on the power button side. I returned it.
On a side note, it seems that Mason’s website doesn’t always display the correct images. A number of shots for the 13 Pro display round edges, which is weird, to say the least.
In the end
I’m thrilled to have discovered the Totallee Matte Frosted Clear and have been using it for the last month. I kept the red Apple Silicone and the Nudient, but returned all the others.
Update: I experienced a real world drop test coming home the other night. I stumbled on a stair walking home, and my phone slipped out of my hand, fell on its top right corner, and bounced a couple of times before smashing face down on the marble stair.
The phone doesn’t have a single scratch and the screen is unscathed. The case on the other hand displays two small scratches on the front edges and a crack on the top. They are hardly visible, but you can feel them with your finger.
I am amazed by the level of protection this super thin case provided.
Highly recommended A+++