The Official Apple iPhone 12 mini Silicone Case with MagSafe Review

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Apple has been making first party iPhone cases for several years by now, but I have largely steered clear of buying them due to their higher prices and lack of full coverage of the body (iPhone 6 to 11 cases). They offer less than ideal protection, does not show off the beauty of the iPhone body, and cost 2 to 5 times the prices of the most popular iPhone cases on the market. To me the official Apple cases were a no go.

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Full Protection

With the introduction of the iPhone 12, and the return to a iPhone 5-like form factor, the Apple official cases now cover the phone bodies completely. On top of that, they officially support MagSafe, enhancing the strength of the hold of the MagSafe Charger to the phone. The Apple cases also now show an interesting animation on the display when they are put on the iPhones, with their colours reflected in the animation, The iPhone 12 Apple cases are therefore quite a bit better than their predecessors. However, they also carry a higher price tag.

I managed to purchase an official Apple Silicon Case for the iPhone 12 mini in Dark Navy at a price lower than the MSRP. After using it for more than a month, I have some thoughts.

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Liquid Silicone

The official Apple Silicone cases are made of a material called liquid silicone, which gives it a very rubbery feel, increasing the grip when you hold the phone in your hand, but also picks up lint every time the phone is in your pocket. They are quite a bit different from most of the other cases in the market, which typically use TPU, Polycarbonate, or a combination of both. There is also a microfibre lining on the inside, presumably to keep the back of your iPhone clean when it is inside the case.

More problems than solutions?

I find the rubbery surface both extremely helpful in maintaining my grip, but also extremely uncomfortable to touch. The microfibre lining may also trap dust and make it harder to clean, causing scratches over time as the trapped dust rubs against the back of the phone. It is

First Party MagSafe

I like the hold of the magnets to the MagSafe charger, as it is way stronger than when I was using the iPhone 12 mini with the Spigen Ultra Hybrid (TPU sides with Polycarbonate back). The Apple MagSafe Wallet will likely be more secured with the MagSafe case than with a random third party case. The stronger hold also means that it will work with chargers that are meant to hold the iPhone suspended in mid air by MagSafe, like the Belkin 3-in-1 wireless charger with MagSafe.

Conclusion

Will I buy another one? Yes, if I can get it at a discounted price, definitely. Will I recommend it for everyone? It really depends. For most people the MagSafe ecosystem is not a necessity, and diving into it requires a bunch of spare cash. Third party cases with MagSafe-like magnets built in can be a cheaper alternative, but the quality control on those are suspect, as online reviews have shown that more than a few have less than ideal magnet strength. The iPhone 12 works with normal Qi chargers, and MagSafe is ultimately a nice to have, at least until the time when Apple removes the Lightning port from the iPhones.


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