With each new iPhone that’s released comes a wave of new cases to flood the market. Despite the two new models – the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus – being the same size as their respective predecessors, there have still been advances in the case market, from new entrants offering fresh takes on the materials and designs used, to improvements on existing ranges.
Here, we’ve focused on three main criteria in assessing the best options out there: the level of protection they provide, how they look and fit onto the phone, and whether or not they allow the phone to remain fully functional (that is, all ports and buttons can still be easily accessed). We’ve also considered covers that showcase the phone itself, given that Apple's latest iteration comes in five colours.
Each of the cases we’ve featured below is designed to fit the iPhone 7, but they’re all available in the larger size too.
1. Mujjo Leather Wallet Case for iPhone 7: £34.99, Mobile Fun
If you want a case to be able to store your essential cards – credit cards, driving license and the like – then usually you’d have to opt for a folio-style case, which brings inevitable bulk. However, this case from Dutch brand Mujjo has the card pouch on the back of the case, securely storing two or three cards. The case itself is made from vegetable-tanned leather, and is flexible enough to absorb the impact if you drop it. Ships worldwide.
2. Apple iPhone 7 Leather Case: £45, Apple
You can’t go wrong with a case designed by the same people who designed the phone itself. Made using soft French leather on the outside and with a microfibre lining that is kind to surface of your phone, the case feels sleek and light, while the buttons are still fully accessible. It’s available in seven different block colours.
3. Anita Ivancenko Winter Forest/Mountains Phone Case: £16, Etsy
Illustrator Anita Ivancenko says that owning one of her cases is like “having a piece of art in your pocket” - and we agree. Choose from bold, monochrome geometric patterns or nature-inspired shapes in muted hues. Our pick is this wintery design – decide for yourself whether you want it to be mountains or trees. Each case is made to order and they have a glossy finish.
4. Knomo iPhone 7 Premium Folio: £45, Knomo
Knomo specialises in classy, well-thought-out bags, and it extends this expertise into the world of iPhone cases. This leather case has the added protective bonus of a front cover for your screen, which also has space to comfortably house two or three cards. The buttons and speakers aren’t at all obscured and so retain full functionality. Available in four earthy colours.
5. Griffin Survivor Clear: £19.98, Amazon
A lot of cases can completely mask the design of the phone itself, but not so with this from Griffin. The polycarbonate material is completely see-through, although the ridged edges still give it a look of rigidity. It’ll protect your phone from the usual drop height – Griffin claims up to 4ft – without adding too much bulk. It’s scratch-resistant, too.
6. OtterBox Defender: £33.31, Amazon
This American brand is renowned for its rugged and rigorously tested (each case goes through over 230 hours of assessment to prove its worth) protective cases, with the Defender among its best. The series has continued to cater for the iPhone 7, with a tough polycarbonate shell. It’s hardly the most stylish on our list, but if it’s protection you’re after, opt for OtterBox.
7. Spigen Armor CS Slim Fit: £24.45, Amazon
If you’re not inclined to always carry a wallet around, this case has a slide-away compartment at the back which allows you to store two cards – while only adding an additional couple of millimetres to the thickness of your phone. The fit is reassuringly tight, thanks to a mix of hard polycarbonate exterior and shock-absorbing TPU interior.
8. Snugg iPhone 7 Flip Case Cover in Black Leather: £9.99, Amazon
Real leather cases come at a price, but if it’s the look you’re after more than anything, there are less expensive, faux-leather options out there. At less than a tenner, this flip case is one of the best value options, providing inner pockets for cards and cash and leaving the buttons helpfully exposed for easy access. It’s available in eight colours, ranging from the reserved black to the eye-catching pink.
9. HB London Personalised Palm Print Initial Phone Case: From £34, HB London
You might have seen Victoria Beckham carrying a glossy black phone case monogrammed with her initials. It’s the work of new accessories brand HB London that specialises in glam personalised cases. You get a snap-on hard case, in a gloss or matt finish with initials in bold letters. There are marble-effect offerings in a big selection of colours, but we like the tropical-themed range, which includes this eye-catching palm print design. We’ve been using ours for a few weeks and it still looks as shiny as when it came out the box. Our only gripe is that it fits on so snugly, we broke a few nails trying to get it off.
10. Native Union Clic Crystal: £29.99, Native Union
Want to show off your new phone? Native Union is known for its design-led mobile accessories made from quality materials. The brand makes superior wooden and marble cases featuring its distinctive slash design in a contrasting colour. Those are back for the new iPhones, as well as this clear, scratch-resistant case with the coloured panel. Choose from four muted colours, including this smart green.
The Verdict: iPhone 7 cases
For a sleek-looking leather option, we like Mujjo’s case with its handy card holder. If it’s a rugged case you’re after, go for OtterBox’s tough Defender. Anyone after a well-priced, more unusual design, check out Anita Ivancenko’s illustrated cases.
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