How to protect your iPhone 12: from cases to damage cover

Here's how to keep your gorgeous iPhone 12 pristine no matter what the world throws at it/you

iPhone 12 case
(Image credit: Apple)

Apple’s new iPhone 12 models are the fastest, most powerful, desirable iPhones ever made, and yours is bound to become your constant companion. After all, your iPhone isn’t just a phone, it’s the centre of your digital life. And that means it’s more important than ever to ensure that you don’t lose it, break it or have it stolen. 

Apple’s latest iPhone is the toughest iPhone it’s ever built, but even Apple can’t ensure that your phone won’t ever be damaged, lost or stolen. As a result we think it’s very wise to take a few precautions in order to protect one of your most important – and valuable – possessions.

iPhone 12 screen protectors

The first and simplest kind of protection is physical protection. The new Ceramic Shield glass in the iPhone 12 is tougher than other smartphone glass, but it’s still glass – and that means it can scratch or even shatter. 

Screen protectors have saved many iPhone screens for us, and we’ve found tempered glass ones particularly effective: they’ve ensured that even after heart-stopping iPhone drops that smashed the screen protector, the iPhone itself remained in perfect condition. 

There are lots of tempered glass screen protectors to choose from but we really rate the Spigen Tempered Glass Screen Protector, which includes a handy plastic alignment frame so you can get the screen positioned perfectly.

Spigen iPhone cases

(Image credit: Spigen)

iPhone 12 cases

When it comes to cases, iPhone owners tend to fall into two camps: the devil-may-care no-case brigade and those of us who’ve learnt the hard way that cases protect not just the phone but its resale value too. 

There are lots of different case styles and there are pros and cons to each kind. The thinnest, most elegant cases generally provide the least protection, while the most heavy-duty ones can be rather military-looking and add significant bulk. There’s definitely a trade-off between protection and size/weight, and things can start getting a bit silly with rugged cases for the larger iPhone models such as the iPhone 12 Pro and the iPhone 12 Pro Max. Then again, when you’re spending all that money on Apple’s most expensive iPhones, putting them in something that looks and is built like the Batmobile might not be a bad idea.

Materials matter too. Some plastics can be a bit cheap looking, so colour choice can matter a lot here. Leather cases look brilliant but do change in appearance as they get scratched and age (we love the effect but we know some people don’t). 

There are lots and lots of case manufacturers to choose from, and we’ve had great results from the likes of Spigen, Casetify, Belkin and Mous, all of whom offer iPhone 12 models already… but with a catch.

At the moment, third-party iPhone 12 cases don’t fully support the new MagSafe  connector. Many won't interfere with the MagSafe charging connector, but don't give the full MagSafe experience. It’ll be a short while before other manufacturers offer MagSafe cases; if you want full MagSafe use, the best options for now are Apple’s own Silicone and Clear cases and its Leather Wallet, all with MagSafe.

iPhone 12

(Image credit: Apple)

iPhone 12: Is AppleCare+ worth it?

Apple offers another form of protection: AppleCare+. While every iPhone has a warranty to protect you from hardware failure, you’re not protected from accidental damage. With AppleCare+ you are. A bit.

AppleCare+ enables you to claim up for up to two accidents every year, and the excesses are fairly low: it’s $29 / £25 / AU$45 for a screen repair and $99 / £79 / AU$149 for other damage. 

Given the high price of genuine Apple repairs it’s not a bad investment, not least because it means you’re not going to be tempted to get your iPhone 12 fixed by someone who might not necessarily deliver the same repair quality as Apple, but there’s one big drawback: unlike smartphone insurance policies AppleCare+ doesn’t protect you for loss in the UK or Australia (you can upgrade AppleCare+ in the US to include cover for loss; the excess for that is $149) and you may not be covered for what Apple calls “catastrophic damage”. 

Given the high price of genuine Apple repairs it’s not a bad investment, not least because it means you’re not going to be tempted to get your iPhone 12 fixed by someone who might not necessarily deliver the same repair quality as Apple, but there’s one big drawback: unlike smartphone insurance policies, you’re not protected for loss or and you may not be covered for what Apple calls “catastrophic damage”.

iPhone 12: insurance considerations

Dedicated phone or gadget insurance often provides cover that AppleCare+ doesn’t, and the policies are usually much more phone-friendly than standard home policies. In recent years we’ve suffered what we’re pretty sure Apple would call “catastrophic damage” and our insurers provided us with replacement devices without fuss or huge excesses. 

The biggest benefit of phone insurance is that it covers you for total loss or theft. When you consider that you’re strolling around with a phone worth the high hundreds or even into the thousands, losing your iPhone 12 without insurance means shelling out all that money again for another iPhone – and if you’ve bought yours on Apple Card, on other finance or as part of a contract, you’ll be doing it while you’re still paying off a phone you no longer have.

Insurance is one of those things you pay for in the hope that you’ll never need to use it – but if you do need it, you’ll be really glad you have it.

The best approach to finding insurance will depend on your own circumstances, and where you are. Some network providers will offer it, sometimes it's included as a bonus with bank accounts or other schemes, and it your home insurance may even cover it.