Apple iPhone 8 cases review: 13 cases tested

Alex Kidman 11 October 2017

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Keep your iPhone 8 or iPhone 8 Plus safe and with one of these 13 stylish cases, built to suit every need.

Apple boasts of the durability of the glass on both sides of the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, alongside its water resistance rating, but don't be fooled, or for that matter, foolish. Nobody wants to drop or break a mobile phone, but it still happens with alarming regularity. When it does, you're often facing down a hefty screen repair bill, or possibly even the price of a new handset entirely.

That's where it makes sense to invest in a case for your shiny new iPhone. Not only will it protect it from breaks, it'll also protect against smaller scuffs and marks that could affect its sale value when and if you choose to get rid of it, as well as adding your own individual style to your phone. But which case should you buy?

We've tested 13 different iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus cases to see what they offer, taking a look at protection, style and their ability to work with the new Qi wireless charging found in each iPhone model.

One factor we noticed was that many vendors are offering up the same cases as they did for the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. Not just the same designs, but the same cases relabelled for iPhone 8/Plus compatibility. There are very small physical changes between generations, thanks to the glass back and Qi charging, but older cases should fit if you're transitioning from the iPhone 7/Plus generation.

Apple iPhone 8/Plus leather case

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RRP: $69/$75
Apple makes its own branded cases for the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, and as you'd expect they're style-centric rather than overly protective.

The upside here is that they're light and easy to take on and off if you switch between styles frequently, and not shockingly, they work quite well with Qi wireless charging. The downside is that you do pay the Apple premium in terms of pricing for what are quite simple cases, and the overall protective value is fairly low.

Incipio Rebecca Minkoff Glow Selfie Case

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RRP: $99.95
The Glow Selfie case is genuinely like no other.

Its actual protection should be reasonable, because it's quite a thick case, and it's also one for the extrovert crowd, thanks to its angular and reflective back. Its party piece, however, is the battery powered glowing edges, which switch on via a button at the back.

You'd have to remember to keep it charged, but if you wanted a way to really stand out in the crowd, the Glow Selfie case would certainly do that, lighting your selfies slightly along the way. You do however have to give up on wireless charging completely, as there's an entire battery between the iPhone 8's charging coils and any Qi charger.

Incipio Reprieve Sport Protective Case With Reinforced Corners

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RRP: $39.95
Most case makers offer simple clear cases, and this is Incipio's take on it. It's not a style case to speak of because the idea is that your own iPhone 8 colour shines through, but that also makes it a nice, low fuss option.

The corners of the case have their own rubberised shoulder pads for just a little bit more protection, although predictably an angular face-first drop isn't going to be terribly well protected. Being thin and light, there's no issue with Qi wireless charging when using this case.

Tech21 Evo Check for iPhone 8

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RRP: $49.95

Tech21's cases tend to rely on the inclusion of specific shock absorbent material to give the phone within the best possible fighting chance of survival when there's a drop, and the Evo Check is no different, with a three-layer structure for phone protection.

It's also got a nicely rubberised back which gives the iPhone 8 decent grip that's simply not present when you're grabbing its glass back. Its protective layers were thin enough to allow Qi charging through as well.

Otterbox Commuter for iPhone 8 Plus

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RRP: $49.95 (iPhone 8) /$64.95 (iPhone 8 Plus)

The Commuter case isn't notably stylish, but then it's built much more for protection, with a two-layer structure that comprises a hard plastic outer and soft rubber internal structure.

Installation is a little trickier, as it often is with protective cases, but it's not as bulky as some options. Despite its thicker structure, Qi charging went through without a hitch.

Otterbox Strada Folio for iPhone 8

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RRP: $64.95 (iPhone 8) /$84.95 (iPhone 8 Plus)

Folio cases represent an interesting halfway point between style and protection, simply because the folio section quite naturally protects the phone screen.

Otterbox's Strada Folio has a nicely conservative style that doesn't massively hamper productivity, given that it has specific indents on the side for the volume control, although you do have to open it up to reach the mute switch. The front folio attaches magnetically with a pleasing clunk, and the case allows Qi charging to pass through without issues.

Incipio Kate Spade Lace Cage Case for iPhone 8

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RRP: $59.95

Take a fairly standard clear case and imprint it with a lacy, possibly slightly suggestive inlay, and you've got the Incipio Kate Spade Lace Cage Case for iPhone 8. That's not necessarily a bad thing because those clear cases can look a little like you've just wrapped a condom around your phone.

Having a dash of style (as long as you like lace patterns) is no real problem, and you're at least adding a little protection to your precious iPhone 8. As with other thinner cases, there was no particular issue with Qi charging using the Incipio Kate Spade Lace Cage Case for iPhone 8.

Otterbox Symmetry for iPhone 8

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RRP: $49.95 (iPhone 8)/$64.95 (iPhone 8 Plus)

Apple doesn't make a two-tone aqua iPhone, but if it did, I imagine it would look something like Otterbox's Symmetry case. It's moderately thick for a phone case, pushing the iPhone 8 back into the kind of sizes you might have used when you had an iPhone 3G, but that should give it slightly better protective qualities.

Despite its slightly bulkier girth, it presented no challenge for Qi charging and could be a good match for the more accident-prone iPhone user.

3SIXT Rose Gold Jelly+ Case

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RRP: $19.95

The Rose Gold Jelly+ Case might just be the thinnest and lightest case we've tested, which is great if you hate bulky cases, or for that matter, if you want to add a very definite rose gold tint to the side of your iPhone 8, no matter what colour you, in fact, opted for.

The obvious downside is that it's markedly less protective than many other cases because there's simply less of it. It should protect against small scuffs and scratches, but don't expect much out of it for heavier drops. Naturally, there was no issue with Qi charging with such a slender case.

3SIXT Touch Case for iPhone 8

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RRP: $29.95

The 3SIXT Touch Case is very, very close in design and style terms to Apple's own in-house cases, although with a slightly more slick back than the official Apple ones.

As such the play here is style, not a great deal of protection beyond simple scuffs or scratches, but that does mean that it's light, unobtrusive and fully compliant with Qi charging.

3SIXT Neocase for iPhone 6s/7/8 Plus

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RRP: $39.95
Apple's use of a generic design across recent iPhone generations means that many manufacturers have simply relabelled older cases for the iPhone 8/Plus generation, although there are very small changes in thickness due to the glass back. Most cases should work, and clearly 3SIXT figures its Neocase is one that should work across multiple iPhone generations.

It's a combination card holder and phone case, with the actual case being a simple plastic frame that magnetically attaches within the broader wallet section of the case. That gives it good potential protection from most angles when fully enclosed, as well as the ability to pop out as a very simple plastic frame case if desired. The downside of that magnetically latched case is that it totally blocks any Qi charging, either within the case or even as the lighter plastic frame.

3SIXT Card & Case Stand for iPhone 7/8 Plus

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RRP: $24.95
The 3SIXT Card & Case Stand for iPhone 7/8 Plus is a relatively plain but solid case with the added quirk of a foldout stand at the rear that also allows storage of a card behind the phone itself.

With no card in place, Qi charging wasn't affected, but it's feasible some card types or thicknesses could impact your wireless charging capabilities. Basic protection was very good, and access to all buttons was solid with this case.

Otterbox Defender for iPhone 7/8 Plus

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RRP: $74.95 (iPhone 8)/$89.95 (iPhone 8 Plus)

Some folks need basic protection for an iPhone, while others need something that's a little more extreme. Whether that's because you're taking your phone into more hazardous environments, be it a mine or a schoolyard, or whether you're just tragically accident-prone is up to you, but there's a reason why Otterbox calls its most durable case the Defender.

It's the Luke Cage of iPhone 8 Plus cases, which means it's very solid, with multiple layers and an angular belt clip to boot. There's no rapid way to install an iPhone 8 Plus into the Otterbox Defender case, but then this is a VERY heavy duty case, and that's the point. Surprisingly, as long as you don't have the belt clip part installed, Qi charging still works when the Otterbox Defender is wrapped around your iPhone 8 Plus.

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