iPhone XS accessory round-up: 23 cases, screens, chargers and more compared
Make the most out of your iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max or iPhone XR with our round-up of the best accessories.
Apple iPhone XS
Apple's most advanced smartphone
The iPhone XS is Apple's vision of what the future of smartphones looks like. Get yours today.
This isn't so much a call to fashion as it is an appeal to common sense because with a decent case, screen protector and charging solution, you can turn Apple's greatest handsets into real powerhouses, all while protecting your investment in what are some pretty pricey phones.
iPhone XS Cases
Casemate Barely There
Pros: As the name suggests, this is an ultra-slim case that's as much about adding a new colour to your iPhone XS/Max as it is about protecting it from scratches. On the upside, all ports and buttons are completely unobstructed and there really isn't anything to get in the way of wireless charging either.
Cons: Being barely there means that it's only really good for protecting the rear casing from scratches and not much else.
Casemate The Protection Collection
Pros: This is a two-part case, with an internal bumper case that you put on your iPhone before slotting it into the larger external protective case. As such, it's a good protection option, with a claimed 12-foot drop protection capability. Despite its larger bulk, there were no wireless-charging issues.
Cons: It's a much larger case and this makes the iPhone XS Max particularly big in the hand. The lightning port and mute switch on a phone in this case are buried deep and can be tough to access.
Casemate Tough Clear
Pros: The Tough Clear case has a tinted look that gives your iPhone a vaguely 80s disco theme, if that appeals. Access to ports and buttons is good and there were no wireless-charging issues.
Cons: It's a definite style play and one that might not suit your personal taste. The back of the case is also rather slippery, which isn't ideal for a protective case.
Pros: If you want to show off the best of Apple's design, then a complicated style case isn't for you. The Pureflex is an entirely transparent case that still affords decent protection and access to wireless charging in a non-fussy way.
Cons: Being clear, if the case itself does get scratched, it's going to look really obvious. It's also just a little bit slippery at the back.
Pros: Wallet-style cases have existed for years and are a good choice if you only have a few cards and never carry cash money. The folio style also means that they generally do a very good job of protecting your iPhone, front and back.
Cons: Not shockingly, adding a full wallet getup to your iPhone will add a lot of bulk to its existence, although arguably less than carrying a full wallet and an iPhone XS.
Tech21 Evoluxe Active Edition
Pros: The Evoluxe is a colourful and eye-catching case, so you're much less likely to lose your phone or misidentify it. It also has a slightly grippy back, making it easier to keep hold of your precious iPhone XS or iPhone XS Max.
Cons: The colour and style won't suit everyone, and it completely overtakes Apple's own design.
Pros: The EvoCheck has a check design on the back, which certainly stands out from most cases. It has robust sides for protection while not adding too much bulk to your iPhone XS or iPhone XS Max.
Cons: The buttons on the side are rather stiff and the check pattern looks a bit like you're putting your iPhone into gaol – or possibly into fishnet stockings.
Pros: The Puretint is a simple case that applies a light colourful tint to your iPhone XS or iPhone XS Max, while giving decent access to buttons and the lightning port.
Cons: It's on the thinner side for cases, which could impact long-term durability.
EFM Cayman Mulberry Gold
Pros: Like the rest of EFM's range, you get impact protection with its D30 material built in. The back of the case is clear, so your choice of iPhone colour can still stand out. Button access is good and there were no issues with wireless charging.
Cons: Like many thickened cases, if you have to attach your iPhone to a vertical lightning plug, like you do with some iPhone speakers, you'll struggle to get the Cayman to play nice.
Pros: The Aspen is a simple, mostly clear case that allows the iPhone's design and colour choice to shine through. Edge impact protection is built in with EFM's D30 material providing protection. We had no issues on a wireless charger.
Cons: The thick sides of the Aspen case could be problematic for some Lightning cables and it made accessing the mute switch noticeably harder.
EFM Aspen Card
Pros: The Aspen Card is a big thick case, which could appeal if you're the clumsy type. It's protected by EFM's D30 material for impact resistance and features a single card slot at the back for your travel or credit card.
Cons: There's little of the style of your new phone left once you've dropped it in the EFM Aspen Card case. I also noticed it was slightly harder to line up properly on a wireless charger than other cases, although I did eventually get it to charge.
Apple iPhone XR
Apple's more affordable flagship
The iPhone XR provides Apple's latest processor and operating system in a package that's more affordably priced than the iPhone XS Max.
A screen protector is also a very wise investment for any new iPhone XR, iPhone XS or iPhone XS Max buyer. Sure, you're not likely to deliberately drop your new iPhone, but accidents do happen, and with the newer iPhone family, that's a pricey proposition to repair. While a decent glass screen protector isn't cheap, it's far less expensive than an entirely new screen.
Here we're only listing available options because the only real way to test this kind of protector would be to smash up at least four brand new iPhones. We can't quite match that kind of budget, but if you care to, go nuts. Just don't bill us for the repairs afterwards.
Invisible Shield Glass+Visionguard
Features: 3x shatter protection, Eyesafe blue-light filter, lifetime warranty on glass, applicator provided
Belkin Screenforce Invisiglass Ultra
Features: Ultra-thin glass, drop and scratch protection, ion-exchange-strengthened Corning glass
Belkin Screenforce Tempered Glass
Features: Case compatible, impact protection, premium glass
3SIXT Curved Glass Screen Protector
Features: 9H hardness, anti-scratch and anti-smudge finish, case friendly
EFM TT Sapphire +
Features: Blue-light eye protection, scratch- and impact-resistant, case optimised
Power & Cables
Apple has put the largest battery it has ever made into the iPhone XS Max, but iPhone battery life is still something of a sore point, especially against the range of Android phones with larger batteries and seemingly better battery optimisation.
Apple iPhone XS Max
The cream of the crop
If you want the very best smartphone money can buy, Apple's iPhone XS Max won't leave you wanting.
Belkin Universal Cable
Pros: The Belkin Universal Cable is a Frankenstein's monster of a cable, covering micro USB, USB-C and Lightning all in one cable. It does this by offering micro USB to USB-C and Lightning tips that fit over the actual micro USB charging cable part, so you can easily top up an iPhone XS, then switch to charging any other device you'd care to name, all from the one cable.
While it's not a totally new concept – we saw a bunch of similar cables on a recent tour of Shenzhen's gadget markets – Belkin's cable is MFI certified, so you know it's both safe for your iPhone XS and should remain compatible through future iOS releases.
Cons: You can only charge one type at a time through the Universal Cable and obviously if you break or bend the spare tips, it's going to be much less useful.
Belkin BOOST↑CHARGE Power Bank with Lightning Connector
Pros: With a direct Lightning port, you can charge the Belkin BOOST↑CHARGE Power Bank with Lightning Connector from the same cable you charge your iPhone XS from. The 10,000mAh bank has two USB-A power output sockets, while the slightly cheaper 5,000mAh model has a single USB A type socket.
Cons: As with your iPhone, if you don't have a lightning cable handy, there's no way to add power to the depleted Power Bank.
Pros: The RavPower RP-PB005 is more compact than its siblings, with two USB-A ports to hook up your iPhone XS, or any other compliant gadget, for a bout of quick charging. 10,000mAh is enough to recharge an iPhone XS Max three times with a little power to spare, or nearly four times for the iPhone XS.
Cons: For not that much more money, you could score quite a bit more battery capacity, plus fast-charging capabilities for other devices.
Pros: With 22,000mAh of battery power on board, the RavPower RP-PB052 has plenty of juice to offer, along with three USB-A ports to deliver it from.
Cons: There's no QuickCharge support and like the RP-PB043, it's a pretty heavy unit to carry around all day
Pros: The RavPower RP-PB043 has a 20,100mAh battery pack on board, which is plenty to keep your iPhone XS (and a few more gadgets) running for some time. It offers plug support for USB-A and USB-C charging, with its own charging coming via micro USB. While it won't help your iPhone, support is built in for Qualcomm's QuickCharge technology, so you could suddenly be very popular with your Android phone-toting friends.
Cons: It's a big and heavy brick of a charger to carry around with you. With that much capacity, recharging it is a time-consuming process.
mophie Charge Stream Powerstation Wireless XL
Typical price: $149.95
Pros: mophie's Charge Stream Powerstation Wireless XL is a 10,000mAh battery pack, which might not seem like much for the price you're paying – except that it's also a Qi wireless charger as well. That means you can drop your iPhone XS onto it to charge if you forget your Lightning cable or charge it (or other gadgets) directly from a cable.
Cons: It's only capable of slower 5W wireless charging. While there's a USB-C port on the Charge Stream Powerstation Wireless XL, it's only for charging the device itself – you can't use it to send power out to other USB-C devices such as the new Apple iPad Pro, leaving it with just the single USB-A type plug socket for charging devices.
mophie Charge Stream Vent Mount
Typical price: $109.95
Pros: Charging your iPhone XS doesn't have to be something that only happens at home. mophie's Charge Stream Vent Mount provides an entirely legal car dash mount that fixes to either your aircon vent or directly to the dash, but it's also a Qi-compatible charger in its own right.
Cons: Wireless charging is up to 5W only, which means it's slow. If you're only taking short car journeys, the amount of extra power you're going to drop on your iPhone XS could be quite small.