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November 10, 2017

iPhone X Case Review Roundup 4: Caseology, X-Doria, and MagBak

by John_A

The fourth case review in my iPhone X Review Roundup series focuses on Caseology, X-Doria, and MagBak. If you’ve missed my previous posts, I’m taking a close look at iPhone X cases from a range of manufacturers. We don’t often feature case reviews on MacRumors, but with the launch of the iPhone X and its entirely revamped design, we felt it was worth exploring some of the available case options. My previous reviews are below:

  • iPhone X Case Review Roundup 1
  • iPhone X Case Review Roundup 2
  • iPhone X Case Review Roundup 3

For all of these reviews, I’m looking at the general usability of iPhone X cases. Extreme drop tests and in-depth testing aren’t covered because those factors are less important than how a case works on an average day, and it’s often fairly easy to tell from design how protective a case is going to be.

Factors like bulk, button accessibility, general protection, grip, thickness, and appearance are what I focused on. All of the cases that are in this review roundup work with wireless charging.

MagBak

MagBak cases are made from a soft, flexible rubber material that’s easy to grip, so these cases are easy to take off the iPhone when desired. The case wraps around all of the edges on the iPhone X, and it does make the volume and power buttons somewhat harder to press. I don’t like the amount of force needed to press the power button because it’s going to make it irritating to activate Siri and confirm purchases.

The case has a lip that comes up over the display of the iPhone to protect it when face down, and for those of you who don’t like a lip that makes it harder to swipe up from the bottom of the device, this is not the case for you. The lip definitely makes swiping up that way more difficult, but since you don’t need to swipe up from the very bottom (I swipe up at about where the dock is, personally), it’s not something that’s going to bother all users.


I like the simple, no frills design of the MagBak, and the material the case is made from feels like it’s going to be fairly protective should the iPhone X be dropped. This offers middle of the road protection, in my estimation. It’s not as thin as some of the other cases I’ve looked at, but it’s also not overly bulky and rugged.


The MagBak is nice because it has magnets built into the sides and the top of the case. These magnets allow it to stick to magnetic surfaces like a refrigerator. The MagBak ships with two little “MagSticks,” aka adhesive backed magnets that you can put anywhere for mounting the iPhone X in either landscape or portrait mode.


MagBak’s magnets are carefully positioned not to interfere with the wireless charging coil in the iPhone X, and so it does work with wireless chargers. It also ships with a SIM tool, which is a nice addition. There’s even a little space inside of the case where the SIM tool fits so you can always have one on hand.

Caseology

Caseology cases are all visually appealing with eye-catching patterns and colors, which I liked, but some are a bit thicker than I prefer for my cases. They’re thicker than the Apple Silicone case, for example, but I’d still classify them as your standard iPhone case. All of the Caseology cases wrap around all four sides of the iPhone X, with covers for the volume and power buttons, and they all feel like they offer good protection. Each one also has a protruding lip to protect the display of the iPhone.

From left to right: Vault, Legion, Parallax, and Apex
Caseology cases are interesting because they’re super affordable. None of these cases are more than $14, a good deal cheaper than many of the other cases that I’ve reviewed so far. There’s also no prominent branding on these, which is nice, and I like the look of all of these on the iPhone X.

Apex back
The Apex ($14.99) is the thickest of the Caseology cases I looked at. It’s made from a flexible rubber material with a hard plastic at the sides and the corners to offer better drop protection and grip. Though the buttons are covered, they’re not much harder to press than on a naked iPhone, and the design of the case itself is stylish with a diamond pattern on the back. It does have a fairly thick edge/lip around the iPhone X, and since it does cover the bottom, it may bother some people.

Apex front
The Parallax ($13.99) is pretty similar to the Apex, but it’s an all-rubber design so it’s not quite as thick at the sides. It has a 3D geometric pattern at the back and grooves at the sides, both of which make it easier to hold onto. There’s silver plastic at the corners and on the back to serve as an accent, and like the Apex, it has a thick lip to protect the display. The 3D pattern of the Parallax looks great, and this is easily my favorite Caseology case.

Parallax back
The Legion ($13.99) is one of Caseology’s thicker cases, with a little more of a lip than the Apex. It pairs a rubber inner shell with an outer plastic protective layer that covers the back and part of the sides. Like all the Caseology cases, it’s easy to grip, and it has thick edges to protect the iPhone X from drops. If you don’t like bottom lip areas that block upwards swiping, the Legion is not for you because it has a taller and thicker lip than the other cases. There’s also a cutout for the Apple logo, which I’m not a fan of. This does, however, feel like Caseology’s most rugged case as far as protection goes.

Parallax front
The Vault ($10.99) is the only Caseology case that’s made entirely from a flexible rubber material with no additional plastic or metal. It’s the slimmest of the bunch, and it also has the most minimal design. Buttons are easy to press in this case, but it does have the same thick lip at the bottom edge that might bother some people.

X-Doria

X-Doria cases are all fairly slim and stylish, while also appearing to offer decent protection for the iPhone X. These cases are not much thicker than the Apple Silicone case, which means they don’t add a lot of unnecessary bulk to the iPhone X. For comparison’s sake, I’d say these are slimmer than everything that Caseology makes, and on par with some of the Speck cases.

From left to right: Defense Shield, Defense Clear, Defense Lux, and Dash
All of the X-Doria cases offer wraparound protection that covers the volume and power buttons along with the bottom edge of the case, with cutouts for the speakers, mute switch, and Lightning port. A lot of case manufacturers haven’t taken into account how much more the buttons need to be used with the iPhone X and made them hard to press with their case designs, but that’s not so with X-Doria. The X-Doria cases all have buttons that are malleable and super easy to press, so it’s no different than using a naked iPhone. All of the X-Doria cases have rubber bumpers around the edges for solid grip.

X-Doria’s Dash ($34.95) case is another half clear half leather case option that’s much like the Nomad Clear Case. It has a clear hard shell at the top, leather at the bottom, and nice malleable rubber at the sides. I like how sleek this case is without being so thin that it offers no protection. It’s a great compromise between thickness and protection. There is a raised lip that encircles the display, and it is somewhat noticeable when swiping upwards from the bottom of the case, but I didn’t think it was a dealbreaker.

Dash in middle, Defense Clear on right, Defense Shield on left
The Defense Clear ($24.99) is a simple hard plastic that leaves the design of the iPhone X largely visible. It does have white rubber at the sides and on the back of the case, so it obscures the shiny stainless steel chassis of the iPhone X. The rubber at the edges adds shock protection and a raised lip (which is on all of the X-Doria cases) keeps the iPhone X’s display from touching a surface when it’s face down. Like the Dash, the Defense Clear’s lip is noticeable when swiping upwards from the bottom of the case.

Defense Clear
The Defense Lux ($34.95) is similar to the other Defense cases from X-Doria, but it has a super attractive design. The back of the Defense Lux is made from a hard polycarbonate that’s overlaid with a textured fabric design. At the sides, there’s a metal band that joins the plastic shell to soft rubber edges that are designed to absorb shock. It looks great on the iPhone X, but I will say that the “Defense” branding on the case is a little obtrusive. That’s true of all the X-Doria cases, though. There is a noticeable lip when swiping upwards from the bottom, which is designed to protect the display of the iPhone X.

Defense Lux
The Defense Shield ($29.99) is another hard shell plastic case that’s meant to show off the design of the iPhone. It has rubber edges and an aluminum accent on the back. As with the other X-Doria cases, the Defense Shield feels like it offers solid protection without unreasonable bulk. It’s slim and attractive on the iPhone X, but has the same display lip that may be distracting to some users who like to swipe up from the very bottom of the iPhone’s screen.

Defense Shield

Bottom Line

The MagBak cases are worth checking out if you want a slim iPhone X case that can be mounted just about anywhere with the included magnetic strips, while the X-Doria cases are slim, stylish, and protective, and basically offer everything I look for in a case.

Cases from Caseology are super affordable, look nice, and seem to offer decent protection from drops, but they aren’t quite as thin as some other cases. If you’re looking for a quality case on the cheap, these are definitely worth considering.

Since this was a brief look at the cases available from several different companies, I’m happy to provide additional photos and answer questions about any of the cases listed down in the forums. I’ll be covering additional cases from companies like Spigen and Otterbox in a roundup that will be shared next week.

Related Roundup: iPhone XBuyer’s Guide: iPhone X (Buy Now)
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