Apple launched sales of its iPhone XR clear case in Canada last week, at the staggering price of $55 in Canada. We bought one to see if this plastic case was worth it, so here’s our quick review.
Here’s how Apple describes this clear case:
Thin, light and easy to grip — this case lets you enjoy the look of iPhone XR while providing extra protection. It’s also crafted with a blend of optically clear polycarbonate and flexible TPU materials, so the case fits right over the buttons for easy use. On the surface, a scratch-resistant coating has been applied not only to the exterior, but also to the interior. Need to wirelessly charge? Just leave the case on your iPhone and set it on your Qi charger.
The case comes in some minimalist packaging and when you’re holding it, you question how this retails for $55 Canadian, as it’s so light. The ‘Clear Case’ text is in rainbow colour:
Here’s a picture of Apple’s iPhone XR clear case on the right, next to an iPhone XR inside a Spigen Ultra Hybrid case ($17.99 on Amazon.ca). Both cases look near identical from the back:
Here is the iPhone XR Clear Case from the back. The case is made of much harder plastic versus the Spigen case, and is also thinner. Installing the phone into the case was pretty easy, as it snapped into place with a very snug fit:
Here’s how the case looks like from the front—notice how the iPhone XR case doesn’t extend along the bottom front of the phone. Presumably, this allows the iPhone XR to accommodate various charging docks (this shouldn’t matter with wireless charging nowadays) and to make it easier to swipe up for Face ID. The Spigen case covers along the bottom and swiping up to unlock is not a problem.
If you happen to drop your iPhone XR with this clear case on, the bottom front edge of the display is susceptible to damage as there’s no extended covering:
Here’s the side view of the button protection and mute switch. I found the mute switch cutout on the iPhone XR case too narrow versus the Spigen (sitting above), making it difficult to toggle the button on and off (I have large fingertips so I really had to dig in):
Here’s a view of the other side where the Sleep/Wake button is. Due to the harder plastic of the iPhone XR case, pressing the Sleep/Wake button and volume rocker buttons required more effort versus the softer plastic of the Spigen case:
Removing the iPhone XR from his clear case is not easy! It’s a super snug fit and it took some careful effort to pry the iPhone XR out without damaging the phone.
Overall, the iPhone XR case is indeed clear, thin and feels great in the hand. It will let you show off the colour of your iPhone XR, but it’s there’s no doubt it’s an expensive case to purchase.
But when third-party cases are a fraction of the price (you can get similar cases for under $5 on eBay), it’s hard to justify spending $55 CAD plus taxes. But if you want an Apple-designed case for your iPhone XR…this is the only option available. Also, it’ll be interesting how Apple’s clear case holds up after six months and whether it can resist getting ‘dirty’ like other clear cases usually do from dirt and oils.
What case are you using with your iPhone XR?