The Tech21 Evo Clear Case for the iPhone 12 promises big, with 12 foot drop protection, no yellowing and MagSafe charger compatible. But can it deliver on those promises? I have been sitting on my review for a few weeks now to give it a good run and waiting to test one big thing (which I will come to later).
Yes, at long last, as a mid-to-late 30s adult male, I have FINALLY purchased a current gen mobile phone! Well, until Friday… but, don’t worry, Tech21 have announced their iPhone 13 cases. But, for me, I recently upgraded from my iPhone 6 to an iPhone 12. Not here to talk about the phone (but, c’mon, power bricks?! Not even supplied when you buy a wireless MagSafe charging pad?!), but what I put it in.
Tech21 is a proven protector for me
My iPhone 6 was rocking a black Tech21 Impact Shield case and a Self-Healing Shield screen protector for over six years that I used the phone. I replaced the screen protector once (through Tech 21’s awesome warranty after it got cut by the stud on my wallet), but generally it held strong and true.
The case? My phone was dropped. It was slid around on hard surfaces. It was in dusty, dirty, sandy environments and bounced around my camera bag when I was an active photographer. It was on my office desk for years. It still looked great and with my phone never suffered a cracked screen, despite being dropped many times.
So… Does the new generation Tech21 Evo Clear Case live up to my expectations?
The Tech21 Evo Clear Case: Is it a clear winner?
Of course, as a clear case, there are three potential flaws. I’ve had this case on my phone now for exactly two months to the day. So, how’s it look?
First, the case is still crystal clear. This is a big thing. My mum had a cheap clear case on her last phone and it went yellow really quickly. The Tech21 Evo Clear Case still looks totally transparent with zero signs of discolouring in the reported UV-resistant material.
That said, there are two other problems where the case doesn’t fare as well.
Finger prints. As far as the eye can see; finger prints. Yes, the smooth, clear back gives a great view of the blue background and Apple logo, but they are obscured behind a range of finger prints from any time you touch the back of the phone. It’s not the end of the world, but you do notice them.
The other issue is scratches. The glossy plastic scratches easily whenever you sit it on any slightly rough surface. That said, it is just aesthetics. The case isn’t entirely here for looks.
Protection above all else
While there are scratches on the back of the case, it’s worth noting that there is a raised bumper around the rear camera panel. The camera lenses are well protected and scratch free.
Similarly, the front of the case also has raised edges which protect the front screen. With a glass screen protector on the front of my phone, the edges still protect the screen from being scratched if sat face down on a surface.
On top of that, the slim profile still has some great protection on the edges. If you look at the corners of the case, you can see some cushioning within. Which brings me to that one test I had been waiting for. Yes, I dropped the phone. Not intentionally, but accidents happen. From standing height I watched it fall (as if in slow motion) onto a concrete tile floor. I can happily (and with much relief) say that the phone bounced without an issue. It even prevented my screen protector from shattering. Classing that as a win!
In COVID times, it is worth adding a note that Tech21 also spruik the phone having a built-in formula to reduce microbes by up to 99.99%. I have no idea how that works, but I guess by being the material helps repel some germs that might otherwise wind up on the case.
And, finally, the case has a reasonable sense of grip. So far, with the exception of the one drop (which is due to me being clumsy), the phone has not slipped from my hand once.
MagSafe? MagCharge, perhaps
The Tech21 Evo Clear Case advertises itself as being MagSafe compatible. This is only partly true.
I can definitely use a MagSafe charger. If I throw the phone on my Apple MagSafe charger (bought separately, as well as the USB-C power brick… separately again), the charger will slide into place and my phone will light up and start charging away.
But is the “SAFE” part of MagSafe really kicking in? Not really. I can’t even pick up my phone without the charger’s own weight making it fall off. Were I to use my phone on a MagSafe charger in the car, my phone would fall off without even starting the car, never mind going over a speed hump. The case reduces the magnetism way too much for MagSafe to be really effective.
Testing the MagSafe on an iPhone 12 with the Tech21 Evo Clear Case. Repeated attempts, the phone fell off straight away.
Testing the MagSafe on an iPhone 12 without a case. It held firm despite much jiggling.
But, like I said, the case definitely won’t stop the phone from charging. Just don’t expect to mount the phone on a vertical MagSafe charger.
Wrapping Up: Should you grab a Tech21 Evo Clear Case?
So far, unless you have a MagSafe charger for your car, I’m still sticking with a yes. The minor aesthetic issues of scratches and finger prints on the back are no big deal for me. What is a big deal is that the case protects the phone from scratches on the screen and cameras and from damage when dropped. The Tech 21 Evo Clear Case does that. And with my long history using Tech21 cases, I have no problem recommending the case.
At $60 from the Tech21 website, if you have picked up an iPhone 12 and you are looking for something to maintain the original visual appeal of an iPhone, you may as well have a case that will do a damn good job protecting it, too.
Many thanks to Tech21 for sending me out the case to give a good run (and protect my new phone in the process)!