Word of caution about iPhone cases

Like some, I can’t stand having a wobbly iPhone so I figured I try a case on my new 12 mini. I’m no fan of cases, actually never had one on my 3, 4, 6, or SE. I never wanted to have a phone designed expensively to be thin and gorgeous only to then make it fat and ugly with a case. I hardly ever dropped my iPhones so I’ve been fine so far. But now with the stupid camera bump things have changed. So I figured I’d try a case.

Anyway, I opted for the clear case since I figured I had chosen my iPhone color for a reason. I got the case and to my surprise learned that it does nothing at all about the wobble. You see, instead of wobbling because of the camera bump, it now wobbles because Apple designed a plastic lip on the case around the camera bump. You can’t see it on their pictures (and to my surprise none of the reviewers mentioned it), but it’s easy to feel, as it comes almost 1 mm off the case. The wobble’s probably even worse with the case because the lip sticks out farther from the case than the camera bump does on the phone.

The case was otherwise OK. It seems very durable (it’s not thin for sure) and it takes real effort getting it off as it sits so tight. With the case I was hardly able to reach the ringer switch anymore though and MagSafe looks a bit silly on the clear case IMHO. Anyway, sent it back. If anybody has a suggestion for a quality clear case that leaves no wobble whatsoever (and ideally without MagSafe), I’d really appreciate a tip.

Wow, finding a perfectly flat case with no wobble seems to be really difficult. I spent an hour on Amazon and googling, but almost every manufacturer appears to be putting lips on their cases. Is anybody aware of any cases without a lip for the 12 mini?

I have a clear case on an iPhone 12 Pro. That case also has the lip, but I haven’t noticed any wobble in ordinary use. Following Simon’s note, I experimented with the phone on my dining room table. I could force a wobble by pushing down on at the top of the phone of anywhere on the left side from the top to about halfway down the side. I suspect that the Mini’s shorter length makes the wobble more prominent.

An interesting experiment to try is to use the Level option of the Measure app to see how flat the phone reports itself to be when sitting on a surface. If I set the phone on the same table, the app reports no slope. Pushing down hard the phone in the near the top left corner (where the lenses are) changes the reading to -2%. I’d be curious about the results of this test on a Mini.

1 Like

Great idea, @aforkosh. I see ±1 deg on my 12 mini without a case on a flat table depending on which corner I push on.

In my case the wobble is worst when I type. I often have my phone on a table next to my Mac when I’m working. I’ll often be texting on the phone with one hand while mousing on the Mac with the other. Hitting the phone while typing gets it to rock back and forth because of the wobble and that leads to a lot of misspelling. Before, with my old SE the back was perfectly flush so no such issues with that. I figured a case would be the solution, but I have yet to find a perfectly flat case.

I always use a Speck hard case with grip. Have ordered one for the mini and based on the photos, it should lie flat. I do not know if this is the kind of case you are looking for but here it is – https://www.amazon.com/Speck-Products-Presidio2-iPhone-Black/dp/B08F3T2J3F/ref=sr_1_3?dchild=1&keywords=Speck+Products+Presidio2+Grip+iPhone+12+Mini+Case&qid=1607021264&sr=8-3

1 Like

Tina, please do let us know if the case solves the flatness issue! I’ve got the same question.

Will do. Mini arrives today, the Speck case by end of week.

Absolutely no wobble with this case - Speck Presidio2 Grip iPhone 12 Mini Case. In fact, the camera lenses are very slightly recessed, and thus protected in a drop. Very happy with it.

Thank you, @TGarf. Sounds good. Any idea if there’s a clear version of that case?

Scratch that. Think I just found it. :slight_smile:

I figured they did. I have used their products on laptops and phones for years. Rugged yet simple. I like the iphone cases I use because of the grip. Other cases slip through my fingers too easily and, well, kaboom. I always add a screen protector too.

I see there’s also a version of that clear case with added grip. I went with the simple non-grip version myself for now, I can always exchange it later if it turns out to be too slippery for my taste.

Just to follow up. I got the case and indeed it lets the iPhone sit nice and flat on even surfaces. No wobble at all anymore. On the display side it also has quite a lip so you can safely place the phone display down.

Unfortunately, IMHO the case itself is rather thick. It makes the svelte 12 mini feel much more bulky. Also, the side buttons register only half my regular presses, I need to really push them down firmly to be sure it gets registered. I’m afraid I’m sending it back.

I’m starting to feel like I prefer wobble over bulk. :confused:

1 Like

It’s been a long time, but I felt I should follow up on this issue.

In the meantime I’ve been able to test both Apple’s leather case (in black, looks more like brown, fugly IMHO) and silicon case (in navy blue, very close to the 12 mini blue) for the 12 mini.

The bad news is that both feel nowhere near as fancy as their price tag would perhaps indicate. The leather feels surprisingly plastic-y and is very smooth. In it the phone almost slid off the table once. The silicon feels good to me, but IMHO it ads considerable bulk to what is otherwise a svelte iPhone. That said, the really good news is that neither case has this nasty lip around the camera cut-out that their clear case had. So both of these cases make for a perfectly wobble-free iPhone 12 mini. :slight_smile:

You might want to consider these cases from Moment, even if you aren’t buying any lenses for photography. They come in 8 colors including mustatd, olive, and red.

Since the wobble is still driving me crazy (especially the typos caused by it when texting), I wanted to revive this old thread hoping that somebody might have in the meantime found a decent case to fit my bill. So please let me know if you’ve managed to find a case that ticks the following boxes:

• has no lip around the camera cutout so iPhone sits perfectly flat on table
• thin and light, adds no bulk or heft to iPhone (I don’t care about “protecting” the phone)
• clear
• does not make button presses annoying

Thank you.

You might disagree, but I think my Apple leather case is everything you want but “clear.”


I use a Spigen Tough Armor case on my 13 mini. No lip. Thin. And button presses are made easier (Apple’s buttons are too small for comfort - this case makes them bigger).

But it’s not clear. And Spigen’s clear cases violate your other requirements.

As do I…

It occurred to me this morning there’s of course another solution to this wobble. I’d have to look up the exact spec for how far out the camera module sticks (or go find those fancy digital calipers we got here a few years back) and then see if I can find the same dimension of these. One in each of the other 3 corners of the iPhone should do the trick.