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ESR cases for the Apple iPhone 12: Kickstands, protection, and MagSafe support

Video content is enjoyable on a smartphone, but it helps to have a kickstand case to prop it up. ESG makes some of the best kickstand cases, but also has other case options for the new Apple iPhone 12.
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1 of 16 Matthew Miller/ZDNet

ESR cases for the Apple iPhone 12

ESR has a number of case options for the Apple iPhone 12 and 12 Pro. These cases range in price from $16.99 to $35.99 and are available in an assortment of colors and styles.

I tested out five ESR cases, including two metal kickstand models over the past week.

See alsoApple iPhone 12 review and Apple iPhone 12 Pro review

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ESR Machina Tough Protective Case

Over the past year I have been purchasing ESG metal kickstand cases since they provide the most robust kickstand I have ever tested out. The new Machina Tough Protective Case with Stand offers the kickstand from ESR's collection with rugged protection too.

The case has a polymer inside shell, stiff polycarbonate outer frame, and stiff metal kickstand.

The black model I tested has red highlights, including a camera cutout that helps protect the cameras on the iPhone 12.

See alsoApple iPhone 12 review and Apple iPhone 12 Pro review

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Back and extended kickstand

The back is designed to work with MagSafe wireless chargers, but if your charger is an angled stand type then the kickstand area may not work for charging. You need to have a puck-type charger that attaches to the back of the iPhone above the kickstand assembly.

The metal kickstand will not wobble or break like we have seen with many other cases. It is also a rather stiff kickstand so you can prop your iPhone 12 up at various angles for calls or media viewing.

You can also prop up your iPhone in landscape or portrait orientation.

See alsoApple iPhone 12 review and Apple iPhone 12 Pro review

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Raised side buttons

I'm not a fan of the iPhone 12 volume and right side buttons (they are too flat), but the ESR Machina case enhances their tactile feel and use.

The edges of the case make it easy to hold onto your iPhone too.

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Lanyard anchor point

The Machina case also has a well-designed lanyard anchor point so you can easily carry around your iPhone with a lanyard.

The Machina case is currently priced at just $23.99 and is available in four colors; blue, black, gold, and gray.

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Enjoying media content with the Machina and kickstand

The kickstand works perfectly and holds your iPhone up securely into your favorite viewing position. Unlike other kickstand cases, this one uses metal and a stiff hinge so you can extend it out at various angles.

See alsoApple iPhone 12 review and Apple iPhone 12 Pro review

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iPhone 12/12 Pro Cloud soft case with HaloLock magnetic ring

This soft textured case is available in blue or black for $35.99. On the inside you will find a HaloLock magnetic ring that aligns with MagSafe accessories for wireless charging.

The inside is lined with soft material to protect your iPhone from scratches.

See alsoApple iPhone 12 review and Apple iPhone 12 Pro review

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8 of 16 Matthew Miller/ZDNet

iPhone 12 Cloud soft case

There is a camera opening that is reinforced to help protect your rear camera array. 

The soft silicone material helps you hold onto your iPhone. There is some protection from bumps and small drops, but there is no drop protection rating for this case.

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Raised edges protect your display

The Cloud Soft Case with HaloLock ring has edges that rise just above the display so that the screen is partially protected when you set your iPhone face down on a table.

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ESR Alliance Tough case

The ESR iPhone 12/12 Pro Alliance Tough full-body case is available for $32.99 in clear, black, and blue. The edges have extra silicone material to provide enhanced corner protection in the case of a dropped phone.

The backplate is rigid, there are reinforced openings around the camera array, and the case is easy to hold.

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Raised buttons for easy manipulation

The raised buttons make it easy to control your iPhone and the volume of your device. There is also an opening for the ringer switch.

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ESR Metal Kickstand case

The ESR Metal Kickstand case has always been my default case for media viewing with compatible phones. The new one for the iPhone 12 and 12 Pro is priced at $25.99 and has an awesome metal kickstand.

The silicone material is built up around the kickstand to make sure the kickstand provides a solid platform with minimal movement and is a kickstand that will last for years.

Wireless charging works as long as your charger does not extend down to the kickstand area. 

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FaceTime and media viewing with a kickstand

I spend a lot of time traveling on airplanes, even during this time of coronavirus, so having a phone case that I can prop up and use is important to me.

I love that you can prop up your iPhone at various angles and even in portrait mode the phone is stable.

See alsoApple iPhone 12 review and Apple iPhone 12 Pro review

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Back of the ESR Metal Kickstand case

You can purchase the ESR Metal Kickstand case in black or clear, but with the cool colors of the iPhone 12 the clear case lets you show off your iPhone color.

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Metro Premium leather case

The ESR Metro Premium leather case is one of the more expensive ESR cases, priced at $35.99. You can purchase it in black or blue.

It is covered in high-quality leather that ESR states will develop a natural patina over time. The pattern on the back is unique to each case too.

The inside has a soft microfiber lining to keep your iPhone safe from scratches and wear.

Wireless charging, Apple Pay, and MagSafe all work perfectly on the case.

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Back of the ESR Metro Premium leather case

This leather case looks and feels great in the hand. I like the reinforced edge around the camera opening that helps protect the lenses when you set your iPhone down on the back.

The case only adds 0.9mm to the edge of your iPhone so barely adds any size or weight to an already light iPhone 12 package.

See alsoApple iPhone 12 review and Apple iPhone 12 Pro review

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