Case round-up for the iPhone 13 Pro Max

The Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max is the pinnacle of the smartphone world as I write this. Terrific speed, display, speakers, cameras, the works. Although I didn't upgrade from my 12 Pro Max, I'm sooo tempted to pull the trigger at some point.

As usual for my case roundups, I'll cover a variety of styles, with most samples supplied by MobileFun, kind people that they are. See their complete range of iPhone 13 Pro Max cases and covers

Note that Apple itself does cases, which I'm sure are excellent. But they're not that varied and they're all hugely over-priced. Meaning that I always advise people to go third party, as here, and get just as good (or more) protection at well under a third (and in some cases a quarter!) the price.

But on with the individual cases, each link goes to the relevant product page, of course. And I've included a few accessories, since they were in the review bundle. Read on and enjoy...

Olixar Genuine Leather Wallet Stand, £20

Gorgeous-smelling padded leather (my fetish?!), space for three cards, plus a hinged back shell for media watching, all add up to a terrific all-in-one solution. Wallet, phone, and protection. The price is right too, there's just the extra thickness in your bag or pocket. But that comes with the wallet case territory.

There's a magnetic catch that could be a little stronger, but it does the job, plus neat stitching in the leather, all rather well done for the price.

A mode that I often forget to photograph, but it's here all the same, is with the back hinge in operation and resting the phone's clad side on the inside of the front flap. Perfect for watching movies!

Overall, this is well done - solidly made and only the inevitable thickness puts me off using it personally.

Score: 8/10

Olixar Camera Stand Case, £13

Also available in solid green and solid blue, I chose this crystal clear variant, which turned me right around in the end. First impressions of the hard plastic and the chrome camera island surround are that this is all a little cheap...

But I was wrong and bit by bit I was pleasantly surprised. Firstly, the ends are nicely and subtly sculpted to add face and back drop protection, with air 'gaps' to aid on corner drops, plus notice the lanyard holes, always welcome.

The back of this clear option is a little 'optical', in that you can get fringe effects, depending on the lighting, but if this bothers you then see the solid colour options.

The core USP is the camera island stand, of course. It's hinged on one side and unfolds from around the camera bump (for which it offers some protection in normal use), to prop the iPhone up for media watching. And it works superbly.

It's true that you do need a fingernail to hook the stand 'out', but this wasn't a problem for me. It's a lovely idea and one I hadn't seen implemented before.

A practical and protective case, which falls only just short of the coveted 9/10 mark in my round-ups.

Score: 8/10

Spigen Rugged Armor, £20

You can't go wrong with Spigen, at least in terms of protection. There are no fold out bits, no hinges, no gimmicks, just solid protection. Every edge has grip, every corner has air pockets, the ends have subtle but ever-present face and back drop protection:

It's hard to fault this classic case design, but I would have liked lanyard holes near the bottom of one of the edges. Oh well.

Textured panels on the back have been much copied, and there's super camera island protection, especially important on this imaging champion.

Perhaps I'm getting a little jaded, but matt black is now just a little... boring. However, the case is almost perfect in terms of doing what a case needs to do - offer maximum grip and protection. And presumably if you buy a matt black case then that's what you need. 

Good old, reliable Spigen (though the likes of Olixar are getting very close these days, IMHO)!

Score: 9/10

Olixar ExoShield, £13

Gloriously streamlined on all edges, and yet pretty tough, the highlight here is probably the patterned and textured rear cover, which looks fabulous - it's also available in several tints.

Unfortunately, despite some handy little ridge feet (presumably included to reduce the wobbling of the iPhone on a flat surface due to the over-sized camera island), there's no face drop protection other than the existing small plastic lip all round the screen.

In short, it's a nice looking and functional case, but one that doesn't match the Spigen or even Olixar's own Camera Stand case, above.

Good if you like your cases smooth as silk though!

Score: 7/10

Olixar Leather-style MagSafe Wallet, £13

Since the iPhone 12 series, Apple has had MagSafe as a decent way to align Qi chargers and other accessories on the phone's back. Which brings us to the first of two MagSafe-compatible cases. 

By which I mean that you don't lose magnetic attachment when putting the case on, since MagSafe-shaped magnet arrays in the case itself transmit the magnetic fields between phone and charger/accessory.

In this case we have what is perhaps my favourite wallet/folio design of all time. This case has got the lot.

Add it all up:
  • Low, low price
  • Nice faux-leather materials
  • Super rubberised ridging around all edges for maximum protection
  • MagSafe compatibility 
  • Internal debit/transit/ID card slot - it's always helpful to have one bit of plastic with you! Complete with small recess yo get one's fingernail in to extract the card, if needed
  • Not too thick, thanks to the faux leather front flap being bonded into the back shell directly

This Olixar case feels just perfect and I short of using real leather (which would add thickness, I'm sure) I can't think of a way that it could be improved.

Oh yes. I'm going to top marks here. Unbeatable value - let's hope the price isn't a typo, so snap it up quick!

Score: 10/10

Olixar MagSafe Clear, £15

More MagSafe, and it's all good, other than you can see the magnet ring - which is unavoidable. Think of it as a design feature!!

(If you really don't like seeing the magnets, then Olixar do several other cases with solid colour finishes.)

Oddly, in the review sample, though only just visible in the photos here, there were two manufacturing 'circles' embedded in the clear TPU. As with many early case samples for new phones, I'd expect these to be fixed by the time any case you order is available.

I was disappointed that there's not much extra protection on offer here - not a hint of raised sides/corners to handle face or back drops. Let's hope you're not too clumsy?(!)

The core principles of adding grip, showing off the Apple logo(!) and device colour, plus the all important MagSafe pass-through, are present and correct though. Here's a MagSafe wallet (of which more below) attached:

Overall, a thoroughly decent clear case which works well with your MagSafe peripherals - at a fair price. It's hard to complain.

Score: 8/10

Olixar MagSafe Card Wallet, £8

Compatible with any of the MagSafe iPhones (so, 12 or 13 series), you don't have to get the expensive Apple MagSafe leather card wallet. That's £60. This is £8, so seven and a half times cheaper!!!!!

And it does exactly the same job - plus you get to choose from more than one colour. Black, blue, orange, etc. It's a win win all round.

The wallet fits two cards snugly or one card somewhat more loosely - but I always favour the former, since it means a) that you carry twice as much plastic ID stuff, and b) that a single card can't fall out by accident if you happen to invert your phone.

The magnetic attachment to the phone (or to a MagSafe case) is about the same strength as the Apple version, i.e. stays attached when it's supposed to and yet can be pulled off with minimal effort when needed.

Score: 9/10 (factoring in value!)


Shout out to two more iPhone 13 Pro Max accessories which MobileFun sent over, but which I haven't installed since I'm not really a screen (or camera) protector sort of guy. Plus I'd like to give them away, unused, as prizes!

Firstly the Olixar camera protector kit, £10:


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