A few weeks ago, I had a weekend that was both amazingly good and bad. And what you're about to read here wasn't a review I ever planned to write, quite honestly.

Nevertheless, after going through an experience where I inadvertently crash-tested this phone case at speed, and had the phone survive intact, I almost feel like I have to tell you about it. Because if I hadn't lived it, and I was looking for phone case recommendations, I'd want to know. And usually, one of my guiding principles for writing anything is answering questions that I'm personally curious about, because I figure other people might want to know those answers, too.

So, let me set the scene for you. 

It's bucketing down rain, and I'm out on a bike with a group of other riders. It's a bike I've ridden before, but it's my first time riding it in the rain. Thankfully, both it (and I) are doing just fine, if a bit damp. The tires are good, the handling is good, and at least the weather's not too cold, right?

And then, unbeknownst to me, my fairly new phone went flying off my bike at a speed of about 55 miles per hour. I rolled on, blissfully unaware that it had happened until someone else in the group told me at a stop sign. They tried to get my attention soon after it happened, since they watched it fly out, but I didn't get the message (due to rain, hand gestures, inability to hear clearly while riding, and so on).

Later, I turned around to find it, in part because my wallet was also attached to the MagSafe phone case. While I never found the wallet, the phone had surprisingly survived, and that's something for which I fully credit the Poetic Cases Guardian Series with MagSafe case I had on my OnePlus 12.

Poetic Cases Guardian Series Case with MagSafe on a OnePlus 12 - Stock Photo
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When I got this phone, there weren't a lot of case options available for it. So I did what anyone would do, and I read plenty of reviews until I made up my mind which one to buy. It isn't an expensive case at all, but you should know that it is one that I spent my own money on. Since I really like my phone (and its camera in particular), I'm glad I didn't end up accidentally killing it after less than six months of ownership.

Out of the package, the case is a pretty simple three-piece affair. Why three pieces? Because Poetic gives you the choice of both a front that has a clear polycarbonate screen protector, or an empty front frame so you can use a different screen protector of your choice. If you like tempered glass, the option of the empty frame should make it pretty easy to use. I haven't used it yet, but I'll update this review if and when I change my mind in the future.

For myself, I've been using the clear polycarbonate front piece on my phone, on top of the built-in screen protector that my phone came with. The Poetic Guardian Series case for this phone is made to accommodate the placement of the fingerprint scanner, and has specific instructions for how to clean the screen well and then install the front part of the case so that the fingerprint scanner will work properly.

From experience, if you follow the instructions, it works exactly as it should.

Post-yeet damage to my phone case. Photo by Joseph C. Lucente.

The back part of the case is also clear polycarbonate, meant to show off whatever color phone you got while still keeping it protected. There's a TPU lining and thick bumpers (in your choice of several colors to accentuate your phone) around the edges of the case to provide shock protection. The raised lips at the corners of the phone and around the camera bezel also help protect the phone even when you're simply setting it down gently on a table, desk, or any other hard surface. 

Now, to be completely fair, the Poetic Cases website is a site that's trying to sell you on its products, so it has its fair share of marketing language. This includes fairly meaningless, unquantifiable terms like "military spec" that may cause the more cynical among us roll our eyes.

For those that don't know, real mil-spec things are from companies that offer the best product, but at the lowest bid. So not always the best of the best. 

Another post-yeet damage photo by Joseph C. Lucente.

And that terminology might be meaningless, but I'm also fully aware that I had absolutely no right to expect any phone case to survive being launched off a bike at 55-ish miles per hour. Especially not when it likely bounced on asphalt before coming to a stop, then sat in a puddle for probably at least half an hour (give or take) before I finally came back and successfully located it along the shoulder of the road.

Still, it did exactly that. The case took some damage, for sure. Would I trust the same case my phone crashed in to protect it from another tumble? That, I'm not so sure. 

But I'd definitely trust the brand new Poetic Guardian Series MagSafe case that I bought to replace the one I damaged in that, um, unintended phone launch. Poetic also makes Guardian Series cases to fit many more current phone models at the time of writing in July 2024, as well.

From my experience with other phones (and other phone cases), I can say that you could definitely spend a lot more money on cases that aren't as good at protecting your phone.

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