Our smartphones are delicate gadgets. Dropping them from even waist high can cause irreparable damage. That means buying a new smartphone, which can be quite an expensive proposition. They retail at $500 to $600, and that’s on top of what you paid for the first phone. It makes no sense to leave a smartphone unprotected.
Thankfully, there are plenty of case choices on the market. There are thin and stylish cases for those who don’t need that much protection. On the opposite extreme there are gargantuan cases that make your phone look more like a package scanner. With plenty of choices in between, you can surely find the case that works for you. Here’s a breakdown of your choices.
Stylish: Silicone case
On their own, smartphones aren’t exactly pretty. They’re essentially electronic bricks. Yes, the function justifies the form, but some people want to make their phones prettier. For them there are silicone skins. These are rubber-ish cases that fit snugly around the smartphone. They come in all different colors, too, so you can get your favorite.
The downside, of course, is that silicone cases offer little to no protection. In fact, you might as well have no case at all. If you drop it from waist high you’re still probably going to crack the screen. The silicone does absorb some of the shock, but not nearly enough to make a difference. This is purely a cosmetic case.
Protection: Thick plastic
A thick plastic case will keep your phone well protected. It can absorb plenty of the shock from a drop or fall. That means the case bears the burnt of the force, leaving your smartphone more protected. Those who want to ensure that they keep their smartphones in tip-top shape will absolutely need a thick plastic case. They provide the absolute highest level of protection.
The downside, of course, is that a thick plastic case makes a smartphone hard to carry around. Our smartphones are portable devices, and adding thick cases makes them less easy to slip into our pockets. People who use their smartphones in hazardous conditions — a construction site, say, or other areas where there are plenty of moving parts — will definitely want a thick plastic case. Others, however, will want something a bit thinner.
Balance: Hybrid cases
When the average smartphone user shops for a case, they’re looking for balance. Yes, they want that plastic shell, because it provides the best protection against drops and falls. Yet they want the thinnest that comes with a silicone case. After all, most of us want our smartphones as portable as possible. Many case manufacturers have heard this demand and have responded with hybrid cases.
Manufacturers such as OtterBox and Seidio have created cases that feature hard plastic and silicone. The phone gets immediately wrapped in thin plastic. It might not provide as much protection as a thick plastic case, but it provides far more than a regular silicone case. Then, to make the case work even better, a silicone case wraps around the thin plastic. That provides an additional layer of shock protection.
At the same time, a user has a protected and portable smartphone. No, it won’t provide as much protection as a thick plastic case, but a smartphone in a hybrid case will be much more portable. It will be less portable than a silicone case, but it will provide more protection. It’s really the best balance for the average consumer. Best of all, these cases run relatively cheap: around $25 to $30. That’s well worth the cost, considering the money it can save you in the long run.
A note on insurance
Many cell phone companies offer insurance on their smartphones. For a monthly fe that ranges between $10 and $15, users can protect their phones in a different way. If the phone breaks in any way, the user can get a new one free of charge. That might seem like a good deal, but in many ways it doesn’t add up.
Insurance is based on the idea of risk and probability. Some people will use their insurance. Others will not. But in the end the insurance company will end up making money. If you don’t use your insurance, you’ve essentially wasted those dollars. You can never get them back. While a case might not completely replace insurance, it can provide you with enough protection that you can avoid purchasing insurance. After all, a $30 case is quite a bit cheaper than a $300 insurance policy.
Whatever you do, though, don’t skimp on the case. Our smartphones are expensive and fragile. There’s no reason to leave it unprotected and vulnerable to drops and falls. Your phone can hit the pavement at any time. Is yours protected with a strong case?