Protecting a Cell Phone: Essential
It's worth protecting one's pocket communication device, especially if it costs hundreds to procure. While feature phones are neither as likely to be dropped nor as expensive to replace as smart phones, the latter usually has a wide selection of cases for the express purpose of protecting a rather fragile piece of expensive technology. The unwieldy profile of today's smart phones makes it easy for one to slip out of the user's hands, and the large, glass screens are the biggest problem when dealing with impacts.
Importance of Using a Case
So often, people notice others' smart phones with spider cracks in the screen, and it's instantly clear how they got there: it must have been dropped onto a hard surface. Whether it slipped out of the owner's pocket, was dropped thanks to a sweaty grip or knocked off a table onto a hardwood floor by an unruly dog, it's going to cost anywhere from $80-250 to fix — and that's nothing compared to the $15-40 to get a decent case. While cracking the screen doesn't mean that it can't be used anymore, it may eventually result in an erratic digitizer, rendering the device useless over time.
Curved smart phone displays are becoming more popular by the year, and these are found on phones that are anything but cheap. Worse, the displays themselves tend to cost close to $300 to repair, and it's unwise to count on insurance to cover the cost, since pricier phones typically have a $50-150 deductible on claims. That's on top of the monthly coverage payments! The price of rugged do-it-all cell phone cases can be made up in less than six months worth of insurance dues.
What to Look for in a Case
Not all cases are made alike. Although every high-profile smart phone gets a similar repertoire of cases to choose from while browsing electronic stores and local phone carrier selections, the less expensive handsets may only offer one or two cases — not great ones, either. It's ideal to check online providers such as Otterbox and Lifeproof if quality cases aren't to be found in a walk-in retail setting.
Generally speaking, these are the basics that a smart owner would look for when deciding on a case for their phone:
- A soft-case and hard-case combo for well-rounded impact protection
- Protection along the sides of the device, which are the most likely points of impact to result in a cracked screen
- Raised edges all around the device to keep the screen elevated off of any surfaces it lays or drops on
- A recession in the back that keeps the camera lens protected from flat impacts
- Stick-on screen protector
For those who are looking for total protection, the following features are essential:
- Dustproofing and water-resistance (IP68 or better recommended)
- Complete encasement around the phone, usually secured with latches
It's been said that a good case is one that allows the phone to be thrown as hard as possible at the nearest wall without damaging the phone itself. Nobody's recommending that anyone should try this, but if holding the phone inside its case imparts the feeling that a car could run over it without breaking the device, that's a good measure of its quality. Keep in mind that hard impacts may destroy the case beyond use, but that's accounted for when these cases are created — ablative armor. As long as the phone survives, $35 is a better loss than several hundred.
Top 5 Routes for "Cell Phones Cases"
- Anandtech.com This site keeps up with the latest in smartphones, including the cases available for them.
- Otterbox.com This is the website of the Otterbox, widely considered the best series of cell phone cases in the world.
- Cellphonecases.com A good general-purpose online provider of phone cases.
- Bestbuy.com It's ideal to check nearby retailers online for case availability.
- Digitaltrends.com Here's an article from a reputable source that advises on some of the things to consider when selecting a phone case.