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To case, or not to case, that's the question!

Posted: , by John V.

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To case, or not to case, that's the question!
Once in a great blue moon, roughly two years usually, loyal wireless customers get the opportunity of upgrading their beaten up cell phones with something that’s modernized and filled to the brim with some delicious specs. Generally, the entire experience can be similar to something like a child being unleashed inside a candy or toy store – with shiny and tantalizing things just dangling at every nook and cranny of the store. Ultimately, we decide to weigh in the pros and cons with each handset on display to finally come down with a decision as to which one to buy. On that exact moment of certainty, yet another new dilemma comes roaring right in front of us. Should you buy a case with it?

Honestly, you can just about spend an equal amount of time doing your homework and shopping around for various cell phone cases. Some are particularly interested in jazzing up the appearance of their new device, while others simply want something for protection! Obviously, there are an abundant amount of cases that envelop a wide range of functions that go beyond the normal scope of what some people expect – like battery charging and rugged style cases. As we mentioned already, the task of choosing a case can be daunting, but let’s take a quick stroll and see what’s available out there.

To case, or not to case, that's the question!
Of the bunch, we’d wager that protective cases are going to be the most common type people would fathom of purchasing. Straightforward in functionality, they generally cover the handset entirely to protect the exterior as much as possible from coming in contact with the outside world. Of course, there’s a fashionable element thrown into the mix as well, like ones that sport intricate designs or encrusted with jewels, but they’re ultimately there to protect the handset. Some are constructed out of a touch plastic shell that adds a little bit of girth, whereas silicone type cases provide minimal intrusion – albeit, they concurrently provide less durability. Still, one begs the question of where to place the handset when it’s not being used?

To case, or not to case, that's the question!
Well, that’s where the good old fashion pouch/holster cases come to mind as they obtrusively cling onto belts with some sort of loop, hook, or fastening contraption. Come to think of it, these cases aren’t known for their fashionable sense, but rather, they’re more mostly found being used by business professionals. Certainly, it’s made more prevalent when you find BlackBerry smartphones to this day still packaged with some kind of holster. However, things can really get cramped if you happen to own multiple devices – and honestly, it can make it seem that you’re wearing some kind of utility belt. And no, not the kind that Batman sports. Nevertheless, at least you have a spot to tuck your phone away when it’s not being used – as opposed to chucking it into your already widening pant pockets.

We’ve all experienced it in one form or another, but that sense of newness is relinquished once that first scratch magically appears out of nowhere. Hence, that’s where screen protectors come to mind since they offer that barely just there protection for scratches – though, it’s not something that will protect your handset if it’s dropped.  Despite that, this form of protection normally leaves the rest of the handset exposed to the elements, and with that, it’s commonly combined with other types of cases.

Zagg invisibleSHIELD

Zagg invisibleSHIELD

Interestingly, technology has come full circle in providing customers that 360-degree protection with those various kinds of resilient full-body plastic protectors – like Zagg’s invisibleSHIELD. Not only do they tout their ability in being scratch proof, but they’re highly prized for being regarded as indestructible too. Moreover, they tend to come along with lifetime guarantees that allow you to order replacements if they happen to get old or crusty looking. Granted that they offer superior protection against scratches, installing one can altogether turn out to become a timely and extensive process – and it can sometimes end up completely messy looking. Furthermore, they still don’t offer protection against drops.

Ottorbox case

Ottorbox case

And of course, that’s where heavy-duty rugged cases save the day in offering the most amount of protection against everything. These elephants in the cases world are renowned for their ballistic armor, which will keep a phone intact if it’s dropped from lengthy heights, however, they’re far from keeping your handset looking compact. Clearly, there are some tradeoffs you’ll need to consider before choosing this kind of case, but the tremendous amount of beating that they can endure is indubitably their selling point.



PowerSkin case
Mophie Juice Pack Plus case

PowerSkin case

Mophie Juice Pack Plus case

Lastly, for those willing to cough up a little bit more money, you can opt to pick up multi-functional or specialty cases. By this, we mean things that offer functionality besides protection or beautifying your device – like a battery case. For example, cases from Mophie and PowerSkin pack in a battery that allow phones to charge actively within the case – while offering the standard set of protection. Much like its rugged counterparts, these battery cases can prove to make most handsets feel unwieldy, but then again, you gain the ability to charge on the ago.

Meticulously thinking about it now, there’s no wonder why some people can spend an exhausting amount of time coming down with a decision. Some are quick to pick something out just to get home and start playing with their new toy, while others treat the process like as if they’re buying a car – needing to inspect it from head to toe.

Then again, there’s always that population of people that simply detest any kind of case since they mask the beauty and aura of their device. When engineers are paid thousands of dollars to craft one eye-catching cell phone design, do you really want to hide it from the public with a case? Ehh, maybe…especially when you take into factor the kind of resell value it can accrue down the road when it’s up for retirement. So which kind of case person are you?

23 Comments
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posted on 23 Aug 2011, 18:37 3

18. remixfa (Posts: 13925; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


moderated for asking a simple question about a moderator. is that ironic or what? lol

posted on 23 Aug 2011, 11:12

2. darth8ball (Posts: 519; Member since: 02 Aug 2011)


Ghost Armor Ghost Armor Ghost Armor

posted on 23 Aug 2011, 17:59

17. quakan (Posts: 1194; Member since: 02 Mar 2011)


MOPHIE all the way

posted on 23 Aug 2011, 11:17

3. thecellx (unregistered)


When i saw my Galaxy S2... i understood that i needed to be a no-case user. So for the first time, i just bought the display protector... and thats all. No case for my galaxy.

posted on 23 Aug 2011, 11:51

4. bucky (Posts: 1488; Member since: 30 Sep 2009)


lol i have been wondering the same thing about my gs2. I have a very thin case on it right now but it seems to hide the beauty of it! Gonna be some sort of invisible shield for me i think.

posted on 23 Aug 2011, 12:20

5. Pouch (unregistered)


Mobo USA makes the best pouches they last a really long time and i luv thje belt clip on them

posted on 23 Aug 2011, 12:48

6. Stuntman (Posts: 727; Member since: 01 Aug 2011)


I use a Roots holster on my belt. I have separate work and personal phones. When I'm at work I put my personal phone away and carry my work phone in my holster. When I leave work, I put my work phone away and carry my personal phone in my holster. The holster that I have is the right size for both my work and personal phones (one is a BlackBerry and one is an HTC).

posted on 23 Aug 2011, 13:58

7. andro (unregistered)


Lets face it Iphone 4 users simply have to buy a case as those phones break easily or drop calls without them lol. overly extravagant glass design on the iphone 4 looks incredible well when complete covered by a case

posted on 23 Aug 2011, 14:04

8. oldbto (Posts: 18; Member since: 19 May 2010)


Samsung Charge. No case. Just throw it in my pant pocket. Trade every two years?. More like every 8 months the last several years.

posted on 23 Aug 2011, 14:05 2

9. MB (unregistered)


Does kinda make me laugh--reading this site it's all "thinner is better" but all the iPhone people I know have theirs in Otter Boxes that turn their phones into big pink bricks.

posted on 23 Aug 2011, 14:18

10. Thump3rDX17 (Posts: 2160; Member since: 10 May 2010)


i'd have a case for my Droid 3 if slider cases weren't so s**tty. i need one that's snug, doesn't add a lot of bulk and offers at least a little bit of protection without compromising size. i want something like a nice rubber case to wrap around it but i can't seem to find anything. people at mall stands like cellbrite tell me it's because it's a slider but that doesn't really make any sense. i'm considering these cases/skins. tell me if you have any experience with them.

http://www.amazon.com/Qmadix-QM-HLMTXT862-SO-Motorola-Droid-Holster/dp/B005CP078S/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&qid=1313296795&sr=8-7

http://forums.androidcentral.com/droid-3-accessories/103580-shell-holster-combo.html

http://www.skinit.com/details.php?act=setDevice&deviceId=5468

http://www.bodyguardz.com/armor-carbon-fiber-motorola-droid-3.html#product_tabs_reviewlist_contents

posted on 23 Aug 2011, 14:29 2

11. PotDragon (banned) (Posts: 214; Member since: 22 Jul 2011)


Rock it naked...life is too short.

posted on 23 Aug 2011, 15:54 1

12. bolaG (Posts: 468; Member since: 15 Aug 2011)


I dont like cellcases for most smart phones cause they add to much size to the already bulky form they have. Plus most of them look better with out them :) Now if a worked with construction/roof repair/air conditioning etc. I would defenitily rock a case for protection.

posted on 23 Aug 2011, 16:27

13. MobileUser (unregistered)


Body Glove Cases ROCK!

posted on 23 Aug 2011, 16:46

14. me (unregistered)


I have a Lifeproof case on my iPhone 4 and I love it!

posted on 23 Aug 2011, 16:48 1

15. christianqwerty (Posts: 460; Member since: 05 May 2011)


I dont have a screen protector or case on my samsung focus. Gorilla Glass FTW :D

posted on 23 Aug 2011, 17:10

16. cheeseycheeser (Posts: 386; Member since: 24 Mar 2011)


I tried going nekid with my Thunderbolt, and I love it like that! But there is now paint rubbing off the top and sides that looms awful, a medium scratch on my screen, and a few chips and assorted other annoyances, so I now have a screen protector and an roatating between an array of cheap cases I got off amazon until the Otterbox Commuter finally comes out. If only it could take a drop better :/

posted on 23 Aug 2011, 18:37

19. remixfa (Posts: 13925; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


i use the bodyglove case with the kickstand for the vibrant. that comes in handy quite often.

posted on 24 Aug 2011, 02:28

21. ken (unregistered)


i cased SG II, it feels nuch solid in hands

posted on 24 Aug 2011, 06:07

22. afsafasfasfaf (unregistered)


I really wanted to buy a case for my Charge but they all suck. I just want a case that is well designed, rubberized with a hard shell on the inside that doesn't cover any of the ports/buttons on the phone. It's not hard but no one can seem to get it right. I'm going naked until I see a good case for this phone.

posted on 25 Aug 2011, 04:44

23. lazeeboy (unregistered)


Just a screen protector for my old-school Sony Ericsson K850i. The only time I use a pouch for it is when I place it in my backpack, to prevent it from getting roughed up.

posted on 13 Mar 2014, 04:16

24. MIM1989 (Posts: 1; Member since: 13 Mar 2014)


Have you ever seen a cell phone case with botanic specimen embedded on the surface of the phone case? Our R&D staff developed this case recently. contact me for more details and pictures for this case.

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