A clunker, or a phone you always have to baby?

A clunker, or a phone you always have to baby?
Look around, do you see phones worth their mettle that you don't constantly have to worry will shatter when dropped? It's been a year since we started finding it hard to recommend to clumsier or more active friends and relatives handsets that won't always be on the back of their minds. Not everyone sits in an office all day, marveling at their shiny steel-and-glass flagship, some people actually have to go out there, run around all day, and use the phone as a tool, not an object of desire.

If you want a durable yet capable phone, you'd have to now settle for the midrange

If you want a durable yet capable phone, you'd have to now settle for the midrange

Let's face it, glass phones fare way worse than metal ones in drop tests, no matter the Gorilla Glass generation on their bodies. Granted, the vast majority slip a case on it, negating the beauty argument, but a glass phone is still to be babied at all times, rather than the set-it-and-forget-it ones in full metal gear. Before wireless charging became in vogue, one could still find flagships with stellar cameras, top-notch specs, and premium metal designs, but, again, look around - all major phones are now made of glass, and some happy exceptions are at best in the upper midrange category

Manufacturers never asked us whether we approve of this trend for the sake of slower wireless charging with dubious convenience advantages, but rather a me-too feature. To top it all off, the glass-y flagships are ever-increasing in price, but even if you get last year's model, clad in Gorilla Glass, repairing them when dropped and cracked may get to half the price of the phone itself, even if they don't land on their screens. 

That is why we wanted to ask what would you prefer now - a less fragile and/or expensive phone that you don't have to be oh-so-careful with at all times, or are you fine with paying utmost attention to your grip, or the handset's position in your pocket or purse? In other words - a phone you always have to baby, or a relative clunker that can take some abuse without extra worries?

What do you prefer - a clunker, or a phone you have to always baby?

I never worry about my phone, be it expensive or fragile
17.55%
I'd rather settle for less, than have to always mind a phone
31.17%
Case, protector, and prayer, where's the problem?
51.27%



Related phones

Galaxy S9
  • Display 5.8" 1440 x 2960 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP / 8 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 845, Octa-core, 2800 MHz
  • Storage 256 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 3000 mAh(31h talk time)
7 plus
  • Display 6.0" 1080 x 2160 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP / 16 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 660, Octa-core, 2200 MHz
  • Storage 64 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 3800 mAh(19h talk time)

FEATURED VIDEO

28 Comments

1. libra89

Posts: 2252; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

Regardless of the phone, I always get a screen protector and a case. I can't deal with a cracked screen and additionally, I prefer for my phone to look nice with little to no scuffs.

5. Settings

Posts: 2943; Member since: Jul 02, 2014

I stay away from glass phones since they became niche. Be it sapphire, Gorilla or the likes, still no buy. I still prefer plastics (polycarbonate) or metal.

8. bur60

Posts: 981; Member since: Jul 07, 2014

Yea the cracking on glass is aweful, but I don't mind it because I slap a case on all of them. Metal scratches and dents so badly. The iPhones I have seen on some friends man... Like they were used as a vile.

10. Scott93274

Posts: 6025; Member since: Aug 06, 2013

I have Google Fi so my choice is excessively limited. I have the Pixel 2 at the moment, but I'm not going to lie, I'm actually quite fond of my daughter's Moto G5 Plus. It doesn't have the best design in regards to where the fingerprint scanner is placed, but the device does in fact run smoothly and it costs less than half of what I paid for my phone... The major thing her phone is missing is waterproofing... and USB type C, but that's it.

14. Sammy_DEVIL737

Posts: 1504; Member since: Nov 28, 2016

Moto phones are the best phone imo(mid-range & low end) as they give no bloat, fast performance, stock Android, big battery capacity and near to decent camera at the cheap price. But their only problem is Customer service(in my country). Other than that it's best.

22. lyndon420

Posts: 6491; Member since: Jul 11, 2012

When you set up your pixel 2 for the first time, did you have an option to opt-out of fingerprint recognition? I have considered maybe getting one, but there's mainly two things holding me back (besides the gay sounding name, which I can get past once I put a case on it)...-1) No wireless charging, -2) Fingerprint scanner. I can get past the lack of wireless charging if I don't have to sacrifice more of my personal information, but I won't give up my fingerprints for the sake of wireless charging. Another option is (dare I say it) Samsung's S8 which has wireless but also iris scanning...which raises yet another question - any experience with setting up an S8 without having to submit your iris data?? (I'm old school by today's standards, and not ready for the upcoming push for digital ID's etc).

25. Scott93274

Posts: 6025; Member since: Aug 06, 2013

Well, I configured my fingerprint during the setup. I don't recall if there's an option to pass it, but I'm almost certain there is, if you have any doubt about the setup I'm sure you can find videos of people setting it up on Youtube. I had a negative experience with my Pixel 2 when I first got it, it was crashing and running excessively poor, but they must have released a patch because it's been flawless ever since. I've heard the latest Galaxy 9 is also a great phone, and they brag about the camera saying it's the best, but blind camera comparisons on this site still show the Pixel 2 has them beat. It's your call as it's your money, but I would recommend you to get the Pixel 2. And maybe you have your concerns about the safety of your personal information/fingerprint scan, but Google, Apple, and pretty much every OEM state that your fingerprint scan will never leave the phone.

2. Jason2k13

Posts: 1447; Member since: Mar 28, 2013

Even if the phone is rugged, it still has no protection from dents or scratches which is why some people like myself put cases in the first place. To protect it from scratches and not because I’m clumsy enough to drop and break it.

6. torr310

Posts: 1625; Member since: Oct 27, 2011

I am a careful person and I also put on screen protector and case on my GS8 Active(rugged). I feel phones with scratches, dents, or cracks are ugly.

3. p3t3peter

Posts: 10; Member since: Mar 06, 2018

I have a case on my IPhone 7 because its so slippy to hold especially when its cold

4. Paximos

Posts: 282; Member since: Jul 26, 2012

It is like buying Liability insurance for your Yugo and Comprehensive for your BMW. You should protect your expensive phone.

7. PhoneCritic

Posts: 1344; Member since: Oct 05, 2011

Well for those who favor Samsung ( if they have AT&T ) there is always the active version of the S line which is a lot more rugged than the General line. In fact I believe I did read here that it would no longer be exclusive to AT&T but now available at other carriers as well. If your not a fan of Samsung The most durable phone out there has to be the Android flavor Caterpillar brand. I have seen these in action on many School construction sites even tried one. They are Ugly but boy can they take a bashing.

9. palmguy

Posts: 962; Member since: Mar 22, 2011

Give me the polycarbonate days of the Nokia Lumia's. They were built like a tank, & heavy like one.

11. middlehead

Posts: 447; Member since: May 12, 2014

Every blogger and reviewer that pushed glass bodies as "premium design" is an idiot and to blame for fragile phones. There were plenty of well-built plastic phones before that lunacy started.

20. AmashAziz

Posts: 2887; Member since: Jun 30, 2014

True that. It's all those peoples' fault who cherished the si-called-premium metal and glass phones. Always wanted blame tech persons and sites for giving way for these glass phones to become the norm. YES PHONEARENA. I WANTED TO BLAME YOU TOO FOR ALL THIS BECOMING A REALITY. Glad this day I could spurt my anger on you guys. Yes, glass phones look good and offer wireless charging. But they are the ones that empty our wallets too when broken. Sorry if I sounded harsh but many of you should have thought before trying to promoted glass phones instead of reminding brands how we hate their fragility.

12. Phantom1031

Posts: 263; Member since: Aug 02, 2014

This is unfortunate that all the oems are now going after glass for premium looks, very stupid. Poly carbonate is one of the best option, other than metal

18. skips

Posts: 463; Member since: Oct 04, 2015

Girl, I remember the days Samsung made polycarbonate phones and y'all took a big dump on it calling it 'cheap' and 'ugly' and whatnot. Stop right there.

13. Phantom1031

Posts: 263; Member since: Aug 02, 2014

With glass on back there is always some fear of back cracking, no matter what type of casing I am using

15. AustinPaul

Posts: 151; Member since: Dec 13, 2011

I've use skins, or a light case on my glass phones. I treat them carefully have never had a crack or break. Rare light drops with and without covers and no damage. Wife has my old S7 and it's still perfect. What case/cover I use depends on what my plans are for that day/night, etc.

16. skips

Posts: 463; Member since: Oct 04, 2015

I don't care anymore with how my phone looks. I don't sell them anyways, I don't mind the scratches - and if there is anyone who minds the fact that my phone is scratched up - thats ur own problem mate. I sometimes get myself a case if its pretty enough tho. xd But it's for cosmetic purpose only. I'm careless, yall can call me that, but at least I don't handle my phone in a way that it could fall flat on the display literally every other second. For now rockin my 6S Plus and I'm enjoying every bit of it.

17. skips

Posts: 463; Member since: Oct 04, 2015

I mean like, I'm stressing myself too much anyways with other stuff in life. If I chose to handle my phone like a baby the whole time, and if I had a scratch out of nowhere, I would just lose my damn mind. I don't need to stress out bout it.

19. legiloca

Posts: 1675; Member since: Nov 11, 2014

I just slap a case on, a screen protector, and yes, prayers whenever I drop my phones lol

21. rseifer

Posts: 7; Member since: Mar 20, 2015

I'm nutty about replaceable batteries, and my present phone is an LG V20, on which I have mounted a very soft sponge case, which offers superlative grip in my sweaty hands. The phone has a metal back, but I'm also a long time user of inductance chargers, so I purchased a receiver coil, which I scotch taped to the outside of the metal back. I then plugged in the coil's pigtail to the phone's USB port, and now I have a metal phone with wireless charging, and no major glass issues to obsess over. Why would you want a glass phone???, why would you want a phone without a replaceable battery???, and why would you not want the convenience of inductance charging??? Ralph L. Seifer, Long Beach, California

23. Cat97

Posts: 1766; Member since: Mar 02, 2017

"If you want a durable yet capable phone, you'd have to now settle for the midrange". This only shows how stupid phone manufacturers are.

24. matistight

Posts: 927; Member since: May 13, 2009

I love having no case on my phone. With this said, I wish I had a trashed phone so I wouldn't have to worry about damaging my phone I spent so much money on.

26. kanagadeepan

Posts: 1219; Member since: Jan 24, 2012

I earlier had Samsung Galaxy A9 Pro, with glass on both sides. I used a case, TG glass and yes prayers included. But on one fine day, glasses on both sides scattered to bits due to one drop (when sudden braking my bike). Yes, I need to pay 50% of the phone price to correct it. From that day, I never even touch phones with glass on both sides. I am using Galaxy C9 pro and Lenovo P2 now (both with metal back). Now my only worry is, what will we do, when even the mid-rangers also come with glass back. Yes, it has already started with Honor 9 Lite (170$), here in India. smh...

27. natypes

Posts: 1110; Member since: Feb 02, 2015

Since the glass thing started I have owned the S6, Note 5, S7, S7 edge, and Note 7 (and Pixel XL and Pixel XL 2) in the past 3 to 4 years. I have not put a case on any of them and have not broken any of them. I think it's pretty easy to take care of your device if you're constantly cognizant of it. And I've had office jobs as well as very mobile jobs.

28. Penny

Posts: 1844; Member since: Feb 04, 2011

Surprising, but good job. I have a Note 5, and that thing is like a bar of soap without a case. All the Samsungs you mentioned after the Note 5 are similarly slippery.

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at https://www.parsintl.com/phonearena or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit https://www.parsintl.com/ for samples and additional information.