Bending phones, pocket explosions, butt-dialing: it’s time for the old belt-holster to make a comeback

This article may contain personal views and opinion from the author.

Seriously, I never picked up on the whole deal of keeping my phone in my pocket, even back in the day when I had an old school Motorola. Of course, back then the phones couldn’t fit in your pockets anyway so there was no point.

Even in the mid-to-late 90s though, if my mobile phones didn’t come with a holster or case with a belt clip, I would buy one separately. During those earlier years I had mobile devices, the only one I can remember having to keep in my pocket for a short while was back when Qualcomm still made phones. This one in particular was known as the “Thin Phone” (QCP-2700 series). You know what happened during the few days I didn’t have a holster for that thing? I pocket dialed 911 not once, but twice in the same day, and that was with the key-lock enabled. Unlocking the candy bar form factor was a simple two button combo though, so there it is.  Good thing CHP took it all in stride because each time, the dispatcher had to hang-up and call me back to make sure everything was okay.

Over the past four or five years, I have actually taken into consideration my case and holster options when deciding which smartphone I am going buy while attempting to satisfy my insatiable impulse to acquire gadgets. In fact, if I cannot find the case I want, I generally won’t buy the phone. There have been rare occasions when I will buy a phone and get a case that does not have some type of hip holster for it. However, in the past five years, there are only two I can think of where I did not follow that rule. One of those devices is my Lumia 1520, which is my second-string daily driver and has a Nillken case.  The other was my Oppo Find 5, which I had last year and kept in a thin and sleek Meifeng case.

The 1520 gets a break because it is not always on me, so it resides on my desk, or in my backpack if I'm out-and-about. The Find 5 was my primary device for a bit, but having to keep it in my pocket had me so disjointed that I put my SIM back into the Galaxy S4 that I also had at the time. Today, the rest of my current collection which I may have my primary SIM play musical chairs with, be it an LG G3, Lumia 930, HTC One (M8), or Nexus 5 (the list does go on), are all adorned with a case, and some type of snap-in (like a Seidio) or slide-on (like a PureGear) holster combination.

Why do I insist on this old-man method? Well, aside from my gray hair, I honestly cannot stand the thought of putting a $600+ computer in my pockets which are already holding my car keys, Chap Stick, gum, wallet, pocket knife, and whatever else I might be bringing along for the day (I do have some other items I need to keep handy, but that’s another story, and it’s not related to mobile).

Credit to LG for its forethought with the G Flex, lending itself to being able to handle some extra stress of being in a pocket, but even that device is rendered to my hip.  It's a compact 6-inch phablet, but it’s still a phablet, and the self-healing back plate coating is a lint magnet.  A case and holster solve both problems.

A lot of folks still like to buy their devices on-contract, and that gives them an artificial sense of how much these devices actually cost on a retail level. The carriers are pushing their equipment financing options hard and fast, and rightly so. Take a moment to think about what our devices are. To quote Twitter CEO Dick Costolo, these devices have put the “internet in our pants.” Well, it’s time to take the internet out of our pants, and get that handy tool on our hip. No more digging around pockets, keys and coins jamming into the phone body or screen, it’s a win-win all-around.

Now we have the overblown, but ever-so-easy-to-make-fun-of, “#bendgate” with the new iPhone 6 Plus, the fact that people still butt-dial 911 about 3 times every second, and there is a steady stream of stories about devices bursting into flames, or exploding while roasting in someone’s pocket. I don’t get it, even with all the tough materials, doesn’t anyone worry about damaging their "precious," cracking the the screen and cutting things up?

There’s also the size issue (I suppose there was no way I was going to get around mentioning that), indeed a source for good jokes, but these things are just too big for our britches don’t you think? What is the appeal?  "Is that a phone in your pocket?" Oh, but for the days when just about every phone came with a box chock full of accessories, like an extra battery, charging stand, car charger, and a belt-holster.

Maybe it’s old fashioned, but you know what will happen to me if one of my phones decides to go nuts and explode? Nothing. The explosion has room to expand away from me, not be contained in a pocket to inflict damage upon me. What if I bump into something? No worries, it’s still in a case.

For those that like their device to exist in full naked glory, there are holsters for you too. They’re usually made of leather, or nylon, and some companies make snap-in holsters for bare devices too. Plus, they really don’t look like some ugly appendage. I know I’m not alone in this line of thinking because there are some great case-holster combinations out there from companies like Maxboost, PureGear, and Seidio (my personal favorite), just to name a few. From thin profile hard shells, to padded hybrids, to ballistic OtterBox set-ups, you can protect your phone, make a fashion statement, and keep it out of your pocket.

There are case-holster combos for every budget too. Whether you look on, go to a carrier store, or look up the manufacturer itself, you will find dozens of options in colors, styles, and form factors for just about every device you can imagine.

Say “no” to #bendgate. Say “no” to butt-dialing your ex or the police. Say “no” to exploding phones in your pocket. Say “no” to burning your pants, underwear, legs, or other precious body parts. The time is ripe for the belt clip, holster, and phone, to be “hip” on the hip again.



1. Sakeem

Posts: 862; Member since: Sep 05, 2012

Absolutely not! Not for me anyway. Not my preference.

3. techperson211

Posts: 1280; Member since: Feb 27, 2014

Preference of people but I think most of business men use this.

4. Sakeem

Posts: 862; Member since: Sep 05, 2012

Yeah i just never felt comfortable with a phone on my hip. I feel its fine in my pocket. Pants or jacket/coat pocket.

38. neops

Posts: 297; Member since: Jan 28, 2014

We serve your needs! (You're holding it wrong ! You're wearing it wrong! "It’s not just bigger. It’s just right". Will you ever be normal, iNormal? Just "Think different")

39. CoastCity

Posts: 257; Member since: Mar 07, 2014

Repent and you'll be iSaved

52. g2a5b0e unregistered

I feel the same way. I had a soft belt clip holster for one of my flip phones back in the day. I always clipped it to the inside of my pocket. I just felt more comfortable there. Too easy for things clipped to the outside to bump against things or get knocked off.


Posts: 1459; Member since: Mar 09, 2010

I have always used a holster for my phone I don't feel comfortable with them in my pocket. The only thing that goes in my pocket is my wallet.

51. onyx143

Posts: 31; Member since: Sep 09, 2014

I use my wallet on in my back pocket,,,,,not front...your comment confuses me.


Posts: 1459; Member since: Mar 09, 2010 seem to find it really hard to think after reading that didn't you. My wallet is in my back pocket as well as most mainstream wallet users. Just because I said that the only thing that goes into my pocket was my scrambled your brain did it. ROFL. Well I won't throw a monkey wrench into your thought process. However, I will say that had I said front pocket we could have a conversation about what you just spoke about. Then again I have seen people place their phones in all of their pockets including their back pocket, but I on the other hand was not referring to the front pocket; as ambiguous a statement as that was your thinking brings us to this point! Again the only thing that really goes into my pocket is my wallet, and that goes into my back pocket. When I wear a suit my keys go into my jacket pocket, and sometimes I may place my cell phone in the inner left breast pocket of my jacket....Most often, I use a holster to keep it near and dear as well as attached to where I can see and get at it....In America it's all about choices isn't it! Again, I don't like having things in my pocket bulging out such as keys and cell phones if I don't have to I won't. This does mean front or back by the way. ;)

25. The-Sailor-Man

Posts: 1095; Member since: Mar 25, 2014

Yup Just because Apple made this iPhone6/6+ "great design" we should not keep our phones in the pockets??? Come on. LOL Just don't buy iPhones and the problem is solved.

27. amiaq

Posts: 509; Member since: Jun 30, 2012

Try Malaysia, everyone still, always and forever use the fanny bags. Ha ha ha, too funny.

33. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

Getting the Otterbox Defender for my 6 Plus just for the belt clip. The $65 Pelican Case from AT&T is decent, but nothing like OB.

58. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

Otterbox FTW!

40. CX3NT3_713

Posts: 2360; Member since: Apr 18, 2011

That's for them way

66. Crispin_Gatieza

Posts: 3151; Member since: Jan 23, 2014

No, just people who are smart enough to protect their devices. Yes, I am one of "them" geezers, got a problem with it?

61. epdm2be

Posts: 824; Member since: Apr 20, 2012

I remember those cool shoulder holsters for Psion Organiser II. Why don't any of these supposedly smart company-exec's of those manufacturers of phone- accesoires come up with something like that again.

2. techperson211

Posts: 1280; Member since: Feb 27, 2014

This is a good idea but it will be an easy target for robbers who owns expensive phones.

57. Phonecall01 unregistered

The "robbers" own expensive phones???

67. Crispin_Gatieza

Posts: 3151; Member since: Jan 23, 2014

Also an easy way for a robber to get his ass beat.

5. jonartpop

Posts: 199; Member since: Oct 25, 2012

I would never wear that! lol

6. mokhtar

Posts: 405; Member since: Jan 06, 2014

No thanks, i have z2 im not afraid of anything :)

7. techloverNYC

Posts: 601; Member since: Nov 20, 2012

Damm! I guess the hipsters are trying to bring back everything thats old and call it cool now lol

8. chrisaran

Posts: 14; Member since: Sep 06, 2014

Things for hipsters

9. GoBears

Posts: 456; Member since: Apr 27, 2012

If you're going to have a man sized phone then wear man sized pants and the pockets will hold anything with out stressing the device. If you wear sissy jeans then get a sissy phone that fits in them. Easy enough.

13. AlikMalix unregistered

LOL.... good one...

29. ManusImperceptus

Posts: 724; Member since: Jun 10, 2014

So, it's mandatory to look like a moron with zero style in order to be a man? Gee, I don't remember John Wayne, Paul Newman or Robert Redford wearing baggy pants with a gazillion giant pockets all over...

47. GoBears

Posts: 456; Member since: Apr 27, 2012

Haha yeah they used a hip clip for their ultra thin aluminum phone too. Go wear your sisters jeans if you want, just don't expect to jam a 6+ in your pocket then sit down. It's common sense.

53. g2a5b0e unregistered

I'm sure they were all super worried about where they were putting their smartphones, too. I hear those were all the rage back in the '40s, '50s, & '60s. Talk about a completely irrelevant comment.

62. ojdidit84

Posts: 462; Member since: Jul 16, 2011

Yes, because it's SO difficult fitting my Note 3 in my properly fitted (not baggy OR skinny) jeans here in the 1950's. Oh wait... What the hell kind of pants are people wearing and what kind of pockets do they have to where you can't fit a phone up to at least the size of the iPhone 6+ in? I know I'm a bigger than average guy at 6'3", 225 but geez...

63. g2a5b0e unregistered

Right. I'm about the same size as you. An inch taller, 5lbs lighter & even on my most snug fitting jeans (kinda tight, but not skinny jeans), I don't have any problem keeping a large phone in the front pocket. In fact, I find the Notes to be more comfortable in my pocket than my older phone with a physical slide-out keyboard. The thinness makes more of a difference to me than the actual footprint of the phone. Just my thoughts.

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