I'm an accessory junkie. If there's a case or attachment for any device that I own, chances are, I have at least one and use it regularly. And throughout my time with any device (phone, tablet, computer, etc.), I tend to acquire a ton of different accessories and cases for each.
Despite the fact that I generally hate cases, they seem to pile up pretty quickly. I actually prefer to use and feel a phone or tablet how it was designed, without a case or screen protector. Sometimes, though, as I explained earlier today when talking about the (unlikely) possibility of an all-glass iPhone, accidents happen. The only way to be 100 percent sure you won't be left with a non-working phone is by paying for some sort of protection plan. But if a protection plan doesn't fit in your budget or you think you might be careful enough to not destroy your phone within your two-year agreement, a case might be all you ever need. They aren't perfect, but at least a little extra protection is better than nothing.
As most of you probably know, I take a lot of pictures of my personal devices for articles. And lately, I seem to be getting more and more questions in comments and on Twitter about what cases I am using on my devices.
Personally, I am off and on with cases. I carried the Galaxy Nexus for over four months and only bought a case last month after getting a hairline scratch on the display and the paint chipping around the edges. (It doesn't take much to do either of those with the Nexus.) The one I picked up was the Seidio Active case, which is a silicon rubber case with an external plastic shell. Had the Nexus been a bit more durable (and that was really a disappointment about the Nexus), I probably never would have bought a case. Still, after buying one, I went back to carrying it naked just a few weeks later. It was entirely too bulky to easily slide in and out of my pocket, especially with the exposed silicon parts of the case.
I moved on to the Galaxy Note one week ago today and went out and bought the Samsung Flip Cover the next day. I'm a bit wary after seeing how easily the Nexus started to scratch and chip. However, the flip cover isn't going to do much for the Note unless I'm gentle with it; it only protects the display from scratches. Still, it's easily one of the most well-designed accessories I've seen for a phone to date. Essentially, it's a replacement battery door attached to a faux-leather flap that wraps around the front of the device – like a Smart Cover for the iPad, but ... better.
I own more cases than I care to admit for my iPhone. I would probably say my case count is up over 20 by now, and that's a low-ball. But for the majority of 2011, I would buy a case, use it for a couple weeks and go back to carrying it without one. After five or six very close calls, like the time I caught my iPhone face-down on my foot over a tile floor (hooray for soccer skills!), I decided it was time to start using cases full-time. Since then, I've only been using a couple different ones. I found a cheap Case-Mate TPU gel case back in January and walked away from CES with an Incipio offGRID battery pack case (this is the one I get most of the questions about), and I've been using those back and forth ever since.
In a couple weeks, my cellhelmet (remember the case with it's own protection plan?) will arrive. I pledged and helped them meet their Kickstarter goal and can't wait to see the finished product in hand. (There's something about helping a project along and seeing it through that makes you feel all warm and cozy inside. Am I right?)
As for tablets, I don't generally buy cases for them. The iPad is an exception, though. In the short time I have owned different iPads, cases and accessories started piling up rather quickly. There were just so many! I used a ZAGGmate regularly with my iPad, along with the original Apple iPad case, a Targus executive sleeve, etc. I bought Samsung's own flip case for the Galaxy Tab 10.1, which doubled as a stand. I loved that case. But since switching to a Transformer Prime with keyboard dock, I haven't been able to find anything that works well with the combination. Carrying it around naked all the time makes me a little nervous, so if anyone has suggestions, feel free to share. (Note: I don't like sleeves all that much, so that's not what I'm looking for.)
All in all, I don't like cases. I know that sounds kind of backwards considering I'm an accessory junkie. But, actually, I hate them. They're a necessary evil. If I could carry all of my devices and them not get scratched or damaged at all, I would never use any cases at all. However, if I'm going to use one, I prefer it to be slim, yet still protective. And it's a huge plus if they add extra functionality, like the offGRID, which doubles as a battery pack, or the ZAGGmate, which is also a Bluetooth keyboard.
What cases do you like, readers? Big, bulky and super protective Otterbox Defender series cases? Slim, featherweight, highly fashionable cases? In between? Or, like me, would you prefer to carry your phones naked if you weren't worried about them breaking? Sound off below and share any case suggestions along with your comments!