I'm a minimal, pull-tab pouch kind of guy

Taylor Martin
 from Concord, NC
Published: October 15, 2012

I make no bones about it, I am an accessory junkie. Whenever I get a new device, be it a new phone, tablet or even a camera, I search the Web high and low for any sort of case, attachment and add-on I can get for it. And when Amazon has a great deal on any of them, I usually have the safety switch on my ordering fingers off. (Thank you, Prime.)

This has a lot to do with why I have a penchant for some Apple products. Unlike their Android counterparts, iPhones and iPads come with a wide array of third-party cases right out of the gate. The iPhone 5 isn't even a month old yet and there are literally hundreds of cases available for purchase and many, many more on the way.

If you're lucky enough to choose a high enough profile Android smartphone or tablet, you might have a half dozen cases to choose from in the first six months. Some devices may draw more attention, like the Samsung Galaxy S III, since it features the same design and specs across all the U.S. variants. But with their too-short lifespans, the majority of Android handsets get overlooked for those that garner the most attention.

Being so gung-ho when it comes to buying cases, I have learned two things over the years: what cases I like and which ones I don't. I have boxes and drawers full of cases for old phones that I used for a day or two and threw aside to never use again. And then I have some cases that are in tatters from having seen so much mileage.

For the most part, however, I've never really been the case type. I like to hold a phone and feel it how the designers and creators intended for it to feel in the hand. In the same respect, I despise scratches and nicks. And, unfortunately, phones these days aren't durable enough to withstand a few months of case-free use without suffering from at least a few scratches. And Nissan's Scratch Shield technology hasn't made its way into handsets just yet.

So I succumb to the case fold like most other people. But my tastes have greatly changed since the last time I spoke about cases.

Before, I was using my iPhone 4S in an Incipio offGRID case, which housed a spare battery that could be used to charge the iPhone once its battery got critically low. And I was using the Flip Cover on the Samsung Galaxy Note.

I have since retired the iPhone 4S for the newer iPhone 5, and I swapped the Galaxy Note out for the HTC One X. For several months, I carried the One X in a cheap TPU case I bought off Amazon. And for a while I carried it in an Otterbox Commuter case. But for the past month or so, I have risked using the One X completely naked. The polycarbonate body seems to be holding up well, but it has suffered a few blemishes I'm not too proud of.

That said, I wouldn't dare carry the iPhone 5 without a case. I've seen how easy its chassis scratches, and I went out the day it came in the mail to purchase a Belkin silicon case for it. Just a few days later, though I started my search for the perfect case. I found several pull-tab pouch cases online and ordered three different ones. For the time being, I have settled on the i-Blason lamb leather pouch with a pull tab on the outside and I couldn't be more content.

As for my tablets, I have removed the cheap, red case I bought for the Nexus 7 because it died the back plate of my white developer model pink. And the iPad case I wanted was out of stock for three or so months. But I somehow got lucky and found the exact Case-Mate Venture case for 40 percent off and snagged it.

If I had my way, I wouldn't carry any mobile device in a case. But durability is an issue. So I use things like pouches and easy-to-remove cases so I can enjoy the devices as they were intended to be used and slip them into some protection when I'm not using them or for transport.

I'm interested to hear what you prefer, though. What type of cases do you fit your mobile devices in? Pouches or other minimal cases, like me? Or do you use ultra durable cases like the Otterbox Defender or Lifeproof? Or do you risk a catastrophe and carry your devices totally naked? Sound off below!