Why you'll always see a case on my phone

Anna Scantlin
Contributing Editor from  Kansas City, MO
| March 30, 2014


It was nearly ten years ago that I got my very first cell phone. The phone was a clunky flip phone, something that you could drop over and over again, and unless you got it completely submerged in water it had a high likelihood of surviving. Most of my phones around that time were built and treated in a similar manner. It would be a few years before I got my hands on my first completely touchscreen device. From that day on, though, the way I treated my phones changed.


Despite my first touchscreen being a resistive touchscreen, it was still important to protect the screen. A resistive touchscreen is different than the capacitive touchscreens we have today because resistive touchscreens would depend on pressure rather than heat. Resistive touchscreens were made out of several layers of material, with the topmost being plastic, making the phone seem less prone to cracks than a capacitive is. However, even resistive touchscreens were prone to what were called “internal cracks”, which is when the glass beneath the plastic cover would break - and who doesn’t like a good color bleed every once in a while?


When it comes to touchscreens today, it seems even more important to use a case. Smartphones are rather expensive devices, and they’re also coming in bigger and thinner designs. Many of them seem to have optimum design for easy breakage. Some have glass on both sides (I’m looking at you, iPhone 4 and 4S), some are just too big to comfortably hold in one hand, and some might look great, but don’t have a great grip. There’s also that one design flaw that can’t be avoided, but it isn’t with smartphones - it’s the fact that we’re human, and mistakes just happen. One minute you’re holding your phone, and the next it’s on the floor, face down. This is the point where I dread flipping the phone over and looking at the other side. It’s the moment of truth for whatever case happens to be on my phone. Did it work, or didn’t it?


Cases don’t always protect the phone from breaking, that’s true. And yes, most truly protective cases take away from the original beauty of a phone that caught your attention in the first place. But in the end, I’d rather have a not broken phone than a broken one, no matter how ugly a phone is. I’d also rather have a better chance at keeping my phone from breaking with a case. Any time I go shopping for a phone, I make sure I get a case and a pack of screen protectors beforehand. I absolutely hate handling an unprotected phone in fear that it will be the one time it drops and shatters. I don’t care that I carry insurance. That’s there for emergencies only. A case is my one way of preventing minor drops from becoming a major catastrophe.


I can understand why some people hate cases. I’ve ordered some pretty ugly cases for the sole purpose of providing more cushioning to the phone in the case of a drop, or if I accidentally set it in some unsuspecting water I didn’t see on the counter, and these cases just make the phone look like... well, not the same phone I purchased. I get it. But even just putting some sort of case on the phone seems like it would be a good idea, at least to provide some sort of lip around the edge of the phone in the case that your phone falls and lands face down on something hard.


I’m usually surprised when I see people walk around without some sort of case on their smartphone. The first thought that pops into my head is, “Do they know how much that phone costs?” But I’m also just an extremely paranoid (and clumsy) person. Which is precisely why you’ll never see me without a case on my phone.


But what about you, readers? Do you use cases on your phone, or do you prefer to go without? Tell us your thoughts and stories in the comments below!


Images via Techware Labs, The Gadgeteer

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