Recently we’ve been discussing a lot about looking at new smartphones, purchasing new smartphones, and just new smartphones in general. I mean, there are quite a few of them to talk about: the Apple iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, the BlackBerry Passport, the new Moto X, the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 and the Galaxy Note Edge. It’s all pretty important in the industry right now. But you know what else is important? The accessories that one might consider purchasing after springing to buy one of these grand new smartphones.
Accessories have always been an important part of smartphone culture. Actually, accessories have pretty much always been important for cell phones of all types, but I feel that smartphones are particularly important when it comes to accessories. Why? Because simply put, smartphones on their own are extremely vulnerable gadgets.
First of all, half of the entire phone is glass because of the screen. That means if you were to drop it, you’ve got a 50/50 chance of the phone landing on the screen, which gives it a higher risk of cracking said screen. I know that screens are getting stronger by the year, but in the end they’re still not indestructible. Even if they were to be advertised as indestructible, if there’s one thing that the tragedy of the Titanic taught me it’s that just because something claims to be indestructible (or in that case, unsinkable) doesn’t necessarily mean it is. I don’t think I’ll ever have a phone without a screen protector on it. Sure, it might diminish the quality of the screen and it might not actually make the screen unbreakable per se, but I do feel that certain screen protectors (Zagg and ArmorSuit, namely) are thick enough to make me at least feel like my phone’s screen is more protected. I’ve had lots of drops and no cracks so I feel like their track records are pretty good. Also, both brands offer lifetime replacement warranties so even if they start to peel off at some point you’re covered.
The second thing I almost always have on my phone is a phone case, and I’m not talking about the cases that exist with the sole purpose of making your phone look cute. You know the ones I’m talking about; the ones where it looks like someone has taken their entire drawer of loose ends and knick knacks and super glued it on to the back of an extremely non-protective case. Super cute, right?
Maybe. After all, who doesn't want a cracker sticking out of their phone? But at the end of the day it’s probably not going to be doing your phone any favors. I’m not saying that you have to get all military grade on your phone. OtterBoxes and LifeProof cases are great for if the going gets tough, but I’ve found that anything with some extra cushion on the inside and a decent lip around the front of the phone can do a pretty good job - or at least a decent enough job to where if you drop your phone on anything harder than a marshmallow then it won’t shatter.
Really, I feel like screen protectors and cases are the only two accessories that are needed in order to extend the life of a smartphone. I would love it if smartphones were strong enough to be trusted on their own (because otherwise design isn’t really that important, is it?) but as it stands right now it feels like with the current trend of smartphones getting larger and thinner, they’re only becoming more fragile. The need for protective accessories is growing, not diminishing. So until the day that smartphones are made out of steel and that mysterious sapphire glass, I’m going to keep recommending that people keep their minds open to accessories like screen protectors and cases. It’s better to purchase a good case and screen protector than to have to purchase your phone all over again. Even with insurance these days, some phones can come with some pretty heavy deductibles.
Readers, what are your opinions on accessories? Do you always purchase accessories for your smartphone, or do you prefer to go without?