The case for a Case

woman-with-cracked-smartphone-image-from-shutterstockThe case for a Case: a reader asks…

I’m sort of klutzy, I seem to drop my smartphone a lot. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve had to have the screen replaced because it cracked, even with a case on it. Is there something else I can do?

You may not be using the right kind of case for your situation. Many of the minimalist cases are great, they give you some measure of protection without adding a lot of bulk to your smartphone. But in your case, you might want to consider the much beefier line of smartphone cases, such as from Otterbox.

One of the most important aspects of a case is screen protection. While some add a clear layer of plastic, most good cases have a raised edge that makes sure if your smartphone goes facedown on the ground, that there is some clearance between the ground and the phone’s screen. Good cases also add quite a bit of space on the corners and edges of your smartphone. This can make your slim smartphone much less slimmy, and harder to get in and out of your skinny jeans. That’s a trade-off between security and ease of use.


tech21-case-from-tech21dotcomIf an Otterbox is too bulky for you but you still want more protection, then you might consider the Tech21 line of cases. These have a unique cushion around the edges, and a fairly substantial raised edge to protect the screen, all without adding a lot of bulk. Tech21 doesn’t have cases for all the brands and models of smartphones, they focus only on the top models such as the iPhone and Samsung Galaxy. It’s worth checking out if you have one of these smartphones.

What I really like about these cases is the balance they struck between protection and slimness. Sure, the cushion does expand the width and height measurements, and the screen protection does make it a bit thicker, but nothing near as drastic as the Otterbox line.

Just a note about clear plastic screen protectors: I’ve never used one, and never needed to. They reduce the sensitivity of the touchscreen, and provide (imo) dubious real protection. Any impact on the screen that would crack it would still crack it with a screen protector, they are mostly to keep the shards of glass from falling out when you do crack the screen. Plus, being plastic they scratch much more easily than glass, so quickly end up so scratched up you can hardly see the gorgeous screen for which you paid so much money. I’ve dropped my iPhone with Tech21 case perhaps a half-dozen times, with no damage whatsoever. That includes dropping it on tile, an asphalt parking lot, even concrete.

Stay away from those minimalist cases, and stick with bulkier but better protection. It’s a lot cheaper than having to replace the screen as often as you say you’ve done.


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