Apple, Samsung, and Now Google
Apple, Samsung, Google, and other major cell phone suppliers do create some stunning devices. It sometimes seems a shame to cover them in a case, although Cell Phone Cases do allow us to express a little bit of our personalities and mix it up when we feel like it. We can fly the flag of our favorite sports teams, movies, games, or create customer cases that feature pictures of our family, pets, or holiday destinations. More importantly, cell phone cases allow us to keep our phones safe.
Pew Research Poll on Mobile Phone Ownership
According to Pew Research, a recent survey showed over 96% of people in the United States own a cell phone of some kind.
“The vast majority of Americans – 96% – now own a cellphone of some kind. The share of Americans that own smartphones is now 81%, up from just 35% in Pew Research Center’s first survey of smartphone ownership conducted in 2011.”
Do We Take Care Of Our Cell Phones?
Just how bad we are at looking after our cell phones across the United States? Cell phone owners really are an irresponsible lot! Over half have of Cell Phone Owners at some point, reported their phone stolen, lost, or damaged.
People that reported their Smartphones damaged said it was a scratch (or worse) to the screen. Many have reported water damage or damage by drink spillage, while untold numbers have admitted to dropping their phone, either downstairs or somewhere else risky. There are of course reports of people dropping their cell phones down the toilet (mostly men).
Cell Phones are Expensive
Our cell phones are expensive items and as well made as they are, one wrong move and they can be damaged beyond repair. This can cost us a fortune in repair fees or force us to embarrassingly live with a cracked screen until we can afford a new one. Our cell phones mean a lot to us, they are an investment, a communication tool, a fashion accessory, and a means of which to organize our lives.
The more advanced cell phones become the more we rely on them, which means we need to make more of an effort to keep them safe as we go about our daily lives. Some of us are much more accident-prone than others and choosing a quality case is very important. Picking the right case is the hard part.
Which Phone Case Offers The Best Protection?
There are thousands of different cell phone cases on the market that all claim they will keep your phone safe. They all do, to an extent, but it is clear that some do a better job than others do. Let us break down some of the different types of case you can use:
Cell Phone Case Types
These cases feel rubbery but are actually stronger than they look. Silicon cases are generally soft to the touch and allow the phone to bounce if it is dropped. This serves as a form of shock absorption and mitigates the potential damage that dropping the phone without a case could cause. The downside is the phone bouncing can sometimes cause it to land in more dangerous places, for example, it could bounce further down the stairs or over a ledge. A heavier phone case may have prevented that.
Another feature of silicon cases is they do not come with an attached screen protector. They often come bundled with one that can be stuck on, but these can be flimsy and difficult to attach. They also do not tend to last very long. Gripping silicon cases can be a problem as they have a tendency to become slippery in sweaty or wet hands.
Other positive features are they are thin and work well with Wireless Chargers and remove fast and easily.
Plastic cases, like silicon cases, are some of the most common ones on the market. They are perhaps even more common than silicon Smartphone cases due to them being cheaper to manufacture. The difficulty with plastic cases is they tend to vary in quality. A well made plastic case can keep your phone safe from accidental drops, being crushed in transit and from having liquid splashed into certain parts. Although a poorly made plastic case can often be more of a hindrance than a help.
Cheap plastic can break with minimal shock and leaves the phone exposed. Another upside to plastic cases is many of them do have a screen protector attached, as a cell phone’s screen is generally the first thing that gets broken during an accident, this is something that can save a lot of money in the long run.
Some of the specialized plastic cases also have rubber shock absorbers attached for added protection, as useful as this is, the risk of bouncing still exists, but as the plastic cases are heavier, the risk isn’t as high as it is for silicon cases. Rubber shock absorbers also double up as a grip, which means the user can keep hold of the phone even when doing other things.
Metal (such as Carbon Fiber)
Metal cases, like specialist carbon fiber ones, can be expensive but they offer unparalleled protection for cell phones. They can also look incredibly stylish; many need to be screwed together with tools and cannot be removed without those same tools. This is useful to stop the cases from falling off in luggage or in other forms of transit.
The weight of these cases can also be a major selling point; it stops them from bouncing more than any other case. The built-in shock absorbers arguably do a better job on metal cases than any other does, as the shock is fully absorbed without being redistributed causing the phone to not bounce but remain protected.
Metal cases can also be made out of stainless steel, aluminum, and tin.
Cell Phone Covers Made of Other Material
Cell phone Covers are different from cases and can be made out of various materials such as felt or leather. Similar covers are also available for iPads and other brands of tablets. These come with a cover that folds over like a book. It keeps itself secure using subtle magnetism between the material above the screen and adjacent. While these are more popular on tablets than cell phones, they are rising in popularity. A major benefit is that the screen is always protected when the cover is closed meaning the phone is protected from all angles.
A downside to covers is that leather and other soft material can be easily damaged, especially by spilled liquids. They can absorb the liquid and make the situation worse. They also do not tend to offer much in the way of protection if you drop the phone. The cover protecting the screen can fly open as a result of the fall, and they don’t do much to reduce the shock felt by the impact.
Do Cases Actually Protect Phones?
Objectively speaking, yes it is generally accepted that cell phone cases do indeed help keep them protected. Especially if they come with added screen covers too. Although a cell phone in a case can become dusty and will need to be cleaned every now and then, it should keep the phone itself safe from wear and tear.
If you are someone who re-sells the phone once it’s contract term has ended; keeping it inside a case, safe from the elements and scratches is the best thing to do. Cell phones particularly iPhones have a matte or glossy finish that is susceptible to greasy fingerprints. Grease also risks the likelihood of dropping the phone and at worst can damage the screen. A case of any description stops this.
Do Cell Phone Cases Block Network Signal?
This is generally considered a myth, due to the way cellular data works it is unlikely that a bit of plastic or silicone will get in the way of your cell phone being able to pick up a signal from the network. Nevertheless, it also depends on the material used for the case.
Many of us live in houses or apartments or work in offices that have thick walls and it is rare that we lose any signal with new 4G and 5G technology when covered on all sides. The range is more of an issue than obstruction it would seem.
Actual Signal Loss
Although there have been reports of a loss of signal when using cell phone cases of certain material such as carbon fiber, stainless steel, aluminum, and tin. While the data supporting these claims is scarce at best, it does seem to be a common theme when reading consumer reviews of cases like this. They are particularly frequent with cases that need to be screwed together and are seemingly airtight.
Manufacturers dispute the claims but it is still something to be aware of. One possible explanation is that these sorts of cases may cover the cell phone antenna or digital receiver. While this may not normally be a problem, there could be something in the metal cases or the metal case itself that is interfering with the signal.
Can a Phone Case affect Wifi Reception?
In a recent article “Can a Phone Case Affect Wifi Reception?” we addressed this exact question. Like with cellular data, there is no evidence to support the argument that cell phone cases cause a loss of service or failure to connect to Wi-Fi. It is much more likely that it is the strength of the connection, in general, that is at fault, or the user has strayed too far from the wireless router environment.
What is clear is that cell phones are valuable and that investing in a quality case or cover is well worth your hard-earned cash. As we have established above there are pros and cons associated with each type of case, but what is also clear is they are essential to keeping them safe.