Stop Ruining Your Phone With a Stupid Case

Illustration for article titled Stop Ruining Your Phone With a Stupid Case

The market for phone cases is huge. Waterproof cases, leather cases, silicon cases, stick-on screen protectors, plate-glass screen protectors. Enough. It's time to lose your cover for good, and let your phone roam free, nude, as nature intended.


There are as many reasons to toss your case in the garbage as there are grains of sand on an ugly, gaudy, expensive beach. So let's just go with the big three:

It's Unnatural

First, your phone wasn't designed to be covered up. Sir Ive didn't sit in his plush little Apple office, slaving over a drawing board for you to wrap it in an awful faux leather folio case that you found on Amazon for $20. Neither did the poor bastard who spent the last three years pooping out a hundred million HTC handsets. Or Samsung or Moto or any other designer who gives a singular damn.

No, they spent those hours slaving so that your phone looks beautiful, so you'd be proud every time you took it out of your pocket. The iPhone 4, in particular, is a design icon. The same is true for plenty of other devices. The only exception I might be willing to make is for a battery case, because at least that's arguably practical. Then again, it's also double-ugly.

Putting a case on your phone is a little like painting your Ferrari with rust-proofing paint, then wrapping it in burlap. Sure, you're less likely to scratch it. But you obscure every beautiful detail of the bodywork. "It's sensible," you say. Lies. It's not more sensible. It defeats the point of designing the phone in the first place.

It's Not Worth It

Okay, so yes, your phone deserves to be seen. But on the other hand: It's not a work of art. Yeah, it may have cost you a few hundred dollars. And yes, that's a lot of cash. But let's face it you're going to upgrade as soon as your two-year contract is up. Your phone can only develop so many minor scratches in that period of time. Worried about the resale value? Even if you have to sell your (again, two year old) slightly scratched phone for $40 less than you would a mint model, well, that's how much you'd have spent on a case in the first place.


If you're a real worrywart, the money you save by not buying a case go towards insuring your phone in case you drop it on tarmac or it gets stolen. You can even go so far as to keep it in a pocket in which you don't have keys or loose change. But remember that a few knocks along the way add character. Those little scratches will remind you of things that actually happen in your life. I have a ding in mine from when I walked into a wall drunk. That was a good night. I like that it reminds me of it.

But then, maybe things don't actually happen in your life, given you spend so much time worrying about protecting your damn phone.


Our Official Endorsement

So: Cases are ugly. They're a bad investment. But there's one more reason that we're decidedly anti-case, that we didn't realize until just this morning.


A quick survey reveals that every phone in the Gizmodo office is nude. That's right; we're not just talk. Our phones run naked and free, as nature intended, and haven't yet had occasion to regret it. Neither will you.

Go on, take the cover off. See how much more natural your phone feels in your hand. Shove the cover in the trash can. Let your phone feel the fresh air on its body; the breeze on its screen. You'll thank us for it.




That's fine, Jamie. You do that. You go ahead and use your phone without a case because the Great High Almighty Designers of your phone, who apparently run the universe and are able to dictate fashion and personal preference to 7 billion people, say to. Meanwhile, back in something resembling the real world, I will continue to use cases with my phones because a) I want to protect a $600 piece of fragile electronic equipment that is typically held 4 feet above the ground, b) I like the way the case feels, c) my phone has a very smooth back that can slip out of my hand when my palms are dry, and d) because I don't like scratches.

What's most ironic is that you put a picture of the iPhone 4, one of the most hilariously shatter-happy phones I have ever used. Seriously, something like 95% of the surface area of that phone is an easily shattered glass, despite anything Apple's advertising department may throw at you.

Have you ever tried filing an insurance claim on a phone after you drop it? It can be a royal pain in the ass, requiring a bunch of phone calls, mailing your phone in, and having to use some crappy flip-phone or backup phone while you wait for them to mail it back. Or, for those with Apple phones, trying to argue with the idiots at the Genius Bar until they replace your phone for free (or at a cost). It is not logical, practical, or efficient to advocate not using a case simply because it happens to be possible to get a replacement.

I realize that, operating a tech blog, you guys have access to a wealth of phones and other electronic equipment, but maybe you should take into account that not everyone has an unlimited budget to use on their phones, and a smartphone is an extremely expensive piece of technology that can be very easily damaged.

Finally, the argument that people shouldn't put cases on their phones because of it doesn't look good and the designer didn't intend it is, to put it bluntly, laughable. Free tip: visual aesthetics are entirely, 100%, absolutely subjective. I like phones that look and feel cheap and plasticky. Why? Because I do. And my personal preference is 100% valid and correct. Telling other people that they shouldn't decorate/modify their phones simply because it doesn't align with your personal preference (or some hardware designers) is supremely silly.

In this article (which admittedly is marked as a rant) there is not one single thing that I would consider a valid reason for not putting a case on the phone, especially when compared to the entirely logical, reasonable, practical, and objectively good reasons for doing so.