Phone Cases 101: Six Types
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- 18 Dec, 2018
What Kinds of Phone Cases are there Anyway?
In our last fun mobile accessories Helpful Tips article, we gave you tips on How to Pick the Perfect Call Phone Case. After reading that article you might be thinking, “okay, now I know what to look for and what to take into consideration when selecting a mobile phone case, but what are my options for different types of cases? What kinds of different phone cases are for sale? And what are the differences?” Well, we’re here to help…so here you go…
Rugged cases are the perfect way to protect your phone, but they are usually bulky and heavy. Rugged cases have air pockets and reinforced corners which dramatically reduce the risk of damage to your device, they should be easy to grip, but they can prove difficult to put in and take out of your pockets. Rugged phone cases tend to cover buttons and the touchscreen, which can make buttons harder to press and reduce touchscreen sensitivity, so ensure the case fits your phone flawlessly. Also, if you work outdoors or are particularly clumsy, look into a phone with good ingress protection. The IP rating will give you the skinny on the case’s ability to withstand water and dust.
If you want a case that will survive a decent drop but do not want to add a ton of bulk or utterly forgo style, then you may opt for a tough case. Tough phone cases well use a layer of hard polycarbonate with a softer inner layer, like silicone, to absorb shock. You can expect tough cases to add some bulk and weight to your phone, but they do come in a variety of styles, colors, and designs.
If style outweighs protection for your phone, you can opt for a slim, or a basic case. These one-piece cases, typically made of TPU, a durable and slightly malleable material, are easy to fit and offer some shock protection. Hard, slim cases can be difficult to fit on your device, and will not provide much protection from drop damage. Slim cases will defend against scratches on the areas it covers and will increase your phone’s chances of surviving a fall, but it will not provide the impact resistance of a hardier phone case. Currently, more translucent cases making their way to the market, meaning it’s easier than ever to get something that makes your phone’s design visible under your case. You will find the largest range of styles, colors, and designs in this category. However, please ensure that the cut-outs and button placement, and remember that a lack of protection at the corners or a blip on the front means weak protection from falls. Some basic cases can also offer decent drop protection by combining a thin, hard back with a thicker, malleable bumper.
Folio or wallet phone cases are another stylish option for phone protection. They are an excellent alternative to traditional cases if you toss your phone in your bag because they offer all-around phone protection. However, folio cases vary when it comes to drop protection, as some include a shell-type case inside, while others provide little to no coverage on a phone’s sides or corners. Wallet and folio cases come in genuine leather, while others are made from PU (polyurethane) and sold as vegan leather. PU is a good material, but it can have a strong odor and is prone to cracking over time. The type of closure is vital with wallet and folio phone cases, or you risk of the case opening in your bag. While magnetic closures enable more stylish designs, they don’t tend to be as strong as an elastic, tab, or stud closure.
Battery phone cases have a built-in battery that can of charging your smartphone for a few more hours of battery life. Battery cases are bulky and heavy, but if it is not, that means the battery inside is not capable of providing much of a charge. Look at the mAh rating for any battery phone case, but also ensure you look at reviews for real-world information. Many battery cases are not made to offer much scratch or drop protection, so ideally you can switch cases when the charge is gone. Some battery phone cases have designs that combine a lightweight case or bumper with a removable battery component.
The belt clip or holster cell phone case or pouch is really useful, and with phones getting more and more expensive and being used more and more frequently, the phone belt clip is an even more useful tool and somehow not as dorky as it once was. A clip or holster case is always outside your pocket helping to keep your phone always ready to use. Don’t miss that important call or once-in-a-lifetime photo opp fumbling for your phone. Plus with modern phones getting larger screens every year, new phones do not always fit comfortably in your pocket, and getting them in or out is a pain. A phone clip or holster case keeps your phone accessible at your side, and easily and quickly snaps back into the holster when done.
A Final Note: Screen Protectors
While some cases have built-in screen protection, most do not. However, many retailers sell them for every device on the market. Screen protectors reduce the risk of scratches or cracking on your touchscreen, but they can affect aesthetics and usability. Buy a screen protector made specifically for your device right away, as any imperfection on your screen increases the chances you will end up with bubbles. Follow the installation instructions carefully and apply the screen protector slowly. Screen protectors often come in packs, so you can discard the current one when it is damaged. Screen protectors that cut viewing angles for additional privacy are also available, as well as some designed to reduce glare. The only downside is that screen protectors are frustrating to apply and often reduce touchscreen sensitivity.