How much case is enough to protect from shatters?


macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 26, 2011
How much case do you need on your iPhone to protect it? Not just from scratches, but from drops.

Say I were to drop my iPhone 4S from about 5 feet onto concrete. What is a case that would protect my iPhone enough to save it from that? Please don't suggest the Defender or any hardcore case. I do not believe it requires THAT much just to keep it from shattering.


macrumors 6502
Oct 24, 2011
Hanover, MD
In most falls, the way in which it falls and lands really determines the damage. I know it sounds really obvious but it is true :/

Silicone / TPU cases, like the Speck PixelSkin HD will be fine for moderate drops, though if it lands screen first onto a rock... well that's where physics takes it role, and your luck gets tested. Also, bumper cases will work similarily since when falling, iPhones have a tendency to land on their sides / corners.

Cases like the Tank, Defender and Protector are all more for the 20+ foot drop range imo, that or an overprotective feeling by the iPhone owner to keep his or her phone in pristine condition, which isn't a bad thing by any means really. :)


macrumors 68000
Sep 18, 2010
Hamilton, New Zealand
Well bumpers are out of the question from this. Although its better than no case, snap on cases and slim cases.

Silicon cases are the best for drop protection since it absorbs shock. Hard plastic cases are the worst. TPU cases are somewhere in between.

Snap on cases like Case Mate barely there is also out of the question and any slim cases like Desmay slight.

Steve Jobs.

macrumors regular
Feb 6, 2010
I think the best compromise is the Otterbox Commuter.

It makes the iPhone juuuusssst big enough to where its protected from nearly most common drops and damage, but slim enough to where it isn't ridiculous like the Otterbox Defender or similar.

Also before I had the Otterbox Commuter case, I thought the iphone did not have a good feel to it when I was holding it because I have fairly large hands. Now though, its perfect for holding in both portrait and landscape!

I'm not an Otterbox shill though. I think any case with the silicone wrapper with the hardshell outside type design can do offer a similar compromise. Another company I like is Switcheasy.