How to adequately protect iPhone 5?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by arc123, Dec 23, 2012.

  1. arc123 macrumors member

    Dec 23, 2012
    Hi all. New registrant and all; go easy on me :eek:. I'm thinking about getting an iPhone 5 but I'm honestly pretty spooked by the bending business that people are talking about. I have an upgrade available and am deciding between a 4S and 5 (not all that interested in Android). I am not really tremendously inclined to buy an old model to be stuck with for the next two years (I don't upgrade early), but I also don't want to buy a phone that won't last that long because of structural issues.

    So, I'm genuinely wondering, what appears to be necessary to avoid problems with bending, dysfunctional buttons from warping, that sort of thing? I was thinking about getting a slider case since that's more robust than a snap case. I don't want the bulk of an otter box but a slider is OK. I keep my phone in my front pocket; elsewhere is not practical for me. Is this likely to be a problem?

    Basically, since it's a new two-year commitment I want to make a reasonable decision between the 5 and 4S.
  2. Arnezie macrumors 65816


    Oct 10, 2011
  3. rrandyy macrumors 6502

    Jan 14, 2009
    It's a non-issue. Two million iPhone5s have been sold, 14 of the had this problem and were replaced by Apple. This is like a guy buying a dress because he's afraid the jeans he is considering wont look good on him. Actually, it's nothing like that, but the rationale is just as stupid.

    It's simple: if the iPhone 5 is within your price range, buy it. If not, look at alternatives.
  4. Vell843 macrumors regular


    Jun 20, 2011
    I agree with the post just now. I upgraded from a 4 to 5 and I have AppleCare plus. Luckily I have a perfect iPhone 5 right out the box.
  5. cheezeit macrumors 6502

    Jul 10, 2010
    Dallas, TX
  6. tann macrumors 68000

    Apr 15, 2010
    Nottingham, England
    Just get a 5, I have only heard of very very few cases where peoples aren't in good condition and this bending thing... it's like a 1 in a million!

    I got mine on Monday, it was great out of the box and I have no case on it. I treat it like it's my precious. I will never let anything hurt it!
  7. MisterKeeks macrumors 68000


    Nov 15, 2012
    Just get a good case, Applecare, and you'll be fine. With just about every product, especially products manufactured by Apple, there will be people complaining about why it doesn't do this/that, or that it scratches too easily. there will never be a product that does everything you want it to, nor will there be one that is invincible. It's a phone, people. It's going to get scratched if it's not in a case.
  8. Jordan921 macrumors 601


    Jul 7, 2010
    Bay Area
    Get the 5 and don't look back. There have been millions of iPhone 5s sold and only a couple of incidents of the 5 bending.
  9. Tulani macrumors 6502a


    Dec 6, 2012
    Even the human being eventually succumbs to forces of nature....what more a product of him? .....enjoy your phone whilst you still can. Happy holidays!
  10. SnowLeopard OSX macrumors 6502a

    SnowLeopard OSX

    Dec 5, 2012
    If you're deciding between 4S and 5 -- ask yourself this: "is gaining access to an LTE network and having LTE speed capabilities my top priority?"

    If you're trying to protect your iPhone 5: Get a full on protective case for it - to avoid nicks, scratches, abrasions. To prevent your iPhone 5 from bending, don't keep it in your back pocket, and if you wear really tight jeans, prevent keeping it in your pocket entirely.

    If you're trying to protect your iPhone 4S, all you need is a bumper at most to prevent the device from dropping and shattering -- Apple's official bumper works great at preventing this.

    All in all, the iPhone 4S shatters and cracks easier, but isn't as susceptible to scratches, while the iPhone 5 is less likely to get a cracked screen, but is far more susceptible to small scratches, light bending, etc.
  11. arc123 thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 23, 2012
    Wow! Thank you everyone for your help. I do understand that forums tend to be magnets for complaints; it just seemed like a somewhat alarming number of people were having trouble with bending. I'm not all that worried about scratching; that's sort of a fact of life with a lot of devices over time. I do care about screen defects, but most of the 5s I've seen have been remarkably consistent in that respect. I disagree that it's irrational to consider the 4S - I'd certainly like LTE and the A6 but, realistically, I won't be making maximal use of either, most of the time. However, my experience in the past is that my usage tends to adapt with new technology, so I don't want to discount the new features too much. Apart from that, the 4S is (in my opinion at least) a fantastic phone. The 5 looks like a great phone too, but it won't be so great if I end up messing it up :eek:.

    Regarding AppleCare+, that's not really a practical budgetary item for me right now. If it's truly ill-advised to buy a 5 without it, that would probably count as a point in favor of the 4S for me. As a general matter, I'm not all that hard on my phones. I don't baby them but I don't stick them in my back pocket, drop regularly, or things of that sort. I could probably get away with no-case on the 4S, though I imagine I'd use one anyway. However, with the 5, it seems to be pretty important.

    It sounds like, apart from the AppleCare+ consideration, a slider case (or something equivalent in rigidity and coverage) would be adequate for typical front-pocket use? I don't wear super tight pants but they aren't baggy cargos either :)
  12. ThatsMeRight macrumors 68020

    Sep 12, 2009
    I thought I'd give you some extra information. I had an iPhone 4 since 2010 and bought an iPhone 5 in October of this year. I have used the iPhone 4 about 30% of the time with a bumper case and 70% without. I have found even such a bumper case (sold by Apple) can scratch the phone.

    I have been using the iPhone 5 since October without a case. I - luckily - haven't dropped it, but I just wanted to let you know it's not scratched. It's not scuffed. It's not bent.

    Personally, if you had the choice between an iPhone 4S and an iPhone 5, I'd definitely go for an iPhone 5 (for several reasons I'll list below).

    A6 chip
    I don't know about you, but I tend to keep my phone for at least two years. While the A5 chip is no slouch, an A6 chip is definitely more future-proof. Not only do you get twice the CPU performance and twice the GPU performance, you'll also get a chip that generates less heat and has 1 GB of RAM.

    1 GB of RAM allows for better multitasking and more advanced apps. In the past, Apple's iOS devices after a software update (like going from iOS 3 to iOS 4) with more RAM have always run better than with less RAM.

    The A6 chip gives you a garantuee: not only now, but also in 2013 and 2014 (and perhaps 2015), you'll be able to enjoy the latest iOS update and run new apps.

    4-inch display
    It's bigger, so you get more content, it's got a higher brightness, a higher contrast, better colours and less reflections. Also, it's most likely the display size for the iPhone for the years to come. It's likely that Apple will stick with a screen diagonal of 4 inch for the coming years, and it's likely developers will focus more and more on the 4-inch display.

    This is obviously personal. Some arguments in favor of the iPhone 5 are the facts that it is lighter and thinner. Also, the back panel is mainly made out of aluminium with just a little bit of glass on the top and bottom. The iPhone 4S, however, is made entirely out of glass (on the back). Glass can shatter, aluminium doesn't shatter.

    LTE and faster 3G
    LTE is a big deal in the United States. In the future you can expect speeds up to 100 Mbps and currently it's not uncommon to float somewhere around the 20 to 30 Mbps.
    Also, the iPhone 5 supports faster 3G speeds: up to 42 Mbps.

    These are the, on first sight, biggest differences. We've got these faster data speeds, something that is important because smartphones are internet-connected devices and every year carriers see higher and higher data usage.

    We've got this new design, which you either like or don't. Also, we've got a bigger 4-inch display which shows us more content and a future-proof A6 chip.

    There are also some other smaller features that may, or may not, influence your decision. The rear-facing 8 megapixel camera has been improved: faster photo-taking, better noise reduction and it's also much better in low-light conditions. It also allows you to take pictures while recording a video (something an iPhone 4S can't do) and, thanks to the more powerful A6 chip, it is able to do face detection while video recording (on the iPhone 4S, this is only available for still-photos).

    There's also a FaceTime HD (front facing) camera which is a real step up from the VGA camera found in the iPhone 4S. Higher quality pictures, 720p HD video recording and finally backside illuminated.

    An iPhone 5 also has three microphones for better noise cancellation and an iPhone 5 has, according to Apple, better battery life compared to an iPhone 4S.

    Finally, there's a new, smaller, dock connector which is called the Lightning connector. Since you appear to be new to the "ecosystem", I'd suggest it's best to get an iPhone 5. From now on, all Apple's iOS devices will have this smaller dock connector. If you ever decide to buy an iPad (which also has this Lightning connector), for example, it's nice to have the same connector and not two different ones.
  13. Megalobyte macrumors 6502a

    Dec 30, 2007
    The matte black Incase slider is a great case, very protective, yet thin and sleek. Just get the screen protectors from the Verizon stores, they're cut slightly small so they don't have any issues with slider cases. It's a very sleek yet protective set up.

    The 5 is superior in most ways, especially if you get LTE in your area. Perhaps the biggest upgrade is the battery life. Yes, some have battery issues but most are experiencing pretty remarkable battery life. I could NEVER get through a day of medium to heavy use with a 4s, on the 5, maybe I've had 1-2 days where I ran it to 0, but it's very rare. For all intents and purposes the 5 has an all day battery, 7-9 hours of actual usage, in other words, not inflated by playing music, play 2 hours of music, make it up to 10-11 hours. Try that on a 4s and let me know how that works out. :)

    They somehow made the phone twice as fast and powerful, yet improved battery life, no small feat IMO.
  14. ThatsMeRight macrumors 68020

    Sep 12, 2009
    It must be noted, however, that bad reception (1, 2 or 3 bars) is a real battery drainer and that you than should expect 5 hours of usage. For lots of people, you'll still need to charge it at night so there's still a lot to do here for Apple.
  15. JupiterDoc macrumors member

    Aug 8, 2012
    Go Naked

    I agree; the iPhone is best without a case. It is more responsive and ligher. With AppleCare + you will not have to worry about wear and tear.

    I purchased an iPhone Lanyard and I wear mine around my neck as if it were a necklass. I'm very happy with it. Especially works well as a speakerphone while I'm driving.
  16. phpmaven macrumors 68040


    Jun 12, 2009
    San Clemente, CA USA
    Charge it at night! Oh the humanity!
  17. JupiterDoc macrumors member

    Aug 8, 2012
    AppleCare +

    AppleCare +
    Don't leave home without it!
    I don't understand why Apple doesn't make it included with the phone. I can't imaging not having it. I call the help desk weekly for tips and help. When my 4 was more than 2 years old, my AppleCare Plus ran out. I was upset that the 5 did not come out yet and Apple wasn't still providing assistence with my current phone. When I complained, they helped me for free.

    Buy AppleCare +
  18. Garsun macrumors regular


    Oct 20, 2009
    I find the lifeproof case to be very thin and protective and highly recommend it.
  19. ThatsMeRight macrumors 68020

    Sep 12, 2009
    I'm just saying, dumb phones have no problem holding out for an entire week. A smartphone should last at least two days in my opinion.

    If you game a lot on your iPhone, or use it with maximum brightness, your phone is dead by - or even before - the end of the afternoon. That just sucks.
  20. pooleman Suspended


    Jan 11, 2012
    Eastern CT
    Just get them unlubricated so you don't trip the liquid sensor.


    The only problem with Lifeproof cases is that they muffle the sound through the use of the waterproof covers over the earpiece and speakers.
  21. ManicMarc macrumors 6502

    Jul 1, 2012
    Hire some protection


    Or more seriously, just use the phone. It's a phone after all. No point paying for a Porche if you're gonna strap a trailer home to the back of it.
  22. gmanist1000 macrumors 68030


    Sep 22, 2009
    If you're that worried about it, don't buy it.
  23. arc123 thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 23, 2012
    Tremendously helpful responses from some folks here. Thank you all!

    ThatsMeRight - Do you keep your iphone in your pocket or somewhere else? Just wanted to check on that. I knew about the A6 CPU, but somehow it escaped my notice that the iPhone 5 has twice the RAM (i.e. 1GB). That's definitely a worthy consideration! The microphone upgrade sounds great as well. I could have sworn I looked at the Apple webpage about new features but I must have skimmed over it too fast. Like you, I keep my phones for a long time, so I try to buy with ~2-3 years in mind. One thing that really prompted me to post the thread was reading about people finding their phone bent after removing it from a case. So, I wondered if a case was just not enough, or even if cases were causing damage.

    Megalobyte - Definitely, I'll be getting a screen protector as well. I've always found those worthwhile. I love the look and feel of the incase sliders. Battery life does sound like it's going to be a bit rough at times; I don't always have great reception. However, I am in a routine of charging my phone every night, so I'm guessing it isn't going to cramp my style :). From the reviews, it looks like the phone gets better battery life on LTE. Is that where a lot of the increase is coming from for many people?

    Garsun - Thanks for the tip on the case! That one looks pretty cool as well. It does look as though it may cover up the speakers on the bottom some; possibly the microphone too? Still, very neat case. I may consider that one, although I do really like the incase slider as well.

    JupiterDoc - If I had the extra $100 to spare, I'd probably first look at upgrading to a higher model of the phone. Realistically speaking, given that I exercise what is ordinarily adequate caution with my electronics as it is, the major reason to consider AppleCare+ would be if the 5 could not handle a usage style that would be fine with the 4S. If that were the case, I'd probably just get the 4S.

    ManicMarc - I'm OK with having a case, in terms of thickness. I actually kind of like the extra thickness + matte finish that I'd get with a slider case.
  24. SnowLeopard OSX, Dec 23, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2012

    SnowLeopard OSX macrumors 6502a

    SnowLeopard OSX

    Dec 5, 2012
    Your analogy confuses me in the case of what OP is asking...

    Do cases hinder the speed of the iPhone? Last time I checked, they didn't!
  25. ThatsMeRight macrumors 68020

    Sep 12, 2009
    I keep it in my (front) pocket. I do, however, not mix it with keys or coins or something like that.

    And yep, cases can cause damage too. An easy example: you put your iPhone in a case, somewhere along the road some sand manages to slip between some seams, and guess what happens: there is some friction and the sand scratches the phone.

    I wouldn't be too worried about some scratches though. It's an object you'll use for the next two to three years and at some point, you're bound to scratch it.

    Also, keep in mind that the iPhone 5's back is mainly made out of metal. Aluminum can scratch. But as I said earlier: aluminum might scratch easier than glass, but glass breaks much, much faster than aluminum.
    That said, I'd rather see an iPhone 5 drop than an iPhone 4S knowing that the entire back of an iPhone 4S is made out of glass.

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