Other People who don't use a phone case - how does it hold up?

mattjackson

macrumors regular
Original poster
Mar 11, 2014
183
24
I absolutely HATE the fact I use a case on my iPhone. Love the feel/look of it without one so much, but around the time the backs became more slippery and the camera began protruding, I started using a case and haven't changed since.

For the first time I debating going 'naked' again though. I'm on iUP now so will get the new model every year, which to me is a comfort factor because if I damage it it's never too long until it'll be replaced.

So those that already don't use a case - how does it fare? Do the camera lenses scratch easily? Does the back generally mark badly if left/moved around on desks/tables etc?

Any experiences appreciated.
 
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AMTYVLE

macrumors 6502a
Sep 23, 2014
600
431
Southeast Florida
I took the case off my gold XS Max almost 3 months ago - using it bare since. Not a single scratch - not even on the gold stainless steel band, no dust buildup anywhere - still looks like the day I unboxed it over a year ago. I also stopped using any screen protectors - screen is pristine. No scratches or damage to the camera bump either.
 

mattjackson

macrumors regular
Original poster
Mar 11, 2014
183
24
I took the case off my gold XS Max almost 3 months ago - using it bare since. Not a single scratch - not even on the gold stainless steel band, no dust buildup anywhere - still looks like the day I unboxed it over a year ago. I also stopped using any screen protectors - screen is pristine. No scratches or damage to the camera bump either.
Stupid as it sounds, do you put it on surfaces much? That's the bit that worries me. I always put it on my desk/table, and sometimes it will be slid around a little. I am a careful owner in terms of not dropping it often etc though.
 

MacDevil7334

macrumors 65816
Oct 15, 2011
1,256
1,679
Austin TX
Using an iPhone naked has always been an all or nothing proposition. Assuming you are a reasonably careful user, and aren’t constantly bumping your phone into things or tossing it down on tables, you can expect the phone to hold up very well without a case. In some ways, it will actually do better than with a case on since you won’t have dust and grit getting caught under the case and scratching the phone.

The (somewhat obvious) downside of going without a case is, there is a much higher probability your phone is a goner if you drop it. Apple has used glass that is a little more shatter resistant (and a little less scratch resistant) in the iPhone 11 line. So that helps. But, realistically, if you drop it on a hard surface, you’re probably going to have cracked glass. Of course, my wife tripped while running a few weeks ago and destroyed the screen on hers even though it was in a case. So, it’s not like a case will take away all the risk from a drop, just lowers it.

Ultimately, you should know the risks and use the phone whichever way you prefer. I compromised and use the phone caseless unless I’m in a situation where dropping or other damage is more likely (hiking, gym, going out, etc.). I slap a case on it in those situations.
 

RaymondsTake

macrumors newbie
Jan 8, 2020
2
1
Ohio
I do hate cases too, especially on a phone as large as the XS Max/11 Pro Max. I only use my phone naked at home though. I'm too nervous to do it while out and about. Even at home, If I set the phone down, I only place it on soft surfaces. For example, in the kitchen, I'll place it on a napkin rather than on the bare countertop.
 
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macintoshmac

macrumors 68040
May 13, 2010
3,817
3,370
I have only ever used screen protectors on all my iPhones. The 4s suffered one drop in its serviceable life. The 5 and 5s suffered about two in their serviceable lives. With 7 and 8, I used them for a long time without cases as well. In all these years, I did not find any issue at all since I am quite careful with all my devices, not just Apple and not just phones. I began using the saddle brown leather case from Apple with the 8 only because I liked the case.

Like @RaymondsTake said, I, too, used to place my phones on something soft whenever putting them down on flat surfaces. On my desk, it used to be a thin cloth or even a book or atop cables. That's all the care I ever took with my naked iPhones.
 

steelhauler34

macrumors regular
Jul 23, 2019
149
101
No case your phone will eventually look a little sh&@tty. Just look at the used market there are 1000’s of examples. You WILL eventually drop it on a hard surface. If that doesn’t bother you knock yourself out. Me I like to get as much $$ as I can when I sell it. You know even if you use a case you can periodically take it out and admire it in its nakedness and get all worked up. Just make sure you are alone.
 

eyoungren

macrumors Core
Aug 31, 2011
22,080
14,796
ten-zero-eleven-zero-zero by zero-two
Great to see, thanks for those. Any marks on the camera lens? And if so, are they visible on any photos you take?
There is some abrasion of the metal ring around the lens. That's simply because I lay my phone down on it's back and not the front like a lot of people do. But no scratches or anything on the lens (it's sapphire). Takes the same quality of pics it did when I got it in September 2015.

This pic was taken by my iPhone. It's the Android Pixel that took the previous pictures of the iPhone.

2020-01-08 08.29.26.jpg
 

AMTYVLE

macrumors 6502a
Sep 23, 2014
600
431
Southeast Florida
Stupid as it sounds, do you put it on surfaces much? That's the bit that worries me. I always put it on my desk/table, and sometimes it will be slid around a little. I am a careful owner in terms of not dropping it often etc though.
Yes. I set it down on desks, tables, in my car cup holders, anywhere really except concrete/pavement, bricks, etc.
 

JacksonCraig94

macrumors regular
Sep 17, 2015
137
72
Derbyshire, UK
I’ve not used a case/screen protector on my iPhone for years and my devices are still in perfect condition. I’ve always been good with placing my phone down and putting my phone in a empty pocket. It all comes down to how well you look after your devices. If you’re heavy handed and don’t give a **** then you’ll have a messy device but if you somewhat care for your devices then you’ll have a lovely looking device. I couldn’t bare having a case on my devices now.
 

nburwell

macrumors 601
May 6, 2008
4,807
1,729
DE
Surface scratches on the front screen, but that's about it. I generally take very good care of my iPhone's, plus I have AC+ just in case (which I'll probably use to get a new screen at some point).

This is for my 11 Pro which I've had since October.
 

Acronyc

macrumors 6502a
Jan 24, 2011
740
241
Of course, my wife tripped while running a few weeks ago and destroyed the screen on hers even though it was in a case. So, it’s not like a case will take away all the risk from a drop, just lowers it.
The same thing happened to me with my iPhone 7 in November. I tripped and had a bad fall while running and not only did my knee get messed up pretty bad but the front glass on my iPhone shattered and the phone bent even though I had a case and glass screen protector on.

Even so, a case has saved my phone more than once over the years so I am also using a case with the iPhone 11 I got to replace my destroyed 7. It’s much nicer to use an iPhone without a case, but for me I’d rather use one than increase the risk of my phone breaking, a trip to the Apple store, paying any phone replacement fees, and setting up a new iPhone.
 

Burebista

macrumors regular
Oct 8, 2019
136
112
So those that already don't use a case - how does it fare?
Fine! After 2,5 years there’s quite a bit of wear and tear on the aluminum of my SE. Some dents. But you know what - it gives it some personality, background so to say? And hey, I got to enjoy the no case experience for all that time.

But just to be clear - I would never go caseless with 1000$ phone that costs like 980$ to repair. Nor would I buy one in the first place, lol.
 

vinegarshots

macrumors 6502
Sep 24, 2018
434
394
Why not just use your phone as intended, and if you scratch it or dent it enough that it bothers you, THEN put a case on it to cover it up? Get Apple Care + to cover all the major drops that break the screen or the back.
 
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Seanm87

macrumors 6502a
Oct 10, 2014
910
1,174
Do both like I do. Naked most of the time but put a case on for more high risk stuff like gym, running, outdoorsy stuff.

my XR looks flawless
 

mavis

macrumors 601
Jul 30, 2007
4,229
590
Tokyo, Japan
My iPhone 11 Pro Max has been case and screen protector free since launch day, and still looks perfect. I've polished the stainless steel band once or twice because it gets scuffed from being in my pocket, but yeah - it's holding up FAR better than my iPhone X did - that phone was scratched on day one, literally.
 

jcorbin

macrumors 6502a
Oct 18, 2011
817
38
D.C.
I normally go without any protection but my wife recently started using a pop socket case on her XR and I found that it’s actually pretty useful. So I picked one up for myself.
 

johaen8

macrumors member
Aug 17, 2010
63
129
Near Montgomery, AL
I haven't used a case on my phone since the iPhone 3G. So I've had the iPhone 3G, 4, 5, 6s, 7, 8, XS, and 11 Pro, all without cases. In all that time I've only cracked one screen, which I had replaced for free at the Apple store (AppleCare covered it, since it was a single crack). I treat my phone like the $600-$1100 device it is. I do my best not to drop it. I'm not perfect, and I've dropped it here and there. Other than that one cracked screen, I haven't had any issues from any drops. Interestingly, I've gotten more than one compliment at the Apple Store on how well maintained my phone is when I go to trade it in for the new one. I've been case-less for like 10 years and I wouldn't have it any other way.
 

robertosh

macrumors 6502a
Mar 2, 2011
701
303
France
Stupid as it sounds, do you put it on surfaces much? That's the bit that worries me. I always put it on my desk/table, and sometimes it will be slid around a little. I am a careful owner in terms of not dropping it often etc though.
I normally use a removable leather (sleeve type) case. So when I use the phone I remove it and when I leave the phone on a surface I put it over the case.

My 6 is very well conserved after 5 years, the only thing is that is has like micro dents or dots in the back, which seems like some kind of corrosion due to the age.
 

compwiz1202

macrumors 65816
May 20, 2010
1,448
801
Using an iPhone naked has always been an all or nothing proposition. Assuming you are a reasonably careful user, and aren’t constantly bumping your phone into things or tossing it down on tables, you can expect the phone to hold up very well without a case. In some ways, it will actually do better than with a case on since you won’t have dust and grit getting caught under the case and scratching the phone.

The (somewhat obvious) downside of going without a case is, there is a much higher probability your phone is a goner if you drop it. Apple has used glass that is a little more shatter resistant (and a little less scratch resistant) in the iPhone 11 line. So that helps. But, realistically, if you drop it on a hard surface, you’re probably going to have cracked glass. Of course, my wife tripped while running a few weeks ago and destroyed the screen on hers even though it was in a case. So, it’s not like a case will take away all the risk from a drop, just lowers it.

Ultimately, you should know the risks and use the phone whichever way you prefer. I compromised and use the phone caseless unless I’m in a situation where dropping or other damage is more likely (hiking, gym, going out, etc.). I slap a case on it in those situations.
Exactly. I'm sure no one is trying to drop them, but stuff happens. And to me, I would be more nervous without a case with it being so slippery, that the chance of dropping would increase more without a case.
 
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