What is the purpose of a case?

Discussion in 'iPhone Accessories' started by fredf, Jun 12, 2009.

  1. fredf macrumors 6502

    Oct 31, 2008
    I'm serious.
    I'm waiting for my new iPhone.
    I've been using a Nokia for a number of years and use a leather case with belt clip. I always wear my phone on my belt and when I answer I just pull up the velcro and grab the naked Nokia.

    Skins seem really popular for the iPhone. I don't really understand why.
    Given the cost of the phone I would want really good protection but also little bulk. I don't see the point in a hard case since they would impart shock to the phone if dropped and so, it seems to me, wouldn't offer much protection.
    Silicone cases would seem to make more sense but there is no protection for the huge screen.

    What I figure would make sense (at least for me) is something like a leather belt clipped case (like a Beyza or Marware). The problem is, though, the risk of dropping the unprotected phone when grabbing it out of the case. So I think a thin silicone type skin on the phone and the phone in the leather case would make most sense for those of us who need to use a belt clip.

    I like the Otter stuff but it is too huge.

    What do others think?
  2. elfxmilhouse macrumors 6502a

    Oct 15, 2008
    Northeast USA
    i was never a case guy.

    I think it ruins the appearance and feel of a device

    Skins are nice but some of them feel weird. all depends what you like.

    The Zagg invisible shield is a good one that doesnt add bulk. but like all skins it wont protect from impacts
  3. Section10 macrumors newbie

    Jun 6, 2009
    Excellent question, its one that I don't often see on here nor does it look like that most care. All I hear about is 'sexiness' or 'slimness' but nobody questions whether it will survive a drop!
    I think more people need to crack their screens to realize the wasted $50 they spent on something sexy that they cant make love with.
    From what i've seen, a certain amount of bulkiness is required in order to protect the screen and internal parts from damage. There has to be some shock absorber like foam, thicker silicone, neoprene etc... 95% of these cases out here are basically scratch proofing the phone not protecting it. But mannnn they are sexy!
    Otter box is the only one i've seen so far that atleast attempts to make a difference but even then, its slightly misleading. Their 'drop proof' actually means, less likely to drop it, not that it will survive a drop. Shockproof means, the case can take quite a beating, not that it will absorb the shock to the phone. Thats why I opted out of the Otterbox. I think a thicker leather case may be the best bet out of all these cases since leather isn't as stiff as these plastics which transfer the shock to the phone.
    So basically, all these cases are designed for the common beauty not practicality. Its a bragging tool to show off. I would not want to drop my phone in any of these, and people, you WILL drop the phone.
  4. fredf thread starter macrumors 6502

    Oct 31, 2008
    In fact, as you say, the hard cases offer absolutely no protection except for scratches you might acquire in your pocket or knapsack.
    What I mean by protection is shock protection.
    How bulky do you find the Otter?
  5. wahoo10 macrumors 6502

    Feb 11, 2009
    THANK YOU! Finally, someone with some sense beyond "I go naked" or get these hard shell things. From day 1, I've had a silicon case on my 2G, and that's probably the only reason I don't have a huge crack or dent in mine. You can't pay me to keep it naked, unless you pay me the cost of a new phone of course. My sister goes naked with her 2G, has a huge crack in the screen. My roommate went naked, she had a huge crack and dented the side. Me? Still rocking the blue silicon case. It's much easier to find the phone too amongst purse clutter :rolleyes:
    Join the club, go the case route. When everyone's whining that there's is broken or scratched or whatever, you'll still have a beautiful WORKING iPhone.
    As for cases, I would go silicon. Best shock absorber, I think. They may add a bit of bulk, but who cares. They're already extremely thin. Look into InCase or iSkin, they make silicon cases that can go onto a belt clip.
    Happy WORKING iPhone-ing :D
  6. onehoop macrumors member


    Jul 28, 2008
    i would much prefer to go naked, but I think the main advantage of the skin is to keep the back scratch free to preserve resale value. A friend just sold a used, unlocked 3G for $600. Unbelievable!
  7. NightStorm macrumors 68000

    Jan 26, 2006
    Whitehouse, OH
  8. Switz213 macrumors 6502

    May 26, 2008
    I really hate using a case because I love it naked, but I would rather not have a broken $XXX phone. I can't use a silicon case because the majority of the time, my iPhone lives in my pocket and I hate taking it in and out of my pocket with silicon. I suggest going for a SwitchEasy Rebel. It's by far the best case that mixes a silicon LIKE substance that makes it good to grip while there is a hard spine so it can slide in and out of your pocket easily. It comes with a separate dock protecter that slides in and out to protect your dock. It also comes with a few other things, but it is by far the best case I have ever used or seen. www.switcheasy.com
    My iPhone 3G is still perfect today.
    I have the Black Rebel Serpent.
  9. Doctor Q Administrator

    Doctor Q

    Staff Member

    Sep 19, 2002
    Los Angeles
    I never use a case, never let my phone get scratched (nothing else goes in that pocket), and never drop it, and I've been fine. That's because I'm super careful.

    If it was a less-valued possession, I might be sloppier with it, and of course if I make a mistake and let it get damanged then I'll wish in hindsight that I had a protective case. In the meantime, I find that a well-treated phone does fine without a case.
  10. V4705 macrumors 6502

    Mar 23, 2009
    i won't drive to the supermarket in a tank (aka otterbox) just in case someone will decide to shoot me.

    there is good cases in the middle, speck candyshell and switheasy capsulerebels for example, both of them have rubbery layer inside the case that provide you decent shock absorbing.
  11. CallMeZsaZsa macrumors member

    Jun 12, 2009
    I have a case for a few reasons:
    to give some protection, to tell DHs and my phones apart, and to find my phone more easily in the black hole that is my purse (hence my brightly colored covers)
  12. oakiegu007 macrumors member

    Feb 20, 2008
    what do you guys do to your phones? seriously....

    I've had my 2g since they came out...with nothing on it. Sure, the metal is scratched on the side, but the screen is perfect. It goes in with my keys, weight lifting, you name it...were there different screens released?
  13. gospel9 macrumors regular

    Sep 20, 2008
    The iPhone 3G has almost no protection at all for its large glass screen. I had my first one dropped on the concrete face flat ONE TIME (and I was extremely careful with it, it slipped out of my pocket while I was at the gym doing leg workouts!) and the screen instantly cracked - it looked like a spider web.

    Apple offered me a replacement for $200 at the time and ever since then I have been using a SwitchEasy Rebel and then a Neo, then Incase Slider. Drops have occured since then (including times when it fell face flat on concrete!), and my iPhone up to today is still in mint condition (my cases have been severely damaged though, but that's fine).

    I think that extra protection on the front of the iPhone really makes a difference. Though I wish Apple could invest some more into building their iPhones to be less fragile.
  14. Ironworker808 macrumors regular

    Jun 13, 2009
    The purpose of a case is dependent upon the individual. It usually falls into one of two categories.

    Style or Protection. Most cases do one of these very well, while sacrificing the other.

    After reading these forums for a short time, it would seem to me that the majority of posters choose their cases for maximum style combined with minimal protection. The iPhone has a unique look, and most don't want to detract from that. Yet they want their iPhone to... stand out, if you will, from other iPhones. It used to be just owning an iPhone was enough to do that. But with over 10 million of them floating around the United States, people have taken to doing that little bit more to make their phones unique... just like everyone else. ;)

    At the other end of the spectrum, are people like myself. I've always equated 'thick' phones to 'durable' phones. (Right or wrong, it's a mindset I got myself into many years ago, and I doubt I'll ever shake it.)

    Combine that ↑, with my history of being rough on phones, combined with my occupation (see screen name) and you have a person who wants/needs maximum protection. So I went with an Otterbox Defender. Even in the case it is thinner than my last phone (a Palm Treo 755wx) so it doesn't even feel 'bulky'.

    I've had the phone and case for just a couple of weeks (and before anyone asks, I already went back to AT&T and claimed 'buyers remorse' and pre-ordered a 3G S for a low upgrade fee of zero dollars :D) and already the Otterbox has saved my phone three times. Dropped it once from waist height onto a concrete sidewalk, once from chest height down a flight of carpet covered stairs (About seven or eight of them) and once from about 15 feet onto a carpeted wood floor. Not a scratch on the case, and the phone never stopped working or had any other problems. Not even temporary ones. So I feel my $50 case (plus shipping) has saved me a couple hundred dollars a few times over.

    To top it off, I've received several compliments on the look of the case, from friends and strangers. So I feel that I've got the best of both worlds. Maximum protection with a bit of style.

    In short, the purpose of a case is for it to do what the owner of said case wants it to.
  15. kugino macrumors 65816


    Jul 10, 2003
    i've started not putting cases on any of my ipods or iphone...i'm not prone to dropping stuff nor do i put my gadgets through harsh use...

    i just think they're so pretty that they shouldn't have cases on them. yes, you're protecting the iphone with the case, but for what purpose? unless you're trying to sell them later for maximum profit, it's really not a big deal, IMO. the only "cases" i would put are the invisible shields...
  16. Knolly macrumors 6502a

    Jul 22, 2007
    Kudos to ironworker for the most thorough answer.

    For me, cases are for a combo of style and feel. Style for reasons said by ironworker. By feel I mean that I don't really like the feel of the iPhone 3G in my hand. It's too slippery/plasticky/whatnot. This is kind of why I was really hoping that the 3GS would have a soft-touch matte black back due to the leaked photos, but no such luck...
  17. Ben C. macrumors member

    Ben C.

    Jun 14, 2009
    New England
    I don't like the high-gloss backing on the iPhone and what appears to be the more prominent (some may say 'blingy') Apple logo and text on the back of the 3G S housing. But I want it to slip easily in and out of my right front pocket (no keys or other objects in there). So I went with a matte black Incipio Feather case.

    I've only dropped a cell phone once in my 15 years of owning one, and I've never dropped any of the cordless phones I have at home. So drop protection is a non-issue for me.

  18. caligurl macrumors 68030


    Jun 8, 2009
  19. PhixionFilms macrumors 6502

    Dec 6, 2008
    Deployed atm
  20. niuniu macrumors 68020


    Mar 29, 2009
    A man of the people. The right sort of people.
    I use my phone a lot, and although I am very good at looking after my phones, they will inevitably get scratched/marked. I'm not massively fussed on how my 3G looks anymore anyway (I had the 2G before it so the novelty has long worn off) and I have it tucked away nicely in a leather Belkin case. Looks good actually and I don't think twice before I set it down every time..
  21. rogue7 macrumors member

    Jun 7, 2009
    how durable is the iphone 3g i personally keep a case on mine but ive often thought about going without. so i was just curious as to how much of a drop it can take
  22. fredf thread starter macrumors 6502

    Oct 31, 2008
    Ironworker: thanks for that very thorough reply. But, I wonder how the Defender is really protective of the entire iPhone. Yes, the cushioning skin is going to help but all these cases leave the screen unprotected. I guess if you drop it (as you have) then you count on the surface being relatively flat so that the thickness of the skin prevents the screen from making contact with the floor.

    But what if you want to throw the phone in a knapsack? Or, I cycle a lot and want to put it in one of the pockets on the back of my cycling jersey (along with a key, etc). I don't want the screen to get scratched. I don't want to worry about it getting injured bouncing around in a pocket, a knapsack, etc.

    Any suggestions for that? All I can think of is getting a slim leather case to tuck it into. I would like a silicon or cushy case to drop it into for protection i these circumstances. If the Defender had a removable rubber face (over the screen) that would do the trick.
  23. Ironworker808 macrumors regular

    Jun 13, 2009
    The Defender comes with a screen protector built into the case.

    You should go to Otterbox's website and watch the demo video.

    And it also has a cute lil' window to show off the apple on the back of the phone. (It clips face inward into a holster.)
  24. fredf thread starter macrumors 6502

    Oct 31, 2008
    this is what I have done so far:
    I bought a leather belt clip holder as that is how I prefer to carry the phone.


    The phone is held snugly so it is protected in the case.

    But I still has 2 issues:

    1. how slippery is the phone? I don't want to drop it when I pull in out of the holster. Do I need a grippy slim skin of some kind?
    If so, what is the slimmest one out there?

    2. For when I toss it in a knapsack, I still don't have a case to put in in. What do you people recommend to slip it into to prevent screen sratches, etc?

Share This Page