Phone Case Buying Guide – All You Need to Know
Innovative thinking and technological development has led to the invention of countless gadgets. These devices have become an integral part of our lives. So much so, that we cannot imagine a world without them! The mobile phone is one such marvel. This palm-sized wonder has the whole world at its beck and call!
The mobile phone has virtually put all the skeptics into ‘silent mode’. Though the initial models of the mobile phone were unsightly, bulky, expensive, and too complicated to operate, the later models rectified these drawbacks and incorporated new features that have endeared them to one and all.
Why do you need phone covers?
Drop Protection: Mobile phones of today are stylish and sleek slabs composed of metal, glass, plastic or a combination of these. They are very light and are compact and portable. These advantageous features also render them extremely fragile and susceptible to damage. Even an accidental slip or fall could smash the screen, leave dents in the body of the device and cause irreparable damage to the phone.
Cosmetic Concerns: In order to avoid such unfortunate incidents, it is important for us to duly protect our mobile phones by using phone covers that effectively safeguard the phone from accidents. We handle our mobile phones every day. Frequent use can also smudge the phone and leave marks on it. These marks can spoil the aesthetic appeal of your phone. The other important reason to have your personalized phone case would be the opportunity it gives you to flaunt your style and choice!
Protection of Camera: Even if you are not too concerned about an occasional scratch or even a cracked back, you have something more to worry about. Some phones, like the iPhone, have a camera lens affixed to the back of the phone. So, the lens is prone to get damaged. This can result in photos of poor quality.
Resale Value: If you are among those people who religiously upgrade their mobile phones, you must consider investing in a sturdy phone case. Even if you overlook tiny nicks and scratches, many others do! It is a good idea to maintain your phone in good condition, if you intend to sell or exchange it in future.
Facts about Mobile Phone Covers and Cases
Mobile phones entered the market in the 1980s. Initially, these devices were priced exorbitantly. Understandably, the owners wanted to keep their gadgets safe from damage. Moreover, the introductory devices were quite ordinary looking and lacked any spark of novelty. In a bid to add some zest to the drab frame, owners started using colorful cases and covers on their phones.
The late 1990s and the early 2000s witnessed events that were no lesser than a revolution, in the field of communication and technology. Markets were flooded with mobile phones at very competitive prices. Additionally, the phones were made of much sturdier material that would withstand wear and tear. Covers were still used, but more as a means of storage.
The advent of the mobile iPhone, launched in 2007 by Apple, changed the entire scenario. The concept of the delicate and sensitive touch screen, made the use of covers and cases, a necessity. Though the demand for tough components like Gorilla glass was trending, there was a steady demand for mobile phone cases and covers – both for their functionality and aesthetic appeal.
With the arrival of smart phones with touch-screen technology, it has become all the more important to invest in a good phone case in order to protect your sensitive, not to mention, expensive mobile phone!
Buying Mobile Phone Cases/Covers
Due to easy availability, affordability and necessity, mobile phones are omnipresent these days. People without a mobile phone are considered oddities! Consequently, the market is flooded with varieties of mobile phones and their respective cases and covers. There are so many models and makes that it is quite a challenge to choose the perfect case that fits your phone.
There are different types of cases depending on the price, quality and function. Here is a list of the common types available.
Pouches, Sleeves and Socks
- They are usually made of soft materials, often canvas or fabric.
- They completely cover the phone like a sock and provide perfect protection.
- This type offers the best protection against scratches.
- They are not expensive and are easy to clean.
- The drawback is that they offer no protection against falls.
- It is also cumbersome to access the phone when it is inside the sleeve.
- These are rigid covers that are usually made of hard plastic that covers the back of the phone.
- This cover provides easy access to the phone as screen and buttons remain uncovered.
- It can protect adequately well against minor bumps.
- Shell frame helps to retain a slim profile and project the phone’s original design.
- The main set back is that the screen is unprotected.
- It cannot give assured protection against accidental drops.
Holsters or Horizontal Cases
- Holsters generally have a clip that can be attached to the belt.
- These are usually made of leather or synthetic alternatives like nylon.
- Holsters offer easy access to the phone.
- The phone has to be taken out of the case to be used.
- Can look bulky and unwieldy.
- Bumpers are thin strips of rubber that wrap around the outer edge of a phone.
- They provide some protection against bumps.
- They offer easy access to the phone.
- Retains and highlights the phone’s original aesthetics.
- Does not protect the device against drops.
- Skins, true to their name, closely wrap around the outside of the phone, leaving the screen free.
- Skins made from vinyl or silicone rubber are the most popular.
- Skin cases keep the profile slim and are available in a range of designs.
- Since they are made from silicone rubber, they have increased grip.
- Skins do not give any protection from big drops.
- No protection is offered to the screen.
Wallets and Flip types
- These cases offer the best possible protection to both the front and back side of the phone.
- The wallet cover has to be flipped open to access the screen.
- Wallet type cases are usually made from leather and similar synthetic material.
- Offers very good protection with easy access to screen.
- Some cases have storage space for coins and cards.
- This design adds considerable bulk to the phone and can be expensive.
- Screen guards are transparent and scratch-proof film that can be glued to the phone screen.
- They are not cases in the true sense, but screen guards add crucial protection to the touch screens of smart phones.
- Protects against scratches and is affordable.
- This is the case for ultimate protection of your precious phone. The body of this case is typically made of tough alloy shell.
- This is ideal for use in extreme environments.
- Offers the best protection against falls and drops.
- Best possible protection from the elements – rain, excessive sunlight, wind and dust.
- Drawback is the addition of considerable weight and bulk.
- Impractical for daily use.
- These are sports- oriented cases that can be strapped to the arm while working out at the gym or playing sports.
- Armbands are usually made from tough, synthetic, sweat- absorbing materials.
- Provides easy access to phones while working out.
- Impractical for use outside the gym or sports arena.
Depending on the requirement and situation, an appropriate choice of cover is made. The price, protective features, style, color and other aesthetics also contribute to the selection, but ultimately, it is the consumer’s decision that matters.
Materials used in Mobile phone Cases and Covers
Materials that are to be used to make mobile phone covers must be strong, flexible and affordable. There are very few materials that comply with all these requirements. Here is a list of all of them.
- Leather – It is used in wallets, sleeves, and holsters. Leather gives a high degree of protection. It also has a sleek look of grace and sophistication. The only impediment in buying a leather case would be its exorbitant price.
- Synthetic Leather – This is an affordable alternative to original leather. It is less expensive and durable. It is the most popular material used in cases. But, it lacks the classic looks and durability of real leather.
- Silicone/ Gel – It is the most widely used material for making cases and covers. It is strong, flexible and cost -effective. It is typically used in skin type cases.
- Rubber – Rubber is similar to silicone in that it is also inexpensive, flexible and strong. It also offers a good grip. Rubber is typically used in sports -related cases, skins and bumpers.
- Metal – Metal is very strong and is used in flip -type and extreme protection cases. These are usually expensive.
- Cotton/ Fabric – Cotton and other natural/ synthetic fabrics are used to make sleeves, pouches and socks. Cotton is washable as well as breathable. It can have a myriad of colors and designs.
- Hard Plastic – This material is used for making shell- type cases. Hard plastic offers a high level of protection at affordable prices. It is also light weight and can be molded into any desired shape.
The primary reason for buying a phone case is to protect your device. There are many features that are added to the basic model in order to enhance the durability and strength of the phone case or cover. Some features are listed below.
- Water resistant – Such cases are made from water retarding materials like silicone, plastic, and rubber. They may not be 100% water proof, but can protect the phone from minor spills.
- Fire retardant – These heavy duty phone cases are meant to protect the phone against fires.. They are usually made of metals or tough leather and are suitable for outdoor conditions.
- Hand strap – A simple hand strap is made of leather or nylon that can be wrapped around the hand. This improve grip and prevents accidental slipping. If you are going outdoors, this hand strap is very useful.
- Belt Clip – Belt clips are common features in all holster -type cases, but they can also be added to other cases to provide easy access to the device.
- Customizable – Few manufacturers give the option of customizing the phone’s looks. The consumer can change the color, texture, and design of the case.
Important points to remember
- Before you buy a cover or case for your mobile phone, check if the cover is compatible with your model of the phone. Some manufacturers do produce cases that can fit multiple models from the same brand. Such cases tend to be more expensive as they can be reused with multiple devices.
- There are countless types of covers and cases to choose from. So, it is prudent to narrow your choices based on the functionality, make, size, color, design and material.
- Many mobile phone covers have magnetic clasps. Almost all Smartphone and many tablets have a tiny built- in magnetic sensor, some have two. Commonly, it is a magnetometer that is used by compass apps to point towards the magnetic North.
- In Android and Apple tablets, these magnetometers work with another tiny magnet embedded in the case. This turns off display and put the tablet into sleep mode when the cover is closed. These clasp and cover magnets are quite weak, but when brought close to a phone or tablet, may affect compass readings. If you plan to do some serious navigation with the compass, remove the phone out of its case.
- If your device is prone to getting a little warm, then wrapping it securely in a non -breathable case is only going to aggravate the situation. Try to get a breathable fabric case, instead.
- A screen protector is an absolute necessity. It keeps your device smudge and scratch-proof, especially if you are to use the phone often. Another advantage of a protective cover is that you can remove the sheet just before you plan to sell your phone and have that ‘just like new’ look!
- Most of today’s touch screens already come with a protective layer of Gorilla Glass or other such hardened material which make scratching, near impossible. So, think well before you plan to get a screen protector. Some screen protectors reduce glare, but can make the display less responsive and harder to see. However carefully they are installed, screen protectors tend to develop unsightly air bubbles and scratches of their own.
Case Cleaning Tips
Did you know that Smartphone and tablets are among the dirtiest things we touch every day? Touch screen devices are known to be the safe haven for all species of germs and bacteria. Some companies are trying to create glass that kills germs, but until such a time, it is our duty to keep our device clean and hygienic.
In fact, the case which is supposedly protecting our phone can be just as filthy, if not filthier. So, cleaning your device periodically can help your phone be clean of dust and dirt, and keep you healthy too.
Follow these guidelines to clean your mobile phone case.
- You will need some water, a drop of soap and a soft cloth.
- Remove the case from your device. Start by dampening the cloth in the soapy water.
- Swipe down the cover or case where dirt and grime are visible.
- If you are very particular about warding off all germs, use a cotton swab with a drop of isopropyl alcohol.
- Use another piece of clean cloth. Wet it with clean water and wipe off any remnants of soap on the case.
- Let the case air dry or wipe down with a towel.
- In case your phone cover is made of cloth, you could use a hair dryer on low speed.
Use the valuable information provided in this guide to choose the perfect case for your invaluable mobile phone. Follow the tips to care for your case, and be assured that you will have no cause for concern.