Pile of phones with cracked screens

Should I use a phone case (2020)?

With smartphone prices rising every year, it´s probably time you put some serious thought into whether or not you should be wrapping your device in some type of casing (unless you´re the happy-go-lucky, risk-taking type, of course).

We´ve outlined both the pros and cons of using a phone case in the hope that, by the end of this article, you´ll either be frantically searching Amazon for a case or proudly caressing your case-free phone! 

Do I need a phone case? (quick summary) – a phone case definitely makes sense financially and, with the amount of variety available, you´re sure to find one that suits your needs/style! You may even find that your phone looks better! If you´re a real purist (and you´re willing to take the financial risk), by all means go case-free!

Why a phone case isn´t worth it!

They cover the phone´s sleek finish / vibrant yellow color / etc.

Yes, a phone case WILL cover (or at least partially cover) your new smartphone´s sleek design! Given the array of bold and beautiful colors available for newer iPhones, I fully understand people´s reluctance to wrap their phones in a case.

Smartphones today (especially Apple products) are designed to look as good as humanly possible, so plonking them in a case is pretty much going against natural instinct!

They´re SOOO bulky!

According to NDP group´s Smartphone Case Segmentation Study, 33% of iPhone users are put off using a case because of the additional bulkiness.

There´s no getting around the fact that a phone case is going to add a bit of bulk to your phone, although quite how much ´bulk´ definitely depends on your choice of case (and, yes, there are some REALLYYY bulky cases out there).

They´re not always compatible with other accessories (and sometimes wireless charging)

We´ve all heard horror stories about ill-fitting smartphone cases that need to be taken off whenever you want to sit your phone in a dock / phone stand / wireless charging device.

There´s no denying that some accessories are still not phone case friendly, although most ARE now compatible with wireless charging.

TOP TIP – be especially wary of any heavy-duty case made from aluminum as these most likely WILL interfere with wireless charging! 

They´re NOT environmentally friendly

Given the possibly irreversible damage that we´ve done to the environment, this is really something that we should all be considering!

According to Pela Case, creators of the compostable phone case, an astounding ONE BILLION plastic phone cases are purchased EVERY YEAR! Can you even imagine that many phone cases? Where do you they all end up …

Man holding ´Save our planet´ placard

They (might) cause your phone to overheat

Although phone cases themselves won´t cause your cell phone to overheat, they do provide an extra layer of insulation, essentially ´blocking´ the escape route.

In reality, this normally isn´t a major issue, but if you´ve just had a 5 hour ´Candy Crush´ session on your iPhone and it´s a little hot to the touch, it´s probably advisable to take off the case!

They´re expensive!

Perhaps counter-intuitively, many people decide not to buy their smartphone a case because of the extra cost. NDP Group found that 19% of iPhone users opt out of buying a phone case in order to avoid a further financial hit.

At $50+, it´s definitely true that the most protective / desirable phone cases DO cost a pretty penny and, well, who doesn´t feel a bit out of pocket after shelling out on the latest iPhone?

Why you should use a phone case!

They´ll protect your phone

There are no two ways about it, smartphones scratch / crack WAY too easily and we need to protect our investment!

According to the stats experts over at statista.com, a whopping 74% of accidental damage to smartphones in 2018 came about from people dropping their phones.

The most common form of damage was (you guessed it!) cracked and scratched screens, which accounted for 56% of damaged phones (damage caused by phones being dropped in the toilet is also pretty common, but I´m not sure I can really help you out with that one)!

Nowadays, decent cases (´fashionable´ brands included) withstand drops of up to 10-11 feet. Companies like Rhinoshield have even developed ´smart´ materials (go read up on their revolutionary ´ShockSpread´), which are specially engineered to make your case just that little bit more resilient!

At the end of the day, if you´re going to spend a small fortune on the latest iPhone or Android, it makes financial sense to protect your device!

Repairs are expensive!

Did you know that even minor ´aesthetic´ damage to your smartphone could eventually cause it to stop working altogether?

According to the phone repair experts at Square Repair (they´ve repaired a whopping 70,000 electronic devices!), ´… a cracked screen leaves your phone exposed to more damage. The internal workings of your phone will be exposed and will gradually begin to malfunction´. Well, that doesn´t sound good!

Square Repair also emphasize that the touch screen will ´become unresponsive´, something that many of us (especially the serial phone-droppers) are all too familiar with!

So, how much does it cost to repair a screen? Well, here are the official quotes from Apple (gulp!)

They´re stylish and there´s a lot of choice

There´s so much variety in the world of phone cases that you´re sure to find the perfect fit for your style / personality! Put simply, the sky is the limit when it comes to choosing a case! If you decide to parade your smartphone around in its birthday suit, well, your limited to just one color.

You never know, your phone may even look BETTER when sporting a good-looking case (cue verbal abuse from smartphone purists)!

Not sure which case to get? We highly recommend checking out our most popular blog post – ´Cute / Stylish Phone Cases: The Ultimate Guide´ OR flicking through our product pages (we´ve got a pretty vast selection!)

Phone cases are ´grippier´ and most of them can take a bashing!

There´s no denying that there are some rather ´slippery´ smartphones on the market (I´m looking at you iPhone X). But will a case help you to finally get a good grip on your phone?

Well, that depends both on the design of the case and the material it´s made from, but I generally find that TPU (the stalwart of phone case materials) remains firmly in my hand.

TPU can also take a real bashing so it´s perfect for us clumsy folk … and don´t just take my word for it, the science gurus over at specialchem.com have this to say, ´(TPU) is a versatile thermoplastic elastomer with high durability and flexibility´. Sounds pretty convincing if you ask me!

If you´re phone-dropping prone or if you have particularly oily skin, you could also consider sticking a phone ´grip´ or ´ring´ to your case. 

Phone cases can have other functions

Want a waterproof phone? There´s a case for that! Want a phone that doubles as a wallet? Yes, you guessed it, there´s a case for that too!

You can even ´charge´ an iPhone with Apple´s Smart Battery case. Although I´d strongly urge the 7 million people who drop their phones down the toilet every year to go for something waterproof instead (and maybe something else proof too!).

Environmentally friendly options DO exist!

Green Eco-friendly phone case by Pela
Credit: Pela Case

Ok, so admittedly, most phone cases are made from TPU or polycarbonate (both forms of plastic). There are, though, a growing number of options for those looking for something more eco-friendly.

Pela Case is at the forefront of this movement and we highly recommend checking out their collection of stylish and 100% compostable cases!

They´re actually not all that bulky

Yes, there ARE some ´bulky´ phone cases but we´re in 2020 and you´d be surprised by how ´slim´ some of today´s uber-protective offerings actually are!

If you want to steer clear of any extra bulk but still want to protect your phone, you should check out RhinoShield´s ´CrashGuard NX´. It´s basically a ´bumper´ which fits around the side of your device. What´s the point? Well, it only withstands drops of up to 11 feet …

What´s the verdict?

If you´re going to be scaling mountains or have recently joined your local base jumping club then, yes, a phone case is probably a good idea! If, on the other hand, you prefer the sedentry lifestyle and spend most of your day wrapped up in bed, the latest in case technology probably won´t be quite as useful!

So, there you have it! Is a phone case necessary? Well, not necessary per se, but it´s definitely advisable!

At the end of the day, it´s a question of personal preference. 

Need a case but just love the color of your phone? Give the following guides a quick eyeball –

10 best cases for the blue iPhone 12 

10 best cases for yellow iPhones