Rights & Money

Do You Really Need a Case for Your Smartphone?

You might think a case is a frivolous luxury, but a good one can save you hundreds of dollars

 

By Jennifer Hughes

Photo: iStock/poplasen.

Every year another new batch of smartphones hits the market, phones with all the latest abilities. They cost hundreds of dollars, and their screens are getting bigger—and becoming more fragile—every year. Given the expense, most people protect their investment with a phone case to keep it safe from any falls or scratches.

Phone accessories are a big business. According to a 2018 report by Allied Market Research, the global mobile accessories market was valued at US$217,278 million in 2016 and is expected to reach $255,149 million by 2023.

While there are different kinds of phone cases and screen protectors out there, not all of them protect your phone the same way. Most of the cases that offer the best protection are expensive (in general, the less you spend, the less protection you get) and come with some drawbacks. They can be bulky, adding weight to your phone, and dirt can get trapped inside them, which can still scratch your phone. But screen protectors and cases do help protect phones from scratches, which can weaken their structural integrity, and most cases will also absorb the impact when a phone drops.

But cases won’t protect phones against everything. Tom’s Guide, a website that reviews various tech gadgets, found that the angle of the fall and the surface that gets the most impact can affect whether a phone breaks or not. While a phone dropped from 100 feet might be perfectly fine after a fall, another dropped only six feet might shatter.

So, is it really worthwhile it to use a phone case? Yes, but it’s important to remember that a case won’t protect your phone against everything—especially if you spill a drink on it or drop it in the toilet.