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  1. Thread Author  Thread Author    #1  

    Default Why does it strike me that almost all cases are a waste of money?

    A case is intended to do one of two things. The cases I get - like the Cruzerlite - are not meant to protect against any meaningful drop. They keep you from scratching your phone and that's all. The other cases - and I'm looking at most of the rest, including Otterbox - are mostly designed to LOOK like they could protect your phone, not actually protect it from any hard knocks. A case has to do at least one of two things - spread the impact out over time and/or spread it out over the surface of the device. Preferably both. The phone WILL experience the deceleration that goes with a drop impact - it has to - but if the energy taken up is spread out it's less likely to damage the phone. But a case that can do these things is necessarily going to be bulky - not a good selling point.

    Cars deal with this sort of thing with crumple zones - areas that slow the impact down and spread the energy dump out over time. But hard cases - in particular those slim, form fitting hard cases - seem more likely to just provide a handy container for the pieces and shards. I know - there are lots of stories about how "My case protected my phone from a 5 foot drop!" But there are just as many stories of "I dropped my uncased phone from 5 feet and not a scratch!" or "I dropped my phone in brand X supercase and it shattered into hundreds of shards of broken glass!" I wonder if ANY case maker uses actual design tools like FEA simulators and then perform controlled drop tests, or do they just hire a graphic design major and let it go at that?

    And yes - this post IS intended to get people thinking, and will possibly annoy some who swear by their cases. But are you sure what you bought is going to do what you want? Or does it just look it it ought to?
    mightyfacundo likes this.
  2. #2  

    Default Re: Why does it strike me that almost all cases are a waste of money?

    I have the VZW high gloss silicon case for my RAZR Maxx and its meant to protect from scuffs and scratches. I know it probably won't protect from a high drop or fall. But I like how slim it is and how easy it is to take out and put into my pocket. I'm extremely careful with my phone so dropping it isn't really an issue. You have to pick one or the other. Can't really have both.
  3. Thread Author  Thread Author    #3  

    Default Re: Why does it strike me that almost all cases are a waste of money?

    That's why I like the Cruzerlite. I can lay the phone face down and the lip around the edges keeps the glass off the surface I'm setting it on. And the whole thing is nice and thin. But yeah, I know it won't protect against drops. I did pick up a nice looking case called the Tri Shield after I saw it here. It looks good but a 30 second examination tells me it won't be any better than the Cruzer. But hey, it has a kickstand! Which sits flush with the back! It's not as slim as the Cruzer, but the tradeoff for the kickstand seems fair. And it will prevent scratches.
  4. #4  
    Mikey D_PhD's Avatar

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    Default Re: Why does it strike me that almost all cases are a waste of money?

    I got the Verizon case & clip simply for the kickstand on the case. Coming from a thunderbolt, I really liked having a stand. As far as protection goes, I'm not expecting miracles. I just try to be careful with my phone.
    "He didn't fall? Inconceivable".
    "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means".
  5. #5  

    Default Re: Why does it strike me that almost all cases are a waste of money?

    i just want to protect the glass. the curved glass got me worried about dropping it on its side and cracking the whole screen, so protecting those sides is a must, as is raising the front off whatever surface if i lay it face down. protecting the camera lens is a plus too. i know it won't protect it from all drops, but it provides enough protection to keep my mind at ease.
    talonsmith likes this.
  6. #6  
    talonsmith's Avatar

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    Default Re: Why does it strike me that almost all cases are a waste of money?

    +1 on the edge to edge glass scaring me. I have the Seido active and I am pretty sure it has enough shock absorption to protect the corners from a reasonable drop.
  7. #7  

    Default Re: Why does it strike me that almost all cases are a waste of money?

    Quote Originally Posted by talonsmith View Post
    +1 on the edge to edge glass scaring me. I have the Seido active and I am pretty sure it has enough shock absorption to protect the corners from a reasonable drop.
    I also have the Active (along with the Surface and Poetic Atmosphere) and I can attest to the fact that it saved my Bolt from certain destruction when it fell from my lap and hit on the corner from 5' up.

    However, I understand what Mike is saying because I've considered the same questions. The Active is great protection but it makes the phone fat. And I've really grown to like the slim form factor after having the Brick, errr Bolt, with the extended battery. I like the Poetic case, but the chances of it offering any protection from a drop are slim to none, so I got the Surface. Will it provide the same protection as the Active? No, but it looks a whole lot better, and it should be better than the Poetic..... I hope.

    Sent from my DNA
  8. #8  
    talonsmith's Avatar

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    Default Re: Why does it strike me that almost all cases are a waste of money?

    I agree, I had a sad face when I put that fatboy case on. I miss the sleek grills and silky curves of the screen.
  9. #9  
    Jennifer Stough's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why does it strike me that almost all cases are a waste of money?

    I have the OB defender on my phone. The lip will keep my screen from scratching, and hopefully the silicone will help disperse the shock from a drop, but lets be honest, how often will my phone be 5' up and be dropped? I'm normally sitting down when on my phone, but I'd rather be safe than sorry.

    Sent from my Verizon Droid DNA
  10. #10  

    Default Re: Why does it strike me that almost all cases are a waste of money?

    Most thin TPU cases are meant to prevent scratches more than anything else, right? I really don't think they're ever intended to be life-proof, and to assume they are is user error. But I get what you're saying--there are a ton of cases that look 'rugged' but might not actually be tested.

    My Ballistic SG case does a fine enough job of protecting my DNA. I mean I doubt it would protect my phone from getting run over, but as a testament to how well it works, my phone is ding-free after a few months' worth of my carelessness . Obviously if the screen fell hard on a sharp corner, the case couldn't offer protection, but hopefully that'll never happen
    MrRicks84 likes this.
  11. #11  

    Default Re: Why does it strike me that almost all cases are a waste of money?

    Some cases do ha e "crumple zones" for instance the ballistic ls case. It has bubbled corners that are hollow that disperse the force of an impact. Also the body glove case I use is one of the thinnest cases except for the edges and corners. They have extra material to help absorb impact. Nothing is going to completely safeguard your phone, but there are some cases out there that are better than others.
  12. Thread Author  Thread Author    #12  

    Default Re: Why does it strike me that almost all cases are a waste of money?

    I'm going to have to check out Body Glove!
  13. #13  
    revtech's Avatar

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    Default Re: Why does it strike me that almost all cases are a waste of money?

    I used to work with fea programs so I understand what you're saying. I *do* think however that any intermediary material, no matter how thin, is going to absorb *some* of the impact force; even a nearly imperceptible gap between case and phone (at a certain level even the most tight-fitting case has some amount of gapping) allows the case to 'give' thereby dissipating the forces to some degree. And the case materials themselves have a certain amount of resilience that absorb impact ('crushing' at a microscopic level). So while I agree with your op entirely, I can't help but think that having a case is at least in some way better than no case.

    Also this thought, another reason people buy a case is not just impact protection but for a more secure grip in the hand over a naked device, thereby helping protect the phone 'preventatively' by not dropping it as often in the first place. This leads me to believe that sometimes one of the most important protective considerations in choosing a case is how does it feel in your hand; eg an otterbox offers alot more protection than a tpu case (relatively speaking), but if you drop it twice as often because its too thick or bulky for your hand then it may not be better. (not intending to refute you at all, just adding some more food for thought, jmo of course).

    Cheers! =)
    garl6 likes this.
  14. #14  
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    Default Re: Why does it strike me that almost all cases are a waste of money?

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  15. Thread Author  Thread Author    #15  

    Default Re: Why does it strike me that almost all cases are a waste of money?

    Quote Originally Posted by revtech View Post

    Also this thought, another reason people buy a case is not just impact protection but for a more secure grip in the hand over a naked device, thereby helping protect the phone 'preventatively' by not dropping it as often in the first place. This leads me to believe that sometimes one of the most important protective considerations in choosing a case is how does it feel in your hand; eg an otterbox offers alot more protection than a tpu case (relatively speaking), but if you drop it twice as often because its too thick or bulky for your hand then it may not be better. (not intending to refute you at all, just adding some more food for thought, jmo of course).

    Cheers! =)
    I hear what you're saying. As for me I find the phone so large that even though I've tried thicker cases that seem to at least offer more protection, I keep coming back to the Cruzerlite since it lets the phone fit my hands and gives me a comfortable grip. Most others are too big and have slick surfaces. I know if I drop it, it's probably a dead phone. But the smartalec answer to that is "Don't drop it" Hopefully I won't!
  16. #16  
    revtech's Avatar

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    Default Re: Why does it strike me that almost all cases are a waste of money?

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeLip View Post
    I hear what you're saying. As for me I find the phone so large that even though I've tried thicker cases that seem to at least offer more protection, I keep coming back to the Cruzerlite since it lets the phone fit my hands and gives me a comfortable grip. Most others are too big and have slick surfaces. I know if I drop it, it's probably a dead phone. But the smartalec answer to that is "Don't drop it" Hopefully I won't!
    From what I've seen I think I'd like the cruzerlite cases, but I can't get past the android guy on the back. It's prob just me but it seems so . . I don't know . . non-professional looking, kinda adolescent-ish, like something I would have rocked in college? I don't mean that to soukd critical at all, I think its cool, but in my setting may not fit in. I'm intrigued though that you as an 'older' engineer as I am prefers it most.

    Add: you said they are grippy . . Is it the rubbery sticks to your pocket and always covered with dust and lint grippy, or not?
  17. #17  

    Default Re: Why does it strike me that almost all cases are a waste of money?

    Goodness me, what a carry on! I buy a case for superficial protection, yet maximum style. The rest is taken care of with insurance; it's only a phone.

    Sent from my GT-N8000 using Android Central Forums
  18. #18  
    revtech's Avatar

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    Default Re: Why does it strike me that almost all cases are a waste of money?

    Quote Originally Posted by roguetrader View Post
    Goodness me, what a carry on! I buy a case for superficial protection, yet maximum style. The rest is taken care of with insurance; it's only a phone.

    Sent from my GT-N8000 using Android Central Forums
    Well good for you then, just ignore us and let us enjoy our conversation then. You're right it is only a phone, we're just enjoying a little tech talk, don't think we were getting uptight or anything.
  19. Thread Author  Thread Author    #19  

    Default Re: Why does it strike me that almost all cases are a waste of money?

    Quote Originally Posted by roguetrader View Post
    Goodness me, what a carry on! I buy a case for superficial protection, yet maximum style. The rest is taken care of with insurance; it's only a phone.

    Sent from my GT-N8000 using Android Central Forums
    If you're not interested in cases and would rather opt for insurance, that's fine. We are. I'd like to try modeling them in Lisa to see what I get!
  20. #20  
    AndroidXTC's Avatar

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    Default Re: Why does it strike me that almost all cases are a waste of money?

    A Zagg screen protector and a case such as this is going to at least give your handset a chance if you drop it.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Why does it strike me that almost all cases are a waste of money?-005.jpg  
  21. Thread Author  Thread Author    #21  

    Default Re: Why does it strike me that almost all cases are a waste of money?

    Yeah, I wouldn't use the Cruzerlite to a job interview or something. But unlike the rubbery cases they don't stick in your pockets or pick up lint.
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  22. #22  
    AndroidXTC's Avatar

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    Default Re: Why does it strike me that almost all cases are a waste of money?

    Never take your phone to a Job Interview. If you have to make sure its turned off and in your pocket.
    Last edited by AndroidXTC; 02-23-2013 at 06:38 PM.

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