Your smartphone is a compact, powerful computer that fits right in your pocket. Because you use this small, delicate device all around town to check email, listen to music, get directions, make phone calls and more, the chance of accidental breakage is relatively high. A slew of protective cases are on the market for nearly every current phone, adding style and protection to your device. Your choice of case revolves around the environment you place your phone in, and whether you're primarily interested in looks or safekeeping.
1Decide whether you want to consolidate your wallet with your cell-phone case. Many cases allow you to slide credit cards and cash into the back of the case.
2Evaluate whether you want to minimize the chance of breakage or simply protect the phone against scratches. A flexible slipcase -- usually made of leather -- often requires removing the phone from the sleeve to use the device, increasing the odds you'll drop the unit. Cases that let you use the phone without removing it are typically limited to plastic, or in some cases, metal. The most protective cases decrease the likelihood the phone will break if dropped and often offer protective films for the screen.
3Select a case with a belt clip if you are in an environment where pocketing the device might be impractical, impossible or dangerous to the unit. Such cases are while wearing medical scrubs, housing keys or other tools in a pocket or if the case itself presents too much bulk to reasonably fit in a pocket. Belt clips are also useful if you need frequently use the speakerphone or require routine and quick access to the device.
4Decide how much you want the phone's appearance altered by having it in the case. Those cases offering the most protection are typically rugged and bulky, while slimmer versions and devices called "bumpers" offer minimal protection to go along with minimal cosmetic impact. Some cases offer a layering of hard shells and soft interiors, combining durability with a reasonably sleek profile.
- You will not void your phone's warranty by placing it in a case.
- If your phone runs warm, monitor heat buildup while it resides in a case. Select one with ventilation holes if you feel the unit is too warm or exhibits odd behavior.
- Only a select few cases are waterproof. Even the most durable units that cover port openings still only guarantee against splashes, if at all. Do not overestimate the capabilities of your case.