What is it with people? They make a big deal about having the latest, greatest, sexiest smartphone. Spend hundreds of dollars in financing. Then immediately take it out of the box, affix a plastic sticker to the screen and cram the thing into a giant rubberized case. What was once a stylish, sleek, gleaming sliver of product design and precision aesthetics has been reduced to a sad, ugly abomination. What made the iPhone or Samsung Galaxy phone an industry icon is indistinguishable under layers of crap.
Is extra protection necessary? Having seen a staggering amount of screwed up phones, I can only conclude that these must belong to the types of people whose cars are covered with dents and scratches, the insides looking like a dumpster full of fast food containers. The people who carry 40 gallon purses with everything inside but the things they actually need at the moment. The people who hoard newspapers and have more cats then they can count. The people who crave the best in life, but feel compelled to trash it up with rebel flag stickers and tattoos. People who demand the $1 phone deal, yet don’t want to get into the two-year contract required to get it. These are the people who wear Ed Hardy shirts because they think it makes them look cool. For these people, yes – the beautiful device needs protection. From themselves more than anything else.
Do you need a case? If you look at the two current top of the line smartphones, the iPhone 6s and the Samsung S6 Edge, both have glaring design flaws that make some form of protection necessary from day one. Both handsets have a protruding camera lens that puts the glass of the lens in direct contact with any surface you set the phone upon. Do this a couple dozen times without protection and you will have micro-abrasions on your lens which will blur images taken with the camera. At a bare minimum, get a bumper case that lifts the lens off any surface. I use the Elago bumper case for my iPhone 6s. It gets the job done while allowing the aesthetic of the iPhone – a significant contributor to the overall experience with the device – to remain prominent.
Do you need a screen protector? Do a Google search on “Do I need a screen protector for my smartphone?” and you will find a lively debate on the pros and cons of the fragile glass sheets and plastic stickers that you’re supposed to affix to your phone screen. I fall into the camp of those who think these things are unnecessary. Why? 1. Your smartphone has a screen made from Corning’s third generation Gorilla Glass. This stuff is incredibly resilient to scratches and cracks – save in situations where no little plastic film would have saved you anyway. Consider that auto manufacturers are now starting to incorporate Gorilla Glass into windshields and lens covers – not affixing stickers with bumps and air bubbles. 2. Look at someone’s phone with one of those screen protectors on it. Can’t even tell it’s there, right? WRONG. Dust collecting in the edges, air bubbles and haze, while crookedly affixed. Looks awesome. Can’t wait to stare at that mess every day. 3. Screens crack under certain conditions. Just like if a rock flies off the highway and dings your windshield, there’s not much you can do about a drop from a height or hitting the sweet spot on the corner, no matter what film you’ve stuck on the screen. That’s why I insure every mobile device I own. Cracked screen? Get a new one and move on with your life. It is baffling how many people endure their dilapidated phones, with spiderweb cracks all across them and mangled cases – because the protection warranty is “too expensive”. If you can’t afford $129 for Applecare on an $850 investment that you’re likely to destroy – you’re not ready to make that investment. The phrase, “you’re the reason we can’t have nice things” applies to you.
Conclusion: State of the art smartphones aren’t for everyone. There’s a reason the stores carry the $20 dumbed-down pay-as-you-go versions. That’s your aisle, folks. Move away from the Cadillac and let’s get you behind the wheel of a Camry.