Does Your Smartphone Case Actually Protect Your Phone?

BreakingModern — The case is one of the smartphone owner’s favorite accessories — it allows us to express our individuality and personal tastes. But smartphone cases are supposed to do far more than simply dress up our phones. What many device owners don’t seem to realize is that the vast majority of smartphone cases on the market do very little to actually protect a device from the biggest dangers they face.

As you shop for cases, you’ll probably notice the vast majority are made from hard plastic or rubber. These cases are designed to cover the back of the phone but not the screen or any ports. But as many consumers have learned the hard way, these cases provide little protection when the phone is dropped or exposed to moisture. For real protection, smartphone owners may have to lose the bling and go for function.

Protection Against Drops

Cases like the Otter Box have become popular for a reason. The dual-layer protection provides a shock protection that can’t be found with single-layer cases.

“To be impact proof, a phone case should have a soft silicone layer to mitigate the impact, and hard plastic layer to maintain a rigid shape around the phone, or it would fall off too easily,” says Jeremy Irons, design engineer at New York-based Creative Engineering. “Impact forces are the strongest when the impact is quick, like when the impact is between two rigid objects. Impact force is decreased when occurring between soft objects. This is why one would gladly fall, face-first into your bed, but not onto the floor.”

But Otter Box isn’t the only game in town. Search for dual-layer cases and choose the one you find most appealing. Some cases provide more protection than others, though, with built-in screen protection and covers for each of the phone’s exposed jacks.

Protection Against Water

While dual-layer cases will help cover accidental drops, what happens if your phone falls into a sink or mud puddle? Despite their promises, many cases lack the ability to completely protect your phone from water. Cases may promise water resistance, but they won’t safeguard your phone against complete immersion. If you take your phone to the beach or swimming pool, you can slip it in a plastic freezer bag for the day, but that won’t protect against unexpected day-to-day water exposure.

The Lifeproof case is perhaps the best-known waterproof case, and it’s available for both Apple and Android phones. However, these case manufacturers emphasize that the case’s water resistance should be tested before inserting the phone and once in place, the case shouldn’t be removed to avoid weakening the built-in seal.

On the other hand, the Galaxy S5 is designed to be waterproof and drop-proof even without a case, performing amazingly well in tests. If you prefer to go case-less, the S5 may be a good choice for you.

We rely heavily on our smartphones, often keeping them by our sides throughout the day and realistically the occasional accident is inevitable. The right case can help prevent damage to your phone, which will keep it working until it’s time to trade in for the next model.

For BMod, I’m .

Featured/First Image Credit: Demolished iPhone5” by Michael Gil via Flickr Creative Commons

Second Image Credit: Daniel Zweier Screenshot Courtesy of Otter Box

Third Image Credit: © lucadp / Dollar Photo Club

Stephanie Faris

Author: Stephanie Faris

Stephanie Faris is the Simon & Schuster author of two middle grade novels, 25 Roses and 30 Days of No Gossip, as well as the upcoming Piper Morgan chapter book series. A graduate of Middle Tennessee State University, she worked in information systems for 13 years. Her work is regularly featured on a wide variety of blogs and websites, both under her own name and as a ghostwriter. She lives in Nashville with her husband, Neil.

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