2022 Edition: Do you really need a cell phone case?

I got my first smartphone in 2008 or thereabouts. It wasn’t terribly smart by today’s standards, but it could manage my contacts, surf the internet in a primitive way, and even play videos. Starting back then, I’ve put a case and a screen protector on them. If I think about the amount of money I’ve spent on cases and screen protectors, I could probably have bought a new phone with that cash by now.

It might have made sense back then…

Cases were de rigeur back then, although with the average smartphone weighing in at a heavily-subsidized $200 in 2010, I’m not quite sure why. I guess that seemed like a lot for a phone in those days. My younger self would probably blanche at the cost of a premium phone these days, although my current self just looks at it as the cost of doing business.

The overall feeling, as I recall it, was that smartphones were overall more dainty than the phones we were used to, and deserved extra protection. That’s not far off. Back in 2003 I had a phone fall out of a two story window and still work. Try that with today’s phones, or don’t — you’re sure to be disappointed.

…but does it make sense now?

I don’t know of a single young millennial or GenZ person who uses a cell phone case. They’d certainly rather be caught dead than use one of those nifty belt holsters we all used. Does that mean the need is gone? Or, do the young folks just not see the value of money? I have some ideas about that.

For the record I still use a phone case. I’ve given up on screen protectors as they make the phone harder to use. Newer phones have much harder glass anyway. But I find that I’m usually the only one, especially if I’m in a group where I’m the graybeard in the crew.

And yet, I think it’s more important to use a case now than ever. Yes, phones are more durable. But, they also last longer and many of them have residual value. You may find that you pass along your phone to someone else or sell it for a few hundred dollars. With that in mind, it’s a good idea to keep it as close to mint condition as possible. There are some very inexpensive cases that add very little bulk and still give you decent protection. There are even snap-on protectors for the camera, and that’s important now that cameras are such a big part of the experience.

Solid Signal doesn’t sell too many phone cases

We tried it, but it didn’t work out well for us. You can find a few here and there on our site. But there are less expensive places to get them unless you have a specific one you must have. But I do urge you to put your phone in some sort of case. It’s worth it simply because your phone is going to still work after a drop or two. Speaking for myself, I drop my phone maybe once a month, and I’m glad that it’s still damage-free.

So, maybe you get your phone case elsewhere, but for everything else you need to live your best digital life, I hope you’ll consider shopping at Solid Signal.

About the Author

Stuart Sweet
Stuart Sweet is the editor-in-chief of The Solid Signal Blog and a "master plumber" at Signal Group, LLC. He is the author of over 8,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.