Whenever I’m with any human being and pull out my phone to check something I will always meet a shocked face of horror. It doesn’t matter who it is, I will always receive a mix of dirty looks and shock when my phone exits my pocket. Why might you ask? This is because I am one of those weird people that never used a Mobile Phone Case with my phone. Friends have often called me reckless and unappreciative of my financial investment in my phone. Some have even considered me brave to even consider leaving the house with a naked phone. The audacity I must have to not put a protective piece of plastic on my phone.
Generally, after the moment of shock and disbelief, comes a question. And it doesn’t matter who is asking, the question is always the same. “Why don’t you use a case? Aren’t you afraid that you’ll crack your phone?” As someone who loves his phones, of course, I am afraid of cracking my phone, but this question and the idea of not using a case is a much deeper philosophical issue that speaks to the way that phones are designed. Slapping that protective Otter Defender Phone Case on a premium designed smartphone is a slap in the face to the design and ergonomics of that device.
The Evolution of Smartphone Design
The last 5 years have been very nice to the eyes that look at smartphones. Phones have transformed from plastics with flimsy parts to high-end glass and aluminum construction. These materials have resulted in visual aesthetics ranging from color shifting gradients in light to soft-touch matte glass backs. Phones just feel different now, they feel like jewels more than technology. This particular thought occurred to me when I purchased HTC’s U11 in 2017. Where the refracted light effect of the backplate of that phone just felt like something beyond technology.
This combination of factors has created a strange divide. A Print Phone Case now seems to be absolutely necessary as phones have gotten more expensive not only for drop protection but also for scratch protection. Yet this necessity has rendered the aesthetic appeal of phones almost an afterthought. Engineers and designers at Samsung, Huawei, and Apple spend months crafting these designs only for the majority of end-users to cover up that work with a cheap piece of plastic. In my view, cases have taken the design elements of a smartphone and made them irrelevant.