Smart phones are expensive. More-so if you buy them off contract and unlocked, but even subsidized with a new agreement the high-end phones are going to cost you about three-fiddy after taxes and that's a whole lot of money. When you spend that much money, you want to try to take very good care of something lest you break it, and for many of us that means a case of some sort. On the other side, it's awful nice to use a hot new Android phone without a case. The Galaxy S II or  the Bionic are super thin and beg to be felt in the hand. It's a difficult decision.

I use a case sometimes. I have one that I will slap on a phone if I'm headed outdoors doing something that sounds like it would tear up a phone, but most of the time I just slip my phone into my pocket and roll the dice. So far, so good.

What about you folks? Let us know in the poll.



Reader comments

Late-night poll: Phone cases - yea or nay?


I know my habit is quite funny - I put on the case on the go for some protection and I take it off at home (where it's comparatively safer) to enjoy the GNex's thinness.


When moving through phones every year or two, I'd rather see a slightly sctrached phone back than a slightly scratched plastic case surrounding a phone.


I have previously disliked using a case but there has been slight wearing of the paint at the very top on my Galaxy Nexus so I have decided to use a case. As it turns out, I now prefer using the phone with the Cruzerlite case on rather than off, which surprised me.

I also have disliked cases in the past, but last week my Galaxy Nexus fell out of my shirt pocket on to our concrete warehouse floor. The bottom corner got a tiny crack, and was a little scuffed up. I ordered the Cruzerlite case and really like the look and feel of it.

I usually go with a case, but also get the urge to go "naked" sometimes. The current case I have on my Razr Maxx is a clear plastic hard case that provides protection, but also shows off the sexy kevlar backing. I will never forget though the time I decided to go naked with my Tbolt when taking a business trip. I didn't even make it inside the airport before I dropped my phone. With that said I usually keep a tpu skin or a thin hard case unless I'm sitting at home and/or someplace where I keep the phone is going to be sitting on a desk or something.

If my phone is skinny as the razr than i would use a case.. but a phone like the EVO 3D or anything near it no.. no one wants all that added thickness to their devices.. only good cases Android got is the TPU cases off Amazon.. and SGP.. unlike the iPhone its so many case makers with different designs and new styles.. like sliders, snap ons, skins, etc. Cases take away the phone look anyway.. but if i was a clumsy person ill say use a case.. but my phone usually kept in soft places or in my pocket alone

Used to have a slim case on my HTC Sensation and kept taking it off because it bothered. But eventually switched to the Otterbox case and even though its a lot bulkier, its better.

I used to run my Sensation caseless but my god it's a dust magnet. Already have two spots under the screen where dust has gotten in and you could take the phone apart on a weekly basis and see just how much had accumulated in there.

Added a Trident Aegis and have never looked back, it adds some considerable bulk to the otherwise lightweight phone but it completely prevents dust from getting into the case and obviously adds some measure of damage prevention. I had to import it as the European stockists never had any but I'm happy enough as it's been a very wise investment.

Not real fond of having a case on my 3VO and want to take it off but there's no cover for the micro USB otherwise. I'm scared that lint will gather and screw it up. I don't want to have to clean it every night before plugging it in. Anyone else have a case-less 3VO and have any problems like that?

I have never ever had an issue with an exposed charging port.

Then again I work in an office and my phone spends most of its time in my pocket. If you're outside and expose it dirty and dusty conditions on a regular basis, that may be an issue.

I absolutely love the gnex naked but I felt I needed to bulk it up with the Otterbox Defender case for protection. Just two days after buying it the phone was accidentally slapped out of my hand onto a cement floor. No damage was done thanks to the case. I occasionally take it off to admire the beautiful screen but you got to protect your investment.

I understand your logic but phones are not investments. They are completely disposable. They lose 50% of their value in a matter of months. Technology moves so fast that what you carry today will become a dinosaur within 12-14 months. I use a case very reluctantly. I don't like the feeling of plastic and silicone, so I will use a leather carrying slip case or a thin shell case. I just prefer feeling the phone over a case.

Used to not use cases but that changed for 2012 .One phone is in a case and one phone is not tho.The phone that's not in a case isn't because they don't make cases for that big of an Xteneded battery. (its my second phone(backup phone) anyhoo)

The way phones look now a days i wanna go without a case, but my white note would look bad with a scuff or scratch. I use a thin clear case adds very little bulk, while adding protection and still showing off its fine ass

I like to keep my phones for a while - I just updated to a Galaxy S2 from a Nokia N95 8GB which I had since new some years back. I found that accidents do happen: a drop here, a drop of liquid there, however careful one might be so I always use a case and my N95 8GB looks pretty much as it did when it arrived - the case is scratched, etc. Problem now is to get as good a case for the S2 as I had for the N95 which was fully enclosed in a shell of hard plastic.

As a rule... no. Don't like covering up my devices. I'll put one on when I'm traveling or going out for the night though. Just in case!

No, my Atrix is caseless
I'd a bad experience back in 07 when I got my 1st Gen. IPod Touch, the first thing I did is getting a case( you know how easy it's to scratch the stainless steel back) & the case made more damage than using it naked!!!
after that I decided to go caseless

For some reason, I never considered the Bionic to be a phone of thinness. But that's just me. Anywho, I prefer to go mainly naked with my Gnex. I like feeling the smooth skinny goodness in my hand but I do own an SGP Ultra Capsule for those occasions that call for added protection.

Naked & proud of it!

Actually I compromise a little. I have a belt pouch that I wear everywhere that my phone slides in when moving about our whatever (bluetooth serves as my notice of calls, texts, etc since it stays on vibrate). But when I sit at my desk or am at home my phone stays in the open under my watchful eye. Like others above I want my devices in my hands without added bulk.

Leather pouch designed to cover phone and clean it's screen is elegant and my SGS2 felt three times already on solid granit or PVC glaze and it's perfectly fine :-)

I have a Case-mate Barely There case on my EVO 4G and love it. No real drop protection but enough to protect the back cover and protruding camera lens from scratches with almost no added bulk.

I currently use a case only because I can't find a holster for my naked Droid 4. As soon as I find one, the case is coming off.

Nexus S naked! But I'm with Jerry - most of the time it goes in my pocket, but if I plan to do something where the phone might get tossed about, I will put it in a case. I just can't get used to the extra bulk of the case and the belt clip isn't as convenient as a thought it would be.

I have gone naked on all my phones dating back to the original Motorola flip phone (that one had the leather case, only because I wanted the belt clip...that phone needed no protection, you could drive nails into drywall with it). My current phone (Motorola Photon) has an Otterbox commuter case on it now, after my first one fell in just the right way to shatter the big A$$ screen. Gorilla Glass or not, a 4 inch slab of glass is fragile, and I don't feel like getting another replacement that I have to set up from scratch again.

I have a commuter for my nexus but I leave it naked almost all the time due to screen smudges. They are easily wiped away on the sleeve of my shirt without a case. With the case on it takes more effort and I never seem to get it as clean.

When my daughter's DS dies she usually tries to persuade me to let her play with my phone, that's when the cover goes on... Otherwise it goes commando. I love how my Samsung GS2 doesn't weight down my shirt pocket.

NOOOOOOO! My phone comes with a case! It's what holds all the parts together!

I can't stand cases. For that ONE time that you drop your phone and it actually gets damaged, the case MIGHT save it. But c'mon, I drop my phone all the time. The corners wear off a little, but buying a phone every 2 years at the most fixes that..

No. Why would I ruin a perfectly good-looking phone with an ugly rubber/plastic shell?

Don't drop it. Best protection you're going to get.

Can't vote because poll doesn't load on my phone.. SGS 2 - XXLPJ / stock browser / opera mobile.

I prefer a small case, but so far i've only found one for the DInc with the extended battery. Meh, it works but it's not pretty.

I prefer a case with some edge protection. My wife and daughter have busted up several phones without cases, and a reasonable amount of side impact protection can save you having to replace the screen (daughter broke the touchscreen twice on the Thunderbolt). On that note, I can'y find a reasonable case for the droid Bionic with extended battery.

I love the look of the phone without the case, but I am bad about dropping my phone or bumping into something. I always take the case off mine when I'm at home.

I usually base my phone decision on looks first, specs second. when a phone comes around that looks Amazing (galaxy nexus) i want to show it off. not cover it up.

saying that, i do have a case that i use when i am traveling, pulling it in/out of my pocket and throwing it on a table or something. so i sometimes use it.

I have a droid bionic with the extended battery i cant find a ccase for it. So yes i would but no i have not found one.

I will admit, you can make the "investment" argument for iPhones since they hold their value so well. But I've never owned a phone that held its value, so I really don't care about cosmetics.

My EVO 3D is aluminum and a durable easily replaced plastic back cover. Chances of actually breaking something other than the glass, which almost all cases leave exposed anyway, are pretty slim. It's been dropped 4-5 times now on hard surfaces and has survived just fine.

I'd like to see light weatherproof "pouch" type cases that I can use when I toss it in my bike bag or when I'm out running. Slim weather and impact protection that I don't need quick access to.

My OG Droid was naked the entire 20 months I had it. When not in use, it was in a spring-clip type holster. I dropped it a few times but it was plenty durable enough to survive. But my Bionic is in an Otterbox Defender case. What really bugs me about cases is that more often than not they prohibit the use of accessories like docks or extended batteries.

I modified a $2.50 Garmin Nuvi mount for use with my Bionic. I find it hard to believe that case manufacturers can't come out with some simple dock accessories.

I almost always have a case on my Gnex, sometimes when I am just on the computer or around the house I will take the case off and appreciate how thin it is but even with the case I have on it (some two piece gel/plastic case) it is relatively thin and I feel like it is protected so I keep it on.

I have an Epic Touch, and it's far too thin to hold comfortably without some sort of case. I feel like it's going to squirt out of my hands otherwise...

Edit: I never had a case on my original Epic or my Moment...

Yeah, but mostly because I like having my phone on a belt holster rather than in a pocket. Most holsters are two piece case/holster affairs.

OtterBox FTW! Never had any smartphone without it. Firefighter = case, all the time, if you want it to survive!

I keep a cover on mine because of my 20month old daughter. I can allow her to play with some apps specifically for her, yet know my phone will come back to me in one piece. I also have a screen protector. Have had the same phone for almost 2 years now without any issues.

Edit- Otterbox Defender Series on my Galaxy S

Holding a phone without a case makes me feel like I'm gonna break it or mess it up somehow. When I have a new phone, it goes in a case ASAP but I will sometimes take it out once I've had it for a while.

I would much rather use my phone without a case but I've dropped it too many times (already had to pay Sprint $100 once for a replacement). Just not worth the risk. I bought the otter box a year ago and only use the inside slim case most of the time (have dropped it with just this part and it protects pretty well) but put the full case on when I take it to the volleyball court, golf course, etc.

I would rather not have a case on my phone but i have dropped it one to many times either on the concrete or in the street to be thankful that I had a case on it!!

Always use a case of some sort. Definiyely a bit of a junkie when it comes to phone accessories too. For my GNEX I have the Incipio Sycrilic as my daily protection. Also have an Otter Box Defender but only use it when I know the extra protection is needed. Only time I go with out a case is when I use holster. Also plan to pick up an Incipio Featherlite case or Seidio Surface with clio.holster as well as replace my Sycrilic with an Otterbox commuter.

When I get a new device one of the first things I do is get a case for it. I current have a Moto Atrix with a OtterBox Commuter case. It works well and protected the phone from a few drops with no issues.

I opt for a sleeve for my phone. When it's being transported, it lives in there, when in use, it's out in the wild. But I think using a phone (any phone) in a case is criminal. I don't see the point in covering a beautiful phone in a case that changes the shape and gets scratched and damaged itself, so the whole time you own the phone, you're keeping it pretty, but out of sight.

for me a sleeve strikes a good compromise between a bit of protection and not being intrusive in use.

When I was deciding between the Droid X and the Fascinate one of the big dings (besides Bing) for the Fascinate was the "plasticy feel" and how it was "slippery". Got the Fascinate and nice soft touch feel simple case that barely added any bulk, made it "feel better in the hand", and I got a kickstand out the bargain (which you end up using more than you'd think).

My old Samsung i760 WM phone is in pristine condition because it spent its life wrapped up in a Seido sarcophagus.

Always makes me smugly smirk when I see all the iPhone peeps with their beautiful and stylish handset wrapped up in ugly rubber.

I don't usually put a case on my phone. Usually I get something like a pouch style case so I can keep it clipped to my belt, and slip the phone out as needed. It seems to be keeping my Captivate protected so far, and I get the look & feel of the naked phone when I'm using it.

My wife, on the other hand, bought one of these rubber covers for her Nexus S, and now she has a crack across the screen, and a chip at the top of the screen. So much for that kind of protection.

With my D1 that was as solid as a rock, I didn't use a case. With my GNex, however, I am using an Otterbox because I don't think the build quality is as sturdy as Moto.

Phones become obsolete faster than the wear and tear process, I don't see a point in protecting it, you should just enjoy it to the fullest with you can.

Now, what's more practical is the waterproof feature, since that would make your phone useless in accidents , I like the idea of the new panasonic line of phones.

I use a case 99% of the time.
I also use a quality screen protector so I don't have to worry about scratching the screen. I've been using handheld electronic devices for a long time, and I like protecting them. It doesn't add "that" much to the dimensions of the phone to not have a case on it.

I'd love to use a case on my phone, if I could find a decent one, but there are so many different Android models coming out so fast I can't blame the case manufacturers for not making so many of them, and the few cases that I have tried are all lacking somehow.

Anytime I have or known someone who has cracked their screen, it was when the phone didn't have a case on it. Lesson learned.

I have a Dinc2 and I put it in a dashboard cradle when in the car to use as a GPS and MP3 player. It won't fit in the cradle with a cover or skin so I just go naked. Haven't had a drop yet.

typical Canadian cell contract = 3 years = case+screen protector. Simple fact of life if you want your phone to last that long.

I never used a case before my Razr Maxx but now I have one on all the time. I buy phones for the internals, not for how it looks externally, and I want to protect those internals. As long as a phone looks good in a case (like my maxx does in the OtterBox Commuter) then I'll use a case all the time.

Depends on the phone. On my Palm Pre, no. It interfered with the slider, and that phone was think enough as it was. On my Evo 3D, yes, a skin-style case 100% of the time. Has nothing to do with direct protection, but rather that the weird, diagonal-textured back of the 3D is difficult to hold onto, and the skin provides a much nicer grip.

For my HTC EVO 3D I use a smooth black rubber-like skin which adds little bulk and gives it grip. In addition, I use a leather belt-clip pouch case made by HTC for the phone. To give you an idea of the amount of bulk the skin adds, with the skin on, it still easily fits into the belt-clip pouch. I got the skin a while back at Best Buy.

I only use the barely there type case if I use any at all...can't stand those big ugly cases. Its been years since I've dropped a phone and that was a feature phone.

I only use the barely there type case if I use any at all...can't stand those big ugly cases. Its been years since I've dropped a phone and that was a feature phone.

Having a case on my Galaxy SII makes the phone seem more sturdy. I've never dropped it, but I cringe to think about what would happen to that thin plastic were it to hit the pavement without a case.

I always use a case on all of my devices, both my phones and my ipad, though I normally opt for a cheap and thin case, sometimes silicone or thin hard shell, those crazy otterbox like cases just add too much bulk and in my experience don't really protect any better than a cheap $10 or less case from amazon or ebay. I drop my phone fairly frequently and other than a few scratches around the charging port my tbolt is in mint condition.

I'm trying to keep my phones for the two year duration, I can't afford to buy phones off contract anymore, though sometimes I do break that rule but protecting the phone makes it much easier to keep a phone two years and if I happen to sell it I get more money back, I will note that with a case and screen protector even though I'm fairly careless I've never broken a smartphone and my cases are fairly beat up I've got some deep scratches in my tbolt case and if I want to make it look better $10 for a new case is much better than buying a new phone.

And in the end, it's a phone, not a status symbol almost all android phones look relatively the same, a black slab. I prefer to keep my black slab working and in good condition, no matter how careful you are something can happen, and even with insurance I don't have the money to keep paying for exchange deductibles, just look on XDA at all of the people that have to replace their phone 4 or more times. I've never had a phone break on me with a case and as I said I'm very careless with my phone.

I personally like the rubbery cases that pop on to the back and around up to the glass. Had one on my Aria that I got for free from att when I bought the phone.

Though it didn't prevent my screen from cracking when I dropped it. :(

Now I have one on my GS2 that I got from amazon for less than 10 bucks. And it only adds a hair to the phones thickness. It's TPU and has a matte, non-slip back on it. It's pretty sweet.

I went without a case when I first got my GNex, but it was so thin and slippery that I constantly felt like was going to drop it. I went and got a case for it after a week or two. If feels much more secure in my hand with the case.

No case, I can carry my Galaxy. S2 in my pocket and I have a belt holster if I am doing very active sports or the like. The phone is sturdy -and I have insurance if it breaks...

The back cover on the GNex is so flimsy that I have to have a case or I'll end up breaking or loosing it. I had a similar issue with my OG droid. The OG Droid cover used to slide off too easy, so I had to keep the back half of the case on that, too.

Honestly though, the extra ridge that the case gives my GNex screen has saved it on a couple of face plants. I have the semi-transparent rubberized one from the VZ store.

Ever since I've owned a smartphone, I've always had it in some sort of a case. It can be cumbersome at times (like my current Otterbox case on my Milestone X), but it's something I don't regret buying.

Ok I'm more than a year late on this but...

I got a Nexus 4 2.5 weeks ago. I love the look of it. It's a very sexy phone and I've taken very good care of it. However I just got a case for it because I want it to stay protected (I went with the cruzerlite bugdroid case, btw). It definitely feels proetected now ...but... I already miss the sexy look of my phone after only have the case on for just over an hour. I think part of the problem is I got the smoke case to differentiate it from my son's which is black. However the black case looks so much better. I think I'm going to get myself a black one to see how I feel.

I think basically I will only keep it in the case when I feel it needs the extra protection.