For the longest time, I've been that guy who refuses to put a case on my phone. "They put a lot of work into designing a beautiful phone," I'd always say. "I want to be able to see and feel the premium materials!" Of course, everyone would always tell me that, as nice of a thought as that may be, it only holds up until you drop and shatter your fancy phone.

I'm not a terribly clumsy person, but that's not to say I've never dropped my phone before. So far the worst that's ever come of that has been the occasional scratch or scuff, which I can live with, so long as it's not on the screen — but if I keep carrying phones without any kind of protection, my luck has to eventually run out. So what's the middle ground between protecting your investment without ruining the premium feel?

For me, the answer lately has been premium cases. Cases like Samsung's Alcantara case for the Galaxy S9 — which I've been using for about a month now. The S9 has a gorgeous and futuristic design, but the curved glass is notoriously fragile. The Alcantara case adds some protection to the edges, and feels great as a bonus; it's the same suede-like material used in high-end cars, and while it requires a bit of upkeep it's been a joy to use so far.

Best Galaxy S9 cases

I don't just carry one phone these days, though. In addition to an Android phone, I like to keep an iPhone X handy for those things that iOS just handles better — superfluous, I know. One of my favorite parts of the iPhone X is Apple's outstanding build quality, so slapping on a cheap plastic case from Amazon didn't sound too appealing to me. After all, why buy a $1000 phone just to make it feel like a $100 one?

A premium design deserves a case with premium materials.

Just like with my Galaxy S9, I've turned to a premium case, specifically Apple's leather case. There's just something about the smell of leather when you take the case out of the packaging, you know? The leather case feels as good as it looks, and keeps the incredibly glossy rear panel of my iPhone X safe from scratches — and the fingerprints that are otherwise impossible to avoid. Right now I'm using first-party cases exclusively, but there's no real rhyme or reason to that — there are plenty of other great leather cases for the iPhone.

Best cases for iPhone X

Sure, there are more protective cases out there than a thin piece of shell of leather or Alcantara — full coverage cases from the likes of Otterbox and Lifeproof being a prime example — but I could never get behind the added bulk from those cases, or the cheap, loose feeling from built-in plastic screen protectors.

A lot of people scoff at the idea of paying $50 or even more for a case with relatively little protection, but at the end of the day I just like having a little piece of mind without sacrificing the premium feeling of my phones. But enough from me — what do you think about premium cases, and more broadly, cases in general? Have you ever carried a phone without a case before? Let me know in the comments below!