Monday, November 10, 2014

Protecting Your Smartphone

I once spent six months as a ghostwriter for an iPhone site. During that time, I repeatedly emphasized the importance of protecting your iPhone from this.




There are crazy expensive cases that keep it safe from every drop of water.



There are ridiculously bulky cases that promise to keep it safe if you drop it.



Then there are the screen protectors that are almost impossible to install without getting a smudge or fingerprint or bubble somewhere underneath it. That smudge, fingerprint, or bubble drives you crazy, by the way.




I fell for it all. I've had the Otter Box in almost every color available. (There aren't many.)  I've tried every kind of screen protector imaginable. I launched a search for a case that helped safeguard my phone without turning my tiny iPhone 5 into something from the 90s.



There are cases that combine silicon with a hard shell. Those are said to be the best for shock absorption. But there's still the issue of the screen. You wouldn't want it to get scratched. That can happen...or so I thought. Before I could bother with it, though, I happened to be in an Apple Store, where one of their self-proclaimed geniuses told me my iPhone has Gorilla Glass.



No screen protector necessary, he said. When I didn't believe him, he pulled out his keys and proceeded to vigorously scratch the screen of his iPhone. Not a single mark. Still...my research shows that a robust screen protector like the one made by Zagg can protect the screen from looking like a spider web if you should ever drop it.




How do you protect your smartphone from damage?

83 comments:

  1. I have a case, a metal one, but not like those bulky things. I have dropped it, hard, but not a mark on it anywhere. (Not even the case. Tough case.) My wife's had hers for years longer with a similar case and she's never damaged it either. (And she has dropped it a lot more than I have!)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Otter Box for the iPhone 6 has a design flaw, but there seem to be quite a few case makers who are using the dual-layer protection technology. The one I have on my phone now is one layer of rubber and one plastic. Seems to protect it well...although I don't drop my phone as much as I used to now that I work from home! My life was pretty frantic when I worked in IT--there were a LOT of drops.

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  2. My partner took it out of the case one day and within five minutes it fell to the ground and the screen shattered. It was hard not to laugh really. I know, how evil of me!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Yikes. Any time I see a shattered screen it makes me cringe. Mostly because I know how expensive those are to replace! Almost as much as the phone costs when you sign a 2-year contract.

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  3. I don't have a smartphone! My little LG Remarq is quite durable. I've dropped it many times and no scratches or cracks. I'm trying to keep it as long as possible.

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    Replies
    1. Yeah, those feature phones were always really durable. I had one with a little dent in it, but we never needed cases back then!

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  4. Thanks for your tips doll!! ;)

    XOXO!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I still use a stupidphone, don't have a smart one.... Me still lives in Middle Ages....

    ReplyDelete
  6. Oh Stephanie, I'm so behind in technology, I'm still using my little stupid phone.
    My husband and son both have smart phones, oh wait, ... my husband lost his in the wet mud somewhere around the farm and is now using a stupid phone also. The tractor has probably run over his smart phone a hundred time already. lol...
    My son keeps his in a small plastic bag. to keep it clean.l ol.

    Hugs,
    JB

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I actually found in my research that ziploc freezer bags can be just as effective as expensive cases like Lifeproof in protecting phones from accidental water splashes and sand while at the beach. While you wouldn't take it underwater (Apple recommends never taking it underwater no matter WHAT case you have), it's a much more affordable way to keep it safe.

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  7. My kids are hard on those phones (they buy their own). My daughter finally bought herself one of the huge phones and put a rubber case around it - looks weird but it's held longer than any other one she's had. My son's still trying his luck, but at least he's gotten good at repairs and earns some extra $ by repairing for other kids at school too. So he's probably hoping for less protection ;)

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    1. You can actually replace the iPhone's screen if you know what you're doing. I've known people who learned how to do it...professionals charge $100+ for that.

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  8. I have had mine for 3 years and not a scratch on it, actually the only thing that is broken is the metal case I have on it, chipped a bit.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've had mine 2 years and 2 months and not a single flaw. I kept an Otter Box on the first year and now I have a case that provides dual layer protection. I don't see how people walk around with no case at all. I'd be a nervous wreck!

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  9. i have a 'ballistic' case to help absorb shock if i drop it and i have a damned screen protector with a few scratches and bubbles in it. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Those Ballistic cases are among the best!

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  10. I have had my newest iPhone for almost 2 yrs now and I'm pretty careful with it--I get those lame-ass cheap-a-zoid $2 cases off amazon and they crack so easily. I really want to invest in a better case! But I try super hard to just be as careful as possible with the phone and not use it too much when I'm out and about and frazzled, or in transit (easier said than done!)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My current one is a Kool Kase. I got it off of Amazon for just a few dollars. It has dual-layer protection. The inner layer is rubber and the outer layer is plastic. It feels even sturdier than the Otter Box. The one bad thing is that it doesn't have a screen protector...but in several months' time I haven't gotten a single scratch on it, so the Apple guy may be right.

      https://www.facebook.com/KoolKaseCover

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    2. ooh I'll have to check this out!

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  11. I simply cross my fingers and hope my current case will do the job. Of course I hang onto my phone as if my life depends on it, because I tend to drop things.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think it helps to have a purse or holster if you're carrying it around. The more you carry it in hand as you're out and about, the more likely you are to drop it, I've found.

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  12. HI Stephanie! I don't have a very good smartphone, so of course, I haven't dropped it. I did drop my iPOD and it has a lovely spider web on it. I can't believe that Mac can't come up with a screen that won't shatter. It's a conspiracy I tell 'ya!
    Happy Monday,
    Ceil

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They were supposed to move from Gorilla Glass to some newer thing with the 6, but for whatever reason they decided against it. I think they're primary concern is that retina display they're so proud of.

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  13. My really good friend just dropped her iPhone and sadly it does look like the picture up there but worse. Both she and her son did it in the same week and both their phones are awesome. She only had a flimsy plastic case on it and no screen protector. They were both heart broken.

    I have a screen protector and the silicon plastic hybrid that is suppose to keep it safe. Both my daughter and husband have Otter Boxes (the Defender). I would have gotten an Otter Box as well but honesty, can't they have more variety and colors? I need colors!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm with you on that. They have new colors for the iPhone 6 but still kind of bleh. Many competitors have come forward with the 6...so watch out! The rumor is out that the fingerprint sensor is blocked with the new Otterboxes, too...which is sending customers rushing to their competitors.

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  14. I just have a standard cover for it; nothing fancy, but I don't use my phone much. I mainly carry it when I am out walking Koda or driving by myself. I know son's ex girlfriend dropped her phone (it wasn't an iPhone) and the screen did crack. Thankfully warranty took care of it :)

    betty

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That warranty/insurance definitely pays off for some people!

      Delete
  15. Smartphone? I don't have a smartphone. I don't have a phone at all. I don't want one either. Why? I'm not missing it now and if I got one I'd be hooked. That's what I hear anyway.

    Have a fabulous day. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We don't have landlines, so I'd be in trouble without a phone. I don't even really talk on it unless it's to make plans. I use it mostly for email!

      Delete
  16. I have an inexpensive LG phone and I have never worried to much about it -- and oh I have certainly dropped it but fortunately not hard enough to cause any problem. What I *really* want for my phone is a clapper! I am forever losing it around the house!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There are actually little stickers you can buy that you attach to items you lose often, like keys or your phone. You can look up the stickers' locations on your PC, I think, so you don't have to have a smartphone or tablet to use them.

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  17. My smart phone is still somewhere in a store near me:) I don't think i would get one because I don't need it. I am not in a job where I have to use it nor am I checking on things that I need to constantly so I have my sad little pay as you go phone for emergencies. I have over $50 on that phone so far and i only spend $10 per month for it. I need to make a suit that says "Retro Girl" on it...my next Halloween outfit

    ReplyDelete
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    1. That's not necessarily retro...it might be wise. Once you can check your email or social media anywhere you go, you spend more time absorbed in your phone than interacting with those around you!

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  18. I don't have a smartphone, but I have heard the Otterbox is the best case.-Ashley

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is pretty good. The limitation in colors and designs is a little off-putting, though. There are a lot of imitators now that are cheaper... Lifeproof is actually probably among the best of all, but it's almost $100. It seals up and keeps the phone waterproof and free of dust, as long as you never, ever take the case off. Every time you take the case off and put it back on again, you can weaken the seal.

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  19. I have an ancient iPod (my phone is the free one- I'm cheap!) and I have no cover and have dropped that thing on concrete and everywhere else and it's fine. My kids, however, have iPhones and two of them cracked the back glass bringing them home from the store. They now use Otter Boxes, which seem to be worth the money.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I think Otterboxes should be a requirement for any child with a smartphone, period!

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  20. I dropped my phone twice this weekend and both times I said, "I really should get a phone case." I think this post is a sign, lol. Definitely getting that case soon.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. My post is a sign! I like that! There are a lot of cases you can get for fairly cheap on Amazon. Dual-layer protection is best, as well as that ridge that protrudes over the screen. That way if you drop it, the screen doesn't make direct contact with the ground. Dual-layer protection helps with shock absorption--Otterboxes have dual-layer protection but there are others that do, as well. These are kind of cool and affordable, but I think they only have cases for newer phones:

      http://www.supcase.com/

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  21. My smart phone is safe. I forget to take it anywhere, and forget to turn it on... Dinosaur protection for up to date technology. Who would have thought...

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    1. Great thinking. It can't get damaged in a drawer!

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  22. A day doesn't go by that I don't see some student's cracked cell phone. Some are more shattered than others, and most of the time they still work.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Kids are the worst about it. You probably see a lot of screens like that because most kids' parents say, "Here's your new cell phone. If you break it, you aren't getting another one. You'll just have to live with it that way!" If an adult breaks a screen, we just take it and pay the $100 to get it fixed.

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  23. All these smartypants phones are so expensive, I wouldn't even thing of not having a case. I've never broken one - so it has worked for me or I didn't need it...who can tell? :-)

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    1. Yeah, the new iPhone is something like $600 or $700 off contract. Most people can only afford to buy them with a contract, which means NO replacing it for two years!

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  24. I think it's impossible to avoid cracking your iphone/iPods. I can't tell you how many times my kids have done that.

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    1. I've actually never broken one at all...I'm on my third iPhone. It's never without a case, though. For most of the first two years it was in an Otterbox all the time. I dropped it many, many times, even on concrete, and the Otterbox saved it.

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  25. I have owned 4 smart phones, the last one I bought I did not by a protective cover, thinking I would get one later... 2 big cracks and I have to wait until after Christmas to fix it, it taught me a huge lesson that when I get it replaced, I will be buying an expensive cover. You live and learn ;)

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  26. I'm one of the only people without a smart phone (just can't justify the price increase from what I have now), but I'll be saving this post for when I do get one down the road! :)

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    1. They are pretty darn expensive. Not just the phone, but the plan that goes with it. You can get an older model smartphone for free with a two-year contract but the data will eat your budget alive!

      Delete
  27. LOL! Stephanie, that is too funny! I honestly fear the same thing. I just upgraded to the 5S and went without the screen protector opting for a good case (that allowed me to insert credit cards and my ID in the back), so I could go without a full wallet. I've dropped it three times...and thankfully, the case has been enough to keep it from any damage! :D

    ReplyDelete
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    1. If it's one of those credit card phone cases that's like a book that covers the front and the back, those seem pretty cushy to me!

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  28. I have a dumb-phone, but I also have an iPod Touch. I have a protection case, but nothing bulky though. Haven't cracked a screen yet, so I'm thankful for that.

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    1. The addiction to iOS started with the iPod for me. I had one of those Shuffles back in 2005 that didn't even have a screen. You just hit "next" and waited to see what song you'd get!

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  29. I had an iphone with gorilla glass. It's scratchable, trust me.

    I skipped the middle-man this time and got the Samsung S5 Active which comes with superior impact and scratch resistance. It's the first phone I've ever had that shows barely a scratch after 6 months. I'm brutal, even broke my iphone while it was in an Otterbox.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. You are brutal! I work from home, so mine is on a solid surface most of the day. When I worked in IT, though, I was on the go all day and that phone hit concrete more times than I'd like to admit! It never hurt it, but I always had an Otterbox on it and I guess it hit at just the right angle to be okay.

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    2. Yeah, for the past 15 years I've cut my own firewood to heat this big ole house. Between that and renovations my poor phones take a beating. I've only actually destroyed one phone while doing flood relief. Crushed it when a cast iron sewing machine fell against my thigh where my phone was resting. Probably saved me a good bruise

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  30. I treat my smart phone as if it's a baby. I make sure I don't stick my thumb through its soft spot. I clean it with a soft cloth. I don't immerse it in water. I keep it in a safe place. I don't carry it around with me all the time, and I would never leave it in the car.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. I get all of those things but the soft spot!!! What's a phone's soft spot? You'd probably have to take it apart to get to it!

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    2. The soft spot is the screen. You don't want to break it, so treat it as if it's a soft spot.

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  31. I use the Zagg screen protector and ooh I am anal about those bubbles. I bought a slimline Otterbox that didn't turn my phone into a large book. I actually found it on Amazon for 29.00..go me.

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    1. Haha, go you! The Zagg is the best, but I still have a hard time making it flawless. So much pressure, too! Plus you're supposed to leave your phone off for a long time (is it 24 hours or 12?) after installing it--I always had a hard time with that part...I never left it off, even though it was a risk!

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  32. Smiling... people and their phones. You'd think the phone was a living being.

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    1. True! I think mostly it's just that awe know that if it breaks, it's $600-$700 to replace or $100+ to replace the screen...so damage is painful!

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  33. The only phone I really cracked was a Blackberry years ago. I had my last iPhone for two years with no damage. I always had a dual silicone and hard case. My new iPhone has that, and a tempered glass screen protector.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I had a Blackberry for work. That thing was SO beaten up by the time I turned it in. I never treated it as I treated my iPhone.

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  34. Oh I confess that I don't really protect mine, I have a little something for this one because mybrother gave it to me but otherwise I stay like that. But I never had a problem for now so we'll see in the end.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. If you're careful, you don't need one. I've had a few slips with mine even recently, though, so I know my case is earning the investment I put in it!

      Delete
  35. A drop of water can be catastrophic indeed. I'm speaking from experience :(

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I dropped my first smartphone into a bucket of water. It was there for about 10 minutes before I found it. I removed the SIM card, turned it off, and soaked it in rice for 12 hours. It worked...it was a little slow and buggy, but it worked until I could get a new phone!

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  36. I think my phone mostly needs to be protected from me (speaking as the one who dropped her phone into the bay in Berkeley while enjoying a lovely lunch...let's just say that led to a lot of swearing). But now I just stick with a simple silica case. I've tried other stuff, but this seems to work the best so far *knock on wood*!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Lifeproof case will protect it against being dropped in water...but the chances we'll drop it in water are pretty slim unless we're great outdoors-people!

      Delete
  37. Gaaaah… I've been lucky with my phone… no accidents yet… but the iPad is another story…

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    Replies
    1. I can imagine. Those things are pretty slippery!

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  38. A gal in my writing group has a spider-cracked smartphone face. It's a mess. I'm worried about her replacing it 'cause as she was taking it out to show me, it flew from her hands and landed on the table next to us.

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  39. Ooh, this is a touchy subject between my husband and I. I have the big Casemate that is pretty much indestructible (and bulky), but has survived numerous chucks across the grocery store, etc. by my two-year-old. My husband, who has never used a case, recently dropped his iPhone on the concrete and cracked the face. Of course, my response was, "if you had only listened to me and gotten a case..." Lol. Nice to know there's something called Gorilla Glass! I'll have to look into that! :)

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  40. LMAO on the last picture. I don't have a smart phone, but I use an iPod Touch. I have the screen projector stuff, but it needs replacing.

    ReplyDelete
  41. I used a slim case for about 2 years and it was great. The case did crack- but not my phone. Now I am back to my Otter case, which I had stopped using because it was too bulky (I got it when I first got my phone). I don't use the screen protectors because I found that it slows down my texting/emailing/typing in general and it was making me too frustrated.

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  42. Nice post! my brother just got the samsung S5 and he uses it in the shower for a few minute while he "gets wet" or whatever this kids are calling showers these days!!

    ReplyDelete
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