[Info] Phone Cases – What Are My Options?

If you are like me, you might be a bit confused at the large amount of cases available for phones these days. I browsed around, assessed my previous case purchases, and decided to write this quick guide on the different cases available to help others. Please note this is not intended as the ultimate comprehensive guide, but more of a primer for beginners. Undockable below refers to when the case adds sufficient bulk to the phone that it makes it unable to fit holsters/docks/accessories which wrap around the original shape of the case.

Type 1 – Silicone Case (also known as Soft Rubber)
Info – Rubbery type feel, about 1-1.5mm thick, like a big rubber band skin for your phone. Very easy to apply/remove in a few seconds. Occasionally too grippy, making it difficult to slide in and out of pocket.
Availability – Cheap, less than $10 on eBay. Lots of colours available.
Protection – Reasonable, protects against scratches, minor protection against shock. Phone becomes undockable.
Looks like – http://image.made-in-china.com/2f0j00SvHERKMIhVcg/Mobile-Phone-Case-YM-SILICONE-MPC-001-.jpg
Suitable if – You want a solid grip on your phone, and won’t be constantly pocketing / unpocketing your phone.

Type 2 – Gel Case (also known as Hard Rubber)
Info – Glossy type feel, slightly flexible, like wiring conduit. Easy to apply/remove in a few seconds.
Availability – Cheap, less than $10 on eBay. Lots of colours available.
Protection – Reasonable, protects against scratches, minor protection against shock. Phone becomes undockable.
Looks like – http://img.alibaba.com/photo/276240278/Wholesale-Soft-Gel-Case-plastic-cover-for-Blackberry-bold-9500.jpg
Suitable if – You don’t mind a slightly slippery phone, and want something easy to remove.

Type 3 – Hard Plastic Case (Either flat plastic or rubber coated)
Info – Thin plastic shell that usually clips together in two halves, not flexible, but can be slightly bent. Can either be glossy plastic, or rubber coated for grip on the outside. Moderate to apply/remove in a few minutes.
Availability – Cheap, less than $10 on eBay. Lots of colours available.
Protection – Medium, protects against scratches, medium protection against shock, case should come apart upon dropping, absorbing some force. Phone becomes undockable.
Looks like – http://image.made-in-china.com/2f0j00KejQSsNJeLbZ/Hard-Plastic-Cover-for-3G-iPhone-HW-0101015-.jpg
Suitable if – You want a good balance between protection and size, and will not be removing battery/SIM card often.

Type 4 – Leather Book Type (also known as Phone Wallet)
Info – Fabric or Leather pocket that the phone sits in, may either be horizontal or vertical alignment, and sometimes includes a foldable cover and/or belt clips. However, generally quite bulky and may not be pocketable. Bulk may make typing difficult.
Availability – Cheap, less than $20 on eBay. Generally brown, black or white.
Protection – Good, protects against scratches and padded material protects well against shock. Phone becomes undockable.
Looks like – http://img.diytrade.com/cdimg/700106/5958657/0/1211593821/Mobile_phone_leather_case.jpg
Suitable if – You want the best protection, and will be carrying your phone on your belt / bag. Also if you don’t mind flipping the cover open each time you want to use the phone.

Type 5 – Clear Skin Type
Info – A mildly adhesive flexible thin skin (less than 1mm) that is applied in parts across the different phone surfaces. Uses water/soap solution for application, then once dries remains in place. Takes around 30-60 minutes to apply.
Availability – About $10-$40 online. Nearly always clear in colour.
Protection – Reasonable, protects against scratches, but little-no protection against shock. Phone will generally still be dockable except in some situations.
Looks like – http://assets2.precentral.net/store_images/product_images/accessories/large/5708.jpg
Suitable if – You want to preserve your phones looks/size, but still want to protect against scratches. Keep in mind it takes a while to apply.

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