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Friday Poll: How do You Protect Your Android Phone?

We actually asked this same question a year ago, but the smartphone landscape has changed some. Now that massive screens are the norm – some as much as 5.3″ – and prices are in the $299 range on contract, we need to ask it again. Some would argue that bigger phones are less easy to handle and more likely to be dropped than something you can wrap your hand fully around. We are just curious if the “hummer” and higher price trends have altered your view of cases or screen protectors. For years I was never interested in a case and kept my phones completely naked, but this new Ringke SLIM is too good to remove. Screen protectors though, can’t do ’em.

What about you? Has the bigger phone trend and higher prices forced you to change your approach to device protection?

How do You Protect Your Android Phone?

View Results

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  • rodney11ride

    androidify case for extended battery days and otterbox communter for regular battery days… no screen protector… why when the screen doesnt scratch? all it does is intensify the finger prints

  • JoshHenry

    I’m super particular about my things. So for something that I handle daily, protection is a must! Any scratch, nick or dent drives me crazy.But I still like to showcase the beauty of my phone, so I look for  the least obtrusive case and screen protector I can find. Something like the Otter box cases is overboard.

  • Adecker246

    I run my phone naked, I have Best Buy Black Tie Protection so if anything happens new phone for me alongside no deductible! The best deal ever!

  • cristian donose

    Really need to use a case and acreen protector where i work. Otherwise my phone is damaged very fast…

  • machineheadg2r

    I learned the hardway from my caseless og droid.  Now I got the otterbox defender and it has saved my gnex enough over the past month that I have owned the phone to justify buying it.  I got it as part of a grand reopening sale at my local verizon store.  $75 worth of free goodeies 🙂

  •  Why didn’t you include full body/maximum coverage skins? (e.g., the wet and dry products available from Zagg, Skinomi, Bodyguardz, etc.)

  • Hohlraum

    Otterbox Defender FTW

  • I used to have a leather case for my HTC Desire but it was annoying to use in the long run and since I have dropped it several times and the worst that happened was the battery flying out, I no longer use anything.

  • jdrch

    Back when I had a Droid 1, I discovered I actually dropped my phone *less* without a case than with one. Also, the screen protector kept coming off. I ditched both case and protector, and have been using my Galaxy Nexus naked since I replaced the Droid with it too.

  • eddieonofre

    I cuddle with it every night so it doesn’t get cold.

  • Smooth918

    For my Nexus I use one of these ( http://goo.gl/Agie8 ) cause I can’t stand smudges on my screen and one of these ( http://goo.gl/5Awjf )  because its to slippery without it and it keeps it Sexxy. 

  • Andy

     I keep my galaxy nexus in a Oakley sunglass microfiber soft pouch with a draw string. It keeps the lint and other crap off the phone and it doubles as a screen cleaning cloth! This has worked perfectly for me since my OG Droid…hope this helps! 

  • Bfum1059

    a shotgun

  • greenbacks

    My Gnex is to slippery when naked… wish I could go full Monty but I use a invisa shield with low profile case.

  • dylan84

    Otterbox Defender. Even though I hate that it makes my phone look like a brick.

  • tomn1ce

    Screen protector, protective cover and carrying case. I don’t carry my phone in my pockets. I am thinking of replacing the current screen protector. It’s a magnet for skin oil which in turn acttracts more foreign particles. Anyone has a suggestion for a good screen protector for the G-Nexus…

  • Brandt Brown

    Zag + Ringke SLIM is the winning solution for me 


      Zag is the standard form screen protection!

  • Jason Roberts

    My original Droid went caseless for the two years of its dutiful service, but only because it was built like a goddamn Panzer. My Nexus is covered with a crappy Incipio rubber/plastic shell case I got from Verizon until I come across something better. The rubber bit attracts lint and dust from my pockets and the innards are always dusty.

  • trumpet444

    Still with my OG Droid and after more than two years, I have only dropped it once….and it was two weeks ago. I did buy a case for it at first but got rid of it bc it made it too bulky. Never bought insurance on it either. I just take care of my stuff

  • Michael Quinlan

    My OG Droid was naked from day one, mostly due to the fact that the desk and car docks would not accommodate a case.  However, the Verizon holster worked well and the phone proved itself durable the couple times I dropped it.

    As for my Bionic, I found the Verizon shell/holster combo completely unacceptable, and the Technocell case/holster didn’t secure the phone well enough and the case fell apart once when dropped.  I’m now using an Otterbox Defender, and although I’m disappointed with the belt clip on the holster, the overall protection is second to none.

    If manufacturers would take cases and holsters into consideration when designing a phone, things would work much better, IMO.

  • I protect it in my pocket. Once it’s out, I use the Kung Fu grip

  • Mikes

    I just use the convenient case the manufacturer provided to cover all the delicate electronics. It’s great, instead of bare wires and circuit boards, and batteries and stuff, it’s made of nicely textured plastic on the back, and a special high strength glass on the front over the display.

  • ivisor screen shield + otterbox 

  • I hate cases, so I protect my gNex with insurance. That should have been an option.

  • lol my 4th nexus will be here monday, so I guess I havent had one long enough to worry about it   lol

    • Tim242

      lol doesn’t disguise negativity

  • Paul

    No cases or screen protectors for my phones. Takes away from the design, in my opinion. And the RAZR is tough as hell.

  • Caleb Martin

    I don’t have anything on my Rezound; I feel like a case would make it too bulky because of its size, and I am fairly good at taking care of my electronics. Of course, accidents do happen, but that’s a risk I am willing to take.

    I did have a silicon cover on my Incredible, but I only bought it after receiving a Verizon Store gift card for participating in one of the “droid hunt” events when the Droid X was being released. It was nice, and provided a better grip, and there were a couple of minor drops that I always wondered how they would have turned out without a case, but I don’t feel like it was really a necessity.

  • Naked phones, with phones getting so many protective materials out of the box and Gorilla glass, it’s simply a waste of money to buy cases and screen protectors, not forgetting they make the phone fatter and sometimes uglier 

  • Seiga

    I applied Ghost Armor to my Galaxy Nexus.  It keeps the phone thin and not bloated like most cases, and protects the shell and glass.  Life-time warranty and If any major damage is done to the casing and protector, I just have to go to a Ghost Armor mall kiosk to have it re-applied for a couple of bucks.  Cost me only $25 to get the whole set with a coupon. 

  • Wpscompute

    My OG Droid is 2.5 years old and only shows a little wear on the edges of the screen bezel.  Gorilla Glass is the best.

  • Someone forgot to do some editing over at rearthusa… See if you can spot it

  • Matthew Merrick

    screen protector? really? i thought in this day of gorilla glass and giant tablet screens we had moved past those?
    as for cases, after buying a silicone one for my ipod classic the first 80 gog model (before my first cell phone) i decided that it was a fairly usless concept. i might get a hard case if i had a thin enough phone to not make it rediculous (i’d rather use the added bulk for a slightly extended battery), didn’t have a dock, and could find a hard case that looked and felt as good in my hand as the naked phone. 
    and putting a case or screen protector on a tablet is just silly. 

  • I was once and no protection advocate.  Didn’t have a screen protector or case on my G1 or my DX which I babied, but even then I still ended up with some scuffs.  This time around with my Galaxy Nexus I bought both a couple days later.  Diztronic matte case(amazing) from Amazon and a Boxwave screen protector and now I’m all about protecting my stuff. Also like black phones and the Diztronic gives that appearance perfectly minus the little cut outs.

  • termiNader

    Galaxy nexus screen actually gets scratched up really easily. Just from putting it in and taking it out of my pocket

  • termiNader

    Actually kellex, it’s probably the other way around. I would rather have a case on a smaller phone because if you put one on a big phone it will make it bulkier than it already is.

  • trevorsalienarms

    GNex sporting a Steinheil Flex on the front, Diztronic Rev 3 on the back.

  • Anthony Armando

    when getting my ngex on release day i only had a screen protector on. about a month later i bought a case. i bought a case for a several reasons.

    first, the og droid really spoiled me and i am very use to just tossing my phone about; tables, desks, floors, etc. second, i found myself using it a lot more than i ever used the og droid, this meant it was more likely to be in my hands and more likely i would drop it, especially with its slimmer design, and the fact that i have small hands. third, i found myself placing the gnex on smooth surfaces instead of back in my pocket because i would go back to using it quickly. since the gnex doesnt have much “stick” to these surfaces a rubber case helps prevent sliding and thus dropping.

    i take it out of the case a couple times a day (put it into workout armband, prevent over heating when used for extended durations, etc) but using a case is more practical for me though i would rather not.

    a screen protector is hardly noticeable, does not impair performance, and just saves the screen.

    i pay for insurance for total unit failure not for small stuff. i would like to avoid being without a phone for any period of time due to a claim.

  • I like my phone like I like my wimminz….nekkid

  • Have my galaxy nexus in the cruzer lite android buddy case!

  • My phone is naked. It gets scratched, but hey, it’s a Sensation. I can just replace the casing!

  • FknTwizted

    zaggs with otterbox defender on my nexus… I would love to go naked but, I Chase people for a living and seem to always be dropping it. I just hate getting that gut sinking feeling when you drop a $700 piece of equipment. fricken combo is a beast!

    • Asuriyan

      Two screen protectors? Or do you pop the built-in shield out? (I wouldn’t blame you.)

      • FknTwizted

        I popped the shield out… that fricken thing is a waste of time.

  • EvanTheGamer

    Case plus screen protector …’cause it’s the only way to play!

    • Jslafarr


  • TheCheapGamer

    When it’s brand new it’s wrapped in an Otterbox.

    When I’m tired of it being so bulky and it’s a few months old, it gets naked.

  • Mchlls22

    I use a case to make my razr pink and sparkly but also because it was so thin I couldn’t balance it properly in my hand…added bulk helps:)

  • I love the wear and tear my belongings accumulate over time. I know it’s mine, I know it’s been used. I have custom painted my macbook pro, tablet and every smartphone I’ve owned. I gave my Nexus an black coat, very similar to the one the OG Droid had, and all the scratches reveal the metal gray color. Thus I now have a Black Nexus with a “pattered” exterior that reveals what appears to be a metal build. I love it.

    • Sjschwar

      what kind of paint do you use?  i would feel most would peel off in your hands.   Maybe nail polish?

  • summit1986

    Fortified Glass my left nut GNex… got a small scratch last week.  Ghost Armor screen protector going on soon.  Rocking the Ringke SLIM.

  • Chris

    I actually left my razr max on top of my car in otterbox commuter case. Flew off onto the street. No phone damage, small dent on case. Incredible.

  • Bsgriffal

    Thanks to your article I’m religiously using the Rignke Slim extended edition. It looks and feel amazing, adds no bulk and covers the parts that need covering. I also use a zagg on the screen.

  • well i have a samsung fascinate so such a buggy phone doesn’t deserve protection. once i get an upgrade in a couple months, that phone will get a case but i’m not a fan of air bubbled screen protectors. i really hope verizon gets the galaxy SIII by august

  • What, no option for “Slip Case”?

  • I have always gone naked, the OG was indestructible. However, after just having my galaxy nexus screen crack and have to get repaired, i’m looking at putting on a small case.

  • Nucking_Futz

    With a condom.

  • Tsabhira

    Other — I use a waterproof cloth sleeve for tucking my Nexus into my purse and preventing baby from doing damage if he manages to get it in his mouth. I wouldn’t really call it a case. Beyond that, I don’t use anything.

  • dhirensavalia

    Using the Cruzer Lite Androidified case. I love it!

  • Qqq

    Case and screen protector so I can get as much money as possible when I resell it after upgrading.

    • Jwhap

      Me too! But I average a couple phones a year….most don’t.

  • napes22

    Was totally naked until I found out about the Ringke Slim that fit the extended battery. 

  • DanWazz

    I just use a case. I wish I didn’t have to, but I’m accident prone.

  • BrianWenger

    I protect my phone by treating it as if it was my own human child.

    • Araya

      So you shake it vigorously? 

  • indiecognition
  • Been carrying the LTE GN around naked since December… unfortunately, I am terribly disappointed by all the little (and some deep) scratches on the screen. Love the phone… but hate what I’ve done to it.

    And no, I haven’t kept it in my pockets with keys or coins or anything else.

    My OG Droid screen has less scratches at this point (no screen protector on it either).

  • $10 skin gives my phone a sexy look and maintains its slim profile.

  • Zach

    My Droid Incredible 2 just has a hard case on it. No screen protectors and so far no scratches.

  • fvqu

    I’m the same way Kellex is, case only, and honestly I prefer the feel of my Nexus with the case. It just doesn’t feel right going to back to a naked phone after using an Otterbox for 3 months straight.

  • user311

    My work phone I try to break as often as I can just because I get an upgrade whenever I want something new. I really try to put them thru hell. So far the Nexus is holding up, waiting for something new though. Personal phone, naked with insurance. Tablets are all naked as well but I have a backpack for them. 

  • Used a soft case for the first 2.5 months on my GNex and the day I took it off was GLORIOUS. I’ll never use a case again.

    • Ditto!

    • fvqu

      try a hard case, you will feel the exact opposite.

  • Aardvark99

    I’ve left my launch-day Droid X naked since it came out. I’m always VERY careful with it, yet I have two VERY tiny scratches on the screen (no idea how). I’ll probably throw a screen protector on my next device.
    My wife’s phone sports a full-on plastic case and screen protector, since she lets it rattle around loose in her purse.

  • Peeyourownpants

    screen protector, but now cracked screen.

  • Where is the one for “By not dropping it!”?

  • Iny

    Had an Otterbox, missed the thinness of my phone, so put on a Cruzerlite Androidfied case. It protects the the edges of my phone from scratches. My phone sits on my desk at work for 8+ hours a day, so really all I need day-to-day. I’ll reserve my Otterbox for when I travel, or know I’m getting really drunk that night and will possibly drop my phone.

  • ChuckDz3

    I voted naked but I have been using a skin lately which is nice to keep it protected from minor scratches like keys or something light. It was pretty easy to apply and actually fits surprisingly well and looks pretty nice too. 

  • Mikel61101

    Trident case or Otterbox case d3

  • Fast94accord

    Glock….stupid auto correct

    • Guest

      Are there Google produced cases for the nexus line now? Or is that just the “techy” name for the screen lock?

      • Fast94accord

        GLOCK….its a gun

  • Fast94accord

    With my flock 😉

    • Mike

      buncha gangster geese follow you around….

  • Bionic with a $10 TPU case.  Feels better in hand with the case than naked.

  • Darthseph23

    Used to do screen protectors on the OG Droid.  With the Razr, I’ve gone naked.  I have to admit, every time I see a Razr in case I chuckle and think how pointless it is.  Let me take on of the thinnest 4G devices ever and make it thicker.

    • Mchlls22

      Its too thin for such a big device, my small hands couldn’t balance it…needed to buy a case to bulk it up so I’d stop dropping it.

  • fiveHellions

    I used to let my phone go naked. But since my atix fell from only 2 feet above the ground and cracked the screen I will always use a case now.

    My G1 I could drop from 5 foot onto concrete and it barley had a scratch. I wish they didn’t make all the phones these day with glass all the way to the edge. Yeah it wouldn’t look as good… but look a whole lot better than hiding the whole thing under a case.

  • red014

    I protect my phone by treating it the way you’d treat a $700 piece of electronics.  

    • Tim242

      ^This! I like to feel my phone, not rubber and film.

      • bareback

        I tried to convince her with the same line..

  • Lacokanostra

    Naked don’t give a fuuuuuu

  • Lethalprophet

    Let’s hear it for Ghost Armor!!

  • John

    I didn’t pay a nut ton of $$ for my phone so I could hide its beauty.
    I overpay for insurance in case I do slip up & drop/break it etc

    • boybert

       Insurance is a scam.  Just put that money away to save for your next phone.

      • Tim242

        An insurance replacement on Verizon is only $99 for smart phones. Even with the monthly premium, it’s still much less than a new phone. Far from a scam.

  • Thanassi

    My Pocket and common sense protect my phone.

    • LiterofCola


    • Paul

      Couldn’t have said it better.

    • rodney11ride

      Fo Sho!

  • tjmonkey15

    I like to show off the phone in all its glory, no case, completely nekked.  I like to see the phone the way the manufacturer intended it to be seen.  Plus, cases increase thickness and slab phones nowadays are hard enough to fit in your pocket as it is.  

  • peblo

    I keep my phone naked but I do have a protection plan with no deductible. This also comes in handy with flashing roms. If I brick my phone, I just get another one.

    • John


  • Philip Van Luke

    I use nothing on my tbolt cause i mostly dont care. of course it tumbled from my jacket pocket just yesterday and rolled down the street. it now looks horrible and when i get my galaxy nexus it will be screen protector and case.

  • Michael_NM

    Screen protectors are a scam.

    • MB

      My screen recently got noticeably scratched and I’m thinking of buying one to help fill it in and protect from further damage.  I agree I would rather not use one, or a case, but why is it a scam?  I don’t abuse my phone either – stuff just happens.  

      • Michael_NM

        I’ve taken keys and knives to my old Droid X screen with no scratches. Something that scratches a screen will likely scratch right through a screen “protector.”

        • Liderc

          Sand is actually much more likely to scratch a screen than anything else.  Unless you have a diamond made screen, sand can scratch it. Good thing about protectors is they prevent those hairline scratches, it gets scratched, you pull it off and put on another.

          • feztheforeigner

            Is that why Gorillas don’t like sand?

          • Liderc

            Gorilla Glass is like the new Retina Display. 

            Made up words! ahh!

          • Tim242

            I like to feel the glass. Screen protectors make the screen feel cheap.

          • Liderc

            Cheap screen protectors feel cheap, quality ones feel just like glass.

          • Noyfb

            Anti-glare screen protectors are what i get. But not any good ones that are cheap unfortunately.

          • rodney11ride

            Can you tell me which ones are quality? thanks!

        • bjn714

          I agree to an extent. I don’t use them but I can say that the galaxy nexus screen is more scratch prone than the gorilla glass on my Droid or Droid X. I dropped my Droid face down on gravel and asphalt and it just bounced off the screen and not a scratch to be found. The Galaxy Nexus is showing small surface scuffs but still not bad. If SGP (or Spigen as they are now called) made an Ultra Crystal protector that could work on the curved screen I would use it in here. Gorilla glass, still a no. The thing about the Ultra Crystal protector is that when installed it feels exactly like the glass screen and is VERY durable. I used them on my Blackberry back in 2009 before the Droid.

          So some protectors are a scam but there are a few quality ones out there for certain devices that can benefit from them. Plastic screens and soda lime glass need protection.

          That said, for my gnex, I carry it completely bare but I have a TPU case I can pop on if I will be in a more volatile situation but 95% of the time it is bare.

        • rodney11ride

          Totally agree… 21$ at best buy for a pack of three… why didnt i think of this.. thats a complete scam. if its going to scratch the screens we have these days then is going to go right through that plastic thin sheet of a protector! lol. never have protected my og droid and saw some minor “scratches” with the sun just right but not these new phones… just youtube it with the guy and the keys… freaking hillarious

    • I once thought that way.  In the past few years I’ve owned 2 iPhones, a Droid X, a Droid Charge, and recently a Galaxy Nexus.  On the iPhones and the Droid X I never used a screen protector and I never had issues with scratches on the screens.  With the Droid Charge after about a month of owning it I noticed I had a few scratches on the screen.  So with that being said I agree sometimes they can be a scam, but when it comes to phones that don’t use Gorilla glass, IE some Samsung phones, I would recommend a screen protector.  The Sammy phones just seem like they are more prone to scratches for whatever reason.

      • JaeLim

        Is this a joke? The most popular Sammy phone in SGS2 has gorrilla glass while NONE of the iPhones do. Also my GNex, which I droped on several occasions has 0 scratches, while my cousins’s iPod touch 4th gen, while not iPhone, has scratches all over. Not to mention when it comes to drop test… well you sould just watch the vid. The iPhone or any Apple made products do not belong in the same discussions with durability.

        • John

          Glass on the GNex isn’t gorilla glass.. It’s STRONGER than gorilla glass.  This ish is MIGHTY.  The GG on my OG Droid stood up extremely well for two years with no protection.  There were some dings from langing glass down on pavement, and one tiny little scratch that I could barely see.  Other than that, no damage from every day use.

    • jdrch

      For my Droid 1, yes. For my Galaxy Nexus, no. Picked up a tiny scratch near the front facing camera on the latter

  • Since no smart accessory company has come out with a combo case + car dock then I’m forced to go naked.

    •  Agreed – since I really on the car dock so much, I’ve stopped using a case for my GNex …