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Tuesday Poll: Are You Protecting Your Smartphone?

spigen ultra thin air galaxy s4

It’s 2013, smartphones have grown to outrageous sizes, prices certainly haven’t decreased, and we’re using them even more. So we’re curious, are you still protecting your phone? Or should we say, are you protecting your technological investment? With 2-year contracts still in existence, we know that many of you have jumped on subsidized phone deals because the thought of buying a phone at full retail can give anyone a migraine. So that also means that you likely aren’t interested in forking out $650 dollars should an accident take your phone’s life. It’s been a while since we asked, but we’d love to know how you are preserving your phone.

Are you using some form of protection? Case? Screen protector? If so, be sure to tell us what you’ve chosen in the comments.

Are you protecting your smartphone?

View Results

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  • shecalledmejay

    To me it’s pointless of saying a phone has a good quality body,, if you’re just going to cover it in plastic anyway.

  • BubbleSort

    After buying my Bionic on shortly after it launched, I received my first screen scratch yesterday. Dropped my phone onto gravel. But it did survive 1.5 years of drops so I’m not too mad.

  • MasterEthan

    Rolling naked on me and my wife’s phone (both GNEX). Both have been dropped many times and thrown by our Son quite a bit. Just recently a few months back my wife dropped it just right on a tile floor cracking the screen. Everything works great still and is only cracked along the corner bottom (basically left corner of the nav bar). Mine only a few scuffs on the back and outer rim but in great condition. (We’ve had them for ~2 years)

  • FknTwizted

    would love to see a phone and screen that was tough enough not to have to have a case or screen protector put on to keep it like new… but then they really make the money on the accessories!

  • Trooper

    What case is that?

  • br_hermon

    What about another poll on how many people purchase insurance or not? I’m rolling the dice and turning to Swappa or one of my older phones should anything happen.

  • D.B. Evans

    I have a Thunderbolt, so of course I roll naked. I mean, seriously, how much worse could the phone be with a broken screen? At least that would force me to replace it. It’s not like it has much resale value anyways.

    Oh look, it’s sitting on the edge of my desk now … oops! Damn, no cracks that time either …

    • shooter50

      I feel your pain. A thunderbolt with extended battery is like an S4 with dual Otterbox cases installed. That thing is a beast.

  • kane

    I bought a case for my SG3 then realized it makes it look crappy. If break it oh well. I’ve trained myself to always keep it in my left pocket an my keys in the right. Less chance I drop it and if I come back from the bar late night I don’t fumble around trying to my keys to open the door.

    • iamjackspost

      I have the same setup- front left for phone, front right for keys, back left for wallet, back right as a reserved empty slot.

  • Mvrcel Lgt

    I use a pouch, I dont like cases.

  • jhouk

    UAG Outland for the S4. Doesn’t add much bulk or weight and covers up that cheap plasticky feeling back with a premium plasticky feeling back. /s

  • maybbmay

    Tangerine Tango Spigen Ultra Thin Air case for me! Love it!

  • iNfAMOUS70702

    naked…if my phone gets damaged then i have an excuse to buy another one

    • paul_cus


  • schoat333

    Always a case only. Gorilla glass works just fine. Never had a scratch.

  • Austin Smith

    I am actually using ghost armor, which covers my device with a carbon fiber skin and a screen protector, so pretty close to naked.

  • yummy

    Hot pink/black Incipio and vz screepros on gnx

  • needa

    no case. no screen protector. which is why i have not upgraded to the fragile phones on the market today.

  • Jeff Creemer

    Otterbox Defender on my Galaxy S4. It’s so slim, it doesn’t even look like an Otterbox. It has a built-in screen protector.

  • Justin W

    HTC One. No other way to roll with it than Naked, any case that fits it hides its sexy body.

  • moew

    S4 + incipio double case.

    Dropped about 5 feet on my hardwood floor. It survived without a dent scratch or crack!

  • Butch

    The roll naked people are lying/trying to look butch on a tech forum.

    • KleenDroid

      How did you know I was naked?

  • I-Troll-U

    Google Bumper, DBrand Nylon for back, and no protector on front…

    Nexus 4

    • Justin W

      I just used a bumper for my N4. No nylon or screen protector. The only reason I got the bumper was because of the back, but with my HTC One, I keep it naked because it looks much better.

  • Chris Wallace

    I rolled with the Ringke Slim on my Note 2 until I shattered the screen during a drunken pub crawl this weekend. Just the glass is cracked. Think I can fix it myself?

    • noc007

      Check out ifixit.com for a tutorial. Samsungs are reasonably easy to get open, but replacing just the glass on the Note2 might be a bit more difficult. Check to see if you can find a digitizer, glass, and screen in one for the easiest replacement.

      Beyond just selling it, you can see if there’s a local shop that’ll do the work for you. Make sure they warranty their work, have positive reviews, and pay by credit card or in the least process your debit as credit. There’re probably shops on the internets as well you can ship it to and those same guidelines apply.

  • Finire

    I roll naked, but I regreted it too… Waiting on my replacement phone to come in from insurance now…

  • Eric

    Only reason I use a case is to keep the phone in good shape for a higher resale value.

    • Flat_Stanley

      I agree, and do the same. In some respects though, it’s a bit sad – rather than enjoy the phone to its fullest, I instead spend my time worrying about how much I’ll sell it for later (some 2 years down the road, no doubt).

      Every now and then I get the urge to just rip of the screen protector and case, and go buck wild, “LOOK AT ME, I’M NAKED AND I DON’T CARE, AHHHHHH”

      • Reginald Spence II


        • Brandon Golway

          “WE’RE GOING STREAKING!!!!”

    • David

      That’s why I just roll naked and when it’s time to sell it I get it replaced with insurance.

    • David

      That’s why I just roll naked and when it’s time to sell it I get it replaced with insurance.

  • EvanTheGamer

    What do you think? “Yes, both screen protector and case.

    Any other way is just plain dumb. You forked over $300+ for a device and so you want to PROTECT what you paid for with your hard-earned green! It’s just common sense.

    • Tim242

      Do you go out in a helmet and body armor? Do people wrap babies in such? Phones are made to handle slight drops. If you do more than slightly drop it, maybe you should reconsider your purchase. I paid $700 for my S4, and a case will never touch it.

    • PhoenixPath

      Dropping your phone is just plain dumb.

      (Thinking your opinion is the only intelligent opinion is just plain dumb.)

      HTC One. Insurance. Naked. It’s a damn nice looking phone and I’ll break it myself before covering it up with some fugly plastic bumper.

      Show us your car, man. I bet it looks *great* with all that protective foam to keep it from getting scratched…./s

  • XvierX

    Note 2 with a screen, protector no case… This phone doesn’t need to get any bigger.

  • Warwick

    Naked. There is nothing sexy about a case.

    • PhoenixPath


      Never saw the point of buying a high-end, gorgeous device, only to put it in the technology equivalent of sweatpants.

      • Ryan Stewart

        It is funny when people get their new phone and gush over its brushed this and thinnest in the word that and then put a mooohasssiiiivvveee rubber diaper on it.

        Everyone in the office has cases on their iPhones that make them as big as my Nexus.

        • TylerChappell

          What’s even funnier is people’s absurd erotic fascination with their phone. I saw my phone naked. It looked beautiful. I put it in a super nice crimson red Seidio case that complements its red accents, and it still looks beautiful. Maybe some people are accident-prone and value their phone enough to bother protecting it, and could give two shits less about “admiring its naked sexiness.” Ever think of that, Sherlock? I hope you break your damn phone for being so naΓ―ve. My phone will look sexier 1.5yrs from now than any poor schmuck who didn’t bother putting it in a case and got the screen or sides cracked, especially with that cheap Sammy plastic.

      • Brandon Golway

        I’ve ALWAYS laughed at iPhone users because of this. The security guard at mt job is a huge Apple fanboy and says he loves his iPhone 5 (which is a sexy device I must admit) but then he puts it in a giant blue and neon green otterbox!

    • Geoff Johnson

      I completely agree that cases make the phone look a lot worse, and extremely bulky. However, a phone covered in scratches doesn’t look very sexy either.

    • Steve

      I use bumper cases so I keep the natural look of my HTC One

  • MichaelFranz

    Naked Razr HD, built solid. Step father had an otter box and cracked his screen….but im pretty sure and otter box wont protect a phoen when you use it screen out as a brace against a pointed object while falling….(step dad and his silly antics)

  • sr_erick

    I’ve been on the case, off the case bandwagon a couple of times. My last two phones (Droid X and Galaxy Nexus) I didn’t run a case. I currently have a Note 2 that I bought straight out and decided to get a cheap Diztronic case because the back of the phone is so slippery and it added some grip. If the back had a rubbery texture like my Nexus 7 I probably wouldn’t have a case on it.

  • Drome

    i normally go naked on my HTC One at all times besides when i go to the gym or to a concert where it has an increased risk of being smashed

  • Don Crist

    Cruzerlite TPU case for the old GS3

  • Daniel

    Only need a matte screen protector on my Droid 4 since it’s solidly built and I just don’t want to scratch the glass with sand or something

  • SRodriguez

    Been rocking a Body Glove Dimensions slim case with a iSmooth screen protector on my Galaxy Note 2 since day 1 that it was purchased. Peace of mind 24/7 and when the time comes to sell the resale value will give me good $$. Its a win win no brainer choice…..

  • Flyinion

    Ghost Armor screen protector and a Ringke SLIM case for my GNexus. Thinking of going back to case-less though. The matte finish on the Ringke is really starting to soak up skin oils and soap/water isn’t helping.

    • Hothfox

      I have a tempered glass screen protector. Until recently, I was using the Otterbox Commuter, but I decided to just go case-less, because boyfriend gave me his Google car dock so I can use the 3 pin connectors, and you can’t jam a phone with a case in it. Plus, at this point, outer housings are cheap enough, so if I really screw it up, I can just replace it.

      • Flyinion

        I really might be going case-less now. Just noticed a crack in the upper corner of the case (phone hasn’t been dropped). Pretty sure it’s a stress crack from one of the last times I had to remove it to do a battery pull since it’s a really thin plastic. Guess I got a good 18 months or so out of it though.

        • Hothfox

          I’ve been thinking about maybe getting it a carbon fiber skin, just to avoid getting scuff marks on it.

    • tyguy829

      Do it…I have a ghost armor screen protector and no case on my gnex and it has been great.

  • Joe Bertolino

    I roll naked. But just broke my screen for the second time. So now it’s time to put some pants on.

  • fallenshell

    I keep a case on my GS3 not to protect it but so I can hold onto the darn thing…

    • Mike

      Got something wrong with your fingers?

      • fallenshell

        nope, just find that the phones being so thin make them hard for me to holdgrip so i just slapped a UAG on it made it nice and thick now I don’t have that issue.

        • iamjackspost

          That thing is really slippery, I don’t know what samsung was thinking. I’ve been lucky with mine so far.

  • zepfloyd

    Naked. I too like to live dangerously.

    • FknTwizted

      and was just released from jail for indecent exposure.

    • Publienew1964

      I have been using the incipio
      feather case for my razr HD for a few months. I’m satisfied with it.
      Very thin and a nice functional feel. Doesn’t offer much protection but I
      have dropped my phone many times and amazed I haven’t shattered the
      screen yet.­ ­ViewMore——————————————&#46qr&#46net/kkEj

    • Go Hawkeyes

      I go naked as well. And so does my wife. But just yesterday she broke her third SGS3 screen since January. Asurion dropped her after the second replacement. So now I’m going to give her my SGS3 and upgrade myself to an SGS4 (full price to keep my unlimited data). She’s getting an Otterbox this time. She thinks they are bulky and ugly, which they are, but the Otterbox on my daughter’s SGS3 has saved her screen numerous times.

      • Hothfox

        I didn’t know Asurion could drop you from their service.

      • TylerChappell

        Get a Seidio instead. They offer just as good of protection as an Otterbox, while looking a million times better, and often featuring metal kickstands.

    • Guest

      Try Urban Armor Gear sold on this site or Amazon for both S3 and S4. Doesn’t add too much bulk compared to Otterbox but still feels protected.

  • George Fayad

    Razr Maxx HD here. Naked and flaunting it.
    My Gnex was cased though. As was my Droid 3 and a few other previous phones.

  • I own one of the S-View flip covers for my Galaxy S 4, but I don’t always use it. Right now it’s off. Next week it’ll probably be on. I go through phases. The S-View cover is nice because it adds almost no bulk to the phone and just protects the screen. That’s all I really care about anyway since my phone always travels in my pocket. I hate cases with a passion. I don’t like to hide the sexiness of the hardware design.

    • Homer

      Those covers make the phone look like poop

      • We’ll agree to disagree on that one.

        • Homer

          No I’m pretty sure you look like tool when you flip open the cover to your phone

          • Homer

            How is speaking my opinion being a troll? I do honestly laugh when I see someone take their phone out of their pocket then flip over their cover. Imagine receiving message after message and having to keep on flipping over the cover.

  • Justin

    I use a cheap TPU case I got off eBay for my Razr Maxx HD. Figure I don’t need a screen protector because of Gorilla Glass and I have one tiny scratch on the screen that is hardly noticeable in the 6 months I have owned the phone πŸ™‚

  • Shane Redman

    I used to roll with a case for my GNex, but it’s old enough to the point that if it broke I could use an excuse to replace it…

    • n11

      Ditto. Easier to go in/out the pockets without the rubber case on.

    • michael arazan

      I use a thin white cipo case just because I like the black and white contrast. Just bought a casing for the GNex vzw version and I’m going to paint it white with heat resistant paint and then transfer everything to it to give me a white nexus and then get rid of the case

  • Geoff Johnson

    I rolled naked until my Note 2 had two falls. Now I run with an Otterbox case and screen protector.


    • EvanTheGamer

      Yep. Not protecting something you paid for is just not a good idea.

      I’m not made of money, so I want to make the things I buy last as long as possible.

      • Geoff Johnson

        I had insurance on my phone too, luckily. I said to myself, “I have insurance, I don’t need a case”. When my Note 2 broke the first time I figured it was a one time thing, as I hadn’t broken a phone – ever. 2 months later my Note 2 fell out of my lap, down my pant leg, on to my shoe, and then on the ground which caused it to look like it does in the picture.

        • EvanTheGamer

          Man, that’s pretty tough. I’ve only ever broken a phone due to anger(not accidentally dropping it which is obviously the primary reason a phone gets broken).

          That sucks though man. It does sometime pay to have insurance, but why have insurance when you can just use a $20 case instead(saves you money and headaches in the long run). But I guess each their own.

      • KleenDroid

        After paying $1400 for two new S4’s there is no way these things are going to walk around naked. They are thin and slippery and there is no way they wouldn’t get dropped once and awhile.

        I like a case that gives the phone a little grip.

        Nothing worse than the feeling of your 2 day old phone flying out of your pocket while starting a snowblower and watching it bounce and slide to a stop on the garage floor face down. This happened to my brand new Gnex and I wanted to cry… πŸ™‚ Luckily it was unscathed except a scratch on the corner that buffed out.

        While the phone is very nice looking and thin, I don’t need people thinking my phone is sexy. I would rather keep my phone instead of getting a refurb

        • EvanTheGamer

          I completely agree. I’ve never understood the appeal of using an expensive device with no protection other than maybe a screen protector. I mean, unless you’re rich and don’t give a damn if you have to replace your phone, okay, but average American’s who aren’t rich can’t afford to keep forking out green to replace their devices that they just bought. Sure, the easy solution to that is getting insurance, but like I said in another comment, why pay ’em MORE money per month when all you need is a case to protect your device? It’s not rocket science. Do what’s BEST for your best, not yourself, ya know?

          Anyways, just what I think. hah

        • Brandon Golway

          Agreed. When you get your phone subsidized you may only pay $0-$300 for it, which is a lot but not nearly as much as paying $500-$650 for it outright. I was on Verizon and normally didn’t pay that much for the phones ($150-$250) but then I switched to T-Mobile and I’ll end up paying about $650 for the S4 which is a good chunk of change.

    • sc0rch3d

      I use a Quicksand Slim case on my S3 b/c the dam thing is too slippery and it has a small top side lip so i can place it screen side down without worries.

    • Brandon Golway

      Ouch! That sucks πŸ™ I guess I’ve just had good luck with phones because I’ve never cracked any of my screens (watch the screen on my S4 is going to crack now lol), I even dropped my OG Droid from about waist height on to Asphalt and it hit hard on the corner, yet everything was fine except for a chunk out of the corner.

  • Prime7

    I had no case…until I dropped and broke my first GNex (only took one drop). Now I roll with Otterbox and XGear’s glass screen protector.

  • Greg

    I have been using the incipio feather case for my razr HD for a few months. I’m satisfied with it. Very thin and a nice functional feel. Doesn’t offer much protection but I have dropped my phone many times and amazed I haven’t shattered the screen yet.

  • NorCalGuy

    Naked…that’s why I have insurance!

    • FknTwizted

      and 4 kids!

    • EvanTheGamer

      I’d rather not have to go through the hassle of replacing a phone(plus paying the extra green) when all I needed was a case to protect something that I paid a lot of money for. Just what I do. Plus my G-Nex looks so much better with a case(with the right case that is). Just my two cents.

      • NorCalGuy

        Was Perviously under that opinion but I got my girlfriend a GNex just like mine as well as a hard shell case and an xgear hard screen protector, about $60 worth of protection just to have the xgear crack 1 month in, the case made it another month and the eventually the actual screen cracked all in less than 4 months I have had mine for almost 2 years and not a scratch on the screen and two bumps on the plastic shell. So my point is if I am going to pay for insurance might as well live on the edge because with or with out all the protection they all can break.

    • j__h

      Insurance is too expensive.

      • 6 bucks a month is too much for peace of mind? You likely spend more on lunch on an average day.

      • Francisco Rodriguez

        So is a new phone off contract.

      • noc007

        At $6/mo insurance is $72/yr or $144/2yrs + the cost of deductible which is $100-$200. So worst case your phone busts at a year, that’s $272 max out of pocket. That’s much less than the full price. IIRC the insurance through VZW has a $100 deductible so it would be $172 out of pocked after a year.

        I really wish there was an insurance and upgrade plan combined. I don’t have to “accidentally” drop the phone in order to upgrade. Still pay the deductible and the phone is worth more. πŸ˜‰

  • Damian

    If there were any decent looking DNA cases I’d probably buy one….

  • NexusPhan69

    I would love to see the same poll done on an iPhone news site. I feel like 95% of the iPhones I see are in cases. And every one I’ve ever seen not in a case has been completely shattered.

    • trophynuts

      sooooo what is your point?

      • iamjackspost

        The same point as this poll, just wondering.

        • NexusPhan69

          Exactly. My small sample is pretty worthless. I’m curious of the big trend. Maybe even phone by phone polls.

  • indiecognition

    I have seen gorilla glass scratch when kept in a pocket with keys. Spigen SGP crystal protectors are so worth it. http://www.spigen.com/#

  • EdubE24

    I like to protect my phone for when I’m bored with it and put it on Craigslist. Always helps to have a phone in great condition to help when I’m buying the latest and greatest!

  • Tim242

    I roll naked. Yep, that’s how I roll.

    • 4n1m4L

      Why have a beautiful phone if you are going to keep it covered.

      • Tim242

        My sentiments exactly!

        • TylerChappell

          My phone looks beautiful both naked and when protected. ;]

          • Tim242

            I get the feeling you aren’t talking about your phone…and that is fine by me! : )

          • TylerChappell

            Well this just made my day after getting back from Chicago this weekend, and heh, well most people are envious of the size of my device when I whip it out and I have to tell them just how many inches it is compared to theirs.

      • I say the same about girlfriends.