For as long as phones have existed, case makers have been trying to capitalize on that market by offering protection and personalization. You buy a new phone, you buy a new case, the two go together hand in hand. But as smartphones slowly got out of their proverbial shell; dusted off their boring white and black plastic from the early 2010s; and donned new shiny, matte, metallic, glassy, colorful, or elegant attire; cases have been stuck in the same mold.
Brands pop up left and right, but the ideas are the same recycled ones: hard shell or soft case, plastic or leather or thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU), black or transparent. Compared to smartphones, very little imagination goes into case making, and there’s a certain status quo that many brands seem to be content with. I’ve reached a point where I feel bad about spending close to a thousand dollars on an expensive phone (such as my newly acquired Pixel 6 Pro) only to carry it around in a case that shows none of its polished design elements.
Modern flagships deserve better cases made of more refined materials, with classier designs, and more color options. And that is even more true specifically for Android flagships because case options are remarkably more limited for them compared to their Apple counterparts.
The case for better cases
Whenever Google, Samsung, Apple, or any other smartphone manufacturer makes a big show on stage about its latest flagship and the thousands of hours — and probably millions of dollars — that went into designing it and picking the best materials and colors to showcase it, I can’t help but wince, because I know the majority of those purchased phones will likely end up stuck in a generic clear or black blob. One that clearly wasn’t born of the same passion or research.
There’s a point where you start wondering: Why bother? Why does Google or Apple or any other company put in that much effort? And why do we insist on buying the nicest color variants when most of us will eventually just get a case to put our multi-hundred-dollar investment in, just so it doesn’t crack or break at the smallest fall?
Also read: Great Pixel 6 Pro cases you can buy
Then there’s the other side of the argument. Why can’t we have nicer cases? If so much money and effort get spent in order to put beautiful smartphones in our hands, why can’t case makers put in a little bit of effort to give us a similar experience?
More of the same
Looking at the wider case market, there’s very little innovation right now. You have your skins, which might offer some nice patterns and colors, but fail severely in the protection department. I know I wouldn’t trust my clumsy hands to carry a phone if it’s only wrapped in a skin; I drop my phone twice a week so it’s not a risk I’m willing to take.
Then there are hard cases, regardless of their material (plain plastic or covered with fabric, leather, or wood), which look nice too but also have trouble absorbing shock and dissipating it. I couldn’t tell you how many times I’ve seen phones with cracked glass in my surroundings, only to discover that the person had chosen a hard case to “protect” their device.
We asked, you told us: Spigen is your favorite case brand