May 10, 2012

What are the drawbacks of using a protective case on a smartphone?

I got my wife a new iPhone 4s for her birthday, and told her that I would also get her a case for it if she wanted to pick one out. When she got back from work the next day, she said someone at work told her that it was a bad idea and could cause her phone to fail because of overheating. I don't use a cover on my RAZR, mainly because it would add bulk, and I've noticed it does sometimes get a little warm when I'm playing graphics intensive games or watching Netflix. Is this a valid concern about covers, or not?


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I think you touched on the biggest drawback - it makes your sleek, pretty piece of industrial design bulkier and covers up the actual appearance.  It's like those wretched bra things people used to put on cars.  So I guess I don't buy the appearance argument, it seems to me as if you are making something look worse to make it look better underneath where you can't see it.  With cases that project slightly to protect the screen though, that's another story.  That is just being cautious; I'm a pretty careful person, and if I claimed never to have dropped my phone I would be lying.  On the other hand, Gorilla Glass is pretty tough stuff.  


Heat is an enemy of electronics, and I suppose there is a theoretical drawback to using a case because it could trap heat, but I don't know anyone that has attributed a device failure to "case-related" overheating.  If that is a concern, an aluminum case should act like a heat sink, right, so it would actually be beneficial in that respect.  Honestly though, I think this is a negligible concern.  


Really, I wouldn't worry about it, if she want as case get one, if not don't.  iPhones can break, and something like an Otter case adds some protection at the expense of bulk and potential inconvenience, and to me convenience is the entire point.  Other people view the trade off differently. Of course, you can just pay the monthly charge for insurance (or break protection, or whatever your carrier calls it).  




iphone 4s doesn't overheat if you use a case, in fact phones in general don't do that.

The single drawback of having a protectie case is that it makes the phone bigger.

I don't use one, I just use the grip on my iPhone 4. I'm not prone to dropping it, so I really don't need a cover per se. I guess it just depends on the individual. When I want to use my iPhone, I don't want to have to open a cover to access it.
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