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What are the Different Types of Smartphone Cases?

By Bethany Keene
Updated May 16, 2024
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The different types of smartphone cases available are generally intended to both protect the phone and add aesthetic appeal, though some achieve these goals better than others. There are hundreds of different smartphone cases available to suit every taste, and they range in price based on their manufacturing materials, as well as any guarantees made about the protection of the phone or the longevity of the case. The most common types of cases include designer cases, leather cases, and impact resistant cases that are designed to protect the phone if it is dropped.

Designer cases are some of the most popular smartphone cases. These are often made of hard plastic or silicone, and simply slip over the top of the phone. They often do not protect the screen at all, but will instead change the look of the phone. These types of cases are available in hundreds of different colors and designs; in addition, some websites offer customers the ability to custom design a smartphone case, either by using designing tools on the website or by uploading a favorite photo. That photo will then be turned into a case and mailed to the customer, who then can simply put it on his or her phone.

Other popular designer smartphone cases are leather cases. These are sometimes a bit pricier, and may offer a flip cover that also protects the screen of the phone when it is closed. These are also available in different colors and designs, and often come from popular fashion designers as well, which are some of the most expensive options. Designer cases are fun, but they do not offer a great deal of protection against the phone if it is dropped or thrown into a purse or bag; in this case, an impact resistant case may be a good bet.

Impact resistant and protective smartphone cases are often made of plastic as well, but they are often made of a soft silicone "skin" which fits tightly over the phone and helps to absorb the impact from a fall, which can help to prevent breaks or cracks in the cover or screen. In addition, these types of smartphone cases often come with screen protective covers, which are clear plastic covers that affix onto the screen of the phone and help to prevent scratches. These cases may also cover the ports of the phone, to prevent dust and dirt from getting in. Active people generally find that choosing a protective case such as this is the best option.

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Discussion Comments
By dautsun — On Jul 22, 2012

I know cell phone leather cases are really nice, but I actually prefer the cases that are plastic on the outside and soft silicone on the inside. That's the kind of case I have now, and I think it's great.

The silicone kind of insulates the phone if it gets dropped, but I think the plastic looks a lot better. The case I have is one color on the outside, and then the silicone lining is a coordinating color that you can see around the edge. I get a ton of compliments on my cell phone case all the time.

By ceilingcat — On Jul 21, 2012

@Pharoah - Those online auction sites are good for cellular phone cases and other cases too. I got a cover for my tablet and a cover for me ereader from an online auction site for a fraction of what I would have paid in the store. I've been very happy with both of the cases!

Anyway, I think getting a cell phone case is pretty much essential, especially if you have a smart phone. Those things are too expensive to risk breaking them. And I'm clumsy, so I drop my phone all the time! If I didn't have a case on my cell phone, I probably would have had to replace it at least twice this year already.

By Pharoah — On Jul 20, 2012

I've had a lot of really good lucky getting mobile phone cases off of online auction sites. Usually they are much cheaper than the ones you can buy in person at the store, and hold up just as well. I've actually compared my cheap cell phone case with a more expensive cell phone case, and they seemed almost the same to me!

I may just be cheap, but I can't bring myself to spend $40 or $50 on a cell phone case when I can just spend $10 for the same thing.

By myharley — On Jul 20, 2012

I don't think I would spend the money for a designer cell phone case because I like to switch out my covers from time to time. I get bored with the same cover and like to use a silicone skin that doesn't cost very much, but still protects my phone.

There are so many styles and patterns of these phone cases to choose from that I have a hard time narrowing it down to a few. I think as smartphones continue to become more popular, there will be even more cell phone accessories available than there are now.

I have not used a cover for my screen yet as my phone doesn't get a lot of wear and tear. This really wouldn't be a bad idea if you were really hard on your phone, but this isn't really something I have needed to use yet.

By bagley79 — On Jul 19, 2012

Most of my cell phones have been flip phones and this is the style I prefer using. When I saw a nice leather case that had a flip cover for the phone, I knew that was what I wanted.

I had been thinking about getting a smartphone for quite awhile, but ended up deciding on the case I wanted before I even bought the phone. I was also waiting on my cell phone contract to be up so I could get a new phone.

There are a lot of phone covers out there that are less expensive than the leather case I bought, but I know this case will last me for a long time. It also adds a classy, business touch that I really like.

By andee — On Jul 18, 2012

There are so many cool smartphone accessories available that I have a hard time not spending a bunch of money on them. I love my phone and enjoy personalizing it as much as possible.

I ordered a custom cell phone case online which was kind of fun. I went with a favorite photo of mine and now have this over my phone. It was not necessary to have this extra expense, but I knew I wanted some kind of case for my phone and this was a fun thing to try.

I have had a lot of compliments on it and should get some kind of referral bonus for as many people as I have referred to the site where I had it customized.

By sunshined — On Jul 18, 2012

My husband put off getting a smartphone for so long because he works construction and is very hard on his phone. He was afraid to have an expensive phone get ruined if he had it with him all the time.

He finally bought his first smartphone and went with a hard case around the outside and also bought a protective cover for the screen. Both of them are nice and the cover for the screen is so light that you hardly know it is there.

He has only had the phone for a few weeks, so I hope it continues to hold up OK for him. Now he is wishing he had bought a smartphone a long time ago.

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