Which One Should You Choose?

Smartphones are expensive, and with high repair pricing, one cannot afford to carry around a phone without any protection. Not only do cases and skins protect your phone from scratches, but they also increase its odds of surviving a fall.

Grabbing a protective case is a cheap and effective way to be stress-free about not accidentally damaging your phone. However, choosing between a phone case and a skin can get confusing since both have their fair share of merits and drawbacks.

If you are hesitant about either option, explore the pros and cons of protecting your phone with a case or just slapping a skin on it.

1. Protection

With most hard or soft phone cases made out of plastic and rubber compared to a thin 3M sticker, it is obvious which option provides better protection. Most cases come with a raised lip all around the screen to prevent scratches when you place your phone upside down on a surface. This advantage extends to protecting the massive camera lenses found in most phones.

However, if you are confident in your ability to avoid dropping your phone, applying a skin can eliminate the possibility of scratches or scuff marks on the back panel and sides just as effectively as a regular case would.

2. Customization

Comic-inspired skin on a phone and charger

Phone cases come in all colors and styles. In addition, most popular smartphones benefit from a huge catalog of customized phone cases with designs and graphics from popular movie or game franchises.

Skins, however, can take this a notch further since they come in different textures and finishes. Popular options include wood grain backs, carbon fiber patterns, and matte-finished textures.

Phone skins are often more detailed and meticulously designed than most budget-friendly cases. In both scenarios, you can find third-party manufacturers that let you use any image you choose to customize your phone case or skin.

3. Added Bulk

OnePlus phone with a black camouflage skin

Smartphones are now huge and bulky to accommodate larger screens and bigger batteries. However, using a case on a large smartphone can be uncomfortable. Add a case to a big phone like the iPhone 14 Pro Max or Galaxy S22 Ultra, and you’ll struggle to reach all four corners of the display.

Though you can opt for slimmer cases, going with a skin is better for ergonomics overall. They are essentially stickers that add no noticeable thickness or weight to your phone, all while providing scratch protection and adding some style points.

4. Functionality

iPhone with a transparent MagSafe compatible case

Despite looking great on the phone without compromising its design, skins don’t bring much functionality. You can buy phone cases with a built-in wallet, kickstand, pop socket, and more.

Certain phone cases work with external accessories, too, such as adding the ability to screw on a physical zoom or macro lens to your camera. Another popular instance of phone cases being put to greater use is the plethora of accessories compatible with MagSafe on iPhones.

5. Cost and Availability

Customizing a Dbrand skin for a Pixel smartphone

Phone cases are usually much easier to find and come at various price points. While you can still find skins in the offline market, they aren’t nearly as popular as cases.

You might also be out of luck finding compatible skins for most budget phones that aren’t made by mainstream online businesses such as Dbrand or Slickwraps. Phone skins can also get a bit more expensive when compared to the most basic of phone cases.

Furthermore, applying a skin for the first time on your phone can be a daunting task, especially since there is room for mistakes and given that the adhesive eventually wears off every time you try to reapply.

There Are More Than Two Ways to Protect Your Phone

The choice ultimately boils down to your personal preferences and needs. While cases often have better availability and can provide drop protection, they can add bulk to an already heavy phone. Skins, on the other hand, can preserve your phone’s in-hand feel to a great extent but fall short when it comes to accidental drops.

Funnily enough, with the right combination, you could just use a case over an applied skin and enjoy the best of both worlds. However, if you truly despise having a bulky case covering up your phone, other ways exist to protect your smartphone.

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