There's an overwhelming amount of choice in terms of mobile phone cases. How do you select the right one?
Sometimes, it's not even about the "right" one. Smartphone cases are often a fashion play, which means one is chosen in the same manner you might choose a pair of shoes, a nice bracelet, or a pair of earrings. (Or, for the men, a pocket square, funky designer socks, or cufflinks.)
Keep in mind, as well, that there's no rule that says you can only have one. Many people have several smartphone cases to suit different situations and moods. You might use that standard black folio or power case while at work, but swap it out for a bedazzled one at night, or one with your favourite sports team logo emblazoned on the back.
But when we're talking about practical needs, how do you know which case would make the most sense for you?
Ask yourself these questions.
Where do you most use your phone?
Is your phone one of those devices that you tuck in your pocket all day, only whipping out during the lunch hour, your commute to and from work or school, and in the evenings? If so, any basic case that meets your personal style will likely do. Consider a standard and affordable protective skin from a reputable brand, or a lightweight case with screen protector that will protect the device from bumps and falls, but still expresses your personality.
If the device is used often at and for work purposes, consider a power case that will add extra battery life when needed. These are particularly handy for road warriors who spend a lot of time traveling for meetings, and who use their phones for constant communications with the team. If you have an iPhone, consider opting for a case with built-in Qi wireless charging so you can wirelessly charge the device with a Qi-enabled charger, or charging surface, which can be found at shops like Starbucks, and built into furniture from companies like Ikea.
If you use your phone for a little bit of work, and a little bit of play, consider a case that expresses your personal style, but still looks professional. A nice folio or wallet case is a good option. Consider ones with real or faux leather, or even a funky wood finish.
Kate Spade leather wallet case
There are also features worth considering that might not always be top of mind. For example, the the Handl case has a built-in handle that makes it easy for one-handed carrying, and also doubles as a kickstand. Or, you might appreciate side lights for improved selfies (or other shots), like those found in the LuMee Duo.
Maybe you want something that's lightweight, rugged, and waterproof so that you can enjoy passing the device onto the kids or grandkids without worrying that they'll scratch it or crack the screen. Brands like Lifeproof, Otterbox, and Dog & Bone, offer a number of such cases.
How often do you use your phone?
If you use your phone a lot, and for a lot of battery-hungry applications, like watching full-length movies or TV shows during your commutes to and from work each day, listening to tunes at the gym, or constant e-mailing, Web surfing, and social media access, a battery case will be a good idea. Even though I have a portable power bank that affords four extra charges of my iPhone, I also use a battery case that can seamlessly keep my phone going for another hour or two while I'm at a trade show or in transit on the train to a meeting. Great battery cases hail from companies like Mophie, Dog & Bone, Incipio, and Belkin.
Dog & Bone
Do you use your phone often in the car?
This might be one of those often overlooked considerations, but if you use your phone a lot for navigating in the car, you will want a case that either has, or can easily accommodate, a magnet that works with a magnetic car mount. Yes, there are plenty of mounts that cradle the phone, but I prefer the magnetic mounts, which make it super-easy to plop the phone on when you're ready to drive to your destination, and grab it once you've arrived. You can easily situate the phone in portrait or landscape mode to suit your needs. I personally love the Scosche MagicMount system, which includes models to mount your device on the vent via a clip, dash, or windshield. While the magnetic adhesives can stick to just about any case, consider that you won't be able to use one if you have a Qi-enabled charging case, for example, as it might get in the way of the surface needed to come in contact with the wireless charging dock.
Do you have a bold fashion sense?
If you're one of those people who likes to make a fashion statement any way you can, whether it's with a funky hat, killer pair of sneaks or dress shoes, funky striped designer socks or tights, or off-the-wall ties and/or jewelry, doesn't hesitate to let your smartphone express that personal style, too.
You can get a beautiful fashion case that isn't kitschy from a number of brands, including both tech lines and fashion designers. Fashionable smartphone cases hail from brands like Kate and Jack Spade, as well as tech brands like Case-mate.
And keep in mind that you can upgrade from a standard phone "case" to a more versatile protective piece, like a folio, phone wallet, or clutch purse from the likes of brands such as Rebecca Minkoff. These might come in handy if you travel for business, and want to carry just a couple bucks and a hotel key card with your phone for an evening out. It's also great for any evening out when you don't want to ruin your outfit with a massive oversized bag.
There's an overwhelming number of phone cases out there from which to choose. Add the selection for purchase online to the mix, and it's enough to make finding the perfect one a daunting task. If you don't have a particular make or model in mind, ask yourself these questions to help narrow down the options.