How do you protect your iPhones and iPads?

Almost everyone has been in this situation at one point or another. You pick up a new iPhone 5s or iPad Air, maybe a iPhone 5c or Retina iPad mini, you use it for a while, and then it starts to show signs of wear and tear. Maybe you banged it against the wall and got a little ding on it, maybe it was knocked out of your hand by a clumsy friend and fell to the floor. Whatever happened, you know the feeling of that first blemish — it sucks.

If you had no protection on it, you feel silly for not having none and wonder if it would have still happened if you did. If you did have protection on it, you start questioning the reliability of the product and whether or not it did it's job. In the end though, we all know all it takes is one drop in the right way no matter what protection you have and your device's life can be over or end up being a costly repair job.

For the phones the case has to cover all the top, bottom, and sides.iRiidium, iMore Forums Member

Personally, I never use protection on any of my devices. I tend to like the natural feel of the products and find no matter what kind of protection I use, it always adds what I deem to be unneeded bulk to my devices. But that being said, I'm also insanely clumsy and am probably the prime example of someone who should always be using a case.

I'm the guy who will be sitting in a car with his phone on his lap and get out of the vehicle without a second thought only to witness my phone tumbling to the ground, in what seems to be slow motion. Some of you know what happens next, you lean over to pick it up and desperately hope the damage is minimal and play out each scenario in your head before you even see it.

I'm loving wallet cases. They make it easy to carry the devices around.Septembersrain, iMore Forums Member

So, what I'm wondering here is how do you protect your devices? What's the middle ground between too bulky and just right or do you even care as long as your device is protected? Let us all know in the iMore Forums if there's certain types of cases you like or certain styles you prefer to use and what you've found that works best for you.

Discuss more in the iMore Forums

Chris Parsons

Editor-at-Large at Mobile Nations, gadget junkie, energy drinker, ranter.

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There are 62 comments. Add yours.

Allyson Kazmucha says:

I currently have a ZAGG Invisible Shield on the back on the back of my iPhone 5s to prevent scratching when I set it on the table and a BodyGuardz Pure on the front. Tempered glass is the only thing I can use. I hate the feel of screen protectors. Glass trumps all.

I normally go naked but get mad when I get little imperfections (dumb I know). So I'm trying this. So far so good!

d0nkz says:

On my iPhone 5 i have an Real Tree Otterbox Defender, I tend to toss my device around in it to demo why people should carry cases on their phones.

On my brand new iPad Air i also put a Otterbox Defender on it because i tend to be rough with my devices and find it increases resale value when in a case.

Both devices have Apple Care Plus just in case

ZeroLeonheart says:

I've been switching between the Tough Armor by Spigen and a Air Jacket/Smart Cover combo for the iPad mini. The Tough Armor looks cool and has a ton of protection, but I, like Chris, like the natural feel of the device, so I kept taking it out over and over. I've had the combo for almost a week and I love it.

erikbock says:

I am currently using the Tough Armor as well. I like it. I am a case whore. LOL I have 5 or 6 of them. I had the Elements AR-15 Vapor on my iPhone 4 and loved it. Got a deal on ebay otherwise they are way too expensive.

I also have a few cases from iOttie that are pretty good as well and of course an Otter Box Defender that is used as well. As for the screen I didn't have anything until recently when iMore had a deal on tempered glass screen protector so I gave it a try. I agree with Allyson I like the tempered glass better compared to the Ghost Armor that I had on my iPhone 4.

Agent-P says:

Same here. Nothing on the screen and I only keep a thin plastic case (with a Calvin and Hobbes design) on it for aesthetic purposes. It provides no protection whatsoever. My pocket provides more protection than my case does.

Heisenberg says:

Same here. And when not in my pocket, in my hand.

Bottomdog says:

Yeah I'm with Derek and the rest of the people. I protect my iPhone with my pocket and holding it with my hand. I'm always very careful with my phone because I know what it cost and how hard you have to work to have an iPhone. I tend to be very responsible with my devices because, not to get on a rant here, I started working full time when I was 15 and anything I wanted I bought myself, makes you appreciate things more. I mean accidents happen and I have dropped mine, but I could count how many times on both hands. I just dont like to have the bulk of a giant case that cost almost as much as the phone...but hey to each his own.

adelemac says:

I use Otterbox Defenders on my iPhone and iPad. I use my iPad at work with my clients (work at a rehabilitation hospital). None of my clients have ever dropped my iPad, but I have! The case has protected my devices, and my Apple devices look in mint condition. I want to be able to keep up to date on my devices so being able to sell/trade-in devices for a good price is important to me.

agarwal.apar says:

I am using iPhone 5. I still remember the day when I was in a party and was drunk.. while I was doing some crazy stuff, the phone flew off my hands and the impact was quite hard. I had my heart in my mouth for a moment.. Luckily, the bezel of the phone survived with a small ding.. Since then, I have covered with a case. Currently, I am using Apple manufactured leather case, product(RED)

The overall look and feel is awesome. Unlike other cheap cases in the market, this one gives a premium feel.. Though, the color changes over a period of time but that's fine with me

Avenged110 says:

The more scratches and dings the better! As long as they're not on the screen, I don't care. I like my Apple things to have that "lived in" feel. I have a case but I never use it. My iPhone 5 has only been broken one time - and it wasn't even by me - but that's what AppleCare+ is for.

digitaldeath187 says:

Bingo

Sent from the iMore App

Antagunist says:

My iPhone protection is a Caudabe Veil case & an iLoome screen protector. My device STILL looks & feels slim & natural.

Sent from the iMore App

geekynerd00 says:

I switch between an Obliq Skyline Pro dual layer case and a clear Etui Le Bon case from Amazon for my iPhone 5c. I've never dropped/broke one of my electronics in 5+ years of owning different ones, but I like being safe rather than sorry :)

Sent from the iMore App

Ipheuria says:

I'm so OCD that every iPhone I have ever owned was in a case since day one. The first case I used was an Otterbox Defender because it was a tank and I needed the ultimate protection. Then I switched to the Lifeproof because it gave me the same protection without the bulk. I have decided for my iPhone 5s that I wouldn't get a case. I decided to get Applecare instead. It cost about the same as what I spent on cases in the past. Except this time I get to use my iPhone as it was made.

MrCornfed says:

My iPad Mini has the smart cover, but it never really leaves my bedside.

My iPhone 5 currently has an Elago Outfit Matrix. It's thin, good grip and I like the aluminum back. I did have the red leather Apple case but it turned to shit after a month.

iDisturbia says:

Even if $$ was no object for yours truly to buy a new iPhone once a week, I couldn't go out naked (talking about my iPhone 5S ;) ).

The reason is I am addicted to TwelveSouth products ... all of them!

My iPhone wears one of these http://www.twelvesouth.com/product/bookbook-for-iphone-5 and couple of credit cards, driver's license and blah blah blah .... So, I have to carry one.

And of course, my iPad Air, MacBook Air 11" and my MacBook Pro 15" Retina own other TwelveSouth cases! ;)

P.S. I love bragging about my iDevices! LOL

P.S.S. Don't like any screen protector! I am very very VERY careful on that one!

alexislgz says:

Ever since i have an iphone i have tended to refuse using a case on it! I only use bumpers just because i need to have some kind of protection in the RARE case i drop the phone! Bumpers are so cute!! And show more of your phone! They're just awesome!! :D

Sent from the iMore App

sanibel says:

I get the I'm-gonna-protect-my-phone-at-all-cost attitude, but the iPhone to me is a piece of art, so hiding it behind armor is silly. It reminds me of my grandmother's plastic cover on her couch... So I'm with Allyson, just the minimal protection possible.

digitaldeath187 says:

Great way to look at it

Sent from the iMore App

SockRolid says:

iPhone 5: Sena Ultra-Slim leather slipcase.
iPad mini: Smart Cover and Wilson Leather zippered slipcase ($10 deal on Groupon)

jordanm341 says:

2 words- Get a case!!!

Sent from the iMore App

saynt j says:

iPhone 5s + magpul case.

Sent from the iMore App

psiclne says:

Zagg HD on the front & back & AppleCare+

Danny8200 says:

Spigen Slim Armor S. With the new Zagg Glass screen protector. Looks very sleek. Loving it.

Sent from the iMore App

asuperstarr says:

I use the apple smart leather case for both my iPhone and iPad. I prefer to
have some kind of cover around the case. I tend to drop my phone between my seat.

Sent from the iMore App

ba_hamilton says:

Currently sporting a Griffin case..Lightweight case that provides plenty of protection.

dc9super80 says:

Spigen Neo Hybrid case, no screen protector. I can tell the difference between the screen brightness and sensitivity with it without most screen protectors. I prefer to go caseless, but I work in a lab with soil and I set my iPhone down on the counter, so it may be prone to scratching.

Posted via the Android iMore App!

Danny8200 says:

Almost forgot my iPad Aid. I use a Speck StyleFolio. Black with the red accents. Looks sweet.

Sent from the iMore App

hey_apple says:

On my iPhone 5, I use the Spigen Ultra Crystal screen protector and AppleCare+ everywhere else.
I've never put any of my iPhone's in a case. I see no point of keeping the phone holed up in a case just to keep it looking like new but never getting to enjoy the design of the phone.
Just like Sanibel said earlier.

steimel says:

I use an Incipio case on my 5 and a Smart Cover on my retina mini. But I also put the mini in a zippered cushioned pouch too. I take it with me and like holding the mini but don't trust myself not to drop it. I drop everything like its hot so I NEED protection.

Sent from the iMore App

oscaramzz says:

I like to have a well protected phone so I can sell at a high price when I upgrade. For my iPhone 5s I ordered clear protectors for the back of the phone as well as a Tech Armor (free lifetime replacements!) screen protector for the front. I use a Belkin candy sheer black case. Very slim but protects very well. I don't drop my phone very much though. Maybe twice in the last 3 years (counting my iPhone 4).

Sent from the iMore App

oscaramzz says:

But for those who want good phone protection, Groupon has a good deal on iPhone 5/5s Otter box defender for 14.99 right now!

Sent from the iMore App

Sleepwlkr45 says:

I use the smart case with my retina mini....it's decent enough considering the price (both it and the mini were Christmas gifts....) I like the way it looks without the case but it goes everywhere with me and I'd like it to keep it in one piece...

Sent from the iMore App

AndrewMelder says:

For the first month of ownership, I used a cheap but effective TPU case on my iPhone before removing it. After about a month I no longer care about keeping it pristine and just use the phone.

That being said, I still have a screen protector cause I figure it's easier to replace a scratched protector than a screen. The phone is holding up well, a couple of scratches on the apple logo on my gold 5s but the rest is as new.

Sent from the iMore App

tgjb says:

Do you? Really? What for? Apple is releasing a new iPhone and new iPad (planned obsolescence concept), so I'm not protecting and buy new one every year. Old devices join my Mac-collection started with my first IIc.

Ciao

END says:

We use a Zagg Invisible screen protector front and back and use very thin cases (usually leather/wood/polycarbonate.
Never had an issue. Phones stay perfect.
Still, really dislike screen protectors can't wait for sapphire.

nat750 says:

I have a sort of snap on case that protects the back & sides of my iPhone 5s & leaves all the ports accessible. It has a rubbery feel to add the grip I all feel a naked iPhone lacks & it adds minimal bulk but great grip & protection & it cost £2 off ebay. My mini with retina has a leather folio case which I paid £7 for from ebay & replaced my leather smart case which I never trusted when it was stood up when watching something. I ALWAYS have a screen protector on both. I buy my devices outright every year so it's important I retain the condition for sell on value.

daniebello says:

I have a Tech 21 Impact Mesh Smokey case for my Space Gray 5S, it's my favorite case yet! It's simple, slim, very protective, and stylish.

garyf33 says:

I've got the Otterbox Defender on both my Iphone 5S and Ipad Air.

RoCutler says:

The Apple 5S Leather Case envelops my iPhone 5, with a screen protector.I tried a Smart Cover for my iPad, but felt it did not give enough protection, so I have a unknown 3rd party Leather case for my iPad4, purchased from ebay.

verpeiler089 says:

Always naked. Most cases are just plain ugly and the whole design of the device is pointless.

For transport I use a nice sleeve.

spencerdl says:

I do hate to cover up the beauty of my GOLD iPhone 5s, but I also hate dings and scratches even more. I use The Spigen Ultra Hybrid Crystal Clear case for the most part as my everyday case and occasionally I will go naked.

ggore says:

I use a UAG Urban Armor Gear case on my 5S, and a Snugg case on my iPad Air. I dropped my iPhone hard on concrete once, afterwards the case had a small hairline crack but my phone was fine. I'm sold, UAG is the best.

spencerdl says:

I forgot to mention that i also have a Zagg GLASS on my screen and Zagg Invisible Shield HD on the back of my GOLD 5s...SMILE

LastOstrogoth says:

My 5 is in a LifeProof case. It went into the case the day I bought it and has no come out. I use it on the handlebars of my bikes and everywhere else. I had a bar holder come apart on a ride last summer. The phone flew off when I was riding at 20 MPH. It hit the pavement face down. When I retrieved it, the case and phone were unmarred and fully functional. I wouldn't trust anything else.

tcerce says:

I definitely want protection on my iPhone 5 and iPad Air, but with minimal bulk. On my phone I have the ZooGue Social Pro case and screen protector. I'm careful handling my phone, so this case offers enough protection but also slides easily in and out of my pocket. After almost a year, the case looks perfect and, more importantly, so does my phone. The screen protector fits so perfectly that you don't even notice it. On my iPad I have the Belkin Qode Ultimate keyboard case. Provides great all-around protection with very little additional bulk over a non-keyboard case and a has a nice keyboard also. I don't have a screen protector on the iPad since I always close the case when I'm not using it. While I love the thinness of both devices, they are so thin that I feel I would drop them more without cases on them. I couldn't be happier than I am with these two cases.

ngc says:

I dont use screen protectors and I only use a very thing case (0.3mm) that I bought off eBay for like 1$ on my 5s, I dont like those big clumsy cases...

dalyapp says:

I find the iPhone rather slick so I use a case to give it more grip. Currently, that case is a Ballistic Smooth case. I find Ballistic cases better overall than Otterbox. The iPad gets a Speck StyleFolio. I like having a stand handy for when I use it on a table.

Sent from the iMore App

Ckepascoe says:

With the strong grip and a sturdy hand.

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timswork says:

I, like so many others, much prefer the svelt, clean & pristine look of my shiny new iPhone (5S, for me); however, it's worth too much for me to run naked with it.

So I found what seems to be one of the best, slender protective cases: the Spigen Slim Armor S case. It's sharp, sleep and has that great shock-absorbing TPU material that helps my iPhone easily survive a corner-hit fall on concrete sidewalks.

Sure, as some proclaim, AppleCare+ takes care of 2 replacement incidents. However I believe that's just wreckless abuse of the policy to rely on, in order to shirk ones responsibility of protection. And in the long run, this abuse of AppleCare+ replacement insurance will end up costing us all more.

But hey, if I had endless funds and could buy a new iPhone upon any breakage, then sure I'd love to show it off and use it without a case.

Michael Speziale says:

I'm clumsy and need maximum support lol this is my phone http://www.flickr.com/photos/112908118@N06/12737389025/

Antron says:

I've had all kinds of cases. I really like the i5 by Grafts Concepts. I currently go between the LunaTik Seismik and a Sena case. Bookbook makes a nice case if your into wallet cases along with pad & quill. I like the iPhone without a case so I'm currently looking into trying a leather sleeve for my iPhone.

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ame says:

Spigen UltraCrystal screen protector and a Speck Candyshell. I NEVER let my phone go naked.

ReedMA says:

I use a snugg leather sleeve. Gives me full protection on my phone, but when I take it out to actually use, it is the bare phone which I love. I hate covering up the phone with a case, but I also want protection from drops or just sitting on a desk. So this gives me the best if both worlds.

Sent from the iMore App

jsfbrwn01 says:

I alwayz think about the screen which i find more delicate it fallz!!

Sent from the iMore App

Ninotschka says:

All round protection. Screen protector and fancy cases, the fancier the better - including 3D flower decorations, diamante and dangly phone straps / plugs. I especially like wallet cases. The "naked" iPhone looks unfinished to me and I don't care about bulk since, as a female, I carry it in my handbag, rather than back pocket.

News_Dr2521 says:

I use bumper cases for my iPhone 5 and iPad Mini. They protect the devices with minimal bulk.

Sent from the iMore App

Icemanjt91 says:

I use a couple of case and sometimes run naked with my iPhone when I want to the quality of Apple Stuff. I have different cases for different situations. I have found there are needs for all different cases and thats part of the reason I want have several options.

They are all useful for one thing or another and that is part of the reason that I use several different cases. Plus I get bored with cases too so that is part of the reason that I have so many case. The other thing too is that these case all have a purpose and are useful in one way or another. Different situations and conditions determine the type I use for that day, week or month. But out of a 130+ devices that I have owned only 1 has broken and that was in just a basic case. So since then I have always used multiple cases and protected my devices.

kidkb1 says:

In addition to normal clumsiness, my pets innocently knock stuff out of my hands all the time. Zagg Invisible Shield front and back, Otterbox Commuter case on my 5s. Did this for my 4s and it basically looked like new. Clear case for the days I want to show off the Space Gray. ;-)

Sent from the iMore App

JenPate says:

I have a case now with a stand, but in the beginning didnt want to bother with and expensive stand/case combo, as thought it was needless. I did get a cover and stand separately eventually, but had to remove one to put the other on. That was where the incident happened and dropped it when changing it. Got the Ipad repaired at www.theipadpros.com then got a case/stand hybrid like i probably should have in the first place! :P

Andrea Baez says:

how do you fix the iphone that happens cause i currently have that exact problem with my ipod and I really need to fix it. I fixed it once but it does not work anymore.
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