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Hard Plastic or Soft Gel Cases, Which To Choose To Protect Your iPhone?

Updated on March 4, 2013

So the iPhone 5 has launched and maybe you bought the new one or a friend gave you their old iPhone since they've recently upgraded. Now you're wondering, is it worth getting a case to keep your new tech toy protected. The first answer that should pop into your head should be; of course! Not planning to protect your phone can be risky business. A simple exterior button repair job can run you upwards of $30 while replacing a cracked or malfunctioning touchscreen will take you well past the $180 range costing almost half your phone's total retail value. Getting a case won't guarantee your phone's safety but it will increase its odds dramatically. An independent study concluded a smartphone dropped from an average standing distance with a protective case installed will survive the fall 9 out of 10 times. Those numbers alone should convince you to get a case for your iPhone.

Not all cases are created equally. Some are specifically designed to protect your phone from water or extreme conditions while others are styled to simply look cool or unique while sacrificing the level of protection they offer to your phone. Carrying pouches for example offer a good balance between elegance and a relatively high level of protection. Because they're just a pouch and not specifically designed to fit any one type of phone style they tend to be universal and can be interchanged for use with multiple cellphones as long as they're roughly the same size.

Rugged silicon cases are usually the ones you see construction workers using on their iPhones, I'm sure you've seen them before. They're this big bulky thing and while they don't offer much in terms of style or design they sure do provide the highest level of protection for your phone. These things can take a serious beating. You can drop them from high distances, throw rocks at it, some are even waterproof so you can throw it into a lake if you wanted to. Your phone would still work if you managed to find it again.

On the opposite end of the spectrum sit the slim and sleek plastic cases. These don't offer as high a level of protection and while they do a good job of keeping your phone scratch and dent free they'll likely crack or shatter if dropped. They do however tend to have the coolest designs and this is because the rear facing panels act as an empty canvas for manufactures to print high-quality photos or designs on them. Hard plastic cases undoubtedly have a much larger selection for you to choose from if you're geared towards making your phone uniquely yours.

With this in mind you can decide if a rugged silicon or slim hard plastic case is right for you. Browse online websites to get an idea for the different design and styles offered along with price ranges if you're looking for the Best Cases for iPhone 5. Some of these cases can go for $10 or more but they're well worth the price in the long run


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    • jose7polanco profile image

      Jose Misael Polanco 5 years ago from Los Angeles

      I had soft gel and they are great against scratches and liquids but they do not protect that much for falls. Also over time the elastic just pull appart and is not tight to the ipod.

      The hard case is a little uncomfortable but lasts longer.