Does a hard case actually protect the phone if it's dropped?

Discussion in 'Android Accessories' started by hemi-droid, Mar 13, 2010.

  1. hemi-droid
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    hemi-droid New Member

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    I like the look of the hard cases, and I know they're generally preferred here, particularlly the Seidio case. But I can't see how a hard case would protect the phone from serious damage if it's dropped onto a hard floor. I can see that a hard case would protect against scratches, but if it's only scratches I'm protecting against, it's not worth the cost and bulk to use a case at all.

    It seems to me I need a silicone or gel or other rubber type case to protect against impact damage.

    Or am I missing something?
  2. takeshi
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    takeshi New Member

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    Compared to not having a case? Yes.

    Will it protect your Droid from all falls? No.
  3. cuskit
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    cuskit New Member

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    That's a question that can be compared to racing cars today. Remember back in the 50's and 60's when stock cars were built like tanks? And drivers suffered a lot of critical, life threatening injuries? Then came the age of light duty components, all designed to absorb energy as designers realized that despite the heavy armor like protection offered by thick metals and rigid frames, etc., all led to the transmitting of energy from impacts through to the driver. A car crashed back then, rolled a dozen times and impacted a dozen other cars. And came to a standstill completely intact. But with a very badly injured driver inside. Today - you see a crash - the car becomes airborne, hits the wall, other cars, flips several times and comes to a standstill amidst tons of shrapnel car pieces spread for a thousand feet all over the track. And the drive gets out, stands up, waves to the crowd and walks over to the ambulance for just a "cautionary checkup". The reason is that all those pieces absorbed energy and spent it all before reaching the driver. He was "cushioned" from any serious injury.

    Okay - how does this relate to your phone? Well - the hard plastic cases are just like those cast iron cars of yesteryear. Yes - they will resist impact damage quite well. But in a drop - all that damaging energy is transmitted to the phone - very likely causing glass breakage at the least, and probably internal damage.

    The rubberized and gel covers offer a different kind of protection. They absorb this impact energy in a fall, more effectively "cushioning" it from breakage. Not guaranteed - but less likely. Of course - a lot depends on just how it hits the ground. On a corner, flat, etc. Luck of the draw here. But I'm betting more owners have saved their phone in a "dropped" fall with a soft cover than those with a hard cover...

    I ship my MIKRADLE products in custom made cardboard cartons that are also designed to absorb energy and help protect my product inside that box from the usual drops and falls incurred during shipping. The boxes I have made up are rated at 200 lb crush rating! Maybe I should use the same cardboard for a case! :icon_ banana: But the point I'm making is exactly what you are inquiring about. Imagine if I shipped a MIKRADLE in a hard plastic wrapper - you can guess what shape it would be in by the time it arrived at a customers door! The same analogy applies to the cases that we buy for our phones.

    Just saying..... :) mikey (by the way - I use the Gel Cover...) ;)
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2010
  4. jsh1120
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    jsh1120 New Member

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    Cuskit makes valid points. My impression is that the Droid is one of the sturdiest phones I've ever owned. But it is also housing a large number of delicate electronic components. I find the best protection for mine is to treat it like an egg. I'm much more protective about it than I've been with other phones.

    The main reason I bought a Seidio case (other than the pretty color) was my experience with previous cases from them that it makes the phone easier to grasp and therefore less likely to be dropped.
  5. droid d'oh
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    droid d'oh New Member

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  6. cuskit
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    cuskit New Member

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  7. stdesign
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    stdesign New Member

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    The results of that crash are amazing. Sounds like droid d'oh is fortunate to be alive, much less his Droid. Well, I've got hardwood floors and a basic plastic case has saved my Droid exactly 3 times. The screen film has helped too. Having a 2 year old in the house, I had to (at least) try a case and I'm glad I did.
  8. AnneDroid
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    AnneDroid Rescue Squad Rescue Squad

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    Holy Crap! What an amazing story! Droid d'oh IS lucky to be alive. Poor little Droid...
  9. droid d'oh
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    droid d'oh New Member

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    This is actually a story by MrTommy, a fellow Droider. I did however put a bodyglove on my DROID (even though I don't plan on crashing a big rig anytime soon).
  10. KumaDroid
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    KumaDroid New Member

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    That was a cool thing to be able to walk away from that crash. And to have the bonus of having your phone survive, very cool. I was in a crash a while back and I was too shaken up to even use my phone to call it in. A witness had to do it for me.

    Anyways, about the case... even though I think the Droid is built like a tank (have you seen the glass stress test videos? if you haven't, search), I do think that having a hard case is definitely a benefit. I've had several phone that I put hard cases on, and had many drops. In major drops, the cases ended up scratched or cracked. I've never had a drop that did any signifigant damage to my phone's functionality. In my experience, its always better to have a cracked $20-$30 dollar case than a cracked $500+ phone.
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