One of the first things that most of us do after purchasing a new smartphone is search for a protective case. Of course, you want your precious (and valuable) investment protected from any potential harm such as scratches, scuffs, drops, and any other hazards that may come your way. However, the market is flooded with a vast range of options, from budget-friendly cases to high-end premium options.
It’s natural for many people to question whether it’s worth shelling out extra cash for a premium case when a cheaper alternative can do the job just as well. In this article, we will take a close look at the differences between cheap cases and premium cases, and help you decide if it is worth the extra cost.
Cheap phone cases are typically made from poor-quality materials, such as low-cost silicone or hard plastic. These cases are usually produced on a very large scale and are often available in a variety of designs and colors. They can be purchased for as little as a few dollars and are widely available in offline stores and even online marketplaces, such as Amazon and Best Buy.
However, these cases are not built to last and often start to show wear and tear after a few weeks of use. For example, while silicon cases may not break, the color on them can start chipping away soon after purchase. Transparent cases can also turn yellow within weeks of use. Additionally, the materials used in these cases are often not as durable as those used in premium cases, which means they don’t offer the same level of protection.
Source: Amazon review images of some cheap cases
I have also found that the button covering used on the cheap cases, most of the time, is very poor. The buttons lose their tactile feel, resulting in a subpar user experience. However, it’s not as if all cheap cases are bad — there are some good quality cheap cases available in the market that can deliver maximum value for your money. If you’re interested in finding such cases for your iPhone 14 Pro, make sure to check out our guide.
Using a cheap case may also result in compatibility issues with accessories. For example, if you happen to have an iPhone 12 or newer, using a cheap case may mean that you lose MagSafe wireless charging functionality. It’s important to keep in mind that not all cheap cases are designed to work seamlessly with the latest technology, which could mean sacrificing functionality, protection, and convenience for affordability.
JETech Case for Samsung Galaxy S23
This JETech Case is a perfect fit for Samsung Galaxy S23. Its anti-yellowing crystal clear back protects the phone from daily drops and bumps with a TPU bumper and hard PC back. The case has raised bezels for added protection and precise cutouts for easy access to all features.
SUPCASE Unicorn Beetle EXO (iPhone 12)
The SUPCASE UB Exo series is available in three colors, and it features a hard PC back and a flexible TPU bumper. It has a slim design, and it has precise cutouts and elevated bezels for additional protection for the screen and camera.
LEXNEC Case for iPhone 14
The LEXNEC case for iPhone 14 offers both style and protection with a durable dual-layer PC+TPU shell cover that absorbs impacts. Precise cutouts allow full access to all functions without removing the case. It’s lightweight and slim making it easy to carry.
Premium cases, on the other hand, are typically made of high-quality materials and are built to last. They are designed to fit your phone perfectly, ensuring complete protection from all sides. Not only that, but many of these cases, such as the ones we have mentioned in our best Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra cases guide, are specifically designed to endure harsh environments and minimize damage from accidental drops or impacts.
Consider the Supcase Unicorn Beetle Pro case series, for instance. This top-of-the-line smartphone case offers all-around protection for your device and can even survive falls of up to 20 feet. It also comes equipped with a built-in screen protector, providing a comprehensive safeguard against screen damage. Additionally, it includes a kickstand that can be used in both portrait and landscape orientations for hands-free viewing. The case is also available for a wide range of flagship devices, including the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max, the recently launched Galaxy S23 series, and even Google Pixel 7 devices.
SUPCASE Unicorn Beetle Pro Mag (iPhone 14 Pro Max)
SUPCASE’s Unicorn Beetle Mag is the cover that lets you combine the best of rugged cases with an interesting concept for accessories. It comes with all the bells and whistles of the standard UB Pro, featuring a built-in screen protector, a swiveling belt clip attachment, and a kickstand that also houses the magnetic array.
i-Blason Cosmo (Galaxy S23 Ultra)
The i-Blason Cosmo series is a stylish lineup, featuring marbles and other creative looks. It’s available in six different designs, providing enhanced protection. It has precise cutouts, and a built-in screen protector. It’s been tested 10ft drop tested to ensure the Galaxy S23 Ultra can survive everything.
OtterBox Defender (Pixel 7 Pro)
Made from 50% recycled plastic, the OtterBox Defender is a rugged case that will withstand and protect your smartphone from the worst of falls. It’s tested and certified with a MIL-STD-810G rating, promising drop protection up to four times its military rating. If you often find yourself working in rough environments, around a lot of rocks and sand, you’ll also be glad to see a port cover on the case.
And, if you believe that all premium cases have a rugged appearance, you are mistaken. Take, for example, the Unicorn Beetle Style case for the iPhone 14 Pro. This sleek smartphone case offers a minimalist aesthetic, allowing you to showcase your device while also providing excellent protection against falls. Alternatively, if you’re someone who enjoys printed cases, the i-Blason Cosmo series is a great option, offering a variety of designs while still providing all the benefits of owning a premium case.
All in all, premium cases seem like a better investment compared to cheap cases. These cases are designed to fit your phone perfectly. They also have precise cutouts for all ports and buttons. And more often than not, these cases offer added features such as card slots or kickstands. These features can be particularly useful if you use your phone for work or entertainment.
The decision to purchase a cheap case or a premium case ultimately comes down to your preference and budget. If you are someone who frequently drops your smartphone or are always on-the-go, a premium case may be worth the extra cost. Premium cases usually offer a higher level of protection.
However, if you are someone who is careful with your phone and does not require a high level of protection, a cheap case may be sufficient. And there’s also an option to change a cheap case every now and then — spicing up the look of your smartphone periodically — while this may not be a sound economical decision with premium cases.
With a cheap phone case, you have the option to switch it up frequently, giving your device a fresh new look every time. This may not be a practical or cost-effective option when it comes to premium cases, which are meant to be a long-term investment.
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