Picture this: two girls are fond of you, one of them has a very beautiful face but a chubby body whilst the other has a super hot body but doesn’t have a very attractive look. Assuming they can’t lose weight or have plastic surgery to change the parts you’re not keen on and you were there to choose one as your lifetime partner, whom do you pick? Oh, and if you’re a Girl, change this to two guys are fond of you, etc. :P
It’s a really tricky dilemma, right? You want all the best bits from the 2 girls, although, even that was to happen it would probably not be as satisfying as you might think.
And this is where we get to my point; you face the same dilemma when you want to choose a case for your phone. There are many factors that you need to consider, and it can be quite complicated.
Don’t worry; I’m here to help you understand the facts that you might have ignored and provide you with a fresh perspective on how to select the right phone case!
1. The biggest differences between a minimal case and a rugged case
Let’s just touch back on my initial scenario, what are the biggest differences between the 2 girls, or to put it another way: what makes it difficult to find an answer? Well, of course, both girls have their own unique attractive qualities, a beautiful face, a hot figure, etc. that we’d like to have and likewise, they both have qualities that we’d like to...well, let’s just say, we’d like to avoid.
1) A Minimal case focuses on the carrying experience
To compare that with a case, the closest thing we could have in terms of consensus is that a minimal case won’t make your well-designed phone look ugly. They are ultra-thin, extremely light whilst still able to provide a basic amount of protection. Most of time you probably won’t even feel that there is a case on your phone, although there is. They do not change any of your phone’s functionality, and you will have access to all the buttons easily without any obstacles. All of which might be the biggest reasons for go for a minimal case. A bit like the girl with a pretty face! Ok, so what about the girl with the hot body and a plain face, oops, I mean what about the rugged case?
2) A Rugged case focuses on protection
Rugged, heavy-duty, indestructible, shock-proof... there are many words used to describe a case that focuses on durable protection, although it’s best not to regard them as ‘military grade’ protection as they might not strong as you wish, which, by the way, I discussed in this article.
Have a quick search on the internet, and you will notice that plenty of the manufacturers out there concentrate on making a case that enables you to protect your phone from any fall. It’s safe to say that protection is also the primary function of any phone case.
2. Can you get a phone case with a good carry experience and provide durable protection?
To be honest, it’s pretty difficult to find one, if not impossible.
Whilst there are girls with pretty faces and hot figures out there, you might be lucky to find one, although, regarding our case, it’s pretty difficult to find a case that is not merely aesthetically pleasing but also fairly protective.
OK, so why is that?
Well, it has to do with both the materials used and the design of the case, which I believe, are the biggest hurdles for those case manufacturers to overcome when it comes to making a case.
A) Why is the material so important?
Let’s consider a few key aspects. Let’s pick a few common case materials, plastic, synthetic or real leather, silicone, etc. And these are available to make two cases: one slim and sleek, and the other a rugged protective case, which material would you choose for each type?
- Leather or synthetic leather
- Aramid fiber
Ok, before giving me your answer, you should have a rough idea about which of these materials is best and why. Have a look at this discussion about soft or hard cases? on the Whirlpool forum to give you a bit more of an idea.
Typically, materials such as silicone and thermoplastic polyurethane (also known as TPU) tend to work better on the shock absorption, although some hard materials can withstand a phone drop too.
How? When a phone encased in TPU takes a fall, much of the shock is absorbed by the material rather than the phone itself. Whereas hard materials like aramid fiber or carbon fiber work better at ensuring that your case fits extremely well, keeping things to a minimum while protecting as good it possibly can.
What this means is that soft materials are typically used for rugged cases while hard materials are used for minimal cases.
Hang on though, does that also mean the soft cases perform better than hard cases in drop protection, or hard materials perform better on carrying experience?
Well no, it’s not a “one size fits all” philosophy.
Sometimes, if the hard material is durable enough, your phone can also be protected as well. Likewise, if the soft material has not been designed in the correct manner, the impact absorption might not work effectively.
B) Why does the design matter?
As I mentioned before, a minimal case made with hard material must fit well on your phone, there must be extremely fine tolerances in the design and shape of the case, or the phone could move every time you use it, something I certainly would not like.
OK, so how about the design of a rugged case that is made from a soft material?
Picture how a bicycle helmet works, and you should start to understand what I am getting at. Check out this graph provided by a Bicycle Helmet Saftey Institute, and we can see the difference in impact energy that a head experiences with and without a helmet. As you will see, the impact energy curve with the helmet is extended over a longer period of time, and the peak is greatly reduced.
This is very similar to a case. If there are some curve airbags inside or protruding points on the areas which are more fragile, your case is more likely to protect your phone.
It’s at this point that you might be confused and probably have your head in your hands: what on earth should I do now?
Don’t worry; I’ve chosen a couple of really good cases for you.
3. Choose the features you “need” instead of those you “want”
Again, let’s just revisit our two girls. It’s actually easy to do. Just follow your first impression, if you prefer the face, go for the nice-looking girl, or else go for the sexy girl (though sometimes it’s not you who will decide). Actually, at this point, you might have realized that there are more important factors for you to judge such as their personality, and you wouldn’t choose the one whose personality doesn’t fit with yours, would you!!
Well, it’s the same situation when you choose a case, if you want the “ ultra-slim, ultra-thin” feature the most, go for a minimal case; if you prefer the protection function, go and get a rugged case, just don’t expect them to cover all the functions you need.
And that’s also the reason why PITAKA makes two totally different cases, the MagCase for those that want a sleek minimal case and the MagCase Pro for those who prefer more protection for their phone.
So why are they special?
As you can see, MagCase is extremely thin, 0.65mm thickness and 14g at the weight, difficult to appreciate how slim it is without holding it? Not to mention that it’s made out of the high-tech material, aramid fiber and it is wireless charging friendly.
Ok what about the MagCase Pro, is it protective enough? Well, a couple of drop tests should prove that.
And the drop test conducted by EverythingApplePro.
What about the materials and the design? It’s also made with aramid fiber and has been scientifically designed. Check my other article Leaks: The World's Most Protective and Minimalist Phone Case is here - Are You Ready? for a more detailed explanation.
There are actually 2 kinds of case in the world, the Minimal case and the Rugged case.
The former focuses on the carrying experience, and the latter concentrates on ultimate protection.
Unfortunately, you will not find those 2 specific features in the same case, since many factors decide this, especially the materials and the design.
You really should!