What is the first accessory a smartphone user would want to get?
Carrying a smartphone without a cover is like to driving a car without bumpers, and no one wants their new gadget to shatter, break, or be damaged. Allied Market Research predicts that expenditure on mobile phone accessories would reach $107.3 billion by 2022, up from roughly $61 billion in 2014. Protective cases are the category’s best-selling item.
The fact about these accessories, however, is that some products that promise to protect telephones are worthless. It’s unclear, for example, whether a screen protector — a thin plastic or glass coating over a phone’s display — keeps glass from shattering when it comes into contact with it. Furthermore, sales workers at cellphone stores often persuade clients to purchase expensive extended warranty contracts for their devices, many of which may be avoided.
So here’s a rundown of what protects your phone and what doesn’t. We consulted with repair and warranty professionals and worked with The Wirecutter, a product review website owned by The New York Times, to assess screen protectors and cases.
In most cases, a case, a screen protector, or a combination of the two will suffice. And, although you should think carefully before getting an extended warranty, if you are concerned about damage, loss, or theft, you should consider obtaining insurance.
Screen protectors are just a band-aid solution.
A damaged smartphone screen is a common sight. Screen protectors, which are plastic or glass films that can be added to the display of a smartphone, promise to protect the screen from scratches and breaks when the device is dumped on its back.
However, screen protectors are just a partial answer.
The majority of broken smartphone screens are caused by hits on the sides and edges, according to a survey of smartphone users conducted by iFixit, a company that sells components for repairing gadgets. When the corners or edges of a smartphone collide with the ground, the force is concentrated and more likely to cause shattering, but if it fell face down on the ground, the impact would be diffused throughout the width of the screen.
Screen protectors, on the other hand, protect screens against scratches, which may damage a display’s structural integrity and lead to significant fractures. If you drop your phone on the ground, they will not come to your aid.
Because scratches from home keys in your pocket and general wear and tear are common, iFixit’s CEO, Kyle Wiens, recommended anybody worried about their phone’s longevity to consider getting a screen protector.
Fortunately, screen protectors are rather affordable. I suggest HiTechnology iPhone 13 Pro Screen protector.
Why should you buy a case?
A smartphone case that covers the sides, corners, and back is your best bet for complete device protection. When dropped in such areas, a decent case will protect your phone from scratches and absorb impact.
There are several case kinds available, including plastic and leather.
Cases and glass protectors have drawbacks. Both a cover and a screen protector add weight to the smartphone, making it heavier and bulkier to carry about in your pocket.
If you must select just one accessory, a case is more important than a screen protector since it protects more of the phone.
“We’d recommend a case before a screen protector,” said Nick Guy, a smartphone accessories reviewer for The Wirecutter. We feel that most people do not need a glass protector, but since they are so affordable, there are no substantial disadvantages to buying one.
Avoid purchasing extended warranties.
Many smartphone manufacturers and sellers provide extended warranties that may be used to replace or repair a damaged phone. The negative is that the cost of warranty plans, which is typically approximately $80 per year, often exceeds the cost of fixing broken products separately.
Consider SquareTrade’s iPhone warranty plan. The cost of two years of protection against drops, spills, and malfunctions is roughly $150.
This is where insurance comes in. Insurance programmes that offer coverage for lost or stolen electronics are known as device protection plans, and these policies sometimes include coverage for damaged equipment as well. Warranty policies, on the other hand, only cover flaws or damages. Insurance packages offered by carriers like as AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint include loss, theft, and damage protection, but are about twice as costly as SquareTrade’s warranty coverage.
“If it works when you take it out of the box, chances are it will continue to perform properly for a long time,” Mr. Arnum said.
Mr. Arnum feels that the answer is simple: if you’re going to pay for coverage, pick one that includes loss and theft coverage.
The most convincing argument to avoid paying for insurance is because it does not address a major smartphone durability issue: the battery. The capacity of a battery expires every two years, which is not covered by warranties or insurance plans.
Mr. Wiens added. Fortunately, most repair shops charge between $40 and $80 to replace a worn-out battery with a new one, a little price to pay to give your smartphone a second shot.