Just in case

Do you use protection? Or do you leave caution to the winds and thrive in that free feeling of nakedness as intended by the maker? The question here, dear reader, is about the need for mobile cases.   I confess, I have a huge case fetish. I'm guilty of buying detachable bodies for my Nokia 3310 (the very first cellphone I owned) back in the day, and have since splurged on multiple cases for pretty much all the handsets I've ever used. I remember ordering Capdase and Krusell cases online for my Palm Treo 650, and roaming the streets in Hong Kong on the hunt for suitable attire for an HTC Desire... even before I bought the handset! I currently have about seven for my iPhone 4S, each of them different, of course. From Griffin to Otterbox, functional to jazzy – I have them all.   I know, I know: why buy a gorgeous, top-of-the-line smartphone that’ll possibly score me some envious glances and then hide it with a crappy case, you ask? Maybe it's got to do with my obsession with fancy smartphones and an indescribable feeling of satisfaction derived from the knowledge that the ones in my possession are completely scratch free (yes, even review units). It's almost the same as the comfort provided by expensive underwear – in the sense that it's a feeling known only to me about something that I don't intend to flaunt, even though what's hidden may entirely be flaunt-worthy!   Before we get too risqué, however, let's consider the plus points. There's the simple matter of protection from nasty, pointy things, and from bumps and drops. And even though cases may not offer much protection against water (well, mostly), they help keep dust out. Next, there's the equally important factor of style and personalization. You may not change your smartphone so often, but you sure as hell can change its case to one that matches your mood, makes a statement and reflects your attitude. And depending on which smartphone you own, choices differ, with iPhone users being the luckiest. They have so much choice – from the swankiest, wackiest of covers to cheap, colorful ones available from a pavement vendor. There are silicone skins, hard back cases, bumpers, flip covers, folder-styled ones, pouches... the list goes on. Choice of material includes everything from plastic to leather, and metal to fabric. You can choose a case depending upon the level of protection you desire, suited to a specific type of activity, matching the color of an item of clothing, or just select one that's serves as a functional, no-frills accessory. So it's perfectly fine if you want to declare war over swine and choose an Angry Birds case one day, while the very next day you don a suit and head for that all-important client meeting with your handset clad in leather.   Now let's consider the key minuses. First, of course, there's that very valid argument about a case hiding the gadget it covers and adding unnecessary bulk. Then some may even consider using one cheap-ass, and heck... some might just prefer using their phones naked. We're still referring to the phone here, in case you let your imagination wander. Well to each his own really, but I think the points in favor far outweigh these niggles, and I have a few brand-new looking handsets to prove that. These are devices that have lived in my pockets for weeks and months, and survived falls to concrete to still come out unscathed. Hey, these are mobile devices after all, and are meant to be carried and taken outdoors. Why not do so with the knowledge that the one in your hands (or pocket or bag) is blemish-free and when you undress it in the privacy of your home, sports a body to die for – a body on which no stranger has laid their lustful eyes on and is meant only for your pleasure? Think hard.

- Deepak Dhingra

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