Julie’s gadget diary – Naked or cased?


As I wait for my Pixel XL to arrive, I have been thinking about whether or not I want to buy a case for it. I’ve been using a thin snap-on case for my Nexus 6P for the past year. I’ve been using a case not because I particularly like cases or am afraid of a little nick here or scrape there. I’m not. What I am afraid of is dropping it on the ground and shattering the display. Here’s the thing, though I don’t have a screen protector on the display and the case I’ve been using doesn’t provide enough protection to prevent damage to the screen if I do drop it. What the case does offer is a better grip on the phone and that’s really the main reason why I use one because, without a case, the Nexus 6P is a slippery little beast. My guess is that the Pixel XL will be just as slippery as the Nexus 6P. But, there is one big difference between the Nexus 6P and the new Pixel XL – I bought the 2yr device protection plan for the Pixel. This is something I normally don’t do. But it was only $99, so I figured it was worth it since it covers 2 incidents of accidental damage including drops, cracks, and spills for 2 years (there is a deductible…).

So I have a few options.

  1. Buy a really good glass screen protector AND a thin case.
  2. Buy a thin shell case that adds grip.
  3. Add a really good screen protector and enjoy the naked phone.
  4. Deal with the slipperiness and enjoy a completely naked phone.

I’m leaning towards option #3 or option #2 but am not sure that a screen protector would be able to protect the display if I dropped the phone on a concrete floor or gravel drive way.

As I continue to weigh the pros and cons of each option, help me out and share some advice. What do you do for your premium phones? Case or naked?

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18 comments… add one
  • Dave Hauser October 7, 2016, 9:11 am

    Just my two bits Julie but I’d definitely go with option 1. The options are almost limitless for both a screen protector and a thin case. All would be well without until you drop it and have to pay the insurance deductible (up to $200.00 in most cases). Dave

    • Julie Strietelmeier October 7, 2016, 9:26 am

      I was just reading that the deductible is $99 for the Pixel XL. Not exactly cheap, but not wallet busting either.

  • Carly Z October 7, 2016, 9:31 am

    I used to think I could keep phones safe. I have broken two screens in three years (one over the weekend when my Nexus 6 fell less than a foot onto the ground, IN A CASE and still cracked).

    Meanwhile, my wife broke her iphone so many times in a row the Verizon insurance people told her they won’t insure any phone of hers for at least a year.

    We are become death, destroyers of smartphones.

    So I would go for the case and the screen protector. Alternately, I would set aside the insurance deductible now, so you have it on hand if you ever need it.

    • Julie Strietelmeier October 7, 2016, 9:38 am

      I know I’m probably jinxing myself, but in all the years that I’ve been using phones, I’ve never broken a smartphone screen. I’ve only done damage to 2 phones. One was an LG G3 that I nicked the edge of the display when I dropped a heavy spoon on it and the other was a Samsung Galaxy Note 5 review loaner unit that fell out of my pocket onto my gravel driveway and busted the back glass.

  • Andrew Baker October 7, 2016, 9:57 am

    Want me to print you one of these?


  • Mau October 7, 2016, 10:57 am

    Not sure how you feel about applying stickers to your devices, but maybe this would work, along with a screen protector.


  • Jeremy October 7, 2016, 11:43 am

    A screen protector by itself isn’t going to save your screen from any kind of substantial drop. It will save you from scratches and keep your screen intact when it does drop and shatter.

  • p51d007 October 7, 2016, 12:33 pm

    I’ve had phones since the original Motorola “brick”.
    Up until the era of smartphones, I always used a case of some kind.
    Even my PDA’s, although I didn’t use a case, I kept a screen protector
    on them, due to the stylus issue.
    Once I got a smartphone, I pretty much ditched cases & screen protectors.
    I do keep a slim back cover on my phones, but that is because I keep a metal
    pad in that, for the magnetic window mount, and just to ensure the camera
    lens isn’t laying on something. I don’t carry my phone in my hand, it resides
    on my belt, in a slip case. Using BT all the time, with caller ID, I don’t even
    take it out to answer. I don’t bother with a screen protector, for the simple
    reason it’s not in my pocket.

    • Julie Strietelmeier October 7, 2016, 12:58 pm

      I also use a metal pad for the iOMount magnetic mount in my car. So I’ll most likely go ahead and get a thin snap on cover on the back of the Pixel. I doubt I’ll get a screen protector though.

  • David October 7, 2016, 1:31 pm

    I’ve always used a high protection case (mainly OtterBox) , but then I’m very clumsy. 😉 I’ve dropped all my phones from at least 4′ onto blacktop or concrete, and never broken a single one!

  • John Kes October 7, 2016, 2:04 pm

    I would go with Option 2 to reduce the chance of dropping. The screen comes with an oil-resistant coating and is probably reasonably scratch resistant, so go ahead and enjoy it. When the coating wears off and/or the screen gets enough scratches, add a glass screen protector to extend enjoyment of the phone. Installing a screen protector is a hassle and sometimes traps particles and/or air. That degrades the initial enjoyment of the phone. That has been my strategy for smartphones.

  • William Nicholls October 7, 2016, 4:39 pm

    No screen protector. Clear Pixel case. At least that’s how I’d do it. Screens are scratch resistant enough to go naked. I spend time in a really gritty paleontology lab, so after a lot of experimentation I’m using a simple clear case as a sacrificial surface. It’s easy to pop off and clean as needed. Hiding a nice looking phone to protect it seems silly.

  • PHT October 7, 2016, 10:26 pm

    Not at all surprised you ordered one! I would too.

  • Jim Rudd Levy October 8, 2016, 12:38 am

    I’m thinking about going the opposite extreme and getting a LifeProof case for my future Pixel, especially if they come out with a Nuud case for it. Expensive, though. http://www.lifeproof.com/en-us/fre-for-pixel-5/77-54423.html?color=AT

  • Lynn Lopez October 10, 2016, 2:25 pm

    I have already ordered a think clear TPU case for under $8 from Amazon. I am going to avoid the screen protector. I can never seem to get those protectors on without some kind of minor bubble or dust speck and it just drives me crazy. I think I am going to go ahead and purchase the $99 accident protection. The case won’t get here till the beginning of November so I will be going ‘naked’ until then.

  • Ray Raddatz October 10, 2016, 6:34 pm

    I’d put a screen protector and a slim two-layer case on it. I keep my phones longer than most and then hand them down to less advanced family members so keeping my phones nice is a priority. Mother is still happily using my old Galaxy Note II (with custom ROM) nearly 4 years after it was produced.

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