The ultimate guide to buying phone cases and covers

The ultimate guide to buying phone cases and covers

Mobile devices cost a lot of money. When you spend that much money on a device, you want to try to take very good care of it lest you damage it, and for many of us that means buying a case of some sort. When looking for cases and covers, there are plenty to choose from and this can be a great disadvantage – With so many choices, it can be hard to find the right case that offers protection but still fits your personal needs.

“Phones are a big investment. Protecting this investment with a case will save you lots of cash and give you peace of mind”

Several people who go out looking for phone cases and covers end up buying the wrong one mainly because they don’t know what they are looking for. This guide will help you find the perfect case for your device be it for drop protection, for device durability, to make your device fashionable or for a balance in between.


Before we get to choose a case, I felt it’s important you know the importance of covering your phone. Several people are against phone covers and prefer their phones ‘nude’. It’s nice to use your new phone without a case, but you should consider that modern smartphones being thin and light are not very durable unlike the feature phones like the Nokia 3310 from the pre-smartphone era.

If you already own a case, the following are the advantages you get from clothing your device and if your phone is still nude, here’s why you should consider getting a case.

It’s cheaper to buy a case than to replace your phone

A decent Smartphone costs above 10,000 Kshs (100 USD)  whereas mobile covers cost as low as 300 Kshs (3 USD) therefore you save a lot of money covering your phone instead of incurring replacement and repair costs every time you accidentally drop it. Simply put, a protective case is your phones insurance.

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Protects your phone from scratches

The exterior of most phones is mainly made up of plastic, leather, metal or glass which are all prone to damage. Actually, most current phones employ tougher versions of these materials for example gorilla glass and Kevlar which were not present in pioneer smartphones like the Huawei U8150 Ideos. But this doesn’t mean your phone is damage free. Even the toughest Gorilla glass can still scratch or break when you drop your phone. But even if you never drop your phone, chances are it spends a lot of time in your purse or pocket where it may be scratched by coins or keys unless you have a case on it.

Cases make your phone unique

You have just acquired the latest phone in town. Chances are a thousand other people have also done the same and within a short period of time, you’ll be seeing other people with the same phone everywhere you go. How do you make yours stand out? By putting a case on it. There are so many different cases that show your personality and make you stand out from the rest.

Increases your Resale Value

Even if you are not obsessive about the scratches on your phone, many people are – Your phone is prone to scratches and little nicks when you use it without a case. These tiny things lower your resale value in case you ever decide to sell it. Therefore, if you are planning to one day sell your device so as to upgrade to a new one, a case can be a great idea.

Offers better grip

No matter how careful you try to be, you’ll probably drop your phone at least once or twice in the years that you own it (for some it may even be twice in a day). This is because most smartphones are thin and light hence they can easily slip away from our hands. Therefore, buying a case with more grip could mean the difference between you holding onto or dropping your precious device.


Here is an overview of the most popular case types to protect and add some style to your device

Body gloves

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Body gloves are the most popular type of mobile phone covers – they are easily available at any mobile shop or electronics accessory store. Body Gloves are mainly made of silicone that fits tightly around the casing of the phone. They offer great protection against low-impact drops by helping absorb the impact of a fall to reduce damage to your phone. These cases also offer protection from scratches and minor bumps while still providing the right grip to keep your phone from slipping away. I particularly prefer these kind of cases because they are affordable and there is a wide variety to choose from. They come in a variety of colors and designs and are perfect for protecting your phone from the usual everyday damage.


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Shells are covers that snap on to your device covering the back while the buttons on the sides remain uncovered. These covers are usually made of hard plastic and serve to protect the casing of your device from scratches as well as adding some personal style to it – they come in every color imaginable: from plain colors, polka dots to animal prints and can be switched daily to match outfits. If you are looking for a case that makes a personal statement – one that won’t go unnoticed yet still provides some basic protection then this is the case for you.

Wallets and Flip Cases

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These are covers that usually open to the side. They are usually made with leather and are very popular among business and tablet users. Flip cases offer the best combination of style and protection as the screen is protected by a front cover that can be flipped open. Genuine leather flip cases are very expensive but there are cheaper artificial alternatives.

Pouches and sleeves

As the name suggests, these are cases that your mobile phone slides into for safe carrying. Their main function is to protect the phone from scratches, but they can also be used to improve accessibility as they can be attached to a belt. A significant disadvantage of these cases is that the phone must be removed in order to use it. This means that the phone is vulnerable to damage whenever it is out of the case


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Bumpers are thin rubber/metal strips that wrap around the outer edge of a phone. They provide protection against bumps on the device’s sides and edges. If you are looking for a case that offers the easiest access to your phone as well as emphasizing its original aesthetics then this is the case for you.


The following are the factors you should consider when buying a phone case

Examine your phone usage habits

When selecting a case for a phone or any other gadget, it’s important to first of all examine your phone usage habits – Think about how you use or abuse your smartphone. For instance, if you know that you frequently drop your phone or if you are always using it while your hands are wet you can benefit from a rugged or waterproof case respectively. After taking the time to evaluate your phone usage, you can now evaluate the various types of cases available to them accurately.

Set a budget

Because of the large variety of cases and covers, prices vary dramatically – ordinary covers cost as low as 200 kshs (2 USD) while military grade covers cost as high as 3500 kshs (35 USD). Although price is usually a good determinant of the phone case’s quality, this is not always the most important factor. Why am I saying this? There are cheap silicone cases which are durable and offer more protection than their more expensive leather counterparts. The key is to find the quality, design, and features desired without overspending. To make the selection process easier, I suggest you set a budget and stick with it. When the budget is not big, instead of settling for a low-quality case to save money, search for deals on the preferred format. Careful comparison allows you to find the cases you need at the prices you can afford.

Case compatibility

Mobile devices come in all shapes and sizes, and there are so many cases that can match. In some cases, a case might look as if it fits well, however, small variations can render accessories useless. Actually, this has happened to me in the past. I once bought a case which I had to remove every single time I plugged in my charger/earphones because the holes were too small yet the case fit perfectly well. Even if the attendant at the accessory shop tells you that the case fits your phone, take a minute or two to confirm this before you buy it.


The material used to make a phone case is a primary consideration when it comes to durability and is an important determination in any phone case purchase. Popular phone case materials include silicon, leather, metal, plastic and rubber.

Below is an overview of the popular materials used in phone cases and covers

Silicone – This is the most popular material used to make cases. It is strong, flexible and affordable. It offers great protection against scratches and low impact drops.

Real Leather – Mainly used in flip cases and pouches. Leather provides a high degree of protection and has a pleasing, professional appearance. Its main downside is its high cost.

Synthetic Leather – Also known as leather for the poor man, Synthetic leather is cheap and durable and works well in flip cases and pouches. Synthetic leather is also one of the most popular material used to make cases.

Plastic – Usually used for making shell type cases. Hard plastic offers a high level of protection at affordable prices.

Metal – Metal is extremely strong and is used in most extreme protection/military grade cases. Metal cases are expensive and add a lot of weight to the device

Design – Choose a case that fits your style and personality

Once you have determined which type of case you want based on your phone usage, there are several colors and style variations to consider – plain colors, striped, cartoon characters, football players et cetera. The choice is endless. Take advantage of this opportunity for self-expression, and choose a case or cover that shows to your personality and style.


Phones are a big investment. Protecting this investment with a phone case will save you lots of cash and give you peace of mind; however, before you decide to buy one, kindly take into account the few important factors listed above as they help you find the perfect case that suits your needs.

What’s your opinion on phone cases and covers? Kindly let me know in the comments section below!

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