Back when Nokia was reigning on top of the “cellular” phone game, ruggedness was in no short supply. Not that all the phones in the scene were tough; phones from Motorola, Samsung, and Sony Ericsson were notoriously fragile. Stylish, but they were far from phones that will last a few slips. Nokia was so far beyond that a few of their models looked alien, futuristic even.
Since then, phones have only become better. A full-fledged pocket computer, in fact. Apart from actually using it like one, a smartphone is all the computer anybody will ever need. But, they’ve regressed in one important aspect: rigidity. Drop a flagship smartphone now, and you will pay hundreds of dollars for repair and wait weeks to get it back. That’s ironic, considering that these phones are marketed to do a bit of everything but to protect themselves.
You Get What You Don’t Buy
One way or another, you will break your phone. It is one of the things that come in using a phone that’s about an inch or two too big for your hand. Worse, phones getting big isn’t showing any signs of slowing down. And then, you’ll make that inevitable trip to a screen repair shop. But, it is a good exchange for what you get in a phone today.
Then comes in phone cases. This industry is built on the fact that your smartphone will never be able to protect itself. What makes phones so fragile is the very thing it needs: a glass back. It is better for wireless charging than a metal back. There’s also the screen, which has been better, but you wouldn’t want to drop your phone face-first still. So, unless you have an unslippable grip, a case is necessary.
But, the one thing phone cases go against is the environment and the ever-bigger cause for using less. This industry has built a mountain of waste, and manufacturers not making their phones stronger only feed this machine. It’s a cycle that will continue until we see a Nokia rise again, which is very unlikely.
Plastic is Not the Way (Again)
If there’s anything that spoils a premium smartphone experience, it’s plastic. It’s ruining the world, and it will ruin that first touch of your $1,000 phone. While it does help your phone’s ruggedness, any manufacturer would never create an all-plastic model. Can you imagine holding your phone and thinking, “this feels like a Tide bottle”? A polished plastic is fine, but it will never be enough to wrap around precious metals that make a modern smartphone. It’s not fitting, and it’s cheap.
The world is drowning in plastic, and it’s time to stop using this once and former miracle product. Can you imagine an all-screen smartphone that can survive multiple drops without a scratch? That would be an evolution, one that the industry needs. This means that manufacturers have to find a way to make stronger phones and stop the necessity of cases.