Though we don’t make a habit of throwing our phones when we’re upset a la Naomi Campbell (just kidding!), we do realize the importance of investing in a good cell phone case. And no, we don’t have a bad case of butter fingers and we’ve never dropped a phone in the toilet; but we’ve had our share of scratches, chips, and cracks–well, at least for the last two handsets that we owned. Plus, now that we’re part of the iPhone owners club, we are determined to keep our phones damage-free for as long as possible. This is why we are rounding up some of the best options out there, so you too can check what most consumers are after in terms of phone-protecting capabilities, as well as the extras (you know, like extra battery life, extra compartments, and so on).
#1 Mophie Juice Pack Helium
Smartphones are amazing. Let us say that again: smartphones are amazing BUT their battery life leaves much to be desired. It’s a good thing, then, that battery cases like the Mophie Juice Pack Helium have been invented. And sure, they may not be able to double your phone’s battery life; but the Helium, for example, can add up to 6 hours and 20 minutes of talk time to your dead iPhone5. That’s quite impressive, especially when you factor in the Helium’s sleek and lightweight design, as well as its competitive price (you can get it for as low as $60). Oh, and lest we forget, the Helium also offers full body protection and includes a 3.5mm extender, which you can attach to your favorite pair of headphones.
#2 LifeProof Frē
We have to hand it to these iPhone case designers. If it were up to us, we would probably just use duct tape and some kind of plastic covering to protect our phones. It’s not going to be pretty; but hey, that’s the best we can do. Of course, there’s always the easy solution–like opting for the LifeProof Frē iPhone 5 Case, which not only offers maximum protection against dust, shock, and water, but also feels like a standard, non-ruggedized case. You’ll also get an adapter for extending the jack beyond the case, a microfiber cloth, and a headphone jack plug (if you need a replacement).
#3 Incipio Stashback
Sometimes, it’s not a bad thing to ask for more even if it’s just an iPhone case. Take the case of Incipio’s Stashback for iPhone 5, which doesn’t just give full body protection and full accessory/dock compatibility but also throws in some good ol’ wallet functionality thanks to its flip-open bottom. In a nutshell, this case cum wallet protects your iPhone through its Rigid Plextonium shell, which provides maximum shock absorption, while its rear compartment can hold up to three IDs or credit cards. You also get a microfiber cleaning cloth, screen protector, applicator card, and a lifetime warranty when you purchase the Stashback ($40 on the Incipio site).
#4 Boxwave Keyboard Buddy – Backlit Edition
We understand that not everyone is a fan of touchscreens. Maybe they’re just BlackBerry folks or perhaps they just really hate the iPhone’s on-screen keyboard. Whatever it is, they can give Boxwave Keyboard Buddy a try to see if the metallic, snap-on case with a slide-out Bluetooth QWERTY hardware keyboard are more to their taste. Aside from an onboard battery, the Boxwave Keyboard Buddy also comes with a chargeable micro-USB cable, which gives it an impressive two-week battery life.
Now, take note that as cool as these cases are, they’re still just accessories and will not endow your phone with capabilities similar to that of business phone systems (more info). We mention it now because we know that there are people who use their smartphones in lieu of a proper business telephone and, from our perspective, we just don’t think it’s a good idea. Maybe when handsets are able to deliver the full set of functionalities that phones for businesses (big or small) can, we’ll reconsider our opinion. For now, we’re satisfied with having a phone for business and another one for personal (and sometimes business) use.