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Why are the Best Phone Cases so Expensive?
So, you just spent a small fortune on a new phone, and you know you need a protective case to keep that investment safe. But, there are too many cases out there and the range in price point is vast. The price of your phone already caused some tears, and you’re probably thinking to yourself: can’t I just buy a $10 case and call it a day?
But, then you start to second guess yourself, so you google “best phone cases.” The sticker shock in those articles can be intimidating.
We know what you’re thinking (because we go through Reddit posts in our spare time): is the “best” case really worth the extra expense or is this just a marketing ploy?
Honestly, it’s a bit of both. But, to be clear, we mean this in reference to our competitors. We are pure and just here to help. So, in the interest of benevolent education, let’s break down why the “best” phone cases are often a bit more expensive.
Cost of Designers and Engineers
While we happen to be big on aesthetics here at Sonix, the primary function of a protective phone case is to actually protect your phone. We believe that there is no point in buying a case if your $1000 phone is going to fall out or bump around in the case upon impact. So, it is essential that the case fits perfectly around the phone. In order to ensure a proper fit for every phone model, many tech accessories companies (us included) have a team of designers and engineers working through multiple prototypes until they build a case that fits perfectly and protectively around your phone.
Additionally, the case needs to have proper ventilation. This feature is not talked about much on the protective phone case circuit, but phones emit heat. And, too much heat can ruin your phone. A quality phone case is usually engineered specifically to allow for the heat that the phone produces to dissipate quickly. If the case is not engineered to ventilate the phone, the phone will overheat, which can lead to an internal processing failure.
Drop Test Certified
The most common cause of losing a beloved phone is human error. Phones are dropped. Some of them are dropped multiple times in a week. We have accepted this and want to protect against the inevitable. The best way to make sure that your phone is protected against damage is to purchase a phone case that is drop protection rated. Drop test certifications have rigorous requirements. In order to obtain this certification we have a team put phones into our cases and literally drop them multiple times from heights up to ten feet, from multiple angles, over multiple surfaces, and at varying temperatures. If the phone loses functionality before it is dropped the minimum amount of required times, the case is not rated and we have to make a new one. This process is costly and time consuming, but it’s worth it to us.
Cost of materials
The materials a tech accessories company uses to make the phone case is usually the most costly piece of this puzzle. And, in our humble opinion, this component really matters. Unfortunately, the materials that last the longest also typically cost more.
Silicone makes for a great protective cover because it is shock absorbent and has a grippy texture – this makes for a smaller likelihood of your phone slipping out of your hand or off of the counter. Silicone is slightly less expensive than a lot of other case materials, but low grade silicone does not last very long. The cheaper the type of silicone, the more quickly it will start to pull apart which means it won’t fit on your phone after a few months. If you have to replace your case multiple times a year, then the cost exceeds just buying a more expensive case one time.
Rubber is great with regards to shock absorption and cost. The problem with rubber, however, is that it is quite bulky (which makes dropping the phone more likely) and there isn’t much room for design variation. So, most tech accessories companies utilize rubber as an inner layer that is covered with hard plastic. Plastic can be quite inexpensive too, but when you combine the cost of both materials and the cost to ensure proper fit for both materials, you are once again left with a slightly more expensive phone case.
Speaking of plastic, our Resonix cases are made from 100% recycled plastics. We use an inner layer of a kind of plastic called TPE, which is similar to rubber or silicone in that it provides great shock absorption and it is softer and more malleable. But, we use the harder plastic (PC) as an outer layer to make the phone case sleek and provide for a surface that is more amenable to aesthetic variation. We tested a lot of materials before we chose this combination, and we believe it gives us a great protective case that doesn’t compromise our ability to add beauty and personality to your phone.
Camera and Screen Protection
If you want to truly protect your phone, then you are likely dipping into a higher price point due to the extra material and design costs required to ensure protection for your camera lens and screen. The damage that is most likely to occur when the phone hits the ground is the screen. And, replacing a cracked screen is definitely more costly than even the most elaborate case.
So, the “best” cases usually include raised corners and shock absorbent bumpers around the screen and the camera hole. Don’t buy a thin case with a screen protector and assume your iPhone 14 is safe. Protecting these features of your phone not only helps with functionality and aesthetics, but it also increases your phone’s resell value. A pristine screen and scratch free camera lens makes for a less traumatic upgrade experience.
If you have one of the more recent Apple iPhones, then you have a magnetic charging system built into the phone that makes wireless charging safer and more effective. But, you can’t utilize that system without a case that is MagSafe compatible. So, there’s an extra cost to make sure that you can charge your phone wirelessly without taking your phone out of the case every single time you need a quick boost.
Certified Carbon Neutral
We want to do our part to protect our planet, and to that end, we are a business that is “certified carbon neutral.” Essentially, this means that we go out of our way to reduce carbon emissions during the process of making and delivering our products to you. This process adds an extra expense that is small by comparison to the effect it has on our future, but it’s still an expense worth mentioning.
If you are anything like us, your smartphone has become an extension of you. So, we believe in designing a protective case that showcases your personality. Whether you gravitate toward cute with glitter, cheeky pop art, or chic and timeless, we have your phone covered. Our designers are artists and we collaborate with artists because, hey, life is short: let’s make it beautiful.
Want to find a perfectly engineered case that exhibits your personal style?