I went a week without using a case on my phone — here’s what I learned

 IPhone 14 Pro Max and Pixel 8 Pro without phone cases.
Credit: Future

I did something recently that I haven’t done in over a decade — going a week without using a case on my phones. I think the last time I did that was pre-iPhone with my Motorola Q back in 2006, since it didn’t have a touchscreen that I was worried about getting ruined.

There’s no reason for this sudden change, but I just felt the urge to see what it felt like to not have a case on my phone. My reasons for using cases on some of the best phones I've reviewed haven’t changed over the years, mainly to protect them for everyday wear and tear, as well as those rare occasions when I clumsily drop them by accident. I know others use phone cases to hopefully get better trade-in values for their next phones, but I simply use them for protection.

Going naked with my phones felt weird at times, but a new problem arose that drives my point about why I will and continue to use phone cases. Here’s what I learned.

The weight is lifted

iPhone 14 Pro Max and Pixel 8 Pro without phone cases.
iPhone 14 Pro Max and Pixel 8 Pro without phone cases.

Right away, I instantly noticed how much lighter my phones were in my pockets. Yes, I’m one of those people who carries two phones on a daily basis — an iPhone 14 Pro Max and Pixel 8 Pro — but this is the life of a phone reviewer who is always chasing after that Android vs. iOS conversation. Since both were completely naked, I found it unbelievable at how I noticed that they weren’t as heavy.

Mind you, I simply don’t use any phone case, but rather, wallet cases that let me stow my driver’s license, metro card, a couple of credit cards, and a single bill when I need to pay cash. For example, my iPhone 14 Pro Max weighs 8.47 ounces, but having it inside of my Vena vCommute Pro case tacks on an additional 3 ounces — resulting in a total package of about 11.5 ounces in my pocket. That’s a lot of extra baggage, so ditching them definitely made my pockets feel much lighter.

Showing off their original design

iPhone 14 Pro Max and Pixel 8 Pro without phone cases.
iPhone 14 Pro Max and Pixel 8 Pro without phone cases.

Another refreshing change is how much more glances I got from strangers whenever I whipped out my Pixel 8 Pro in public. That’s because of its polarizing paint job, which stands out over the neutral colors we tend to get with today’s best phones. Without having a case on, the bright blue color of my Pixel 8 Pro certainly attracted a few prying eyes — which I suspect was due to its unique color.

But this brings me to my point about how going naked preserves the original design. Even though phone cases add that layer of protection, they often bury their designs so much so that they lose their identity. I’m often flattered when someone asks me about a phone I’m using, especially when it’s because of its color or unique look. I definitely notice more people taking notice of my phones now without cases on them.

I still need a wallet

iPhone 14 Pro Max and Pixel 8 Pro without phone cases.
iPhone 14 Pro Max and Pixel 8 Pro without phone cases.

Knock on wood, I’ve been good at handling my phones naked so far for over a week now — so I haven’t dropped either of them by accident. However, I soon realized by the fourth day that I had a big problem to deal with: finding a wallet to carry on me that would fit everything I need.

I thought about going back to a traditional wallet, but now I feel it’s a bit dorky to stuff my back pocket with one. So, I thought long and hard about how to solve this problem and ultimately decided to do the most practical thing. I ended up finding a couple of old MagSafe wallets I had in my desk drawer and decided to use them on both my phones.

Why carry yet another thing in my packets when I can just fasten them to my phones, right? Despite being added bulk, I think it’s a compromise because I’m able to condense my belongings while still retaining and showing off their designs. In fact, I was surprised that I was able to attach one of my MagSafe wallets to my Pixel 8 Pro — even though it wasn’t as firm as my iPhone. Regardless, I recommend using a MagSafe wallet if you end up not using a case. Here are some of my favorite MagSafe wallets.

ESR Magnetic Wallet: was $31 now $26 @ Amazon
The ESR Magnetic Wallet is one of the most versatile MagSafe wallets because not only does it accommodate at least three cards, but it can fold in such a way to act as an iPhone stand — plus it features Apple’s Find My service to track it down in the event it’s lost much like an AirTag.View Deal

Peak Design Mobile Wallet Slim: now $49 @ Amazon
If you have a lot of cards to carry with you, the Peak Design Mobile Wallet Slim accommodates more stuff than any other MagSafe wallet I’ve tested. It features a fabric design that has a pull tab that conveniently slides out all of the cards inside of the wallet.View Deal

Bellroy Mod Wallet: now $25 @ Amazon
With its sophisticated look, the Bellroy Mod Wallet’s eco-tanned leather and flex polymer helps to balance out its utility and design. It’s on the slimmer side and doesn’t add a whole lot of bulk if you’re looking to keep a slimmer profile with your phone while carrying a wallet.

Bottom line

iPhone 14 Pro Max and Pixel 8 Pro without phone cases.
iPhone 14 Pro Max and Pixel 8 Pro without phone cases.

I’ve enjoyed my time going naked with my phones, but in all fairness, I’ll probably go back to using a case. Perhaps it’s because using a phone case has become my new normal, it still feels weird going without one. Or maybe I enjoy the extra grippy feel I get using them? Either way, I value how today’s phone cases do so much more than just protecting my phones — they’ve become my wallet as well.

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