Superficially Better

This is a post about phone cases.

I've been an iPhone devotee since the 3GS (12 years!) and have mostly been going caseless. I've never dropped my phone so badly that it has broken. There have been a couple of risky situations (dropping onto asphalt when getting out of a car; flying out of a back pocket onto gravel while running), so I guess I've been lucky. Perhaps consequently, I view cases primarily as a way to switch up a phone's appearance rather than a method for providing any sort of meaningful protection.

I'm typing this on my two-year-old phone while admiring its new thin dark blue case. It's quite a stark change: the phone is stainless steel ("silver") with a white back, but now it's essentially black in dim lighting.

The yearly cadence of new models inevitably raises thoughts about upgrading to the latest and greatest device. I was on the yearly upgrade cycle until the 7 Plus that I used for three years. It was the usual things that led to this: slower pace of change, and rising prices.

I tend to prefer going caseless so I can appreciate the slimness of the form factor and the premium materials. But every now and then, a case provides a refreshing change that makes the phone feel new again. It's entirely and literally superficial but it helps alleviate any desire to upgrade when there is no need to drop another 1K€ on a phone.

After a few weeks or months of using a case, taking it off is another nice change, too. A bit of color and buttons that are flush with the case is great, but cheap plastic can't compete with smooth and cold steel 😍. It's a great way to rediscover the beauty of the original design, after our silly human brains have adjusted their baseline to accept it as normal and unremarkable.

📅 2021-09-22

🏷 Life, Apple

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