We probably all know someone – or we are someone – who just doesn’t like smartphone cases. Even the slimmest, least obtrusive phone cases make these people uncomfortable. They don’t like the way cases feel in their pockets. They prefer the clean, smooth style of the un-cased iPhone, just like you see in the store and on commercials.
But new iPhones still deserve protection and care, so where does that leave users that can’t stand using a case? If you know iPhone fans like this, what sort of accessories can you get them (or, of course, yourself) that won’t be too annoying?
Fortunately, there are some alternative options and products that are definitely worth considering! Note that we may earn a commission from products purchased using our links.
These unique grips are a great option for those who hate cases but still want easier handling for their iPhones. Our example is from egrips, but other options also exist. These grips are designed to attach to the flat back surface of the iPhone, replacing that smooth backing with a silicone field of bumps that’s soft on skin while still improving the hold.
With a grip like this, it’s a lot less likely that a bare phone will slip or fall between fingers while using it. It’s a particularly good option for people who take many pictures with their bare phones. However, note that the soft silicone isn’t designed to last forever. People who use grips like these often need to replace them every year or so – it’s a good thing that they’re so affordable.
Skins and wraps are layers that you stick to your phone, typically covering everything but the front (with holes for various ports and cameras, of course). These skins offer both protection and style without adding extra size or weight to the iPhone. They make a good choice for people who don’t like the space that cases take up, or how cases feel in their pockets.
Some of the most famous iPhone skins are made by dbrand, which specializes in highly-durable, textured skins that look amazing and can add a little bit of grip as well as protection. However, there are a lot of skin options out there for customization, including skins that can be personalized with prints or photos. It’s important to keep in mind that cheaper skins will eventually rip and flake off, so quality is very important here – but with that taken into account, you can find a quality skin for pretty much anything you own.
Bumpers are basically a frame that goes around the sides of an iPhone, with protection for the corners. You slot or pull them into place a lot like a case, but they leave a lot more of the iPhone free. Bumpers are a nice choice for people who like the look of the iPhone and want to show it off as much as they can, but also realize that dropping a bare iPhone can do quite a bit of damage, so they want some fall protection just in case. For these users, bumpers are the best (they also tend to interfere less with calls and wireless connections, which is nice).
Note that bumpers do tend to cover ports and power buttons, for which they have openings or ridges that you press through to activate the buttons. If this is an element of phone cases that you don’t like, adjusting to a bumper may take time.
Shields are designed to cover the front of your iPhone with a protective film that still allows for touchscreen controls and image visibility, but protects against scratches and cracks.
Some shields are films that you carefully apply once. Others are tempered glass – thicker materials, but offer more protection and are usually more affordable than the higher-end films.
Shields like these are often a must for those who want to keep their iPhone bare. Even the most anti-case user can admit that keeping the iPhone screen vulnerable to scratches and cracks isn’t a good idea.
Lens protectors are covers for the camera lenses on an iPhone. Particularly with newer iPhones and their larger camera arrays, it’s more important than ever to provide some protection for lenses, which can be obscured or even damaged by dust, lint, sweat, dirt, and more.
If users don’t like cases but are avid photo enthusiasts, they may like the idea of something that specifically helps protect lenses while keeping the rest of the iPhone free. The catch is that most lens protectors can be high maintenance, and quality is particularly important: read all of the reviews before buying.
The Peel case is, essentially, a case for people who don’t like cases. It’s a carefully form-fitted case that your iPhone squeezes into, available in a few different colors, with nothing extra to worry about. It provides the protective advantages of a normal rubber case, but is so thin that it’s much harder to notice – only 0.35mm. If you or another user is willing to compromise a little bit, the Peel case is a great alternative.