A dropped slice of toast always lands butter-side down. Why? Because fate hates you. Similarly, a dropped smartphone will invariably land glass-side down, resulting in a ruinous crack. Thankfully, it's possible to protect your fragile phone screen by observing a few simple rules.
There's nothing worse than getting a big, ugly scratch on a new phone screen. Well, apart from completely smashing it, that is. In either event, repairing your phone can be prohibitively expensive - which is why you see so many people doggedly using displays that look like miniature car wrecks.
The following tactics are obvious - too obvious! - yet hardly anyone bothers to employ them. If you've never dropped your phone before, know that it will happen sooner or later. Here's how to minimise the damage.
Invest in a wallet/flip case
For whatever reason, flip cases have fallen out of fashion in recent years. I blame our bizarre obsession with phone thickness and the marketing hype that fuels it. But seriously: how thin does your phone need to be?
If you can live with a slightly bigger phone, these cases do a great job of protecting your screen during accidental drops. It's like a cloak of invulnerability for your phone.
As an added bonus, most come with compartments for credit cards and money, allowing you to do away with your wallet or purse. You can find a flip case for almost every phone on the market - just google the model name and take yer pick.
Pro tip: Make sure you attach the clasp when the phone is not in use - otherwise the bastard is liable to fly open and expose the screen on the way down.
Use screen protectors
You've doubtlessly seen these transparent films of sticky plastic at JB Hi-Fi and the like. They cost bugger all, which leads some people to assume they don't work.
In reality, they're a great line of defense against accidental scratches - especially if you typically keep keys, coins and other metal objects in your pocket alongside your phone. They also offer a measure of protection during accidental drops.
Best of all, most brands are safely removable. When it starts to accumulate stains and scratches, simply peel it off and replace it with another. Your phone will look brand new all over again. Hurrah!
As with flip cases, you should be able to find the right shape to fit almost any phone. The online version of Dick Smith has a pretty good array which you can view here. Prices start at $5.
Beware small pockets and cables
Most pockets weren't designed to fit five-inch smartphones. Nevertheless, we jam them in there because we're lazy and don't want to hold our phones. If you can't lean back in your chair without your phone plopping out, don't put it in your pocket.
Likewise, be extra mindful when your phone is attached to wired headphones: the wrong kind of tug will disconnect the jack from its socket while simultaneously pulling the phone free from your bag or pocket. Hello, ground. Either use Bluetooth or hold your phone when listening to music.
Buy phones that offer free screen replacements
With the notable exception of Apple, most phone manufacturers now offer a one-off free screen replacement for their flagship models. Usually, the service is provided regardless of how the smash happened; no questions asked. When you make your next phone purchase, check the Ts&Cs for screen replacement programs.
Don't walk and text, you idiots!
I'm guilty of this myself but have been trying to cut down. In addition to annoying everyone around you, it's one of the best ways to drop your phone. To the delight of other pedestrians, you could also trip and badly hurt yourself in the process.
Other than common sense, what are your favourite protections against phone scratches and smashed screens? Share your tips in the comments!