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iPhone and a slice of buttered toast: Which way up?

Posted on by Mike Evans

Which way up does your iPhone land when you drop it? Is it like a piece of toast, always on the buttered side (that is, the glass side)? I don’t believe in semi-intelligent selection of this nature. In theory, the phone can fall on either side, even though it does always seem to fall on its face. 

I was reminded of this recently when I tried an alternative to Apple’s own Silicone Case. The Belkin “Classic Wallet Folio Case” was an inexpensive plastic folio that encased the 6-Plus but allowed the device to be propped up for reading. It worked well but had some hidden problems.

On the face of things, a case with a covering flap, such as this Belkin folio, should provide better protection. But not if it opens like a parachute and deposits the face of the phone on the ground.

On the face of things, a case with a covering flap, such as this Belkin folio, should provide better protection. But not if it opens like a parachute and deposits the face of the phone on the ground.

In the nine months I used the iPhone 6-Plus with Apple’s silicone case I didn’t drop the device once. The silicone case (as opposed to the Apple leather case which I rejected as too slippery) is less liable to slip out of the hands. And it didn’t

After buying the Belkin case, made from a rubbery but smooth and rather slippery plastic, I have dropped the phone twice. This could just be unfortunate happenstance, but I have a theory that the Belkin case is more droppable than the Apple silicone backing.

Apple's simple silicone back case retains the slim profile of the phone while providing impressive protection

Apple's simple silicone back case retains the slim profile of the phone while providing impressive protection

Worryingly, too, on both occasions I dropped the phone in its Belkin folio, the cover sprang open and acted as a sort of parachute, ensuring that the phone fell slap on its screen. First time was no problem, second time, despite the screen protector, there was a slight crack on the glass. The Belkin case does not have a raised protective rim to minimise risk to the screen and, worse, the folio design seems to ensure the phone falls face down.

Although I liked the ability to prop up the phone in the Belkin case, I am now back with the Apple silicone back case. Even if I do drop it, which seems less likely than when using Belkin’s slippery design, the protective rim around the screen helps prevent serious damage. 

Common sense tells us that a case with a flap, as the Belkin folio, is going to provide better protection than a simple back case that leaves the screen naked. But this isn’t necessarily so. The Apple silicone case, with its raised lip around the screen, might actually provide the best protection. It all depends which way the buttered toast falls.

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