What Are the Different Types of Mobile Phone Cases and Covers?

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What Are the Different Types of Mobile Phone Cases and Covers?

These days, at any particular time, a mobile phone will usually be the most expensive item in our possession. To properly protect the device requires some degree of familiarity with the various kinds of mobile phone cases and covers that are currently available. As the different designs of cases and covers offer very different levels of style and protection, deciding which one to select is very much a lifestyle choice. Buying a mobile phone case or cover is usually a compromise between the getting the desired level of protection for the device and making it more difficult to use. The higher the level of protection offered by a case or cover, the more likely it is to interfere with the phone's ergonomics.

Different Types of Mobile Phone Cases and Covers

Some mobile phone cases and covers are intended merely as fashion accessories. These are not designed to offer the phone much in the way of protection and so should not be relied on to do so. These are ideal options for those who take pride in customising their mobiles, and also make good gifts due to the ease of customisation. Meanwhile, other designs are specifically intended to protect the phone from either dirt, shocks or moisture damage. When choosing a mobile phone case for additional protection, it is worth remembering that waterproofing or shock proofing a phone will usually make the device slightly larger, heavier and more cumbersome to use. If the result of this is that the phone spends much of its time outside the case, there will be an increased, rather than decreased, likelihood of it being damaged. Therefore, when choosing a case or cover to protect a mobile phone, it is important to be realistic about whether the necessary compromises involved are likely to prove acceptable. The cases and covers offered by the phone maker are often significantly more expensive than those from third party manufacturers. However, as these will have been developed for use solely with one particular model of phone, they will often provide a far superior fit and are usually demonstrably better made.

Mobile Phone Socks

Perhaps the most basic type of mobile phone cover is the mobile phone sock. These are made in various sizes and from various materials. Whichever size most closely fits a particular phone will usually be advertised as if it were solely designed for that particular device. However, a single size of mobile phone sock may be offered for use with many different phone models. Therefore, in reality the likelihood is that it will fit some of these much better than others. As mobile phone socks are often lightweight and loose fitting, they are able to offer the phone only the most basic level of protection. Where the mobile phone is not a good fit, they may actually increase the risk of the damage to the phone should it accidently slip out of the sock. A significant disadvantage of sock designs is that the phone must usually be removed in order to use it. This means that the phone is vulnerable to damage whenever it is operated. Continually removing and replacing the phone from the sock can also cause minor wear to the screen. The main advantages of mobile phone socks over other types of cover are that they are cheap and are often available in a wide range of colours.

Mobile Phone Pouches and Sleeves

Better fitting versions of the sock design are mobile phone pouches and sleeves. While the sock is usually made of a soft fabric, which offers little protection, pouches and sleeves are often made of softly lined leather. The pouch and sleeve designs share much of the advantages and disadvantages of the sock design of cover. Generally, they are slightly more expensive than mobile phone socks and tend to offer a little more protection to the phone, at least for the periods when it is housed inside.

Fitted Mobile Phone Cases, or Skins

When new, most mobile phones are housed within a casing that is designed to be easily replaced should it become damaged. Fitted mobile phone cases, or skins, may replace the original casing supplied with the phone, or they may enclose the entire phone, providing it with additional protection. The level of protection offered by the skin will vary depending on its design. A mobile phone skin may offer no more protection than the original case. However, some are toughened and padded to prevent damage from shocks, while others offer various levels of waterproofing.

Mobile Phone Clips

A clip design of mobile case can be fitted to the phone for the purpose of safely suspending it. Mobile phone clips do not always offer the device any additional styling or protection. Most clips are intended to allow the phone to be attached to a belt, although some devices allow it to be fitted to a car's interior, or the handlebars of a bicycle or motorbike. Some of these, particularly those intended for use on a bike, incorporate a leather and plastic case that allow the phone to still be used while still protected from the elements.

Mobile Phone Wallets and Flip Cases

For perhaps the best combination of style and protection, it is worth considering a mobile phone wallet or flip case. These come in various designs, the most common being an outer leather wallet housing a plastic case into which the phone can be clipped. Often a stylus is included which allows more accurate operation of the phone's small screen. When closed, the two halves of the wallet are often held together by a magnetic strap. Cheaper wallets and cases are usually made of a resilient, and fairly convincing, artificial leather product. When choosing a phone wallet, or flip case, look out for those offered with additional screen shields. These are adhesive plastic sheets which can be attached to the phone's screen, thereby protecting it from the wear and tear that can normally be expected with a touch screen device.

Finding Mobile Phone Cases and Covers on eBay

Every conceivable kind of mobile phone case and cover can be found on eBay. Finding a suitable item is usually quick and easy thanks to the handy search bar and useful links found on every eBay page. Searching for a compatible case or cover is simply a case of entering the relevant details into the search bar. To browse the entire stock of mobile phone cases and covers available on eBay, begin by opening the All Categories menu next to the search bar and selecting the Mobile Phones & Communication option. Following this, select Mobile Phone & PDA Accessories,, followed by Cases & Covers.. While viewing the range of mobile phone cases and covers on eBay, the most relevant criteria when making such a purchase will be displayed on the left. When combined, these options form a powerful search tool, allowing the exclusion of all but the most relevant items. For example, using the selection criteria it is possible to display only the blue water-resistant skins available for an Apple iPhone 5..


Which particular mobile phone case or cover represents the best buy will depend on the level of protection required and the budget for the intended purchase. Some cases and covers will offer little additional protection, being merely designed to give the phone a more fashionable appearance. Cheaper devices tend to only protect the phone while it is not in use. More expensive devices are able to provide continuous protection from a number of possible sources of damage. However, whatever the motivation behind the intended purchase, suitable items at every price point can be found on eBay.

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