Phone skin vs case: which one is better?


A phone skin is an ultra-thin vinyl wrap that sticks to your device and allows you to switch up the style of your phone and protect against scratches, without the added bulk of a case. The hundreds of possible skin combinations available, mean that phone skins and wraps are much better for device customisation than phone cases. Moreover, vinyl phone wraps are ultra-thin and their thickness is barely noticeable, meaning they provide all these benefits while still maintaining the original device dimensions. However, iPhone skins and other device wraps are not designed to absorb major impact damage and will not give your device drop protection like a case would. This being said, phone skins and wraps do add a layer of texture and grip to your device, which can put a hard stop to your clumsy phone dropping habits. In this blog post, we explore each of these key topics in more detail, so you can make an educated decision on whether you should buy a phone skin or a case.

What is a phone skin?

A phone skin is a vinyl wrap that sticks directly to your device, covering the rear surface and completely transforming its look and feel. The vinyl is ultra-thin and uniquely textured, allowing you to switch up the style of your phone, add grip to your device, and deliver a slimline layer of protection - all without altering the original device dimensions. With design choices including Black Camo, Honeycomb, Carbon Fibre, or a wide range of colour combinations, Google Pixel skins and wraps give you ultimate device customisation at your fingertips. Vinyl phone wraps also eliminate direct contact with external surfaces to deliver a layer of protection from scratches, scuffs, fingerprints and even staining. If you’re still not sure, we have created an entire blog on the topic to help answer your question: what is a phone skin?

Honeycomb iPhone Skin

Phone skins are better value for money than cases

To address this point, we want to compare a phone skin to a typical case at the same price point. We’ve all bought a £7.00 phone case before, and its usually a complete disregard for the expensive device it’s attached to. After a few short weeks, the case will likely be discoloured, the shape of the case will have warped from natural device heat, and a collection of dirt will now be forming underneath. At this point, we have a few issues. The first issue is the obvious one: your phone is now ugly, dirty and attached to a wonky case. The second issue, and arguably the more important of the two, is that your device is now being directly pressed against the particles of dust and dirt that have collected between your phone and the case. This might not seem like a big issue, but as the dust continuously rubs against your device over time, your phone will become irreparably damaged with ultra-fine scratches, engrained dirt, and even discolouration. The picture below shows a phone that has unfortunately succumbed to the dreaded cheap case virus. Of course, you can get some fantastic cases that won’t warp, will remain snug to your device and will deliver great all-round protection, but these are much more expensive. So, is it fair to say that phone skins are better value for money than cases? Absolutely it is.

Damaged iPhone that Used a Case

Phone skins offer unique customisation.

Phone skins are great because they provide the truly unique potential for customising the look and feel of your device. Choose from textured phone skins such as Black Camo, Honeycomb, or Carbon Fibre, or select from the many colour options available, and completely transform your phone. What’s more, with our OnePlus skins and Samsung Galaxy wraps being so well-priced, you can double up your order, mix n’ match two different skins, and change the phone customisation game completely. Matt Red phone wrap with a Honeycomb camera skin one month, then swap it around and have a Honeycomb phone wrap with a Matt Red camera skin the next month - the possibilities are endless. All of this for less than the price of a good quality case: it’s win-win.

Have you ever bought something and then a little while later become extremely bored with it? Stupid question really - of course you have. Let’s be honest here, most cases are boring-looking, but for the sake of argument, let’s imagine there’s an abundance of case designs to choose from and you’ve found one that you love. Inevitably though, after looking at that same case day in, day out, you’d get bored of it and want something new. This is all well and good, but a high-quality case will be too expensive to change regularly unless you're Mr Amazon. That’s where vinyl phone wraps come in. While phone skins are long-lasting, given that the offer ultimate device customisation at a relatively low price, so you can transform your phone many times over without even coming close to breaking the bank.

Matt Red Galaxy S20 Phone Skin with Honeycomb Camera Skin

Phone skins are ultra-thin.

Phone skins and wraps are ultra-thin, which means that you get all the customisation and protection benefits, whilst still maintaining the original device dimensions. The average premium quality phone skin is just ~0.2mm thin, which to put this into perspective, is a little over two times the thickness of your average printer paper. It’s an easy decision really. With phone skins and wraps you can transform your device with hundreds of customisation alternatives, and deliver protection from scratches, scuffs, and dirt - all for the thickness of two sheets of paper. With phone cases, you can have drop protection (if you spend enough money) and likely a few design options, but now your phone is brick-like. Look, if you enjoy walking around with a brick in your pocket, then be our guest. But if not, it’s time you bought some phone skins and wraps instead.

Phone cases deliver drop protection.

When it comes to drop protection, phone cases are the clear winner. Phone skins and wraps are super-thin, which means their ability to absorb the impact when your device is dropped, is very minimal. Cases typically deliver much greater impact protection, by adding a thick barrier between your phone and the surface it is impacting with. If you’re clumsy, and you’re prone to smashing devices, or if you’re worried about not having drop protection, an iPhone skin alone is probably not for you. 

Phone skins preserve the phone's condition.

Modern phones are great, but their super-smooth backs are a magnet for tiny little scratches that seem to arrive in their thousands and over time, engulf your device. Phone skins and wraps add a slimline layer of protection to your device, which eliminates direct contact with the surrounding environment and puts a hard stop to those pesky micro scratches. If you had a phone that was in mint condition, wrapped it in a skin and used it consistently every day like you normally would, when you eventually removed the wrap from your device - your phone will still be perfect. We know that protecting your phone is very important, so we’ve created an entire blog entitled: do phone skins protect your phone?

Mint Condition iPhone X on Black Camo Skin Vinyl

Can you put a case over a skin?

If you want drop protection, but you also want to keep your phone in pristine condition underneath: we have the perfect solution. As we’ve mentioned, phone skins and wraps are just ~0.2mm thin, which means they maintain the original device dimensions when applied and can fit perfectly underneath a case. This is the ideal combination for anybody who needs that robust layer of defence that a phone case delivers, whilst also preserving the phones mint condition underneath - keeping the micro scratches, engrained dust and stains from ruining your device.

Should you buy a phone case or a skin?

Ok, so at this point you have three main options, depending on your preferences. Let us summarise.

IF you want customisation: buy a phone skin. Phone skins and wraps deliver ultimate customisation at your fingertips and if you double-up, you’ll have more than four hundred combinations to choose from. Of course, phone wraps also deliver protection, add grip and texture to your device, and are extremely great value for money. For most of you reading this now, a phone skin is the perfect choice. Shop our range of phone skins and wraps here.

IF you want drop protection: buy a phone case. Phone cases inherently deliver much more drop protection than phone skins and wraps. So, if you’re clumsy and don’t think you could handle the lesser protection of a phone skin, even with the added grip and texture, then a case is for you.

IF you want ultimate protection: buy both. The only true way to fully protect your phone is to wrap it in a skin and then put a case over the top. The phone skin delivers device preservation, keeping your phone in mint condition underneath, and the phone case - assuming it’s good quality - will provide you with drop protection. When you eventually decide to remove the skin, your phone should look as good as new. 

All the best,

The VybeSkins Team

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