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Lesson from a cracked Galaxy Nexus: Get a phone case

A gravity-assisted trip out of a shirt pocket proved too much for this Galaxy Nexus screen.

Stephen Shankland/CNET)

I’ve long been a believer in cases to protect cell phones. Too bad I didn’t practice what I preach.

I picked up a Galaxy Nexus at the end of December. Within a week, it leapt from my shirt pocket to a Linoleum floor by way of a porcelain sink edge. The result: the shiny new flagship Android now has a display with two shatter points and a spiderweb of cracks.

Happily, everything else about the phone still works, and the cracks are thin enough that the display is still easily used. Sometimes letters are malformed when I’m reading books, and sometimes the rough patches are distracting to the touch on the edges.

But it’s definitely a problem that’s impossible to ignore.

Compare that to my Nexus One that I’ve used for nearly two years. It’s ensconced in an Otterbox Defender case. The case–a silicone wrapper with a hard plastic sheath for easy pocketing–is much the worse the wear. The first crack appeared in the plastic when I crashed on a downhill mountain bike ride in Chamonix, France, last summer.

Since then, the case cracks worsened, and now a chunk of the back and most of both sides are gone. The silicone wrapper is fine, though, and so is the phone.

It’s not clear to me whether the Galaxy Nexus is particularly f… [Read more]

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