Case or No Case for your Windows Phone?

Nokia Lumia Icon

The decision to use a case with your Windows Phone is an age-old debate that has been re-kindled in a recent discussion going on over in the Windows Phone Central Lumia Icon Forums.

WPCentral member johnnyshinta presents the question here in the forums while considering a case for his Nokia Lumia Icon. The case he tried with the Icon had small crevices on either side of the display that captured dust and was difficult to keep clean. In addition, it seemed to ruin the clean looks of the Icon.

Which leads us to the question, “Case or no case with the Icon?” (or any other Windows Phone for that matter).

There is no right or wrong in this debate, whether you prefer to protect your Lumia Icon (or any other Windows Phone) with a case or prefer to let your Windows Phone run around naked. It all boils down to personal preference.

Personally, I like the fit and feel of the current crop of Windows Phones and the build quality has gotten a lot stronger over the years. For me, I prefer to go caseless. However, I do keep a Qi charging shell on my Lumia 1020 but solely for the charging benefits it offers. Otherwise, I have no hesitation carrying my Windows Phone in its birthday suit.

But what say you? Are you carrying your Lumia Icon with a case? Or do you feel a case ruins the thin form factor?

Feel free to hop on over to this WPCentral Forums discussion and share your thoughts on the matter.


Reader comments

Case or No Case for your Windows Phone?



-920. I trust the shell of the phone but don't trust the screen not to crack if it gets dropped the wrong way. So I keep a leather flip case over it. =)

Bonus is that as well as protecting it, it keeps the phone looking discreet and professional.

Same with my 820 (partly due to uncertain nature of the glass toughness on that model) - while I couldn't care less about the body, I have a flip case so I don't damage the screen. On the other hand, my gf just keeps her phone in a velvety sleeve and tosses it in her bag - so far it survived the treatment. But I may be a bit paranoid - I like to keep my gadgets in good condition. Wear and tear from regular usage is fine, but any damage I could have prevented would make me a sad panda.

I keep a slim, translucent gel case on my 920.  The main reason is so the camera lens doesn't get scratched, since it's flush with the phone.  If it was raised similar to other models, I probably wouldn't use one.  Using a clear case was the only way to go to show off my cyan phone :)

This is why I love the 920, with Qi built in it doesn't need a case, but if I choose to get one I can get a fully fitted silicon case.

I hope Nokias WP8.1 range includes another high end phone with this option. The hard shell Qi cases are terrible, its really disappointing they have gone backwards globally just because ATT in the USA hate Qi.

Just a word of caution: the charging shell is not very grippy. I used my red one on my new 925 initially before my feather case came in the mail and it was slippery.

I find the shell of the 920 also not so grippy: it's pretty slick. I use the CP-600 booklet, which is pretty handy. Yet, I love the naked phone best as well. You don't pay €400+ to hold a piece of leather lol

Yep, naked for my 925. The device is so beautiful, why hide it in a case. I find myself gazing at it throughout my work day. Haha

Definitely love naked. Though to minimize scratches i just have a body guardz skin (screen protector and full body sticker). Wont use it forever and excited to peel it off again soon

Hell yes and hell no! I don't care about scratches, I love my 920 naked red and I love putting red or brown leather and black PU and neon indigo and blazing orange on it. And many more, accenting its clothes with phone theme. Wish someone made a glossy metallic case like Nokia used to make for its legendary 800.

+1020 I would actually like a case but none of the shops here in town are bothered to get one for me. My 1020 has had quite a couple of bad drops and it definitely shows but just like the 920 its built like a tank so I guess showing off the pure design of the phone is the way it will stay for me for now

I hate the all the cases expose the contacts on the back of most lumias. Especially my wallet case...but I don't want a wallet, so wallet case it is.

Otter Box defender case. Makes the 920 look like a brick but not a single scratch on the phone. Love my case!

No case, and outside of a couple scratches on the very top bezel from a drop on to concrete, and normal wear and tear, my release day 920 looks amazing.

I have a case for my 822 because it helps cover up the ugly Verizon logo at the bottom of the phone.  But if I had an Icon I would probably go naked so as not to mess with the clean design.

My lumia 920 looks too nice to put a case on it. If I damage or scratch it I can just replace the housing for ~£15.

I have a 920 that I don't keep in a case. I figure it this way, any device is going to get scratched, nicked etc, and I bought it to use, not to worship. So when it gets normal wear and tear, it's no big deal. Cases to me a lot of the time are ugly, and they make the devices more awkward to hold, etc.

I like the case I have only for the fact that it protects the screen. I have had my 928 for almost a year now and no scratches on the screen, whereas my wife has no case and her screen has scratches from putting it face down.

I bought my 920 when it was released and never put it in a case until I bought a holster for it a few weeks ago (on sale here).  If it didn't need the case to stay in the holster, it would still be naked.

I find myself only using a case when I'm doing construction or wet situations only, other than that its always naked!

Nokia Lumia 920

If planning to keep it for a long time .... A case could is the way to go ... Even if the phone can handle abuse.

My previous Motorola Atrix, MileStone & Nokia E75 .... While they survived in one piece (in case of the Nokia 2) the back looked really ugly after 2 years of abuse.

A Skinny Case would do the trick.

Wasn't this same article published a week or two ago?
Anyway, I use an Incipio Featherlight case and screen protector.
I used to not use a case until I dropped the phone and broke my camera lens, that glass is razor thin on the Lumia 822.

No Case and this ****ed my Lumia 925. After a couple of falls, now the edges of the phone look miserable. No resale value anyway for Lumias in Egypt so why the **** should I care lol.


Still, it looks real bad and bulky with a case.

I love the OEM flip case for my 1520. Protects my screen no screen protector. And it keeps the integrity of the design with bulk.

I own a Lumia 620 which has a plastic back, and I'm not clumsy or keep my keys in the same pocket and my phone, so I don't see any need to have a case. I suppose if I had small children I would need an impact resistant case.

A bit off topic, but when I talk to iPhone users, they often tell me they bought the phone because it looks great, or it feels good in their hand, but shortly after purchase they all put a case on it.

Why buy a phone for its look and feel, and then cover it up with a case? What’s the point?

I totally agree. My friend made fun of me because my 920 that I had is made of plastic and she wouldn't buy a plastic phone. She has an iPhone 4s but she has a yep you guesses it plastic case to protect the phone.....

... and I'll bet when she takes the case off, the metal iPhone will have a bunch of scratches on it, because the dirt gets between the phone and the case, and causes scratches. Also when you consider an iPhone 4s retails for $450 + the cost of the case, and my Lumia 620 with similar specs retails for $150 and doesn't need a case.

No Case.  My wife's L920 (Black) and my L1020 (Black) look like brandnew after the the displays are cleaned.  The black color is probably easier to maintain.


I had a 720 without a case and when it fell, the entire screen broke. The phone lasted about 5 months.

Now, I have a 925 and I bought a Ballistic case because I don't wanna suffer not having my WP. 

I have always went naked but i have the 8X in blue.  A case is a must because the blue body slowly turns black from dirt, etc.  Which is really disapointing.  The exposed edges are almost black after a year of use.

Has anyone had any long term issus with white/color Lumias?

For my 920, I got the Nokia silicon case, because it doesn't completely change the form factor and look. If there is something similar to that for the Icon, I suggest that for this guy.

No case, I do use a premium screen protector though. The polycarbonate is strong and pretty. I'm a yelllow 1520.

Gotta have a case! I've had too many cracked screens to have a naked phone, too expensive to keep risking it. Rockin a Trident Aegis Case for the Lumia 928 works great and looks cool

I don't like, but I need a case for my Lumia. My old Lumia 920 screen has broken down from a height of 10 cm(!). Bought a Lumia 1020 and I'm looking for a rubber case, because as I live in Brazil and the device was purchased in the U.S., I need to be very careful.

I think it depends on the phone, a Lumia Icon or 925 has no real appeal outside of the OS. But a 1020 or 1520...those colors must be shown!

No case and I paid for it. I dropped it the other day and have a busted volume key. But anyways, I prefer it naked. I can't stand the clumsiness of a fat cover.

No case. My phone is a tool, if it gets scratched or dented i really couldn't care less so long as it still works. Although i do have the protective shell for my lumia 820 (the one with the rubber corners) so i guess it is slightly protected. Looks good with a few scrapes on the rubber though :)

No case, of course! My white 920 is so good looking I don't want to hide it :) and after 6 months it's still looking as good as day one, no scratches at all.

Yellow Nokia Charging Case for my black Lumia 1020. I'm a "no case" person, but for a utility issue I'm using this, also it's much more easier to handle because of the 1020 camera bump.

It a few days old theme, isn't it? :)
Anyway, I am using Nilkin frost on my 925. It actually looks good on it and phone is not slippery any more.

Case.  Purchased a PUREGEAR case to protect it.  2 Years is a long time and too many opportunities to drop it somewhere.  I also think the phone is a touch slippery and didn't want to risk it.

Not worried so much about the phone breaking but hate to have chipped, dented, scratched, scuffed corners.  I've also taken into consideration that while being careful I dropped my 8X a handful of times and it's case is dinged, dented, scuffed.

Didn't go the screen protector route yet... being very careful for a bit while I wait for some decent offerings to come out.  Figure in time there will be a plethora of choices and didn't like what's being offered yet.

After a shattered screen (as well as a nice chunk going missing from the glass) on my old 920, I have a case on the 925...

Side note, you should see the spot in my garage where I dropped the 920!

I'm planning on buying a flip cover for my 720, it'll look cool with glance screen right??

Naked, its a Lumia, I'm not going to be like some of those apple folks who praise a phone for its design then puts an otterbox on it

No case. The designers worked hard on the design. You don't cover up that type of craftsmanship with any kind of case. Take a deep breath and take care of your phone.:)

Never had a case for my black 920, and it's still in perfect condition after a year. I have a charging shell for my 1020, but I really wish I didn't need it - ruins the aesthetics, IMO, but I'm so used to wireless charging now that it's hard to go back. I also got a black Incipio Feather case to hide the yellowness of my 1020 in case I want to try to be a little more incognito when shooting in public.

HTC 8X Naked! I love how it feels in my hand, and how it fits in my pocket, it's one of the most beautiful WP phones ever.. And honestly, I luv when one if my friends (or a stranger) says, "Now that's what I call a well designed phone! Excuse me, can I feel it?!!" lol it happened alot since I get this 8X!! ;)

I never used a case on my Lumia 810. It was very grippy. But on my 920 and 925, a case is always necessary! I have a matte 920 and it's slippery. Even more slippery is the 925. Man, is that thing slippery! I've already dropped it twice, and the last time, the case was on (though it was partly my cat's fault, lol).

Silicone Back Cover and Screen Protector. I tend to drop my Phone on desk and Screen Protector prevents from damage by small objects like keys and pens.
For me covered phone is better than a damaged phone.

I put a screen protector on all my devices as soon as I get them. Screens no matter how scratch proof they say they are always seem to get micro scratches from use. I am using a speck case on my 1020. Feels too slippery without the extra grip the case offers.

I only have a case on my 928 because they only had it in white when i went in to buy so i got a black case to wrap it in.

1020 No case, first phone that was not in a Otterbox and only because I won't give up my wireless charging. If Otterbox would fix their case so I could still use the wireless charging it would be in there.

I don't work in a place where I risk dropping my phone and I prefer to go without a case.  I have a 822 and a 520.  Of the two, I prefer the size and the feel of the 520.  The fact that the 520 only cost me $65 makes it almost a disposable item.  If I had a high risk of dropping my phones, I would probably begrudgingly get a case.

Lucky for me I had a slim case for my 1520. The case is the Nìllkin one that Daniel reviewed. I was putting it in my back pocket or so I thought. The next thing I know, it drop right on some tile floor on the corner of the phone. The case popped off and the phone landed face first. Now there is a minor dent. You have to be looking for it to find it so the case worked. Now for the screen...it has one scratch about 1mm in length.

I have my 1020 naked. I used to be very afraid Imight drop it but I have since found out that it's very sturdy, and have dropped it multiple times with no noticeable damage to it. I also used to have a screen protector on but I removed it as well, and I am now enjoying the pretty screen a lot more than when I had the protector one :D

Case. Needed, also use the full body wraps... Overkill? Maybe but no one complains when they buy MY "slightly used" devices during upgrade time... jejeje

I have Nokia's rugged case for my 820, but I wouldn't count that as a 'case'. I don't like condoms on my devices :P

With case for me, even if it's just those transparent "skin" type ones. Also, I use clear screen protector on my L920.

I never use a case. Case in point (pun intended), I dropped my 925 yesterday and the screen cracked.

No case. Makes the phone look like crap and adds bulk. I don't mind some scratches, and most cases don't protect against cracks. I should note I am on T-Mobile with no contract. When you know you are obligated to keep paying even if your screen breaks, maybe it makes you more careful....

My Icon at one week old has a cracked screen. Crescent shaped, right along the right side. Small but noticeable. It fell from waist high when I missed my pocket. Hit the corner metal, which held up nice..but definitely transferred impact to the glass. Works great still. Oh well..character.

a case is a must for me, I need to keep my 1020 looking great so that I can upgrade after 12 months (September 2014) because i have AT&t Next. cant wait for the iPhone 6

  Deja vu. I could've sworn that this question was just asked last week. Anyway, I always get cases (and screen protectors) for my devices, just in case. Cases are like seatbelts. Are they guaranteed to save your life if you get in a car accident? No. But it does improve the odds of surviving just in case I drop it. I'm about to get an Icon. I've been searching online for a case and the selection sucks. There are only like three available, with the best one being the one from Incipio but it's like $30.00.

My Lumia 620 is pretty sturdy and pretty, well... pretty so no case for her (yes, her, and no, it's not like that, in Croatian the word  "Lumia" is of feminine gender so why not call her her :D), but if and when I upgrade, and I will (to 1520, hopefully) then most definitely. That flip case for 1520 is very practical and not that expensive.

I have a Street Fighter Skinit sticker on the back of my phone. To protect it, I'm using a Poetic clear cover.

Until they invent 100% breakless/scratchless glass, I will be using a case.  I can live with some scratches and dings on the body of the phone, but I can't live with a broken screen.  Plus on Verizon, if you want a little color with your phone, you need a case.  I have a CYAN  "YESOO" slim fit case on my Lumia 928.

I'm always amazed when stuff from the forum show up here. I never thought the bloggers have time for the chat forum.  But to answer the question, case. Always. Gorilla glass is still glass and glass still breaks. Until they make it with some type of polycarbonate like Lexon, Tuffak, Makroclear, Gorilla glass like google glass is wishful thinking.

>thin form factor

Add me to the naked brigade. Three reasons: it's pretty damn tough already, I don't want to cover up the beautiful red finish, and the phone is already bulky enough. I'm not sure it would even fit in my pocket with a case.

That being said, I would love a holster to hold it on my belt sometimes instead of in my pocket.

Case for my Lumia 920, but only because I dropped it on the road and scratched it up a week after a got it.

Just switched to the Icon from my 822. The 822 was indestructible, I threw it and dropped it constantly. Besides a few nics in the body it was fine. I'm scared about breaking my Icon though I just don't feel like its as sturdy and it is the most slippery phone I've ever seen.

Had a case for working cause I had to answer texts and was playing music. But naked now and I put the screen face down cause I don't wanna scratch the cover or camera metal.

As a parent...i need a case. Once my son gets on kids corner he gets hyped up and wants to run around with my 920.

I can't make my mind up lol, my 925 with my case adds grip and protection. Without a case its very slippy and hasn't got much grip but looks awesome so i find myself chopping and changing case no case lol

I use a black CP-623 for my yellow Lumia 1520, because I like the way it folds into a stand and the protection to the screen :)

I prefer no case, but dropped my 8x and broke the screen.  Got a case for the new one and it has survived serveral drops.  Next upgrade will be naked again.

I don't mind cases. Prefer not to have them. But I'm can be a bit absent minded at times and not pay attention to what I'm doing. Plus, the 820 is a bit slippery. So I've had to have one. Recently, I got a armor suit screen protector and carbon fiber cover and its been great.

I have a beautiful blue/purple HTC 8XT on Sprint, and I feel like a case would ruin the most beautiful WindowsPhone. Dropped it once, but nothing happened. I'd rather risk breaking it every day, than having an ugly phone.

no case for me. tried one with my 920 and it made the phone bulky and also there was a blue tint in my pics because of the color of the case.

Lumia 925 without a case or screen protector. I tend to take very good care of my devices, and the device is in very good shape with only a handful of little scuffs or nicks. Keeps it slim too.

I'm like George, I just keep the Qi charging shell on my 1020 for the convenience of wireless charging and because for me at least it makes the phone a little more comfortable to hold by evening out the camera hump. I also use the camera grip if I'm going to be taking a lot of pictures.

I put a yellow case on my Lumia 928 because Verizon insists on colorless black and white phones (losers...)

I have a Lumia Icon and I have a screen protector but have the case on and off. I use the light blue incipio case and it feels great and protects my device but it does take away from the beauty of the device. At the same time look at the many Iphone users who love the look of their phone and use cases. That's because Verizon will give you a refurbushed phone even with insurance, which cost you a lot. The deductible is high, so you pay hundreds of dollars for a used phone? No thanks. Be smart. Protect it if you need to. By the way, the Gorilla Glass is crap. Protect it because it will scratch! Easily!