Posted on February 7, 2018 Posted by John Scalzi 35 Comments
The Pixel 2 is a tough little phone, but it turns out when you drop it from a decent height onto ceramic tile riiiiight on the corner, you may still have a problem or two. A thing to be aware of, folks.
Fortunately I procured a replacement Pixel 2, and with the transfer of the SIM card, everything was up and running painlessly — so painlessly, in fact, that I was a little surprised at how painless it was. I usually go into the local phone store to do all the transferring and so on and whatnot, and that takes time out of my day. But I did this one at home, and… well, no time at all. A lesson may have been learned here.
Another lesson learned: I had been resisting getting a case for the phone, because I quite liked the aluminum and glass aesthetic, and also because I liked the slimness of the naked phone. But clearly there’s a user issue — that dude is clumsy. So, case it is.
All the phones and slates now being made can be cracked all easy if there’s no case. Ironically my scratched fifteen year old clickwheel iPod which is my audiobook device (and may i that the Scalzi works are fantastic in this format) doesn’t even skip despite being dropped myriad due to nerve damage getting worse in both hands.
Yeah, I’m a bulky case guy. I once set my phone on top of my car and drove off, only realizing my phone was there when I heard the rubber grips sliding off of the roof at 35 MPH. That Kevlar reinforced case kept my phone from any damage.
Glad you transfer was easy. My last dealing with that was a nightmare.
I can see dead people on your old screen. Heads up.
I bought a Spigen Rugged Armor case for my Pixel (2016 model). It’s the least obtrusive case I’ve had and doesn’t bulk up the nice slim phone. It provides good protection, including corner landings. They make a model for the Pixel 2.
I’m reading this through the cracked screen on my tablet. It still works, so I’m holding off on replacing it.
The downside of gravity.
I’m with you on the naked phones, Scalzi. I’ve had four iPhones (a 6s now) and never used a case. I dropped one once in the garage while digging my keys out but just got the edge of my foot under it to slow it down enough there was no damage when it skittered onto the cement (remember, 9.8 meters per second per second isn’t just a good idea, it’s the LAW!) and that’s the only drop I’ve ever had. I like the look and feel of a modern cell phone, plus I carry mine in my front pants pocket and having an otter box the size of a brick bulging out of the front of your jeans just isn’t a good look – or particularly comfortable. Plus, I’ve always been willing to pony up for a full-coverage extended warranty plan in case I ever do have a serious accident, which will inevitably be soon since I boasted here. Sigh.
Yeah, I need a good solid case, too — it has saved my phone more times than I can count — but I do so love the sleek Living In The Future feel of a naked smartphone.
Similar problem with my Pixel XL which survived several thrill-packed dives to the carpet only to fall prey to a tile floor. Purple screen, then no screen.
There’s a company in Spain that makes gorgeous leather cases that are fitted to individual phone models (and therefore are very sleek). They’re not cheap, but they’re very good – Piel Frama.
I’ve always had one for each new phone I’ve had, and I’m on about my sixth of their cases. They come highly recommended from me if you’re looking for a nice case and you’re not vegan.
My wife’s Galaxy S8 made it nearly a full week before a similar corner drop caused a full screen crack. Apparently it’s the same problem with all the Edge phones. It does seem that all the current phone designs are stupidly moving towards LESS sturdy.
If you haven’t gotten one already, I’d recommend an Otterbox Symmetrix. The case isn’t too large, and still works well with the squeeze thing.
The first day I got my first smart phone I dropped it on the sidewalk. It was fine. Several years and many drops later, it hit our hardwood floor just right and the screen shattered. Now I use cases.
From the time you dropped you old phone, until you got the replacement, how much time did it take? did you have to call, or just go online to get the replacement phone?
If you wade through dozens of pages of Amazon, you CAN find a slim protective case with the attributes you want. I did with my original Pixel XL – a Maxessory Stealth Ultra-Slim, with a kickstand, and NOT black. I fly too much to trust that I will always see a black phone case in the seat pocket when arriving on a red-eye somewhere. Permanently lost an iPad 2 that way once…and was without my small black laptop for a week another time. Birght, obtrusive colors definitely have their place!
21 degrees!! Yikes.
Pixel 2? Very cool.
I drop my phone like I am testing gravity for Quality Assurance.
So yeah, I always have a case on my phones.
I got a Lifeproof case after dropping the previous phone in a gutter full of water. It fits in my back pocket fine, but I’m working with an iPhone SE which is pretty tiny.
I felt the same way, aesthetics wise about my Pixel 1, JohnI haven’t held the Pixel 2, but the original Pixel was very slippery without a case. I bought this one (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01LEJ96VO) even though I almost never (1-2 time a year) drop my phone and have always been anti-case. It was inexpensive and has been a quality case, without sacrificing the aesthetics of the phone. Hope it helps you in your case search, John.
I’ll be sure to drop my phones face-down on tiles in future. Thanks for the warning.
I found that cases are as idiosyncratic as the apps you put on your phone.
My case are Zugu ones…silicone that feels right in my hand (non-slip), with enough of a raised lip to prevent screens from a lot of ground contact if I drop the phone.
I hate having my phone in a case, but I have accepted the need, somewhat reluctantly. Given the fact that I have already chipped the case in a few places, I clearly made the right choice, though.
I always had my old phone in a case & dropped it a million times with no issues. For some reason, one day I decided I didn’t need the case anymore & in less than a week of removing it, I dropped it so it landed perfectly on the corner in a asphalt paved parking garage… Not only did I get a nice cracked screen, but the thing would randomly turn off & I would have to remove and replace the battery to get it to turn back on. My new/current phone got a case immediately and never leaves home without it! (I use a Spigen – I like the kick stand)
Your review of your new Pixel2 led to me giving the phone serious consideration to replace my 1st gen MotoX. I did then finally make a decision (this was several years in the making), so as thanks…
I am adverse to bulky or black cases (my MotoX went 4 years with no case at all), so went with the Spigen Neo Hybrid. I’ve had it for a few weeks and like it. The phone still feels thin and it’s NOT BLACK (also handy for distinguishing it from my husband’s.)
I don’t have an expensive case. I have an iPhone 6 and I bought an inexpensive silicone one I liked the look of on Amazon, and had my husband Dremel out the holes that weren’t quite large enough (headphone jack) or that I wanted as a cut out instead of a hole (power button). I took the photo from the Amazon page, cropped it, and it’s now my lock screen and home screen wallpaper, to match the case. (Though I understand wanting Krissy on yours instead.)
But what has saved my phone way more is my screen protector. I use ProGlass but I couldn’t find one for the Pixel 2. But any decent one will save your screen way more than a huge clunky case, especially since you said you like the phone’s aesthetic. Then get a case you like for the looks (maybe clear and slim?) without worrying.
So you made the case for a new case?
I find it interesting the marketing and engineering compromises made in phone design. Slim and sexy versus durability. Slim and sexy won which created a market for cases. Smaller and smaller until the functionality called for larger screens.
“Moving towards less sturdy” rings a bell. I seem to recall reading that the first CDs had a TV commercial of being caught by a dog, and held in it’s mouth, with no damage. Now I might scratch my DVD just putting it in the plastic tray. I don’t dare use a satisfying “clunk!” to put it in.
I was in my 20’s before I clued in that for many people,— oh, about half the population, —beauty does not mean sturdy, but delicate.
I was so pleased to meet a young lady who had the same camera, —shock resistant and water proof/dust proof, —for the same reason as I: To be able to just stick it in her pocket, not place it in a special soft-lined dust proof camera case.
Another vote for OtterBox – I’ve been using them to protect my ‘phones (’cause I’m clumsy, too) since my first E72, and if/when I have to replace my current 930 choices will be constrained by the availability of a Defender case. And as I don’t give a fat rat’s clacker for public opinion, it clips into a holder on my belt, and the handset doesn’t break when the inevitable happens!
I’m a minimalist and want to carry the least I can. I bought a nice case for my phone that’s a wallet on the back, and my phone case is now also my wallet with slots to carry my driver’s license, library and health insurance cards, credit cards, etc, and a money clip for any bills. The whole thing is smaller than a generic protective case, does provide what’s been protection, and keeps everything together.
I’ve had some people question me about what happens if I lose my phone, and everything that now goes with it. I told them they have it wrong–my wallet includes my phone, and what happens if I lose my wallet now isn’t going to be the much worse than if I lost it prior.
Dude, you’re not a teenage girl. Get a case!
I have an Otterbox for my phone and it has very likely saved it’s bacon several times. Plus, a friend of mine drove over her phone once after dropping in her driveway, and the Otterbox was enough to save it. They’re worth it.
I have a cheap, thin rubber case for my Pixel (gen 1, not XL) that just protects the back and edges and it’s worked well. It doesn’t add much to the phone’s thickness, but does provide just enough protection from drops. (I’m clumsy too.) I’ve dropped the phone a couple of times with no issues. I have no screen protector and even though I climb rocks with it in my pocket, have traveled to multiple countries, throw it in a bag with keys and other stuff, have dropped it, etc, there’s not even a scratch after over a year of use.
Gravity is a harsh mistress.
I dropped my brand-new iPhone in New York City a couple of summers ago and it bounced off the sidewalk with only cosmetic damage to the corner. Next day I bought a nice rubbery case at the Grand Central Station Apple store. I think it was the only thing I bought on that trip that *wasn’t* marked up 20% over what I’d pay for it someplace else.
I use Incipio cases. Have dropped my phone several times from 3-4 feet and it’s worked well so far.