Tough Phone Cases vs Hard Phone Cases

tough vs hard phone cases


The days of cashing in your hard-earned money to replace your broken phone are long gone. Today manufactures have designed phone cases to suit every level of clumsiness. Those are tough and hard cases.

Below are the materials used to make each of them, level of protection, and popularity. It’s also a good idea to check out the different advantages and disadvantages of each so that you know just what you’re getting yourself into.

Tough Phone Cases

Tough cases are also known as hybrid phone cases. They fall under the category of most protective phone cases specifically designed for the clumsy phone user.

Materials used in the production of tough cases

A combination of hard plastic and soft plastic is used in the manufacture of tough cases. Soft plastic contains polyurethane or thermoplastic polyurethane. The soft plastic-type is strong and elastic which enables them to easily slide into one’s pocket or bag. The hard plastic also contains polycarbonate and hard polyurethane or polypropylene. It’s stronger than soft plastic and is normally used in the manufacture of bulletproof windows, compact disks, and spectacles.


A tough case is made of both hard plastic and soft plastic. It offers at least two or three layers of protection depending on how much material the manufacturer uses. The inner layer that is mainly made of plastic works as a cushion for when the phone drops onto a hard surface. The outside layer that is made of soft plastic makes the phone more durable. The third layer is an extra addition of soft plastic.


33% of phone owners think cases i.e. tough cases add too much bulk to their phones. Only 23% think it otherwise according to the NPD smartphone segmentation study. Although tough cases offer the best protection they aren’t as popular because of their bulkiness. The hard plastic on the outer shell holds the softer part inside in place and protect the entire phone from dings and scratches.

Advantages of Tough Cases

A tough case has advantages and disadvantages as we can see below.

They offer up to three layers of protection

An internal layer works to cushion the phone when it drops and an outer layer to make it last longer. The third layer which is the icing on top acts as an extra measure of protection from outside damages.

Tough cases are durable

Tough mobile phone cases were designed to last an entire lifetime. With the earlier mentioned three layers, even the clumsiest person can maintain their phone up to a reasonable amount of time.

They are thick

The thickness in this case is endurable and good for the user. Why? It provides a better grip unlike the case of a slim case that can easily slide off your hands.

Specially designed to save the clumsy user

If you’ve always dropped and cracked your phones no matter how careful you tried to be, then you need to try out tough cases. These hybrid cases will protect your phone from even the most serious falls.

Disadvantages of Tough Cases

They are expensive

The manufacturers of tough phone cases spend time making sure and reinforcing as much as three layers of protection. You should expect it to be expensive especially if compared with the effectiveness of other cases.

Tough cases are bulky

The tough case is a winner as far as device protection is concerned. However, the protection comes with a bulk cost. It can be inconveniencing to hold in for long periods. Even just carrying it around adds a chunk of weight.

They provide minimal front screen protection

Screen protection depends on how the phone falls and on what kind of surface it lands. Unfortunately, tough cases can’t entirely protect your screen when the phone lands onto a sharp object. It’s bound to get shattered.

Hard Phone Cases

Hard phone cases differ than so-called tough cases. Let’s take a look.

Materials used in the production of hard cases

Hard cases are manufactured from a range of materials like wood, metal, hard plastic, soft plastic, and any other non-twistable strong materials. The hard plastic is among the commonly used materials. It contains polycarbonate, hard polypropylene, and polypropylene. Of the three, polycarbonate is the strongest.


Hard phone cases are only able to provide minimal phone protection. They don’t protect the whole phone apart from its back and edges. In case of drops onto a hard surface, a hard case will most likely break. It all depends on the material type.


Hard cases are most popular because they are cheap. The NDP study on smartphone case segmentation shows that 19% of phone owners don’t purchase cases because they are expensive. Only 15% can afford the expensive ones. For this reason, hard cases are so popular because the average person can afford it. What’s even better is that they come in many colors like green, pink, yellow, and maroon among others. They also make it possible to adorn with art any kind of art.

Advantages of Hard Cases

Come in many assorted colours

Hard cases are available in almost all the beautiful colours you can think of. Users have a wide variety to pick out the colour they like.

They are cheap

If you want to purchase a case that looks nice and is still budget-friendly, goes for a hard case. You get more than what you paid for with the multiple features the case comes with.

Assured phone protection

When buying a case, phone users tend to prioritize protection. While the hard case may only offer minimal protection it’s still good enough.

They’re accommodative

Their build allows phone users to play around with different art or print. Hard cases can be adorned with Rhinestones, stickers, pictures of personalities and favourite quotes

Power ports are easily accessible

These are ports for charging, headset ports, and speakers. They are available anytime a user wants to use them without having to take off the case.

Disadvantages of Hard cases

Hard cases don’t provide a good grip

This is so, especially for the metallic and soft plastic. Their surfaces are so smooth. The phone owner has to be careful otherwise they risk dropping accidentally.

They are non-biodegradable

Those made of metal, hard plastic and soft plastic cannot easily decompose into the ground when disposed of. They are hazardous to the environment.

They may look cheap

It’s just the thing with hard plastic, soft plastic, metal, and others. No matter how colourful they appear, somehow they look and feel cheap, especially the older they get.


Tough and hard cases are some of the most widely preferred and recommendable cases. While the tough ones may be expensive, they can protect your phone for almost a lifetime if handled properly. The same thing goes for the hard cases they are cheap but still do a great job of protecting the phone’s most sensitive parts.

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