Third in a series
It's not enough to cross your fingers and hope that no harm ever comes to your smartphone or tablet. Taking that approach is a lot like driving your car across country without a spare tire. For all intents and purposes, anyone pulling a stunt like that is gambling, plain and simple.
Likewise, anyone spending hundreds of dollars out of pocket on a mobile device who doesn't take steps to protect it is practically begging for misfortune to pay them a visit. So, what can you do to ensure you don't find yourself in this predicament? Here are a few helpful ideas.
1. Buyer Be 'Glass Aware'
If it's true that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure (and it is) then it's imperative that you think about tablet protection before you buy. If you're on a budget like everybody else, consider bumping your desired tablet's rating on the rugged scale a bit higher on your list of priorities. If it's already there, bump it even higher ... higher up than, say, the cool factor. Because the truth is, it's a lot cooler to have a not-so-hip but working tablet than a flashy, brand name one with a busted screen.
Also, do your research on what the glass screen of the smartphone or tablet is made of. Many are constructed using fortified, reinforced glass, which is preferable. These may run you a bit more than mobile devices that are encased in easily-cracked plastic or fronted with fragile glass, but the long term savings of not having to buy numerous replacements outweighs the immediate price differences.
2. It Serves, You Protect
You can expect someone like Aaron Cooper, Director of Marketing for the Worth Ave. Group, to emphasize the importance of buying insurance to protect your smartphone or tablet. After all, Worth Ave. Group is a national insurance provider that offers plans for tablets, smartphones, even laptops and desktop computers.
But just because their business is insurance doesn't mean they're out to sell you something you don't need. Quite the contrary; statistics show that what people like Cooper and his company are offering could save Americans billions of dollars. To those who'd shrug off the idea of insurance, Cooper offers this sobering slice of reality: "Manufacturers are making stronger glass every day, like Gorilla Glass. But stronger glass doesn't protect your mobile device from theft, and it doesn't protect it from being dropped in the toilet."
Cooper also strongly recommends that buyers take a long hard look at insurance policies offered by cell phone companies, including critical issues like claims limits and deductibles which have the potential of being more costly than a replacement. When it comes to insuring your mobile device, don't take the path of least resistance. Instead, shop around.
3. Making Your Screen less Lean
You wouldn't think that the simple application of a thin layer of film to your tablet's all-too-breakable glass surface would do much. But Cooper, who's probably forgotten more about broken tablet screens than most of us will ever learn, swears by them as a simple and cost-effective method of increasing the odds that your tablet will survive a nasty drop unscathed.
"If you don't have a screen protector and you drop your mobile device," Cooper says, "It's a lot more likely to break.", he points out. "In my experience, a simple screen protector makes a huge difference."
Contrary to what you may think, screen protectors aren't just there to prevent minor scratches. They can actually prevent a glass screen from shattering, as evidenced by this YouTube video and a score of others that tout the benefits of simple screen protectors.
4. Making a Case for Device Protection
These days, you'll find no shortage of protective cases for tablets and smartphones. The market's virtually teeming with them, so much so that you may encounter difficulty deciding what type to choose. But take note that where protection is concerned (although anything is better than nothing) spending a fortune on waterproof and shockproof smartphone or tablet cases is no guarantee that the laws of physics (or plain bad luck) won't intervene to render your electronics so much useless rubble. It's also no guarantee that your protective case won't fail on you, in which case you'll have no recourse through the manufacturer of the case.
For smartphones, the best advice is to invest in a sturdy but unobtrusive protective case. Where tablets are concerned, a lot of damage can be prevented by the simple use of a padded leather sleeve.
Whatever route you opt for, whether it's one or two of the above suggestions or all four, anything is better than spending a fortune on a smartphone or tablet and hoping for the best. We live in a rough and tumble world, and you're going to encounter your fair share of bumps and bruises along the way.
As the ill-fated Eddie Carr astutely pointed out in Jurassic Park 2: "Violence and technology? Not good bedfellows!" If you want to keep your mobile device alive and kicking until it's grown obsolete through the natural passage of time, you'll heed those words.
Infographics Source: SquareTrade.com
Read Part One in our special series, Super-Size: Rising Demand for Screen Flexibility in Mobile a Plus and a Problem.
Read Part Two in our special series, A Day in the Life of a Big Screen Mobile Device.
Go to Glass Act main page for more on screen protection.
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