I bought my HTC One M8 shortly after it was released with my carrier and for the first day, I used the device naked. No, I don't mean I didn't wear any clothes, I mean it didn't wear a case. I know that there are many people who advocate not using a case, thinking that the manufacturer has spent time and effort putting together a collection of design and materials to make their handset feel great in the hand. I appreciate this, but I also don't want a clumsy moment to result in a broken handset. I put my shiny new One M8 into the supplied case from HTC, which is a kind of zombie dead skin grey complete with a tactile texture. Not terrible by any stretch but I wanted something better. Ultimately, I picked up a Tech21 case, which I hope will provide it with enough protection should I drop it, but so I can also see the device through it as well. Tech21 also use a somewhat tactile covering, which gives it that elusive combination of being grippy in the hand but also slides into and out of a pocket very easily. I put a lot of thought into my case, because working in the mobile telecommunications industry, I've seen far too many people smash a screen inside a few weeks and then begrudge not getting either insurance or a case for the rest of their two year contract!
Working in mobile telecommunications, I've seen a lot of things behind cases. I've seen diesel fuel, which made the device so very slippery that it was impossible to grip. Dust, sand, fungus, weeks old coffee but curiously enough, cheesecake never survives more than a few minutes (guilty look). I've also seen people bringing in a broken case wanting a replacement because the old one saved their device from a substantial drop or other similar incident. I've also had people bring their device in for an upgrade after two years living in the same case and, never mind going to Mars, NASA might find evidence of primitive life under the sides of this case. Good taste (and a string of editors shaking their heads and worrying about data protection!) prevent me from posting pictures up, but it seems that pocket, hands, bags, desks and bedside tables are grubby environments to be keeping 'phones. In the spirit of this article, I removed my One from the Tech 21 case and gave both it and the case a once over with a damp cloth and a few drops of white vinegar. I'm hoping the smell might stop would-be thieves (and my cats) from taking it. Your mileage may vary! I give the device a clean every few months, it's never as frequently as it needs but I don't see the nastiness when I'm using the 'phone, only when I look for it!
Still, what's living under my case wasn't as bad as what was living in my keyboard! Over to our users: do you use a case? If you do, what kind? Do you use one designed and sold by your manufacturer? Or a trusted third party one? Or a cheap one from eBay? Do you occasionally look under your case and give your device(s) a clean? Or do you not worry about it until for some reason you have to remove the device from the case? Let us know in the comments below.