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    I used my Galaxy S22+ without a case for a year. This is what happened

    Opinion
    By 

    Last updated: February 6th, 2023 at 04:45 UTC+01:00

    When Samsung announced the Galaxy S22 series a year ago, it made a pretty big deal about the new “Armor Aluminum” frame, promising that this new material lends more scratch and drop resistance to the 2022 flagship phones. Some took those claims at face value, while others thought “Armor Aluminum” was just a buzzword. As for myself, I decided to use my Galaxy S22+ without a protective case and a screen protector to see what would happen. Here is the result of a one-year, case-free journey with my phone.

    This was not a scientific test using specialized machinery and spare Galaxy phones. It was a real-life test I took at my own risk to see if I could use Samsung's flagship — now featuring a flat display and back panel — without hiding its beautiful design beneath leather or a layer of silicone. Coming from the Galaxy Note 10 and the “Edge” form factor, I felt anxious, but eventually, my worries washed away.

    Over the course of almost 12 months, I accidentally dropped my Galaxy S22+ roughly a dozen times, and all of these events happened with a hard concrete floor or ceramic tiles under my feet. My Galaxy S22+ dropped off the table and fell out of my pocket a few times. One time, I was shooting basketballs at the park and hit the bottom edge of the phone in an awkward way that made it fly out of my shorts' pocket. I picked it up, sweating even harder than before. But barring some minor dents, everything was fine.

    Another time, I accidentally made my phone fly from my right hand and land on the kitchen floor after hitting it with my left hand. It sounds clumsy, but these things happen. I was trying to distribute my attention between watching Netflix on my phone and grabbing something off the kitchen counter. I noticed that the corner of a floor tile cracked when my S22+ landed on it. Check out the picture below.

    And upon seeing this, I was sure my phone hadn't survived. But to my surprise, I picked up the S22+ off the floor, and everything was fine, barring some minor dents in the metal frame. I was impressed, even though my landlord was not.

    The Galaxy S22+ is the most liberating phone I've ever used

    After nearly 12 months of using the Galaxy S22+ without a case and screen protector, my phone got a few battle scars, but nothing major. There are about a dozen bumps and scuffs on every one of the phone’s rounded corners, and that’s about it. No, really! That’s all there is to it. The glass didn’t break or crack, and the camera lenses are intact. The side buttons didn’t fall off, and not even once did the SIM card tray eject upon impact.

    Here are some photos of my Galaxy S22+. You'll have to excuse the relatively low quality, as I captured these photos using the Galaxy Tab S7 FE camera. But I hope they get the point across. Oh, and please ignore my makeshift tablet stand from spare LEGO parts. I know it's not pretty but hey. It works.

    Interestingly, the Galaxy S22+'s camera contour cutout has some “pocket wear” around the edges. And although you can't see the smallest of details in these photos, my screen does have a couple of micro-scratches. Though, nothing annoying or even visible without carefully inspecting the screen.

    I should mention that most of these falls I described above occurred from waist heights or above. And for me, the results speak for themselves. Armor aluminum is not a gimmick, and now I'm entirely sold on the flat design and thicker uniform frame. I'm not an engineer, but I'm convinced that the phone's flat design and rigid frame helped keep the glass panels intact after everything my Galaxy S22+ went through.

    The Galaxy S23 and Galaxy S23+ have a similar design and use the same Armor Aluminum frame material, along with even stronger Gorilla Glass Victus 2 protection. And if I'd upgrade to the 2023 Galaxy S23+, I would certainly risk using it without a case and enjoy its slick exterior design and thin bezels. And that's saying something, given that my phone has become my PC replacement, as I work with Samsung DeX almost every day of the week.

    Would I recommend you do the same and forego protective cases? Of course not. I'm sharing my personal experience, and maybe I got lucky more than a dozen times. I can't guarantee that your Galaxy S22 or S23 won't get any nasty cracks or fatal damage if you use it without a case and drop it. And I wouldn't try using the Galaxy S23 Ultra without a case, to begin with. The Ultra model is still not completely flat with a uniform Armor Aluminum frame, which could make the screen's edges more susceptible to damage.

    But as far as I'm concerned, unless I switch to a different Samsung smartphone model, like the Z Flip or the Galaxy S23 Ultra variant, I'll never again use a protective case with my Galaxy S. I finally feel confident and willing to risk it. Because, let's face it: if you're a fan of smartphone designs, a phone's beauty and thin bezels mean next to nothing if you have to keep the device wrapped in a protective case. Samsung's smartphones (at least some of them) appear to have reached a point where, in my eyes, they seem almost indestructible. Using the Galaxy S22+ felt liberating, and that's a great selling point in my book.

    OpinionPhone Galaxy S22Galaxy S22 PlusGalaxy S23Galaxy S23 Plus

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