Gear Tactics is a series of posts about specific tips, hacks, modification guides and best practices of operative, nomadic and survival gear + apparel.
This is my simple do-it-yourself solution to a very modern first world problem; moderate mobile device protection without using a case.
High-end smartphones such as the iPhone and Galaxy are a piece of art in their own way which makes many people protect them by using cases that ironically hide all that beauty. That’s fine, but I personally hate the extra bulk and loss of “closeness”.
Both of these current devices while engineered incredibly, are not well suited to just rest on most hard surfaces in fear of scratching or cracking.
You have to be gentle and deliberate every time you put it down on a wooden desk, granite counter, concrete step, bathroom sink, etc.
The iPhone’s camera sticks out of the body and the Galaxy body is all rounded glass, just asking to be scratched or cracked. It’s annoying.
But I don’t want a case. So I added a small strip of Velcro on each corner of some of my devices.
It won’t protect it from a drop of course, but it does make putting down my device on a hard surface that much easier. Without always consciously being extra careful just to do this simple task.
It truly is a first world problem that seems silly and I suppose it is, but it’s a task that I have to perform dozens of times a day and it just makes it slightly better. I can put my damn phone down without thinking about it like I’m placing an egg on a glass table.
Think of it as those rubber “feet” on laptops.
All you need is the “loop” (soft) side of Velcro sticky back strips and a scissor.
Start with cutting one into an ideal size for whatever your device is. It should be an oval or circular shape, as long as there’s no sharp points to reduce the possibility of peeling.
Don’t stick them on just yet. Before removing the film to expose the sticky material, put the cut piece back-to-back with another piece and cut away to use as a guideline so you have the same shaped pieces.
Add a piece to each corner close too the edges, but not to close to the edges, again to reduce peeling.
Application pro tips:
For best results, use a microfiber cloth to wipe each corner. If unavailable, use a tiny dab of rubbing alcohol and wipe with a cotton fabric – not polyester as that will just smudge. Trim a bit of the fluffy Velcro strands so it’s even, like trimming a garden bush.
I’ve had mine on for about 8 months on this first application and each piece is on there perfectly.
Beyond just making it easier to put your mobile device down, it also allows sliding from position to position (on your desk or wherever) hassle and worry free as there’s no risk of scratching due to the “feet”.
I usually like the lifemarks of my gear, signs of use and experience, but not so much with tech.
Because when the new iPhone of Galaxy comes out, I’m going to sell these to get those, and keeping them in good shape til then will get me the best sell price.
[Featured gear: Magpul DAKA Pouches.]
Love it! Doing it now.
Another clever gear hack from Vinjatek, love it cuz i hate phone cases.