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Don't let your iPhone 6 go naked: Making the case for a case

Living with the iPhone 6, part 4, in which Scott Stein admits he's just not comfortable letting this new iPhone go unsheathed.

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Sarah Tew/CNET

I haven't dropped the iPhone 6 yet. But I wouldn't want to.

Recent durability tests suggest the new iPhones are made to be strong, and they certainly seem sturdy enough. But they feel weirdly delicate to hold. The curved lines, the almost absurdly thin metal body, the completely metal-and-glass construction: it all makes me want to use it in a room full of pillows.

Even after two weeks, I coddle my new iPhone. Is this how we should live with our phones? I need to be relaxed, unstressed. I just want to toss my phone in my bag and not look back.

But there's good news. The iPhone 6 is a great phone to stick in a case. You have no excuse not to. The reason should be clear: even with a case on, it's still about the same thickness as any other smartphone out there. That super-thin look means it doesn't look weird with a case on.

I didn't feel that way about the iPhone 5, or the 4. Those phones always looked good naked. The 6 has its charms, but the all-metal back gives it the look of a tiny iPad.

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I tried several of Apple's own iPhone 6 and 6 Plus cases: leather ones in dark blue and brown, and a silicone case in blue and white. The leather cases cost $45 (AU$59, £35) or $50 (AU$65, £39) for the 6 or 6 Plus versions, respectively, while the silicone cases are $35 (AU$45, £25) and $40 (AU$49, £29). There are definitely more affordable cases out there. But Apple's fit well: they're like snug slip-cases, adding either a smooth leather or soft-touch rubberized grip to the phone. They handle better with the cases on. They're better protected. I'd trust jamming them into my pocket.

The cases are simple: they wrap around and cover the top and sides, with little moldings for power and volume buttons and a cut-out for the silent switch. The bottom edge is exposed for speaker and Lightning access. They're easy to pop on and off and have soft interiors.

The iPhone 6 with Apple's case amounts to the same thickness as an iPhone 5S in a thin plastic-shell case, and it's a little thicker than a bare Nexus 5 . Cases add some extra grip and make the phone less slippery; it's less likely to slip out of a pocket or across a car seat.

Cases also help with something else: protecting that exposed rear lens so it's recessed instead of being an outie.

I haven't had any incidence of iPhone bending or any other damage. In fact, both the 6 and 6 Plus look fine after weeks of use. But I'd rather not take any chances. If you're shopping for a case, check out our gallery of options above, as there are plenty to choose from.

Thumbs up to covered-up iPhones this time around. I hope you're doing the same.