Do you care about smudges and fingerprints on your phone?

Samsung Galaxy S8

I recently asked you all if you prefer devices with metal designs, or if you’ve accepted with open arms the metal-and-glass designs we’ve all watched released into the smartphone market recently. Facilitating wireless charging is one of the reasons why people have accepted all-glass designs, which definitely makes sense. And while it was a bit of a surprise to see Google skip that design decision last year with the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL, I think it’s a safe bet we won’t see the same thing this year with new Pixel smartphones.

Even OnePlus was all excited to announce the OnePlus 6, adopting the glass-and-metal design.

I was recently in a conversation with a friend of mine, someone who I’ve known for years and is still surprised every time they see my phone without a case. “Your phone costs almost $1,000! How do you not have it in a case!?” Keep in mind it’s never really mattered how much the phone has cost. Sure, they have an argument now — the phone’s not cheap by any means — but I’m just not a fan of cases at all.

I can admit that it’s probably a good idea to have my phone in a case. I’ve got two kids, but even beyond that mistakes happen. Drops happen. I’ve been lucky over my years of smartphone ownership (furiously knocks on wood), but it also just comes down to the fact I’m not a fan of cases.

So I don’t use them. But then my friend asked me a question they haven’t before: “Don’t you care about the smudges?”

Well, no. No I don’t. Because it’s just the nature of the phone, right? It has a glass back — it’s going to get smudged. But then I realized that smudges are something I’ve heard about so many times in reviews. I’m sure I’ve even mentioned it once or twice before. And every time I hear it, it’s definitely a detriment. “This phone’s gonna get fingerprints and smudges on it!”

And then there are the comments on those reviews, telling folks to “just get a case” if they care about smudges. Which is sound logic, because you can always get a pretty thin case that will handle the smudge situation, even if it doesn’t warrant a ton of protection. But maybe getting rid of those smudges is worth it?

That’s what I’m curious about now, and so I want to ask all of you: How much do you care about smudges on your smartphone? Is this something you actively work to avoid, with a case or just wiping down the device a lot? Or are smudges a byproduct of smartphone design that you’re okay with? Let me know!

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