Differences Between Rubber And Plastic-Made Phone Cases


There are many types of phone cases to choose from on the market today. When deciding between plastic and rubber cases, the choice may at first seem as though it depends on preference. However, to best protect your phone during drops, a rubber case will help offset the shock best.

Plastic phone cases are lightweight, slim, and easy to install with a few snaps. These are often inexpensive, but they can't offer true protection. When dropped, hard plastic cases can't absorb the shock of the impact. This will not only crack the case, but it can crack your screen. You don't want your smartphone investment to be damaged easily, so a thin plastic case isn't the best choice.

Rubber phone cases are the better of the two options, as their molecular composition allows for bounce. As with rubber balls, rubber phone cases will naturally bounce upon hitting the ground after a fall. The odds of your phone taking on impact damage are significantly less with this type of case. However, rubber may give your phone a degree of bulk that you don't want. What can you do to maintain the level of protection of rubber, but have the slimness of plastic? Enter thermoplastic polycarbonate.

Akin to the flexibility of rubber, thermoplastic polycarbonate (TPU) is made of polyurethane and exists as our choice material for phone cases. The material's linear segmented block copolymers are composed of hard and soft segments. This is why TPU has a flexible, but not flimsy feel. TPU cases can be slender in design or more rugged, depending on your style and protection needs. Just how reliable is TPU? Our Unicorn Beetle cases, crafted with TPU, have earned awards from CNET in drop-tests and exceed the standard of the military drop-test as well. You can think of TPU as a sort of middle ground between general plastic and rubber, offering you the best qualities of each in a durable, liquid and abrasion-resistant form. Take a look at our Unicorn Beetle cases to learn more about each.

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Michael Tallon
Originally a Broadcasting major at the University of Miami, Mike has written for everything from TV to the news, talk shows, commercials, and major online publications. Mike has since relocated to Atlanta, GA near the SUPCASE headquarters where he resides with his wife, two daughters, and kitty cat.


  • David Barickman

    I’ve had the Unicorn Beetle case on a Pixel 3XL for years without any problems to the phone or case with drops. I just got the Z flip 4 and have the new green case on it and the TPU bumper edge and the style of the case is what made me come back to another Supcase. My Pixel still looks brand new when you take the case off thanks to the Supcase.

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  • ANne
    Very informative and interesting

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