Instead of increasing Pixel durability, Google designs them to be case-friendly

Otterbox Symmetry Case Google Pixel 8 Pro

Andy Walker/Android Authority


  • In an interview, one of the heads of the Pixel team said that the company designs Pixel phones specifically with cases in mind.
  • Claude Zellweger said, “90% of people use cases.” “We started designing the product with the case in mind from the beginning.”
  • Interestingly, Zellweger doesn't mention making the phone more durable without a case.

It is a well-known fact that most smartphone owners use some type of protective case. While some cases offer additional functionality – such as a kickstand, a place to store credit cards, or magnetic charging – the number one reason people use cases is that phones are made of glass and break easily.

In a new interview with In Verse, Google Pixel design lead Claude Zellweger discussed how the company approaches phone design, specifically in regards to the use of the case. Interestingly, Zellweger admits that, starting with the Pixel 8 series, Google has started designing phones with case use in mind from the beginning.

Here's what Zellweger had to say:

You always need to think about every aspect of the product. One of the important things is that 90% of people use cases. Moving forward in a serious way, with the Pixel 8, we started designing the product with the case in mind from the beginning. So just like color is not an afterthought, mattering cannot be an afterthought, because you have to design it in a way that it looks good and feels good.

While this sounds good on paper – the phone and case being designed to work well together is a benefit to the user – what's completely left out of the conversation is the quality of the phone being designed by Google. It is a very delicate nature. It seems a little tricky to say, “We're designing the phone to work better with the case,” and not say, “We're designing the phone to work better with the case.” Without Matters.”

For whatever reason, the “glass sandwich” smartphone design has become the de facto methodology, at least in the premium segment. There are very few phones out there priced over $700 that don't include this design. Shouldn't there be enough room for innovation so that we can have phones that are great, look great, and work properly without a case?

While I applaud Google's ambitions to use design to make its products more attractive to consumers with or without cases, I think the arbitrary 90% statistic presented by Zellweger is not a product of the people. want Matters, rather people know that it is necessary to protect their delicate investments. If phones were more durable, the 90% number would be much lower as more people would be comfortable using their phones without a case and enjoying its pure design.

Nonetheless, the rest of the interview is worth a read, especially if you want to learn more about how the company approaches the camera bar on Pixel phones.

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