OtterBox Defender Series Case Review

OtterBox Defender This case will stand up to it’s name, “Defender”. There is no part of the iPhone exposed with this case, even the screen is protected. Although not submersible like it’s counterpart, the Armor Series, this case is water resistant. I would feel comfortable using it during rain & snow conditions. The hard plastic case protects the iPhone from bumps & drops while the silicone case helps retain a safe grip. The silicone is also very strong. At first I was afraid I may tear it when taking it on and off, but after working with it, I realized it was much stronger. The plastic membrane protecting the screen is not hard plastic like other cases I’ve seen, so the glass of the iPhone is still vulnerable in my opinion. If dropped on it’s face against something protruding (although highly unlikely) or something dropped on it, the membrane would do no good. It is, however, very strong and well secured to the plastic of the case. This same membrane material is used on the back for the camera and Apple logo.

Audio through the speaker was noticeably quieter due to the Donaldson® acoustic vents, but only by about 10-15% in my opinion and through the earpiece I noticed no difference. I had no complaints from callers on microphone volume. All buttons worked great but I do use the silence switch and unfortunately it’s not accessible with this case. The flaps protecting the headphone jack and the dock stay put during normal use and aren’t annoying when something is plugged in.

The defender series also comes with a belt clip/holster. It looks great and adds even more protection. The iPhone faces towards you when in the holster and the kewl see through back displays the Apple logo.

Now for my only issue with this case… when we first received this case I tried it out right away and noticed the membrane was sticking to the glass front of the iPhone. I thought that cleaning both the membrane & glass would help so I cleaned them both thinking I would start off with spotless equipment. I eventually read some info on their website and found that natural oil from your skin helps to keep the screen from sticking to the glass. After touching the glass to my face and swiping it with my hand I almost had it, but try after try it was still sticking.

I eventually gave up after 3 different sessions of taking the case apart and putting it back together after trying the get the perfect balance of oil on the glass. I was really bummed because a friend of mine has this case for his Blackberry and loves it. I talked with him and he said his directions told him to wipe his screen with soap water and let it dry overnight and that would keep it from sticking. I figured I’d eventually try that but when taking photography of the case a few days later I noticed it wasn’t sticking anymore, not at all. I think I may have overdone the skin oil in the beginning.

Now that I have resolved the screen sticking the only problem I will have is the lack of access to the silence switch. I would guess most work environments that need a case like this don’t need to silence their phones. You can always turn the ringer down with the volume buttons.

Overall this is one of the best cases out there. This case comes in all Black or Black/Yellow and retails for $49.99 but can be found for less if you shop around.

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Comments

  1. After weeks of searching for that perfect case I finally found the Otter Box Defender Series. I picked this up last week and have to say so far I am satisfied. I tried some other cases but they all sucked. I love the fact that it protects all of the phone. Even the screen. I work in Seattle and it rains a lot and I am not afraid if I need to use my iPhone in the rain. I also like the fact that the silicone helps to prevent iPhone from slipping out of your hand. The membrane is a little tricky but I was able to get it on without the ‘oil’ look within a couple of tries. Great Case!

  2. I personally think it looks hideous. But it protection for your iphone is what you’re looking for, then I guess it’s practical in that regard.

    Although I find cases like that (where the screen is embedded) disturbs the typing (notes, sms, etc.)

    • i agree, it makes the phone even bigger, and i have small hands. the design is also kinda ugly. the phone is durable on its own, i’ve dropped it several times. haha.

  3. Phil, Washington, DC says:

    The case appears to be great for protection, I would pefer the black case. Does it come with a belt clip of somekind? Anyone…

    • Copied from above:

      The defender series also comes with a belt clip/holster. It looks great and adds even more protection. The iPhone faces towards you when in the holster and the kewl see through back displays the Apple logo.

    • Good Case BAD BELT CLIP says:

      The case is very good protection BUT the belt holster needs some improvement. It requires two hands to get the case out of the holster. You’ll miss some calls, especially if you are driving. Ironically, the belt clip comes easily off of your belt so expect some falls. More ironically is that if you open the clip wide enough, the top clicks into a brace so that it remains permanently open. If you had the reverse and it could click shut around your belt then you’d have a good belt clip.

  4. Thats Xtra protective!!!

    I wanna use my Delicate iPhone !

  5. I have the case and I love it, I’m a mechanic and I drop the phone many times and have never had to worry about damage or water..the only problem is taking it out of the case since the rubber sticks to the holder clip but other than that it’s the best case ever.

  6. I also have this case in Black, and love it. I work in the auto industry climbing in and out of Ford Edges/Flex’s while listening to my ipod, its nice to know it wont get scratched or banged up. My only gripe is over time the Plastic membrane will get scratched, and the only way to fix this will be to buy a new case. So if your looking for something, that is very strong and your very active when you have your phone at work or at play, this is the case for you.

    • I got to thinking about the comment above regarding the clear membrane getting scratched and the only remedy is to replace the case. How about slapping a custom-cut Invisible Shield over the Otterbox’s own screen area from Day 1? Someone could try this and see if the touch sensitivity is hampered or not.

  7. I have had so many cases, but after dropping my Iphone several times, I’ve finally decided to get the Otterbox Defender. Has anyone seen the pink version in person? Is it too pink? Does it make the Iphone look cheap? I’m deciding between pink and black.

  8. Good Case BAD BELT CLIP says:

    I have this case and it is very good protection BUT the belt holster needs some improvement. It requires two hands to get the case out of the holster. You’ll miss some calls, especially if you are driving. Ironically, the belt clip comes easily off of your belt so expect some falls. More ironically is that if you open the clip wide enough, the top clicks into a brace so that it remains permanently open. If you had the reverse and it could click shut around your belt then you’d have a good belt clip.

  9. there great 2/26/2009

  10. April 15, 2008

Trackbacks

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  2. […] personally am a big fan of OtterBox Cases and to me, the Aquapac for iPhone case is more like a water-proof pouch then a case but, if you are […]

  3. […] and I both are big fans of OtterBox iPhone cases. In the past we have done a reviews of both the Defender and Armor Series Cases. Until just recently, the cases were not available for the iPhone 3G. […]

  4. […] Here is a link to our review of the Defender series for the 1st Gen iPhone. […]

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