OtterBox Cases

November 21, 2010

You’ve heard me sing the praises of OtterBox products in the past, but I’m always wary about brands becoming complacent in their processes after they’ve realized success. This isn’t the case (pun intended) with this case manufacturer.

I first discovered them a few years ago at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas and every since I’ve been buying them to protect my electronic devices. They also have outdoor equipment cases and sleeves for sale, but I usually focus on the phone cases.

Thanks to the folks at OtterBox, I now have a shipment of new phone cases to test out. Here are some photos of the box that showed up on my doorstep and here is what I’ve found…

By the way, I tested these all on the iPhone 4.

The Impact, Commuter and Defender Series each have a specific role in the company’s line – buy only what you need.

Impact is for the least obtrusive amount of protection. It has a silicone outer shell and a screen protector film. That’s it. Simple, but enough to keep your phone from daily bumps and dings.

Commuter is a bit more. It’s the standard case design a lot of companies are selling for the iPhone. A hard shell wraps around the phone and covers the back and sides. There is a silicone sleeve that keeps the case grippy and adds impact absorption. It also has a screen protector film. Better than the Impact, but still not really enough to let you skip your phone across the pavement without worry.

The Defender is the mac daddy. And it’s what I choose every time. The case has built-in screen and camera hole protection, a full hard shell that snaps together at multiple points, and a silicone wrap sleeve with port covers and doors. I have actually skipped my phone across a granite bathroom floor with no damage. I’ve also dropped the phone a few times and it’s still in great shape. You can’t even see the dings on the case…that’s cool.

So what’s the damage when it comes to price? Pretty standard. While the Defender will set you back $50 and comes in eight colors, you can go for less with Commuter at $35 and one color (black), or the Impact at $20 and five colors.

What do I say? You already know. If you don’t have a case for your phone, get one. And if you aren’t like the purists who maintain that a phone doesn’t warrant a cover, then go for one of these. They’re made well and protect your phone from pretty much everything you can throw at them.

*I would like to test a waterproof case for the phone, but the only one I’ve used so far is the Magellan ToughCase and that’s a GPS receiver and charger case. A totally different beast. I just hear so many stories of iPhones turning into iPhlushes when people drop them in a toilet, that a waterproof case is likely going to grow in demand.

You can find more details at OtterBox.