Review: Otterbox iPad Mini and Two iPhone Cases

December 18, 2014

It’s Planet Otterbox, and the rest of us are just renting space. Or that’s what the fine folks at Otterbox cases and phone protection would have you believe. In fact, if you’ve used a digital mobile device in the past five years, you most likely have seen Otterbox cases. Further – and this is from a lot of personal experience – if you haven’t tried some of their products, you’re missing out.


With their latest offerings, Otterbox has outdone itself. Mostly because they’ve finally introduced a line of charging cases for the iPhone. This levels the playing field and means Apple fanatics aren’t held hostage by Mophie to use their line of battery cases.

In this review, I’m going to cover the Resurgence 2X for iPhone 5, the Symmetry Series of cases, and the Defender Series for iPad Mini. In all my reviews, I’m using my own devices to test the cases. So far – even with some of the waterproof cases I’ve tried – there haven’t been any undue failures or disasters.

This review is more of the same. Good stuff from Otterbox that makes you more at ease carrying around an $800 piece of mobile technology. First up, simple protection.


My friend Mike blathers on about keeping his iPhone unadultered and case-free. He likes the sleek feel of the phone in his pocket and the addition of Apple’s ‘Gorilla Glass’ front has now made it unlikely that something as simple as a car key will mar the screen.


Still, there are plenty of circumstances where people yanked a phone out of their pocket and saw it flip through the air like a wayward bar of soap. The end result is often shards of this Gorilla Glass starbursted on the front of their new iPhone. That’s why I use a case.


The Otterbox Symmetry Series is basic, but it keeps your phone safe in all but the most bizarre events. Slightly raised bumpers on the corners keep the phone from landing flat on the glass if you drop it. The back and general construction is forgiving enough to act as a shock absorber if you do flick it across a tile floor by mistake. And the grippy edges help make sure you’re not juggling your phone unnecessarily.

The case is also slim enough that it fits in your pocket without grabbing on anything and it doesn’t look or feel bulky in your hand. If Mike were to use a case, I’m sure he’d go with one of these. The Otterbox Symmetry Series cases go for $39-$45 retail and come in a bunch of colors.


Next up is the Resurgence case. They brand it with the words Power + Trusted Protection. I get the trusted protection part right off the bat. Mostly because all the Otterbox products I’ve used have been built to military drop specs and they have yet to let me know. As far as the power part goes, that rocks too.


Boasting 2X the power you get in one charge, the case has kept my phone charged and ready for a few months now. Yes, I recharge the case (and the phone) from time to time. But it’s not a nightly occurrence like it usually is when you’re online all day without a charging case.


In your hand, the Resurgence is a little larger than a basic case – the extra room is a slight bulge in the back and an extended bottom section. Ultimately, the form factor is similar to the Symmetry, but probably about 25% larger overall.

Does it make sense for the basic iPhone user? I think so. I put the phone and the case to the test at multiple social media events and conferences and I have yet to run out of juice. Since I’m on the phone 18 hours a day running social media apps and other communication tools, I can’t see many folks who would be more power hungry.

Why not a Mophie? My only two experiences with a Mophie charging case were complete failures. I found it almost impossible to remove the Mophie from my phone and they were easily 50% heavier than the Resurgence. The Otterbox Resurgence fits together as easily as other Otterbox products and therefore is less frustrating to operate.

Charging the case does require a micro-USB cord to charge, but that’s included. And when you charge the phone and case via the cord, the phone charges first, then the case, then it auto shuts off. Further, the case has an auto shut-off so it saves power for later once it has topped off your phone.

The Resurgence also comes in a bunch of colors. It retails for $99.95.


Lastly, I got an iPad Mini after years of trying to win one by throwing my business card in fishbowls at conferences all over the world. This meant I needed to protect it with some sort of case. What else would I try than an Otterbox Defender Series for iPad Mini?

And it’s great. The best part is that my use of the iPad is probably similar to most folks. I use it to play Candy Crush, I watch YouTube videos and classes. And I poke around on Facebook and Twitter while watching TV. That’s about it.

But on a few occasions – maybe more than a few – I’ve dropped the iPad out of the recliner as I drifted off to sleep after a hard day’s work. The Defender Series protected the iPad Mini admirably.


Best part of the case – it has three pieces. The first two are the hard back and the rubberized, integrated liner. The third is a hard-shell back that allows you to prop up the iPad and watch shows or videos.

The case definitely has some heft, but it’s protecting a much larger piece of technology than the regular iPhone. And because I don’t do a bunch of on-the-road work with the iPad, it’s perfect for me. There are other cases for the iPad Mini if you plan to be more mobile and want less weight.

The case comes in 64 color combinations, and the price for the iPad Mini Defender Series is $79.90.

The newest Otterbox offerings for all your devices are available on their site or will be announced at CES in Las Vegas in January.

Ultimately, I rely on and trust their products. Otterbox cases win for me.