Synonymous with protection. The OtterBox Defender was the first case I ever bought and the only brand I will probably ever own.
I remember the first time I came across the OtterBox. I was in Fresno and I had just dropped my iPhone 3G. Thank goodness it didn’t break! But it scared me enough to want to protect my investment.
I headed into the AT&T store and there was a gentleman inside giving a demo to those that were interested. When I told the salesman I needed a case, the guy overheard and was more then happy to show me what his iPhone could withstand. He handed me his iPhone to see the case in action.
Now I’ll admit, my first thought was, “Wow! This thing is NOT small!” If you have ever had an OtterBox Defender in one hand and an uncased iPhone in the other, you’ll know what I mean. I woke up the phone, swiped around, and cycled all of the buttons with ease.
Then I asked what I assumed to be his favorite question. “Why do I need something this big?”
He took his phone back and then threw it into the floor across the room. After calling him insane, he retrieved his iPhone and showed it to me. Now, he wasn’t a professional pitcher, but there was a good amount of force behind it. The phone worked just as it should.
I was sold. I bought myself and my wife one and installed them both immediately.
Review: Defender Series
The Defender has definitely gotten better with age. The iPhone 3G case had the infamous “oil slick” on the screen. No matter how hard I tried I could never get rid of it. If you haven’t experienced it consider yourself lucky. The “oil slick” issue has been non-existent since then though. At least in my experience, and the experience in those I’ve talked to.
While the case is bulky, it serves its purpose. My wife and I have had several drops between the two of us with zero damage. Especially when our oldest child got old enough to start playing with our phones. I’ve had only a few problems getting the phone out of my pocket. It is usually due to the silicone catching on the inside of the pocket. However, if you wear a snug fitting pair you will have more issues.
While the profiles have changed with the iPhone that they have been designed to fit, the basic constructions has stayed the same. The case consists of a hard plastic shell that surrounds the phone, and a silicone wrapper that surrounds the hard shell. The iPhone is completely covered including all of the ports. The only exception is two small openings for the speaker/microphone. On the back side of the hard shell is a foam lining that protects the back glass of the iPhone.
The silicone will eventually stretch out and it can rip if enough force is applied. A friend of mine had his silicone rip. I think it was child induced. I asked him what he did about it. He told me that he called OtterBox customer service to order a replacement. OtterBox sent him a replacement for free. He told me that the Customer Service was friendly and was extremely happy with the free replacement.
If you are accident prone, work in high places with your phone, or have children, I would definitely recommend the Defender series case. Yes, it is bulky. But the tradeoff is that you would have to work pretty hard to damage your iPhone in one of these.