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iPhone Hardware and Accessories Discuss iPhone hardware

My Iphone 4 Otter Box Defender review


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iggibar

 
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I got an Otter Box Defender for Christmas...among other things. I thought about doing a review because for some reason, this case seems to alter the way I think of my iphone.

This case is pretty bulky, but not bulky in the sense that it adds useless bulk, because it does the opposite. The extra thickness from it gives it a touch, inner core, while the soft exterior gives it a nice texture, while making it very comfortable to hold with your hand or upper clavicle/shoulder. I'm not going to be like those stupid people who throw their iphone 20 feet and are shocked when they find out that it broke. The most mine will fall is 3 feet, and I'm pretty sure it will do well in that test...whenever the time comes for me to drop it naturally!

The case has rubber patches that cover the openings to the headphone jack, vibrate slider, as well as the docking port. The headphone jack cover does get a bit annoying having to keep it open when listening to music.

Coming from the UTTERLY STUPID Speck pixel hd case, which had REALLY hard button covers, the Defender has buttons that are a joy for my fingers to press! It's even more comfortable/easy to press the power/volume buttons than the iphone without a case on.

THE POSITIVES:
-Iphone is fully covered.
-Screen cover doesn't hamper sensitivity, even though it is not stuck to the
iphones screen like a regular screen cover.
-Buttons are supper easy to press.
-Patch covers almost all connecting ports and main buttons.
-Soft rubber skin with diamond texture on back t makes it easy to hold and
prevents the phone from sliding on surfaces that are not flat.
-This is something that I don't think the designers originally intended;
Because the plastic cutout openings to the light sensor, front camera, and
ear speaker are a good 3mm thick, the light sensor becomes less sensitive
to light coming in from different angles...which has completely stopped the
screen from turning on when I'm talking on it. I would guess the incoming
light to the sensor has been limited to a degree of 135*-140* instead of
178*. This makes it very noticeable in almost all conditions, but is
something that I like a lot!
-The belt snap-on case that comes with the Defender case also acts as a
stand for the iphone(really nice!).
-The back facing camera has spit cutouts for the camera and led flash, which
helps to stop picture washouts.

The iphone felt just a pinch loose on the inside, so I put a piece of tape on the back of the iphone to make it more snug. Not sure if this was just a problem with my case, but it's not a real big issue to me.

THE NEGATIVES
-This thing loves to attract dust!!! The dust might be problematic for people
who use the front-facing camera because that's where it seems to gather the
most.
-Slightly bulky when compared to a regular case like the Speck PixelHD(I
don't recommend the PixelHD, just using it as a reference).
-My biggest gripe with this is that you can't dock the iphone with this case on.
-Because the screen cover(which is actually part of the hard case) never
actually adheres to the iphone's screen, it will cause the "water/oil ripple"
effect. This really isn't a problem because it is only noticeable while you are
pressing on the screen while it's off. You can't notice anything if the screen
is on.

In the end, the Otter Box Defender just makes the iphone feel better. From the way the buttons feel when pressing, to the way it all fits together, this case makes the iphone feel really rugged, tough, and actually really comfortable to hold. It's so well put together as a whole unit that it makes it feel like this is an actual phone, not just a phone with a case on it.

As for where to buy this, I would place caution when purchasing on ebay because there are A LOT of clones out there. There are trusted Otter Box sellers, but you have to find them, they are out there. I know one great seller, "but they don't pay me, so I wont name them." If the origin of the ebay item shows China/Hong Kong, it's a fake! They are made in the USofA, no need for it to be shipped from Hong Kong!

I hope this lasts me a while, because I don't plan on buying anything else for a long time...or at least till the next iphone comes out

“If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself but to your own estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment.” Marcus Aurelius
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Weiser878

 
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I'd like to add to your review that Otterbox's customer service is awesome. I've had to call them a couple of times, and they came through with shining colors, and at no cost to me, even though the skin I needed was priced on their website, I never received a bill.

For my iPhone 4, I actually prefer the Otterbox Commuter case. It has a soft inner shell and a hard outer shell, and I find its a little easier to live with because it still offers great protection at half the thickness of the Drefender.

I liked the design of the Defender for the 3G(s) better, in that the part that touches your ear during a call was covered in silicone, while its hard plastic on the new model (I also find that the soft skin tries to come loose off the edge of the new model easier.)
Minor niggles, but factors nonetheless.
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iggibar

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Weiser878 View Post
I'd like to add to your review that Otterbox's customer service is awesome.
I've been hearing that a lot too, but never got a chance to witness first hand. Maybe I will see what they say about the loose fitment...

Quote:
For my iPhone 4, I actually prefer the Otterbox Commuter case. It has a soft inner shell and a hard outer shell, and I find its a little easier to live with because it still offers great protection at half the thickness of the Drefender.
I wouldn't say it's the same protection, but it's close, only 1 layer away. The only reason I didn't buy the commuter again is because I find the hard shell to be a bit slippery sometimes, in your hand and while in a pocket. I had the commuter on my 3G iphone, and now my friend has it on his iphone4, the design pretty much stayed the same, with the same plastic. If you were to drop a commuter cased iphone, the parts of the phone that have the highest percentage of hitting the ground first are the 4 corners, which happens to be the areas that aren't covered by the hard shell. The hard shell covers the area of the iphone that gets the least damage. That's useless in my opinion! I dropped my 3g out of my car as I was getting out with the commuter case, the pavement texture was enough to break through the rubber casing, on both sides that it fell and bounced on. Even though the drop was only as high as the hight of my seat while it was in my pocket, the ground damaged 2 corners. Though, I would certainly guarantee the damage would have been worse without the case on. Not to mention, the shell had popped off. If you know the 3g/3gs commuter case, you would know that it popping off is no easy feet! The iphone4 commuter is now even easier to take the shell off. This happened after an almost identical incident with the belkin rubber case, poked through the skin to scratch the top left area corner as well as part of the headphone jack. I wasn't expecting similar results from the commuter case, though the parking lot with the commuter incident did have a harsher pavement job(!).

That's why I asked for the defender this season

“If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself but to your own estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment.” Marcus Aurelius
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Weiser878

 
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But the corners are covered by the thick soft part, and that's what absorbs the shock. I've had a few drops with mine, and its still ticking along great.

I agree with you on everything, and never said the Commuter offers the same protection, but I do feel it offeres better protection than anything besides the Defender.
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Steve Adams

 
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I have the commuter as well. It's a great cover without being to bulky. I only hope it fits in my ram aquabox on my adventure bike.
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Wolvrin704

 
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I also got the case fir Christmas and I will also add to the chorus that I absolutely love this case! I only have 3 gripes about it. First that it won't allow me to dock with anything, I also got an iPod stereo for Christmas and it can't dock while in the case. My other 2 issues have to do with the skin; first is the earpiece cover, wish it had a hole that the jack would just go through rather than having to open it. Secondly is the docking cover, I can never get it to close completely.

Oh, I got the defender case which I forgot to add.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wolvrin704 View Post
My other 2 issues have to do with the skin; first is the earpiece cover, wish it had a hole that the jack would just go through rather than having to open it. Secondly is the docking cover, I can never get it to close completely.
.
The whole point of the ear piece plug is to protect the phone.
There's a moisture sensor at the base of the earbud jack, so just a drop of rain in it can void your warranty or damage the phone. That's why its there.

There's a trick to the docking cover. Its kind of like a zip lock bag, I find it works easier to start at one side and zip it over to the other.


I find myself rotating between the 2 otterboxes quite frequently now.
I use the Commuter for everyday carry, just getting around town etc.
When I'm hunting or doing some work outside or being generally active, I switch to the Defender.
On those occasions when I have the phone out of any case, I have taken back to using my free Apple Bumper..unfortunately I can't charge or sync the phone with it on because the opening is too narrow even for the stock connector.
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Eric559

 
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I love the Otterbox Commuter series. I have it but for the HTC Droid Incredible and I love it. The defender series seem a little too big for my taste.

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