Review: Otterbox iPhone Defender Case

1940-02_4_11.jpgOtterbox makes some terrific cases that protect any number of mobile devices from harm. For the last couple of months, I've been giving its iPhone Defender case—a limited edition pink edition where 10 percent of the proceeds go toward fighting breast cancer—a spin.

The case is made of a clear polycarbonate sheet with a hard coating that offers chemical and abrasion protection, a hi-impact polycarbonate skeleton, and a premium grade silicone skin to provide added protection, according to the company.

Okay. Sounds tough, right? It is.

Aside from being the recipient of a few snide comments regarding a man carrying a pink case, I've been very happy with the Defender. In fact, when I took the iPhone out to get it repaired due to a problem with the connector, the smartphone still looked like new.

The same could not be said of an earlier iPhone I'd been using. In fact, that previous iPhone's screen cracked after it accidentally fell to the ground - not on its front, mind you, but its back. And the rest of the iPhone sported so many scratches, it looked like it'd been on a trip up and down Mount Everest.


While, for the most part, the Otterbox performed exceptionally, I did run into a couple of issues. The first one could be a deal breaker for some.

You see, although the case provided access to the home, volume, sleep/wake buttons and proximity sensor and acoustic vents on the speakerphone and headset speaker, the same could not be said for the ring/silent switch on the left side of the iPhone. Not very convenient for when you need to quickly silent your iPhone, such as in a darkened movie theater or a meeting.

Second, at first, I could not prevent annoying air bubbles from popping up between the iPhone's display and the case's clear screen protector, no matter how hard I tried. Fortunately, Otterbox's support site includes an entry in its Knowledge Base, which I found eventually, that directly answered and corrected the problem

Here's what the Knowledge Base entry "How do I get rid of the bubbles/oil-slick on the screen of my iPhone case?" suggested:

Before you put your iPhone in the case, rub your palm across the screen. It's the natural oils of the skin that keep the plastic from sticking to the screen of the iPhone. You want your hands to be clean but you don't want to wash your hands just before doing it. You can also try wiping it along your cheek to pick up the oils from your face.

This solution worked perfectly. And it may be worth keeping in mind when running into similar problems, even with other cases, in the future.

Otterbox's iPhone Defender case sells for $49.95. And yes, it comes in colors other than pink: black and yellow.

Sure, it is not the thinnest or lightest case around, none of Otterbox’s cases are. But that’s not the point. Like other Otterboxes, the iPhone Defender provides maximum protection, successfully taking an otherwise fragile device and making it fairly invulnerable.

According to Otterbox, a version of this case for the new iPhone 3G should ship soon.


iPhone, peripherals