OtterBox Defender for iPhone 3G – Review

On November 6, 2008, in iPhone, iPhone Cases, Review, by Russ Walkowich

OtterBox Defender for iPhone 3G
Company: Otter Products, LLC

Price: $49.95
http://www.OtterBox.com

There are literally scores of cases for the iPhone 3G out there in the market place. Leather, hard plastic, soft plastic, designed to slip in a pocket or clip on to your belt. They all offer some form of protection for your iPhone 3G. However, if you are really looking to provide some real protection, based upon the environment you use your iPhone in or just the way you interact with your iPhone, then you really do need to check out OtterBox’s Defender series for the iPhone 3G.


In the past I, and other reviewers here at My Mac, have taken the OtterBox challenge and tried to find a way to defeat their cases for the iPods, iPhones, Treo’s and even for laptops. OtterBox has won each time. I was interested in seeing how OtterBox would improve on their case for the iPhone that they had previously produced. While there were some small items that reviewers found fault with on the original version, I think that OtterBox has taken care of those issues.

Just as before with their other cases, the OtterBox is everything that it is claimed to be. Designed of a multi-layer approach to keeping your iPhone 3G safe and yet still usable, the OtterBox starts off with a black hard polycarbonate shell, with a clear screen membrane that prevents greasy buildup on the front of your iPhone. Insert your iPhone 3G into the back of the shell and then snap the front half on until they are secured together. Then you take the black silicone skin and place it around the polycarbonate shell, making sure that you press the plugs for the headphone jack, the silence switch and the sync plug into place and you’re ready to go.

The thin membrane on the front of the case permits your iPhone 3G to remain fully functional. When you’re ready, you then take your new case and insert it into the polycarbonate belt case that will hold it securely, and with the clip on the back of the belt case, it’s not going anywhere. The clip rotates, so if you wish to have your iPhone horizontal on your belt, not a problem. The clip will also snap into an open position, holding your iPhone so you can view your videos in a horizontal mode on a table or desktop. To make one thing perfectly clear here: The OtterBox Defender case is NOT waterproof. So while it will provide some protection if you’re caught outside and it starts to rain, the case will not stop the iPhone from being damaged if you drop it into water. So, whatever you do, don’t drop it into water!

The case will help absorb bumps, and will assist in providing protection in the event of an accidental drop of the unit. Please remember that this case will not help if you drop it a great distance.

As an aside, I had to go to the Apple Store to get the replacement plug for the AC charger, and when I was talking with the Apple person, she asked to see the iPhone as she had to take down the serial number. So I handed her my iPhone, in the OtterBox case, and she immediately commented on the case. She started to talk about how good it felt in the hand, that it really felt solid and wanted to know where I had gotten the case and who made it. I was surprised that when I told her, she wasn’t familiar but once I brought up the OtterBox website on one of the store’s iMacs, she jotted down the information and said she’d have to check it out.

So to review:

Pro: Well designed, stylish, rugged, basically dust-proof, and provides a real stable case for your iPhone 3G. Belt case that you insert the OtterBox case into stays securely on your belt, the clip can be used to hold the case up for viewing video while sitting on a desktop. Case is reasonably priced and provides a higher level of protection than a lot of the other iPhone cases out there.

Cons: Remember, it is NOT waterproof.

I really like this case. Highly recommended!

My Mac rating: 4.5 out of 5.

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