Otterbox Defender Case for iPhone 4
Until now, cases for the iPhone 4 have been scarce. With both the front and back of the phone being made of glass, most of us worry about breakage for good reason. I was fortunate enough to find an Apple bumper for my new iPhone while visiting an Apple Store in Charleston, SC. I’ve been using this bumper as my primary case, but while proudly showing off the beauty of the hardware, the bumper doesn’t offer much protection for the iPhone’s back glass.
In true form, Otterbox has has solved this dilemma by delivering what amounts to armor for your iPhone with its new Defender series cases. As someone who spends a lot of time outdoors with my phone, I really appreciate the thought Otterbox has put into the Defender. Don’t let the higher price-point scare you, the Defender’s built quality and functionality fit the price.
The Defender offers multiple layers of protection for your iPhone. The fit and finish are amazing. Apple would be hard pressed to do better. It has a soft lined, hard plastic inner case surrounded by a soft and flexible outer silicone case. Thankfully, the Defender comes with installation instructions.
The inner case has plastic tabs that hold the front and back halves together. It takes a few moments of pondering to figure out how to get it open, but it’s extremely secure once in place. It is not waterproof, so I highly recommend you stay away from the pool or hot tub with your phone in hand, no matter what case you have it in.
The front of the Defender offers a built-in clear protective film for the front glass of your iPhone. Unlike previous models, this film is extremely sensitive to the touch and has a coating that resists fingerprints. I don’t notice any loss of touch sensitivity when using the case. The film does get the occasional bit of dust between it and the glass, especially if you’re keeping your phone in your pockets. I’m happy to see that Otterbox has done a great job addressing this issue, for the Defender case for the iPhone 3GS allows much more dust into the case and has that “oily film” effect that is sometimes annoying. The new Defender is a real improvement.
The outer silicone shell of the Defender fits perfectly and stays in place on your iPhone. The volume controls and sleep switch are covered, but still work well. The headphone jack and 30-pin connector port have flaps covering them, keeping unwanted dust out. The flaps can be a bit tricky to get in place, but once there they stay put. The mute switch is uncovered, but even with the thickness of the case, you can still use the switch easily. Like all silicone cases, dust tends to stick to it, but wipes off easily.
Perhaps the biggest consideration to make with the Defender is its thickness. This is a tradeoff you have to be willing to make if you want this level of protection for your iPhone 4. The case adds significantly to the bulk of your phone, so it’s probably not going to fit into any of your docks as a result. This is a personal choice, but I feel much more secure with the iPhone in the Defender case.
The Defender also come with a sturdy holster for those of you who like to wear their phone on their belt. What I find cool is that the rotating clip doubles as a stand for watching videos.
Many of us will be receiving a new case from Apple as a result of their ‘Antennagate’ response program. None of the cases offered by Apple offer a degree of protection that is anywhere near that of the Defender. If you put your iPhone 4 through its paces at work or play and don’t mind the added thickness, the Defender is the case for you.