OtterBox Impact for iPhone 3G – Review

OtterBox Impact for iPhone 3G

Company: Otter Products, LLC
Price: $19.95

OtterBox has continuously produced a large number of products for laptops, iPods, MP3 players, iPhone and most recently for the iPhone 3G. Not willing to stop, OtterBox just recently announced their latest product for iPhone 3G users, the iPhone 3G Impact case. Made from durable silicon, the Impact series is designed to provide a bit more protection for your iPhone 3G by dissipating impact away from the iPhone and providing a bit more of shock and bump protection than most other cases.

Just as before with their other cases, the OtterBox Impact is a well designed and thought out case. When you first open the package, the first thing that one thinks of is that I’m not going to like the feel of the case. However, as soon as you have it in your hand and on your iPhone, your mind will be changed. The case fits snugly on your iPhone but is still easy to take off. Access is readily available to all ports and lines up perfectly with the camera lens. OtterBox has provided additional cored material on the four corners of the case, the front top and bottom are thicker than the sides and the silicone is a lot thicker on the back, basically resembling a thick X on the back side of the case. When you have the case in your hand, it just seems to naturally fit in, surprising for a case with this type of design. With the eye the case looks a bit bulky, yet it really isn’t. The case does not slip or slide when you place it on a surface, like a car seat, and when you place it in a pocket, it stays there.


I’ve given this case a good workout. It’s traveled in my pants’ pockets, shirt pockets, jacket pockets, on my car seat, in a brief case, and even in a pair of cargo pants. If it came out of a pocket with some dust on it, a simple blow of air took it off the case, no further cleaning required. I was expecting that when it was in a pocket, it would become a lint magnet but was pleasantly surprised when this didn’t happen. I found the case to be solid and dependable. Unlike most other cases, there was no protective film included in the package so if you have some from another case, hang on to it because you’re going to need it. Access to the controls on the iPhone is not hindered by the case material, and the bottom access for your USB sync cable in totally open and accessible. The feel of the case reminds me of the OtterBox Defender silicone skin, although this is a bit more textured in feel.

One thing I do need to do is make it perfectly clear that just like the OtterBox Defender case, the OtterBox Impact case is also NOT waterproof. 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. This case will not help if you drop it from a great distance.

I wanted to see is someone younger had the same feeling about the case so I gave it to my son Alan to test out. Here’s what he had to say about the Impact case after using it for a while.

The Otterbox Impact has taken silicone cases to the next level of protection and design by incorporating several valuable characteristics. The Otterbox Impact encloses your iPhone 3G in a sleek and conspicuous package. The form fitting silicone offers sufficient padding to specific zones of the phone which would be the most susceptible to damage, without causing the case to become a bulky eyesore.

The Otterbox Impact proportions itself between style and durability, allowing for a unique textured feel that isn’t too hard or too soft. The Otterbox Impact case appears to withstand the buildup of debris, and remains factory clean even in a home of 2 dogs, 2 cats and countless dust bunnies. The sides of the case are designed to be thinner, allowing for an “ergonomic design” and easy access to control buttons, and often flip up as your fingers run along the iPhone’s screen. The sides immediately fall back into place without affecting the phones performance and show no signs of fatigue, however, this may bother some users. Will an iPhone in a Otterbox Impact case survive a fall down a flight of concrete stairs? Probably not, and I hope you never have to find out, however, for the daily bumps and bruises we subject our phones to, the Impact will be there to keep your iPhone looking sharp and secure.

So to review:

Pro: Well designed, stylish, rugged case for your iPhone 3G that is easy to put on or take off. The case is very reasonably priced. Case comes in either black or white.The packaging that the case comes in is minimal, a nod towards a more “green” move.

Cons: Remember, just as with the Defender series, the Impact series case is NOT waterproof. There is no protective film for the glass front of your iPhone included in the package. The material around the front edges, left and right of the screen, has a tendency to move easily but it has not caused any problems yet.

Highly recommended!

My Mac rating: 4 out of 5. (From both Russ and Alan)

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One thought on “OtterBox Impact for iPhone 3G – Review

  1. Great write up. The iPhone is truly amazing and I don’t like being without it. This time last year I had jumped in a pool with my iPhone and it was dead. I had to wait 9 days before I was able to buya new one. The phone I had was a cheap go phone. I really love all the games that can be downloaded to the iPhone. The best part about the iPhone to me is the ability to check emails on the go. Thanks for the information.

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