Otterbox has long been known for their battle hardened cases that iPhone and Android users have flocked to over the years to protect and cradle the special child that will take up some much of their time and attention.
They make cases that are designed to protect the baby phone if it is dropped, encase it in a protective sleeve, and in the case of the Defender line a protective plastic face. They are for all practical purposes armor for your phone and I can attest that my son’s Defender case kept his iPhone safe through the harsh junior high years.
But this review isn’t about the Defender case, it is about it’s little brother – The Commuter series case. I would describe the commuter case as a case for the slightly paranoid user who occasionally drops his or her phone. It takes the features found in the Defender series and shaves them down.
Let me explain. With the Defender case the user puts the phone into a plastic shell that has a plastic cover and snaps it together. Think Vader getting his helmet. A rubber sleeve is then put around the case. With the Commuter series case this gets reversed.
There is a thick rubber sleeve that goes around the back and sides of phone leaving the front glass exposed. A hard plastic shell that grips the phone on the top, bottom and sides with some convenient cutouts to reduce the hard plastic surface area and expose some of the underlying rubber. The result is a much less boxy case that minimally adds to the bulk. The attached runner ports keep the lightning port and the headphone jack (how quaint, a headphone jack) covered until needed. The sound off and on switch oddly does not have a port cover.
How I Came to the Case
When I first bought my iPhone 6 Plus I decided to go the Apple Leather Case route. I was older, more refined, careful. It seemed perfect. And for a long time it was. I had maybe a single minor drop of a foot with no issue, and generally babied the hell out of the phone, but I would put it in my front pocket. And over time the flex the phone received from sitting down, getting in the car, etc. was enough to cause one of the internal boards to start having a short, and my touchscreen would flicker and stop working.
By some stroke of luck Apple care actually replaced the phone for a new one, but the sleek leather case wasn’t going to cut it. I needed this phone to last years. But I didn’t want to go for the full Defender case. Here was a sleek phone, did I really want to encase it in a block? As I mentioned I have done it in the past, but this time I decided to make a compromise and went for the Otterbox Commuter series.
I can’t say that there is anything I dislike about this case. The hard outer shell that snaps around the rubber sleeve does a good job of protecting the phone from drops. I have dropped my phone with this case easily twenty or thirty times from various heights. The phone is still working without fail.
The only casualty as can be seen in the picture is the lower corner on one side that took the hit it was intended to do and broke. I can only guess that it was one of the harder falls and maybe hit something just right. The loss of plastic hasn’t hindered the case, but it’s an area that now has slightly less protection, so I’ll have to just hope the rubber does the trick in that area.
I’ve had this case for more than four years now and it has held up remarkably well. These phones cost so much these days, its only natural to want to put the most protection around the phone that you can, nobody wants to see $800-$1000 just go poof.
The Otterbox commuter satisfies that need in my opinion. It has given me peace of mind while still letting me enjoy the slim nature of the phone. Thanks for reading!