I have had an iPhone for about two months, now. When I first got it, I was told that I should pick up the Otterbox Defender case to protect it. I ordered one and was immediately impressed. In fact, I was so impressed, that when we got iPod Touches for our kids’ birthday, the first (and only) accessory we ordered for them were Otterbox Defender cases. We also bought one for the 3rd generation iPod Nano that was handed down to my wife after the iPod Touches were received.
The Otterbox cases are available for the iPhone, the iPod Touch, the iPod Nano, the iPod Classic and many Blackberry devices. The case offers more protection than any other case I’ve seen.
To begin with, they all come with a screen protector, built into the case rather than having to stick to your screen. Then, a hard plastic case snaps around the entire body of the device. Finally, a soft, silicone glove wraps around the hard plastic shell.
The openings in the iPod, such as the headphone jack, the cable input, etc. are plugged with the silicone case. You can easily open the plugs so that you can insert the appropriate cables, etc.
I have accidentally dropped my iPhone a handful of times and no damage occurred. The Internet is full of stories about people dropping their iPhones and iPods, even on concrete, without any adverse effects.
If protection is your number one concern, there is no better case for your handheld device than the Otterbox Defender.
The Defender is not for everyone, though. Here are a few potential cons that you will want to consider before purchasing one.
- The case is nice and attractive, but it’s also bulky. By the time you wrap your device in a Defender case, it’s generally about twice as thick and a good inch or so taller than it was without the case.
- The screen protector does develop static cling between the screen and the plastic protector. The static cling resembles a water spot or an oil slick (most of the references to this phenomenon on the Internet refer to it as the “oil slick problem”). However, I did find a solution in a few places during my search. As odd as it sounds, if you put a little baby powder on a tissue, then rub the baby powder on the face of your device and on the back of the screen protector (the part that touches your screen), that will stop this from happening (at least for a while). If you apply the baby powder properly, you probably won’t even notice that it’s there after you reassemble the case.
- The case is a giant pain to take apart and put back together. Obviously, that’s a direct result of it being so protective. However, if you think you’re going to want a case that you can easily take your device in and out of, this is definitely not the ideal solution.
- The iPod/iPhone versions of the case only seem to work with the official Apple USB cable. Most off-brand cables have bulkier housing around the portion that plugs into your iPod. Therefore, they don’t fit in the opening of the case that you use to plug things in. However, I have seen reports (though I have not confirmed them) that you can piggyback two port extenders together in order to allow you to plug other items into the device (such as docks, external batteries, etc.). I have also seen reports that you can successfully use a Dremel tool to widen the opening in the plastic shell. I have no information about the Blackberry versions.
So, if you’re looking for sleekness, you want to remove your device from its case when it’s not necessary, or you use a lot of external accessories, you do not want an Otterbox Defender case. However, if you are looking for an extremely effective, protective case for your device, there is no better alternative.