Hey guys! This is a review on the Otterbox Defender case for the iPhone 3G, and I was waiting a long time to get my hands on one of these. Their customer service is really quick at answering. Thanks to the person over at Otterbox who helped me make this review possible! Also, I definitely do not recommend this case to people who take their iPhone out a lot, because you need to perfect the built-in screen protector.
Anyway the Otterbox is made out of 3 pieces. A front piece, a back part the slides onto it, and a silicone that covers the plastic. The silicone feels really high quality, and even though the case is actually really thick , Otterbox made the Defender case feel great in the hand.
Now, In the packaging with the Defender came a very nice holster. It is made for the Defender case to be put in face inwards, and holds it tightly. It is a racheting clip, so you can move it into the position you feel comfortable with. The clip is decently strong, but it holds onto the case a bit too tight, so it is hard to take the case out of the holster. The holster also presses down on two plastic exposures on the back of the case. Overall the clip is nice, but I dont feel comfortable with it when it is in the horizontal position, it feels sort of shaky to me.
Now, onto the looks of the case. Now for the looks of the case, it is really a great matter of self opinion. As most of you saw on the comments in my Otterbox teaser, everybody had different opinions. I personally LOVE the look of the case. The way the earpiece is covered, the plastic windows for the screen, the apple logo, the camera protector, everything in this case looks amazing. But once again, it is a matter of personal opinion.
Ok great, now that I got all those small details out of the way, this is what the case does best- It PROTECTS. It doesnt just protect but PROTECTS, with all letters capitalized. The Defender covers everything. It has a built in screen protector, that coveres the whole screen as well as the sensors at the top. It has an awesome opening for the Apple logo on the back that is also protected by plastic. This is the first case I have seen that has a built-in camera protector, which I find works amazing and is an awesome feature. It has these port covers for the headphone jack, vibrate on/off switch and the dock connector. They fit in like magic, and dont actually touch the iPhone but fit into recessed parts of the plastic. It also has pieces of cloth or cotton that cover the speakers, and ear speaker, so that bits of water and dust cant get in, but THIS CASE IS NOT WATERPROOF.
Now under all this plastic, the button are EXTREMELY recessed, but that is another thing that the rubber does. The volume rocker is pretty easy to access, the sleep/wake button needs some time getting used to. For the Sleep/Wake button you have to press exactly on top of it for the button to get pressed, but after a day of use I got used to it. The home button is very easy to access. My only problem is that the silent ringer switch is really hard to reach. After opening the flap, I find it being pretty deep in the plastic and hard to reach, and will be very hard to reach for people with big fingers.
Now all in all this case is great but has one MAJOR flaw for me – the built in screen protector. It has an awful watermark effect that really annoys me. Also, I found it very, very, very hard to put my iPhone in without any dust or hair on the inside of the screen. I also know a couple of solutions for the watermark effect. Number 1 is baby powder. I was skeptical at first, but then I tried it for myself and instead of watermark, you get this strange stain that looks like oil, but luckily it is only visible when the screen is turned off, and you dont notice it at all during screen use. Anyway, here is a video made by itsmemorphious on youtube, he is a great video reviewer, and here he shows you how to get rid of watermark : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Im7vvblnzoY
Now, this method seems to work, but Otterbox advises to use their solution, and gave me the following reason
“Yes, we’ve heard of the baby powder solution, but don’t recommend that. People may accidentally dump too much on their iPhone; it’s something you have to be very, very careful with. It’s your call if you include it, but we don’t recommend it. Please provide our solution below as what OtterBox recommends.”
Now that seems perfectly valid, and I can understand why they don’t want people to use the baby powder solution. Here is their solution:
“ Before you put your iPhone in the case, rub your palm across the screen. It’s the natural oils of the skin that keep the plastic from sticking to the screen of the iPhone. You want your hands to be clean but you don’t want to wash your hands just before doing it. You can also try wiping it along your cheek to pick up the oils from your face.
It seems to work well. There are other suggestions out there but we don’t really recommend them, just the one above.“
Their solution also worked for me, but I used my cheek. But the plain thought that my iPhone is greased up just doesn’t feel right. The best solution I have found is the Anti-Glare film. If you have used the Power Support Anti Glare Film, you know it has a weird texture. It also prevents watermarks from happening on all cases that have a built in screen, I tested it personally on my second iPhone. The screen protector is really nice, it defuses glare so you can see better outside, and I really, highly recommend it. You can buy it at your local Apple store for 15$ (Two in a package). Now there are other similar screen protectors, but I have not used them, and cannot recommend something I have never used
But anyway, overall the Otterbox Defender is a GREAT case. I personally really like it, but I don’t need that much protection. If you have a job with tough conditions like a construction worker or something, this is probably what you are looking for. I personally think that this is the most protective case on the market, while still offering good looks. Combine this with a Power Support Anti Glare film, and you have a killer combo! Overall I give this case a 8/10 for the case when combined with one of the mentioned anti-watermark techniques. I also feel that this case is for people who go to through more extreme conditions, since the average user doesn’t really need such a huge amount of protection. The case even gets a 9.5/10 when combined with a Power Support Anti Glare Film. Great job Otterbox, you really made yourselves a great product! Also, everyone this review took me a huge amount of time, so please, please comment on this review. Commenting really boosts the site, and more companies will become interested and I can keep delivering reviews. It also shows some appreciation for all the time and effort I put into making these reviews.
Video Coming Soon!