Otterbox Commuter for iPhone 4: A Halloween Story

Editor’s note: Read on for Danls92′s tale of Halloween mischief masquerading as a review of the Otterbox Commuter

As some of the more astute readers out there might have noticed, it is currently November. However, it has not always been that way. Why I remember when, some time ago, it was October. October, the 10th month of the year (but not necessarily in our hearts), the month of pumpkins, the month of Halloween. This is a story of that month, and an event that transpired in it.
There are many traditions that occur during October. Some go around gathering obscene amounts of sugar, others dress up in scary/promiscuous/scarily promiscuous costumes. Personally, I dropped pumpkins off the top of a tall building.

After gathering 14 of the shapeliest pumpkin projectiles we could find, some friends went to grab photography equipment to set up at the bottom to capture the mayhem while myself and another friend embarked to the roof of the building. Using the extent of our wits, a table, 2 accomplices and a small diversion we managed to grab our ill fated pumpkin friends and prepare them on the edge of the roof. As my friends on the ground started the countdown for the first pumpkin, I had an idea. Why not film the pumpkinsplosion ™ from the roof. I took my iPhone out of my pocket and leaned over the edge. At this point, several stories off the ground, iPhone in my outreached hand I was very glad that I had the Otterbox Commuter Series case on my phone.

Otterbox, if you weren’t previously aware, is a case company specializing in ruggedized casings for your destructible devices. I have previously reviewed two iterations of their flagship Defender series, and now had the opportunity to review one from the Commuter series.

The Commuter series was developed with a more mainstream mentality, still offering a high level of protection, but without all of the cumbersome bulk of the Defender. The Commuter is still larger than most other cases I have tried for my phone, but that bulk is easily justified by the factor of protection is provides. It uses the same basic concept as the Defender of dual level protection via a polycarbonate shell and silicon skin. The primarily difference is the order of these two.

The Commuter uses the silicon skin as the inner layer, hugging the iPhone tightly, with the polycarbonte shell acting as a skeleton holding the skin onto the phone. It clips onto the back of the skin, and covers the entire back of the phone. It extends to all 4 others sides, but mostly as means of clipping onto the phone rather than additional protection it seems. Also, the volume and mute switch are left unencumbered.

For the most part, this case is excellent in execution. One problem I found was that one side of the silicon skin seemed to protrude more from the face of the phone more than others, but this in no way affect it’s usability. Also, it takes some finagling to get everything arranged properly, but after taking it off and on a couple of times I got the hang of it.

When it comes time to review the protection offered by the case (right about…. now), it almost goes without saying that this case performs exceptionally. It doesn’t offer the protection for the non-screen portions of the front of the phone that the Defender does, but there is enough of a raise on the edges that you don’t have to worry about placing your phone face down. That aside, this case will take everyday abuse without breaking a sweat.

This case is situated in a slightly awkward position in the marketplace. For users needing a true full protection for their phone, the Defender is the better choice. For users that just need a case to keep their phone safe from keys and the occasional ding, there are plenty more stylish options out there. While this case is no slouch on either end of the spectrum, it will come down to the consumers to decide if they’re willing to give up a bit of pocketability for a bit more protection.

Now back to that fateful night. Though it very easily could have, my iPhone did not fall. While we’ll never know if the iPhone could have survived that fall (at least as far as my iPhone is concerned), with this case equipped, I think it would have stood a much better than average chance of surviving.

DISCLOSURE: Otterbox provided a review unit of the Commuter model to me at no cost to myself courtesy of PR Support Specialist extraordinaire, Jordan Vater.



The Otterbox Commuter for iPhone 4 is available at Amazon, currently on sale for $18.02.

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