What started as a jab joke at CES quickly became a mission. During our four days at CES, my friend Becca (who has a slight cell phone case addiction) and I saw hundreds of phone cases. Hundreds for her iPhone and every other phone known to man, but no one seemed to have a case for my current Android at the time, the HTC One Max.
Thankfully Otterbox came through and had a few to offer so I quickly started comparing the Otterbox Defender and Commuter cases to find what would work best. The Otterbox Commuter and Defender cases each have their own pros and cons; here is a closer look at the differences between the Otterbox Defender and Commuter cases.
By the time we met with Otterbox, I truly was coming to think that finding durable and strong Android cases was mission impossible, which is the LAST thing that should happen at CES.
Otterbox showed me not one, but two of the strongest cases for my phone: the Otterbox Defender and Otterbox Commuter cases.
The Otterbox Commuter Case
Otterbox was nice enough to send me these cases to review so I first took a look at the Otterbox commuter. I love the clean look of the case and the white and gray color combo is sleek.
The Otterbox Commuter Series is perfectly designed with two layers of protection for someone like myself where I want to protect my device in a fairly typical “daily life”. It is nice to know that my phone is protected from drops, scrapes, and bumps that are simply going to happen – it’s just a matter of when.
The ports are also really easy to access on the Otterbox Commuter Series. The covers keep out dust and debris but I also found them to really protect the ports from the random small objects that float around in my purse.
The Otterbox Commuter Series is smoother on the exterior than the Defender Series which does allow it to slide in my pocket and my handbag pockets with ease. As I said the protection provided by the Commuter Series case is two-fold.
An adhesive screen protector comes with your case to prevent scratches and your device is protected by an inner silicone layer and then partially wrapped in a polycarbonate outer.
Otterbox Defender Series
After almost two weeks with the Commuter case, it was time to test another Otterbox case – the Otterbox Defender on my phone. The Defender Series is definitely more rugged than the Commuter Series and is geared toward heavier users that need more protection or would like the flexibility to add more protection as needed in their life.
The Defender Series comes with a built-in screen protector to guard against scrapes for heavy users. (I performed a bit of surgery and removed it. 🙂 I love the screen on my Max and didn’t like the barrier.) With three layers of protection, your phone is truly protected with the Defender Series.
The layers of protection are different on the Defender Series compared to the Commuter Series. The Commuter has a silicone inner layer whereas the Defender Series has a polycarbonate inner layer. Again, perfect for those that need more protection from their phone.
The outer layer on the Defender case is silicone as compared to the polycarbonate outer on the Commuter Series. Port protection in both cases is equal regardless of the layers being different. Another key difference on the Defender Series is the belt-clip holster that offers convenience for those that need their phone accessible on the job and while enjoying life on the go.
Plus, it swivels. If you watch a lot of movies on your phone, the clip also acts as a kickstand for hands-free media viewing.
After testing the Otterbox Defender and Commuter Series cases, here is where they rank:
- I prefer the exterior texture of the Otterbox Defender because it is grippy and allows me to carry it with a bit more confidence.
- The dual-tone of the Commuter Series and the slightly smaller size pull me in – I love them.
- The power button is far easier to activate with the Otterbox Defender series case. I can carry it one-handed and push the button with any finger and my phone turns on and off. With the Commuter Series, more often than not, I need to hold the phone with both hands to get the power button to work. The button on the silicone layer is positioned too low on the case and thus does not line up well.
In the end, my vote is for the Otterbox Defender case solely because the Commuter makes the buttons harder to push. If it were based on form factor and design, the Commuter Series has my heart.
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