[REVIEW] iPhone 4 Otterbox Defender Case

Last time, I reviewed the waterproof case offered by Otterbox — the Armor Series. This time, I will review the Defender Series case, which provides, in my opinion, the same amount of drop protection that the Armor Series does.

The Otterbox Defender Series Case for the iPhone

The Otterbox Defender Series Case for the iPhone

Since this case has been out for several years by now, I won’t dive into the details of it too much. The main point of this review is to offer up a quick comparison to the newer Armor Series Waterproof case. I’ve owned the Otterbox Defender Series (pictured above) for about 3 years. It is the only case I would ever use for the iPhone. Here are some of my reasons:

The case without the silicone top layer.

The case without the silicone top layer.

Pros of the Defender Case:

The three piece case (2 pieces of hard plastic that snap together and the silicone cover) is very quick to assemble and disassemble.

The case does add a little bit of bulk — but it still slips into a pocket easily. The case itself is actually quite handy and because the plastic is raised in the front, it adds a little extra ‘something’ to hold onto when browsing on the phone (especially when holding the phone in landscape mode).

It is super tough! I’ve used it for years, and it doesn’t show much wear and tear. It has saved my phone several times. I worry about cracking the screen, especially when dropping it from coffee table height or pocket height.

The ports are still very easy to access and all the buttons are easily accessible/usable. The headphone port, the charging port, and the silence switch on the side each have a small silicone flap the opens and closes with ease.

The camera and flash still operate normally.

The case also includes a heavy duty holster that completely protects the phone!

photo 3

Cons of the Defender Case:

The screen protector is built into the case itself. This seems a bit unnecessary to me, since the case doesn’t provide waterproof protection. I think Otterbox should simply provide an applicable screen protector with this case — because if you would ever like to switch cases or use it without the Defender case for some reason, you’ll be left without a screen protector. However, the built-in screen protector is easily removable from the case, so you can throw it away and apply one of your own choosing that will stay on the phone at all times.

This may be a bit nit picky, but I think the clear window on the back of the case displaying the apple logo is super tacky. I would prefer the back of the case was solid to offer as much protection as possible.

So overall… I think this is a much better everyday case than the waterproof Armor Series case (unless you happen to need constant protection from water). I think the majority of people would only need a fully waterproof case in certain situations such as boating, hiking, or biking when there is rain in the forecast.

I think the Otterbox Defender Case is the best case I’ve ever seen and used for the iPhone! I give it 5 out of 5 stars.


You can buy the Defender case from the Otterbox website HERE, or you can look for a deal on eBay or Amazon!

Expect to pay about $20-50 for the case.


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