iPhone 5 Case Review: OtterBox iPhone 5 Defender Series Case Review
Editor's Ratings (1-5): 5
What's Hot: Super strong protection, easy to install and comes in eight different color combos.
What's Not: Bulky.
Reviewed by Tong Zhang
OtterBox has released five case series for the iPhone 5 and eh Defender Series cases are the strongest and most protective series in the line up. The Defender Series iPhone 5 Case is designed to protect the entire phone while keep out dust and moisture from its ports and buttons. It's waterproof but it keep out splash of water or rain if you use the phone outdoors. The Defender Series iPhone 5 Case comes in 8 color combos.
The OtterBox Defender Series case has three layers of protection, but unlike the Griffin Survivor Case Series, the Defender Case has a full plate for the front display protection instead of just a strip of belt clip. The most inner layer is a hard polycarbonate shell. It creates a nice protective frame that can withstand bumps, nicks and even drops with the phone inside, and it has a clear plastic cover that protect the screen from getting wet from splash and rain. The plastic shell has a soft padding so that your iPhone 5's back doesn't get scratches or marred by the hard shell.
As with the Griffin Survivor case, the OtterBox Defender Case has a rubber outer layer that wraps around the plastic hard shell. Though it's not as integrated as the Survivor is, the Defender rubber case fits with the shell very nicely and the port covers including the front Home button cover fit into the hard shell's cutouts perfectly. The rubber cover has decent thickness, providing even more shock and bump absorption. It's easy to install over the hard shell and easy to take off.
Finally the OtterBox Defender case has a large hard plastic holster belt clip that covers the entire front side of the iPhone 5. The holster also covers two corners on one side of the iPhone 5 and clips onto the other side. The belt clip swivel so that you can clip it in any angle you wish. The rotation is stiff so that the belt clip doesn't swivel accidentally and the clip is strong.
Even under three layers of cover, you can still use your iPhone 5 normally thanks to the well-designed cutouts and port covers. The hard shell plastic casing has perfect cutouts for all the buttons and ports including the front Home button and the earpiece, and the back camera. The inner hard shell case creates some depth for buttons like the power button, volume buttons and the silence slider, but the rubber layer fills the depth with rubber buttons to make it easier to use. Even the Home button has a rubber cover that reaches to through the plastic holder. The only things open on through the Defender are the bottom mic and speaker. Even the Apple logo on the back has a plastic cover over the cutout.
The front glass is partially under the protection of both hard shell and the rubber cover. The clear plastic cover doesn't create problems for you to use the touch screen. The plastic is clear and durable.
The OtterBox Defender Series case for the iPhone 5 lives up to its name and can certain defend the phone from major surface damage and shock damage. The case is well designed and well made. It wraps the phone in multiple layers yet gives you access to all ports and buttons easily. The case protects against dust, splash and drop, but it's not waterproof as some ports are exposed. The biggest advantage for those who take their phones to the field is the strong display protection that's impenetrable. The case comes in eight color combos (the hard shell comes in one color and the rubber case comes in another, except black) including pink as well as black, green, blue and more.