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OtterBox Defender for iPhone 6 Case Review
      #47272 - 11/05/14 04:30 PM

The latest version of the OtterBox Defender Probably provides great drop and splash protection, and looks great while doing it.

As with all cases that provide significant protection, the Defender is a large case. However, being constructed of modern materials, it's significantly less bulky than previous iterations. While the extra length and width will feel reasonable in your hand, expect the Defender to more than double the thickness of your slim iPhone 6. Once installed, it fits perfectly, although installation will take a few minutes and may cost you a fingernail or two.

Features and Quality

As with previous versions, the Defender is a high quality case, and commands a premium price. The inner ABS plastic skeleton is mostly unchanged from prior models, including the maddening clips that hold it together. Once installed, these hold together securely and have a very low profile (which is likely why OtterBox still uses this design). However, installation can be a bit frustrating as multiple clips must be released nearly simultaneously with your fingernails in order to pull the case apart. After over five years of using Defender cases, I have yet to find a comfortable way to do this.

The padding that lines the interior of the case is thick and rubbery, guaranteeing that it will cradle your beloved iPhone with loving hands. If it's been a few years since you've used a Defender, you'll be happy to hear that OtterBox has moved away from silicone in favor of synthetic rubber, which is much less prone to stretching, and feels quite a bit tougher and more substantial. Also, it doesn't turn my pocket inside-out when I remove it. Although the Defender looks and feels tough and protective, OtterBox doesn't provide either drop or ingress ratings so I can't really say definitively how much protection it provides. It looks super rugged, and the covered buttons and hinged plugs over the ports appear to provide significant protection against rain/splashes/ambient moisture, but there is no way to know for sure short of doing my own tests. Although I am likely to unwillingly field test this case over the next few months in various environments I haven't yet been unlucky enough to provide these data for this review.


The Defender comes in a truly dizzying array of color choices thanks to OtterBox ' willingness to let you select both your shell and slipcover colors individually. You can even choose from quite a few NFL team logos and colors, as well as the inexplicable Realtree Camo line.


OtterBox has long been known for it's rugged case designs, and the latest generation of their flagship Defender line carries on that tradition proudly. Further, their unparalleled selection of color and style options means that you can protect your device from the world without resigning yourself to dull and drab. Although it's likely every bit as tough as the competition, the lack of formal drop test or ingress ratings keeps me from giving it a perfect score.

Editor's Ratings (1-5): 4
What's Hot: Excellent protection against bump and light drop protection. Built-in screen protector. Touch ID compatible. buttons and ports covered to protect against moisture. Includes holster.
What's Not: No official rating for drop or moisture protection.
Price: $59.95-$64.95
Web site: OtterBox

Reviewed by: Tom Slayton


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