Otterbox Defender or OtterBox Commuter to Protect iPhone 4?

Which Otter Box is best for you?  We looked at Commuter and Defender side-by-side to find an answer.  

My wife has an iPhone 4. She needs a good solid case for it because, without a case, she would break the phone in a day.  She needs a case that does more than the stylish case her friend has that she admires.  Instead, she chose the Otterbox Commuter  because it offers more protection for the phone and has been using it for several months.

Recently, I was given an Otterbox Defender, which I passed on to her, and she has reported back to me on what she likes about both and which one she’s sticking with.

I will tell you her preference: OtterBox Commuter or Defender.  First though, I’ll put them side by side and look at the advantages and disadvantages of these two excellent iPhone cases.

OtterBox Commuter and Otterbox Defender both have Great Features:

▪               two-tone plastic and rubber color.

▪               Apple logo shows through on both

▪               Bottom Flap covers charging port when not in use.

Great Features of OtterBox Commuter:

▪               More Compact (about 0.5 cm less in each dimension)

▪               Plastic is external to rubber so easier to clean, and won’t stick in pockets

▪               See most of the iPhone face (the item you paid for!), which you can still protect by a screen protector.

▪               Mute toggle easy to access (not covered by plastic flap) — she uses this often!

Great Features of OtterBox Defender :

▪               Clear plastic cover for the face of the iPhone is built in, so no need for screen protector

▪               Rubber is external so less slippage.

▪               Comes with holster/ belt clip (picture below) that phone can clip into facing in (for privacy) or out

▪               Much more coverage, keeping phone more protected and cleaner

▪               Clear plastic cover for Apple Logo in back so Apple is visible AND stays clean.

▪               Only parts of the phone not covered by clear or solid plastic or rubber are the microphones, speaker, and camera.These are both excellent phone cases but there are a few flaws…

▪                Leaves protection of the most important part of the phone — the screen — to the screen protector, a separate item to purchase

▪               Tight plastic circles around the rear phone and light can get dirty/dusty and need to be wiped clean periodically to keep images clear.

Flaws of the OtterBox Defender

▪               Holster (Belt Clip) comes ONLY in black (doesn’t match phone color unless your case is black)

▪               Adds weight and bulk to the phone

▪               If you plug into headphones or toggle mute frequently, the flaps can get annoying and probably will fail.

Pricing and Comparison to other brands

Depending on your vendor, the [amazon_link id=”B0064U9DS0″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Commuter[/amazon_link] costs around $20-$25 while the [amazon_link id=”B004N79HQY” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Defender[/amazon_link] is pricier, closer to $30-$45. If you are looking for lower price, [amazon_link id=”B003WEYKDY” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Incase[/amazon_link] makes iPhone cases that are under $20.  If that is too rich for you, you might want to look at one of the [amazon_link id=”B003XVFM6K” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Super Case[/amazon_link] cases.  These gel cases come in around $5.

What did my wife choose?

Despite its bulk and larger size, my wife is LOVING the Defender.   She says her phone seems cleaner than before and is easier to hold with the rubber backing. She likes the way the home button is built up in the Defender and, although completely covered, it is still easy to click.  She enjoyed the Commuter when she had it until the transparent screen cover started to accumulate bubbles, dirt and other stuff.  With the Defender, the screen is always clean, visible, and functional.

What should you choose?

Both are great cases.  I see three major distinguishing features:

  • Commuter is sleeker and, with its slick plastic (rather than Defender’s textured rubber), better for a pocket than for a dashboard.
  • Defender is larger with more protection for the phone
  • Holster comes with Defender, not Commuter

For me, the Commuter is best, but for my wife, the Defender is optimal.  Which will you buy, the [amazon_link id=”B0064U9DS0″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Commuter[/amazon_link] or [amazon_link id=”B0064UBL5S” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Defender[/amazon_link].


Super Gadget Guy

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