You asked us to put the Otterbox Defender head-to-head against the Incipio Destroyer in a proper, traditional Smartphone Experts style review and... I thought to heck with that. We're doing an Amazing Case episode of TiPb TV. No, not a Jiu-Jitsu death-match or scratch test or water torture, this time we're taking the Defender and the Destroyer out onto the frigid Canadian slopes, we're putting them up against ice and snow and mud and rocks -- we're literally putting our butts on the line to stress test them for the TiPb nation!
We've previously taken a look at how to put on and take off the Destroyer and how to install and remove the Defender. This time we took them... sledding! Now the Defender's outer layer is silicon (Destroyer puts that layer inside) and non-stick might be great for grip but not for racing down a hill. So we had to take that off. Destroyer is also literally screwed together. With differences like that, could it be a fair test? Could we figure out which one would best keep your iPad protected (and me alive?)
Your votes have been counted, your voices have been heard, and we're proud to announce the 2010 TiPb Readers Choice Award for Favorite Addictive iPhone/iPad Protective Case goes to... Otterbox Defender!
Otterbox Defender is what I've often referred to as the full plate armor of iPhone and iPad protection. It has layers - a hardened plastic shell and soft silicon skin along with a transparent film to to cover the screen. It's what you use when you want to absolutely, positively keep your iPhone or iPad safe and secure.
The Otter Box Commuter Case for iPhone 4 is a well constructed hard-shell case with a silicone layer underneath and screen protector. It provides a no-slip grip while keeping the thin iPhone 4 form factor we love.
If you had to go into a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu death match with your precious iPhone 4, which case would you be better off taking with you -- the Golla Stunt Pouch or Otterbox Defender? Soft, plush fabric with the security of a magnetic flap and belt loop, or hard plastic beneath flexible silicone in a easy on, easy off holster? That's the challenge they put to me and my husband, Antony in the debut episode of TiPb's Amazing Case, our hardcore, case vs case tests of strength, durability, and performance.
We figure if either -- or both -- of these cases can survive being slammed to the mats, rolled on and over, pinned and punished, then they can survive pretty much whatever normal, day-to-day use throws at them.
Follow on after the jump for the tale of the tape, and the give-away!
We're planning something really fun for later in the summer and Otterbox was kind enough to send us out some Otterbox Defender Cases for iPhone 4 so we could start the prep work. If you've used an Otterbox Defender on previous iPhones, you know what you need to know. Same great protection, all new form factor. If you haven't used one before, this is basically the full plate armor of iPhone protection in AD&D parlance. You have the hard plastic inner shell for structural support, the soft silicone outer skin for grip and scuff proofing, and a holster to keep it loaded and ready to go on your hip.
They're just starting to come out, so if you absolutely have to have it as soon as possible, head on over to the TiPb iPhone 4 accessory store and place your <a href="http://store.imore.com/otterbox-defender-series-case/4A104A7227.htm?utm_source=tipb&utm_medium=quicklook&utm_term=iphone-4-cases&utm_content=post"">pre-order.
Otterbox Commuter Case for iPhone 3GS strikes the perfect balance between convenience and protection. If you're rocking Apple's other big smartphone release this year, the $99 iPhone 3GS (or the unlocked iPhone 3GS, depending on where you live), or still lucky enough to have a 16GB or 32GB iPhone 3GS from last year, this case should be on your radar. (It also fits the iPhone 3G.)
Confession: I thought I'd hate it when it first arrived. I don't know why exactly, maybe it was fear of layers bulk, uncertainty about dual color schemes, dunno, but I was not looking forward to testing out the Otterbox Commuter. Then I put it on.
AD&D analogy time -- If skins are the chainmail of the case world and the Otterbox Defender is the full plate armor (yes, even the pink one), the Commuter is the in-between, plate-mail option. It's strong but still a but flexible, solid and secure but still snug and light.
Like plate-mail it comes in two layers, the silicone that you slip on first, and that has covers for the 3.5mm headset jack and 30-pin dock connector, and the plastic shell that goes over it. Together they provide protection against scrapes and scuffs and minor impacts.
The Otterbox Commuter also comes in a ton of colors -- yellow, white, blue, green, brown, burgundy, and black. (Yes, I'll spare you the strained surcoat analogy).
Again, not as big as the Defender, not as thin as a skin, I found myself leaving it on even after my typical week-long review period was over. Since I've been carrying an iPhone 4 around as well, maybe I was a little more concerned about my iPhone 3GS getting damaged, maybe I started to like the look, or maybe I wanted my fellow SPE editors to think I had an imaginary, super-secret iPhone 5 prototype hidden in a fancy camo case (I'll never tell!)
If in previous years you found yourself thinking Otterbox's tank-style Defender was too much armor, and their Impact just not quite tank-like enough, at CES 2010 they showed TiPb a middle-ground that some of you might find just right -- the Commuter series.
In both regular and TL (translucent, a reference to the clear strip across the back) versions, they're aiming it squarely at the urban warrior who wants as much protection as possible while still maintaining a slim, pocketable profile.
The OtterBox Impact Series Case for the iPhone 3G is available here at the TiPb iPhone store for only $12.95, in either black or white. It is a case that encloses your iPhone 3G in a soft rubber skin, extra rubber padding on the back and all four corners. Can a skin case for only $12.95 really stand up to the rigors of everyday use that may subject your sleek iPhone 3G to bumps, bruises and scrapes? Read on for the full review!