Otterbox Commuter Case for iPhone review: solid protection

Otterbox is a company well-known for its ultra-protective if bulky cases. I know some people who trust the brand so much that they won't even look at other brands. The Commuter Series cases are neither the least expensive nor the bulkiest of Otterbox's offerings; let's take a closer look

The Good

  • Protective
  • Phone fully functional within  
  • Lightning port cover
  • Apple logo window
  • Not excessively bulky or heavy
  • Dual-layer
  • Comes in tons of color combos

The Bad

  • Still somewhat bulky
  • Plastic look


Commuter Series Case for iPhone: What I like

The Commuter Series cases are constructed with two layers. There is a soft inner synthetic rubber layer and a hard outer polycarbonate shell to absorb and deflect impacts. The exposed part of the rubber gives the case a bit of grippiness so hopefully, you don't drop the phone at all. If you do drop it, however, you're protected by Otterbox's "certified drop protection." Otterbox did over two dozen different tests on their products, such as drop, abrasion, thermal shock, Purell, jeans pocket, and many more. Otterbox has spent over 200 hours performing these tests, and holds over 300 patents.

The case fits the iPhone perfectly, with precision cutouts for the camera, mute switch, Lightning port, and camera. There is also a cutout for the Apple logo so you can be sure that everyone will know what brand of phone your are carrying. Otterbox's logo is engraved in the plastic outer shell. The Lightning port is has a cover that keeps dust out while you use the phone but that you can easily pop open for charging.

You can create your own look by mixing and matching the inner and outer layers. Each is available in a handful of different colors.

Not the most attractive case

Commuter Series Case for iPhone: What I don't like

While I appreciate the nice colors and ability to mix and match them, this still isn't what I'd call an attractive case. If I were a business person, I'd probably prefer something a bit more professional-looking. My own personal tastes run a bit more feminine than this case. Still, the case is far from ugly, and if you don't mind the look of plastic, this is a great option for you.

There is always a trade-off between protection and bulk. This one falls somewhere in the middle, bulk wise, and on the higher end of protection.

Overall an excellent protective case

Commuter Series Case for iPhone: Bottom line

This is one of those cases that leans more towards function than fashion. If you're looking for a highly protective heavy-duty case that isn't hugely bulky, this is a fantastic option for you.

Karen S Freeman

Karen is a contributor to as a writer and co-host of the iMore Show. She’s been writing about Apple since 2010 with a year-long break to work at an Apple Store as a product specialist. She's also a contributor at TechRadar and Tom's Guide. Before joining iMore in 2018, Karen wrote for Macworld, CNET, AppAdvice, and WatchAware. She’s an early adopter who used to wait in long lines on release days before pre-ordering made things much easier. Karen is also a part-time teacher and occasional movie extra. She loves to spend time with her family, travel the world, and is always looking for portable tech and accessories so she can work from anywhere.