Otterbox Symmetry Series for iPhone review: Slim and stylish protection

Disney Mulan OtterBox Symmetry Case for iPhone XS
(Image: © Christine Romero-Chan / iMore)

Otterbox is a trusted name in iPhone protection, but we usually think of the rugged, bulky Defender series cases when their name comes up. Or perhaps we picture the Commuter series, which is not as bulky but still protective. But what if you want something that's slim, protective, and has a ton of cute stylish color options to pick from? That's when you want to turn to their Symmetry series of phone cases.


  • Fairly slim profile considering it's an Otterbox
  • Super protective and durable
  • Lots of cute style options
  • Adds grip
  • Easy to put on and get off


  • Expensive
  • Back gets scratched up over time
  • Clear parts tend to yellow

What I like

While the Defender and Commuter series both come in a good handful of colors and patterns, the Symmetry line has them both beat. Whether you're in the mood for solid colors, stylish or chic patterns and designs, super heroes, cute and whimsical, or Disney, there's literally something in the Symmetry line for everyone.

Personally, I picked up the "Power of Princess" Disney case with Mulan, because let's face it—she's a badass heroine. Plus, I'm kind of a big Disney fan, so of course, it's fitting, right? Despite the slimmer profile compared to the Defender and Commuter lines, the Symmetry case still packs a serious punch when it comes to protection for your device.

The case itself is made from tough polycarbonate and synthetic rubber materials, which adds a nice grip to your device, especially around the sides and edges. This helps prevent you from dropping your phone in the first place, which we could always use. The front of the case also has a pretty thick lip of rubber around the screen, so nothing will get to it if you place the phone face-down on a table.

While the case gives you a nice grip, you may still drop your phone. Believe me, I'm just clumsy enough that I've learned my phone will still be dropped, no matter what I'm using. Even then, the Symmetry holds up well, as I've dropped my phone a few times with the case on, but don't see any bad scuffs on the case (or phone) itself. Of course, I'd expect this kind of quality from Otterbox though, so it shouldn't be surprising.

The Symmetry case is slim and easy to get on and off your device. Just insert the left side (volume buttons) into the case and then push the other side into the lip. To remove, just push the back while pulling the top back (like you're peeling) and keep doing it until the phone releases from the case. It's a bit of a snug fit, but that's designed that way so the case absorbs all of the impact from drops.

Once the case is on, you'll have full access to all of the ports, switches, speakers, and buttons. The camera cutout leaves enough space around the lens so that it doesn't interfere with photos.

What I don't like

For the most part, I love my Otterbox Symmetry case. But I did notice a two things in particular during my time with it.

The thing that's bugging me the most right now is the fact that the clear parts (the "Power of Princess" cases are clear with glitter and a print of a Disney princess) of the case appear to be slightly yellowing. I remember when I first got the case, it appeared crystal clear. But now the sides and edges appear a tad yellow, though it depends on the lighting you're in. This is a problem with clear cases in general though, but I thought it was worth mentioning.

Another issue is that the case makes it a bit harder to press the volume buttons. I'm not sure if it's the material, but it just isn't as easy, nor feels "clicky" as it should be, especially compared to the power button. This is even more noticeable when I'm trying to take a photo with the volume up button, and I usually just end up pressing the on-screen shutter button since the volume button is too hard.

The bottom line

Otterbox's Symmetry Series is a line of slim and stylish cases that don't skimp out on the protection. The case isn't cheap, but it's definitely high quality and will last a very long time with such strong durability. Plus, there's so many options when it comes to color, design, and pattern with the Symmetry, so no matter who you are, you'll find something (or five) you'll like.

See at Otterbox

Christine Chan

Christine Romero-Chan was formerly a Senior Editor for iMore. She has been writing about technology, specifically Apple, for over a decade at a variety of websites. She is currently part of the Digital Trends team, and has been using Apple’s smartphone since the original iPhone back in 2007. While her main speciality is the iPhone, she also covers Apple Watch, iPad, and Mac when needed. When she isn’t writing about Apple, Christine can often be found at Disneyland in Anaheim, California, as she is a passholder and obsessed with all things Disney, especially Star Wars. Christine also enjoys coffee, food, photography, mechanical keyboards, and spending as much time with her new daughter as possible.