OtterBox Traction Series iPhone Case review: Tough but light

The OtterBox Traction Series iPhone Case is a protective but lightweight case with a clear back to show off the gorgeous iPhone inside. The grippy edges help keep it in your hand and add a fun splash of color to an otherwise clear case.

The Good

  • Serious protection
  • Lightweight
  • Grippy edges
  • Splash of color
  • Clear back
  • Wireless charging compatible

The Bad

  • Back scratches fairly easily

Tough but light

OtterBox Traction Series iPhone Case: Features

OtterBox Traction Series iPhone Case

OtterBox is known for protective cases and the Traction Series is no exception. While billed as an "ultra-slim" case, I wouldn't go that far. Certainly, it's on the slimmer side of the truly protective cases.

It's composed of a clear polycarbonate shell with a synthetic rubber bumper. There are cutouts for the camera, Lightning port, speakers, and mute switch. The bumper is fairly thick, so the cutouts around the edges are deep. The volume buttons and Sleep/Wake button have nice clicky button covers built in. The bumper has tire-like treads in it, making it very grippy. Despite the grippiness, it's easy to slide in and out of pockets and does not pick up lint. The phone is fully functional within this case, including wireless charging.

The slim, clear case offers major protection with a colorful splash.

The branding is very subtle on this case. In fact, I'd written in my first draft that there wasn't any. It took me a while to see it, but OTTERBOX is embossed into the part of the rubber bumper that comes up slightly on the lower part of the case's back. It is pretty easy to put on and take off due to the bumper having some softness and flexibility to it.

The rubber bezel comes just up over the edge of your iPhone screen to offer face-down protection, but it doesn't get in the way of the screen protector if you choose to install one. The colorful paint splatter design on the rubber bumper comes in four colorways: Night Glow (black with lime green paint spatters as seen in my photos), Evening Blush (navy with yellow spatters), Shock Berry (hot pink with white spatters), and Electric Tide (turquoise with pink spatters). The OtterBox Traction Series Cases are available for the iPhone XS, iPhone XR, and iPhone XS Max.

Attractive and functional

OtterBox Traction Series iPhone Case: What I like

OtterBox Traction Series iPhone Case

This is a really nice-looking case that's comfortable in the hand and in the pocket. It's a nice compromise between slim lightness and tough protectiveness. I feel my phone is safe inside this case, and I like being able to see the Apple logo and the pretty gold color I chose for my iPhone.

Back scratches

OtterBox Traction Series iPhone Case: What I don't like

OtterBox Traction Series iPhone Case

As soon as I put on this case, I noticed it had micro-scratches already. They are quite minor, and cannot be seen in photos. Those may not bother everyone, and they're pretty typical for clear plastic cases, but they're there.

Overall great case

OtterBox Traction Series iPhone Case: Bottom line

You really can't go wrong with the OtterBox Traction Series iPhone Case. It will protect your phone nicely, and it won't overly weigh it down. The blend of the clear polycarbonate back and the colorful, whimsical, paint-spattered rubber bumper is fun.

See at OtterBox

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.