Review: OtterBox Defender Series for iPhone 3G

If you don’t know OtterBox, you should. They make high-quality, high-grade cases for the iPhone 3G that offer first-class protection. The OtterBox Defender Series for iPhone 3G ($49.95) is one of the most comprehensive cases ever designed for the iPhone 3G.

We had already taken a look at the OtterBox Defender Series for the Original iPhone, how does the updated version for the iPhone 3G hold up? Does it offer great protection? Is it just another case?

Read on for the rest of the review!


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The OtterBox comes in 4 different parts—each serving a purpose to cradle and protect the iPhone 3G. The base layer is a hard plastic shell (front and back). The second layer is a thick yet still soft layer of silicone that wraps around the aforementioned hard plastic shell. And finally, the last piece is a plastic cradle that adds another layer of protection but also doubles as a belt clip.

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A thin sheet of plastic protects the screen, camera port, and Apple Logo while the headphone port, volume buttons, and sleep/wake ringer switch are protected via rubber caps. A thin cloth also covers the speakers.

Overall, the design of the OtterBox is carefully thought out and provides a perfect fit for every little nook, switch, and button on the iPhone 3G. Using a hard shell base layer with a silicone skin offers great protection while providing for even greater textile feel.


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Obviously, the OtterBox Defender Series serves to a specific niche and those who have no need for such a rugged case would assume the case is in excess. But judging it from a pure protective stance—there are few options better. I have full confidence that the OtterBox case will protect my iPhone 3G in almost any likely scenario—a fall down the stairs, skidding across a hiking trail, and even a drop on concrete.

But because of its intricate design, care and exactness is needed when applying the case. The OtterBox is not an ordinary case that can be easily slipped off and on, you’ll have to fix the silicone to wrap around the intricacies of the plastic shell. Furthermore, the plastic shell seems to have a lot of clips and snaps that need to be put together. It’s a process to be sure, but after you’re done, this is protection at its finest.

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Even more amazing is how the OtterBox maintains the iPhone 3G’s sensitivity and allows access to all its ports, buttons, and features. The touchscreen maintains the same sensitivity, I had absolutely no problem playing games and surfing the web with the OtterBox applied.

The buttons can be easily pressed except for the Home button. For some reason OtterBox decided to make a Home Button that cuts off the top of the circle. The plastic cover for the touchscreen can also get problematic if you leave some air space between it and the iPhone’s screen. Unsightly air bubbles would appear but I found this to be hit or miss and not particularly damaging.

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The included belt clip is made from the same tough plastic as the hard shell and it locks the iPhone into it quite well. In fact, I often times had trouble pulling the iPhone out of the clip—the fit was that secure. The belt clip is able to rotate 360 degrees and the iPhone can be placed either be open faced or face backwards.

OtterBox has certainly improved on the deficiencies in the original iPhone, namely two issues that I had problems with are now fixed. The ringer switch is now accessible and the home button can be pressed when inserted into the belt clip. Bravo to OtterBox for listening to my complaints!

In all, the OtterBox offers as close to complete protection and coverage of every part of the iPhone. If you’re looking for superb protection or live an outdoor lifestyle, this case is truly one of the best available.

Final Thoughts

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I’m a huge fan of OtterBox products because they put care into their design and they execute extremely well. The silicone seems to be of higher grade than basic silicone cases—offering better texture, thicker protection, and doesn’t seem to stretch as much. I definitely feel like OtterBox succeeded in creating a case that can offer maximum protection without sacrificing usability.

The one downfall is obviously price. At $49.95 it is a fairly steep cost to pay for an iPhone case. But compared with other cases priced near the Defender, the Defender offers an infinite amount more protection. Though it does add considerable amount of thickness, if you’re looking for a case that protects your iPhone from the elements—thickness should be expected.

Also, it cannot be fully submerged under water, a definite shortcoming considering its target market. However, with all things considered, the Otterbox Defender for iPhone 3G is great implementation of protection without compromise. All of the iPhone’s features are present with an unparalleled level of protection. I would consider this a buy for anyone who’s lifestyle is rugged, planning an outdoor trip, or is looking for the ultimate protection for their iPhone.


  • Superb Protection
  • Soft Silicone Feel
  • Everything Protected, Every Feature Still Usable


  • Bulky
  • Pricey


  • one of the ugliest cases i have ever seen.
  • I bought one of these back in July when the new iPhone3G first came out and have put it through the paces. VERY well made. Don't care if it's pretty or not - just need it to protect the phone from dust, dirt and being dropped! It's done that very well. Highly recommend it!
  • Indeed that is an ugly case. But I have to have one. Will you be giving any away! Never mind - I'm going to buy one. They come in other colors too - if you don't like the greenish black, they've got that with a yellow trim, and a pink (!) one too.
  • That just might be the ugliest case I've seen. I could see a need for a case that rugged if you're a stunt man with a busy social life, but who else?
  • I have the otterbox and everyone says something about. Either awesome or ugly. Just hit word of a slimmer model. Can u check it out for us. I think it is is only thirty dollars but just re silicone. I've read blogs of iPhone's not working because of dust. The otterbox collects so much you have to clean it out regularly. Happy camper
  • I don;t like this case
  • If you're looking for a case to protect the iPhone from "close to catastrophic" incidents (sans H20), or you are an outdoor enthusiast and exposing your phone to hard knocks - this is the case for you. However, the extra layers of protection tend to impede the use of the buttons. The on/off switch is very difficult to use and the volume buttons take a considerable amount of pressure to allow them to function. I have average size hands, but the ringer switch is difficult to access effectively. I have not operated the phone with gloves, but I would imagine it would be difficult to operate other than the home button. The touch screen works as advertised. Having said this, it's the price you pay for complete protection. My main complaint, as the review points out, is getting the iPhone out of the clip. I've found that the clip is very secure, and it requires two hands with considerable force to pry the iPhone out if you do not have the phone clipped to your belt or pocket. You can swivel the iPhone around 180 degrees, with the screen facing outward, but the clip is far less secure and is prone to being knocked out of the clip. In addition, the silicone sleeve has a tendency to get snagged on the clip if you're not careful seating the phone back into the clip.
  • Comments like not pretty make me laugh .. I mean come on .. not pretty is a smushed iPhone. I read through some of the posts and I have to say this case is the best I have had. You do not lose function or features but there is a bit more bulk to it than other cases on the market. The otterbox defender case actually protects.
    I purchased mine at they had them in stock and were pretty quick to get it to me ... Now the case seems available in many stores as well. Just shut up and buy the case its worth the investment.
  • An iPhone with a broken screen is not pretty or functional, I'm more interested in preserving its usability that having to look cool and sleek.
    I think it comes down to knowing yourself too, I have dropped phones over the years. I would be naive to think that simply owning an iPhone would stop me from doing it again -- I'd like protection from when it does happen.
    Each to his/her own.
  • i love mine boo to all you haters
  • This case is the best, After dropping $250 for a screen repair due to an unavoidable incident, I picked it up. If your a first responder, look no further..for all the "pretty men", this isnt the case for you i guess.
  • i just got my otter box and i love! help keeps my phone clean and protects from the grinding dust since im a welder
  • This is a bad ass looking case.
  • I have the black and yellow and the white. This case is the best period. I had one for the BB Curve and had to get one for my 3g iphone. My house is all tile floors and stairs. Not wanting to break the expensive phone the Otter Box Defender has worked great. I have dropped it and it should have broken the glass. But did not. I have been to my local AT&T stoor and Best Buy. Sales clerks have asked me many times how did I get that case and it looks great. Yes the plastic film can get the oil look when the air gets to it. But you just wipe the plastic clean and the glass on the iphone clean. Wipe your palm across the iphone screen and put it all together. works great.
    The buttons are easy on the two cases I have for the iphone. I also like that the headset port is covered with a rubber flap and the docking port is as well. So Apple won't be getting a call from you when the white tabs get wet and your screwed out of warranty. it does protect against someone spilling liquid on it if your quick. The price is high. But seriously if a crappy plastic case that does not protect the screen runs $30.00 bucks at best buy or AT&T why not add a bit more and protect it all the way around?
    This is the best case for the iphone 3g hands down...
  • would highly recommend the case, however I just had to replace my second belt clip. After sharing my concern that OtterBox should spend as much time to design the belt clip, which easily breaks, as they do the protective case, I was told that they are redesigning the belt clip. So in 3 months when this replacement breaks I will be buying a better replacement.
  • Did alot of research on this case and I'll be the first to say that this case looks bad ass.. Just bought it off of eBay for 32 bucks.. I'm a big guy and if you have big hands like me, bulk is good. The onley bad thing that I've heard about it is that it may collect a little Moisture between the protective case screen and the iPhone screen. I like that all of the buttons and connections are all covered and protected from dust. When I saw the yellow and black one I just had to have it...I'll be getting it in the mail INS few days.
  • Did alot of research on this case and I'll be the first to say that this case looks bad ass.. Just bought it off of eBay for 32 bucks.. I'm a big guy and if you have big hands like me, bulk is good. The onley bad thing that I've heard about it is that it may collect a little Moisture between the protective case screen and the iPhone screen. I like that all of the buttons and connections are all covered and protected from dust. When I saw the yellow and black one I just had to have it...I'll be getting mine in the mail in a few days.
  • As the previous poster commented, this case does leave the "oil slick" on the screen..... the problem is easily solved by getting a power support brand anit-glare screen protector. Did the trick for me.... best case out there in my opinion, wouldnt take the phone anywhere without it.
  • That is an ugly case, no matter how protective it may be. I like the Switcheasy Capsule Neo much more, check out my review of it:
  • I think the case looks very cool. Got it in white with tons of complements so far to all you haters! It feels pretty awesome in hand. I've dropped the phone a few times with no problems. I did remove the plastic screen protect that it came with due to "oil slick" and use my own screen protector. I just wanted it for the protection of the phone not the screen. It comes off no problem and I find it works much better this way.
  • I just got my Black/yellow case its awesome. I had one for my BBpearl before and loved it. I run a Skidsteer business and i drop my phones on cement, mud, water, drive them over with machines and i have never broke one with an otterbox on.
    If you get the water marks on the screen easiest solution is get PowerSupport anti-glare screen protectors from the apple store. There are a couple other solutions one is baby powder the phone, its on youtube.
    Overall this case is unstoppable, i even play shiny with it. Pucks cant even break it
  • Wow, everyone says it is ugly? How about that nice crack in the back of the iphone that happened when you where geocaching at three am and dropped the iphone? Otterbox doesn't look so ugly now does it? I have otterbox, Otterbox is BEST! I have been in cellular sales seven years, Otterbox cannot be rivaled with. Looks concern you? Buy a puppy!
  • I bought the Otterbox Defender for iPhone 3G a few days ago. It's great, except for one item they need to list on their website. ONLY the original Apple charger / docking head assembly will fit thru the opening in the bottom of the case. Everything else (well, at least the 4 other brands I have) will not get past the hard plastic shell. They are aware of this limitation, as I was told when I complained. So if you already have $ invested in other charger cables, dock extenders, car charging cables, etc, you might want to rethink this one. Otherwise, you'll be stripping it out of its entire case just to charge / sync. My previous two full coverage cases worked fine - the area around the connection port was clear enough for all my adapters.
  • I purchased this case from ebay and I have to say I love it...with one exception, The belt clip. First, it is somewhat difficult to remove the phone from the clip and generally requires both hands. It also seems to strech the silicon cover. Second, my clip part broke from a seemingly light bump and snag while walking through a gate. Replacements are available for $15 so the purchase of a replacement clip will make my total cost just a bit more than if I had purchased from OtterBox directly. Also, since the screen cover is connected to the side of the case, it seems I have to press a bit harder to make contact with some of the letters around the edges when typing on the keyboards. As someone else pointed out, I am a bigger guy and this case adds just the right amount of bulk to the phone and makes it a bit more "masculine".
  • I just purchased the Otterbox Defender for my Iphone 3gS and I love it! I wasn't looking for Pretty when I bought it I was looking for something that would protect my Iphone if I ever dropped it. So far no complaints.. lol.. I just hope the silcon holds up for a year or more.. Anyone had theirs for over a year? Hows it held up?
  • the IPhone g3 Otterbox case has been an over promise and under deliver. Two layers of protect will definitely be needed because you will drop your phone repeatedly because the clip case does not hold the phone very well at all. After a few months the plastic will become loose around the phone. Having it attached to your belt you will need to turn it on its side or it will be hard to sit or move unless you are in a standing position. Since the case is soft and protective when you do drop it you will not hear it and possibly no realize it is gone. And the most annoying of all is the screen cannot does not fit against the face and it tends to have a bubble in-between the protection and phone. Remember the outer layer is soft so if you ever do drop the phone you will not be able to hear it fall until you reach for use. In recap I wanted the best protection and all accounts it seems to be as good as other major products but it is in my opinion way over priced for the hype they give it. Should be about 29.99 comparative to the others.
  • This is a great case, I have purchased several cases and sending them all back because of this. I am buying another for my wife's phone. Great engineering. Yup the baby powder trick works as published.
  • After a recently dropping and breaking the case of my 3 month old 3G, this very rugged case is a very welcome addition to my replacement 3G. Thge case is rather nice looking and comfortable to hold. The un-protected 3G is way to slippery of which led to my 1st phones downfall, literally.
  • I wanted near 360 coverage with a solid grip, so after much research I got the Otterbox from Amazon for my iPhone 3GS. However, TWO annoyances so far...1) Hard to get at the silent switch and 2)the oil slick on the plastic screen. I am reading that the the Anti-Glare screen by Power Support may remedy the "oil slick" but I have a question for Cory (#18) and Matt (#21)- I assume you simply applied the Anit-Glare directly onto the iphone screen and did nothing else to the Otter screen protector? and a question for Darrell (#20) - I am strongly considering ripping out the screen and applying an anti-glare or mirror screen protector on iphone - did you have to do anything special to remove the Otter screen protector w/o causing any damage? Thanks in advance for your replies.
  • Sorry, but in my opinion this case is a little bit ugly. I prefer carbon fibre as material for a protection as it combines a strong protection with a beautiful. Check it out here:
  • Just installed two cases on my wife and my 3G S's.
    Had a terrible ECHO problem; people on the other end heard their voice echo in their ear non-iPhone telephone. Solution was to remove the little foam/mesh disks from the two mic/spkr ports at the bottom of the Otterbox shell and from the earpiece port on top. Cleared up nicely. No Dremel tool surgery required like I feared.
    On ugly - carry one of these delicate glass-fronted $400 gizmos around for two weeks afraid of having to replace it and then put it inside one of these flak jackets. You'll breathe easier. It's still thinner than the flip phone I used to carry and the silicone skin anchors it in my pocket a bit without making it hard to get out. Every button and screen function works fine and the charge/sync plug connects same as it did pre-case. The only thing a little hard to get to is the ring/silent switch, but still accessible. I'll gladly pay that little price. And hey - I like the slightly MilSpec look of it too; especially my black/yellow version.
    Cory at impressed me with his responsiveness; even called me back when I left a phone message about my order. He get ~$36 with free 1st class mail shipping, but next spring for the $6 gor priority mail for the extra piece of mind.
  • I purchased the otterbox case for 2 ipod touches and now for the 3g S iphone and it has always been a jewel. Last night I was in my truck and my phone fell on the side of my seat and pressed against the seat rail... Needless to say i have a deep sharp impression on my clear shield from a poke from the rail and had it not been for the otterbox case that poke would have been on my touchscreen and probably cracked it. The otterbox is the best option for protection. The only drawback i am having is my apple a/v cable doesnt fit with the case on which i reported to them this morning and I am waiting on a response.
  • I emailed Otter through their website contact page on July 5th as well and no reply yet (July 8th). I had inquired about the status of the 'revised' belt clip Jim had mentioned(see #15 Comment above).
  • I bought this case for a reduced price of of
    When I got it I ripped a part of the silicon cover and contacted OtterBox to complain.
    They send me a newer updated defender case in a few days at no charge.
    The case is ugly ? Not to me, people ask me all the time what that is I am using and when I tell them it is an iPhone in an OtterBox case they are intrigued often complimenting the design.
    The case is the ONLY out there that if you drop your phone from as much as 20 feet onto concrete it has a high probability it will live.
    I like the feel of the soft silicon and shell construction - it affords for a comfortable grip.
    Oneword of advice is to get an anti glare screen protector to do away totally with the 'watermark' effect on the screen.
    When I went from my beloved 1G to the new amazing 3Gs I wanted a case that could handle any asituation.
    The OtterBox Defender is the ONLY case in my humblre opinion that can.
  • I am delighted with this case. It makes the iPhone feel a little heftier in my pocket, but it's great knowing that if I drop the phone, it has such wonderful protection. It was easy to assemble the phone, and all the needed parts (volume switch, headphone jack, sleep/wake button, and home button) are accessible. The only thing that I wish was different is that the hole for the charger is not big enough for third party chargers, such as the cheap retractable chargers that are easily found on Amazon and elsewhere. If you decide to customize the charger hole, as I did, be careful that you don't scratch the Otterbox protective screen with your file. I do not view the occasional air bubbles between the iPhone screen and the Otterbox screen mentioned by others as much of a problem. However, if I ever do have the problem, I'll probably try the baby powder fix some reviewers suggested. The Otterbox case is stylish and constructed with quality. I especially like the cut-out on the back that reveals the Apple logo. (The cutout does have a clear cover over it.)
    By the way, if you ever have to consult Otterbox Customer Service (for example if you scratch your screen with a file), they are top-notch.
  • This is a great case. Very durable. Do a you tube search and you can find a guy that threw his out of a 2nd story window and when he retrived it the Iphone was in perfect condition. It really is up for anything.
    Three things to be aware of, however.
    1) the dreaded oil slick. At first, this didn't bother me greatly but as time wore on I became more and more annoyed. I discovered that if you put an anti-glare screen protector (pack of 2 available at Apple Stores for $15) then the problem is solved. No more oilslick and no more "rubbing the face of the phone on a greasy hand or face" (as recommended on the otterbox website.) Perfect. My $50 case is now $65.
    2) you cannot dock this phone while in the case. Solution - buy a dock extender. The only company I have located to date that sells this is Sendstation -- SendStation Dock Extender. They are charging $30 for the extension. sells this product on behalf of an outside seller. Be prepared to modify it, however. As is, the extender does not fit into the slot at the bottom of the case. If you have access to a Dremel or similar tool, the sides of the extended can be ground down so that it will fit. Took all of 5 minutes for me to do this and I have no skills with power tools. Thankfully, the underlying plastic is black as well, so you can't really tell that you modified it unless you look closely at the fact that the modified area is not as glossy as the rest of the part.
    3) the covering over the speakers and earpiece will mute sound so much that you will not hear the phone ring unless you are in a quiet environment and you will constantly ask callers to repeat themselves. The only solution I have found for this is to poke a very small hole in the coverings. Obviously, the case is no longer as dust proof or semi-water proof, but at least I can hear the phone ring - which after all is important as my Iphone is first and foremost a phone. Prior to punching the holes I had the ringer volume and settings all set to max levels. Now, they are reasonable at mid way and I can hear the ipod functions and ringers in less than silent enviroments.
    So - in sum, my $50 case now cost $105, but it is still WAY cheaper than buying a new phone if (or should I say when) I drop my phone. Worth the cost and the fixes in the long run.
  • Great case!! I have had it for a week and the phone is very sturdy. The phone fell off the clip because my shirt was stuck inbetween the clip and case but when it fell it happen to fall in the middle of a busy street and I didnt relize it till just intime to turn around and see it getting run over by a 1/2 ton chevy truck I went and picked it up expecting the worse but the case had saved the phone and is still fully functional plus the case is still perfectly fine besides some dents in the plastic where it was pushed it to the pavement
  • I will give you the fact that the case is rugged and protects the phone well in falls etc., which is good because it spends more time on the floor than in the holster. The holster is horrible. The slightest bump and it falls out, and yes I have it in right. I saw another style I guess for the older phones that parially wraps around the phone, this style should not have been abandoned if it is older. The nubs into the dimples just does not hold.
  • UGLY! and bulky! I would never ever buy this!
    it completely defeats the purpose of the beautiful sleek design of apple products!
  • I too have the issue that this phone doesn't fit my clock dock, case is too deep. the extender (listed a few replies above is a good work-round) Also, the case drops out of sync when using a bluetooth headset, which you dont notice with just audio - the case is too thick for the signal to get through. And yes, the holster is the shits,i used electrical tape over the dots and it tightened up ok.
    Alternative; as quoted by a otterbox service rep:
    The commuter case is a completely different kind of case. It is more sleek, it does not have or need a belt clip/holster with the case. The port at the bottom was made larger and should hold about 80% of after market chargers.
    Thank you,
    Natasha Meggenberg
  • I had a regular generic case on my iPhone 3g. After dropping it twice, the screen shattered, but was still useful thanks to the plastic coating. After a third drop, the phone broke open, ruining the digitizer and processing jnternals. After purchasing a new iPhone 3GS, the otterbox was a NECESSARY insurance. Have already dropped it with no problems, not even a scratch. Plastic framing makes touching corners of screen a little difficult, but u get used to it.
  • I also use the Otterbox Defender. I'll put it like this- my 32GB iPhone 3GS is my FORTH iPhone (Yes, FORTH... I had the original 8GB iPhone, then a 16GB iPhone 3G which after a nasty drop the internal antenna must have broke because it couldn't receive and hold a signal for a damn, a second 16GB iPhone 3G that replaced the first one, and now the 32GB iPhone 3GS).
    I'm military and I fly. The abuse my phone takes is insane. Prior to this case, I kept my phone in a bag at all times when in the air. That was the only remotely accurate way to ensure my phone wouldn't get destroyed (And even then it wasn't a certainty due to turbulence and shifting during high-G maneuvers where my bag would slide around or bang against objects). Since using this case, I almost always leave it laying out and I'm not even concerned of it falling or getting banged around.
    I love this case. This isn't a case just for "extreme daredevils with social lives." This is a case for anyone who expects their phone to be put thru abuse.
  • The otter box does NOT come off once it's put on. I just went to clean up my iPhone, and I tried in vain for 10 mins to get it off. Broke three nails and used up three paper clips trying to pry it off. Bad design. Also, I am on the phone a lot for work, and the outside of the Otterbox hurts my ears. After conversations, my ears smark for some time after. Again, bad design. Yes, it "defends" your phone, but at what price?
  • I have recentley bought this case and it is wonderful. I literally dropped my phone while running the mile on concrete... not a scratch.
    and for peoples complaints.. SHUTUP!
    The case is ment to fully protect your phone, and it does just that. This case is not ment for style.
    5/5 for me
  • The case is excelent however i've been reading the comments on the belt clip about it being almost too tight. I wish I had this problem because my phone falls out if the wind blows
  • I agree that the Defender is not for pretty-boys. It's a little too rugged for that.
    You can get shiny cases and little glue-on gem stone kits to make your phone pretty, if that's what you want.
    For the rest of us, who need a reliable phone in a reliable casing, there is the Defender.
    I have both the Defender case and the OtterBox 2600 Series PDA Case for my iPhone 3GS and I love them both. It’s quite cool that I can leave the Defender on inside the waterproof PDA case. I use that daily, when I kayak.
    Thanks OtterBox, for a very very cool and functional case.
  • Very good reviews, answered my question. I just skipped
    the pretty comment. Dont care what it looks like want
    protection from dropping which do allot working outside.
    Had a hardcase and dropped it, case cracked but not the
    phone, so the rugged cases are a plus to me. why
    buying another case.
    Like they say if your trying to impress someone at a
    power lunch, which LOL many do, than get a little
    Italian leather slipper.
  • After having the original IPhone, I recently upgraded to the IPhone 3GS. I wanted to protect my phone/investment and have a friend that has the Blackberry Otterbox. He loves it and talks it up all the time. I looked at his and was impressed. I went to my local AT&T store and bought an IPhone 3GS Otterbox Defender. I was impressed by the case. I started wearing it and was in love with my new IPhone and case. However I started to notice the case would fall out of the belt clip holder for no apparent reason. I would be at a regular walk and it would just fall out. I thought it was possibly due to being a new case. I had my husband look at it and make sure everything was installed/stored correctly. It was but the two clips on the belt clip that hold the case just don't do as well as the Blackberry case design. It appears to be a design issue. Yesterday, I walked over to were my husband was working and once again my IPhone in the case fell out of the clip. It was in the grass so I didn't here it or notice it. About five minutes later my husband comes over and show me my month old IPhone with a shattered screen. It had fallen out of the clip and my husband had ran over it with the tractor.
    I am extremely disappointed in the performance of my Otterbox Defender. I am upset that not only do I have to buy a new IPhone, but the very item I bought to protect it, lead to it distruction. I bought the Otterbox for piece of mind thinking my IPhone would have an extra layer of protection. I will never buy another Otterbox product and will advise all of my IPhone friends and customers of my experience with the Otterbox.....
  • The problems with this case is that the inside screen gets dusty so every week, I'm opening this four layer case to clean the inside. 2. I can forsee the case screen getting scratched and old; I don't see anyway that Otterbox will sell replacment screens. I don't need it now but time will tell. Other than that; it will not protect it from a tractor or a bath tub but it does keep the lint out and protects it from minor falls and drops... Hope this helps!
  • I got the Defender and noticed the air big deal.
    I did notice the iphone does not hold tightly when in the 'glass out' position. In the 'glass in' position, it's pretty tight. I wonder if ERIN #48 had hers in the 'glass out' position ready for the tractor smash. I got mine last week after my son-in-law had a van run over his one-week-old 3gS in a Defender. It all still worked except for a funny line in the screen. Apple took it back as a defect seeing no sign of abuse. I'd rather deal with a few annoyances than see my iphone busted up from an unfortunate fall. I do hope Otterbox makes replace plastic screen. And I do wish the holder held the iphone in place stronger when in the 'glass out' position. I hope everyone knows what I'm talking about when I say 'glass in' or 'glass out'. If not, ask me.
  • I hated the belt clip for the otterbox.I like the box I searched online for three months for a leather case go to
  • Iverson:
    What do you mean by "glass in" and "glass out"?
  • Marissa - The "glass in" "glass out" refers to the front of your phone. If you have it facing the belt clip, that is "glass in". If you have the back of the phone facing the belt clip, that is "glass out". I have found from personal experience, plus the advise of the rep at AT&T, that this works much better "glass in". Plus, it also add a measure of protection for the screen. I work in Emergency Management, and the Fire Service, so "pretty" was not an option for me. If you are looking for a case that will protect your investment - I don't think it gets any better than an Otter!
  • Yup the Iphone needs to be placed in the belt clip "glass in". Do it the other way and I guarantee you'll be picking your phone up off the ground. I found this out after a few drops. Nowhere does it tell you this on the packaging. Even the rep where I bought the phone and the case, had it in the wrong way. Also be careful when you put it in the cradle that clothing doesn't get caught in between. I've never had the phone fall out of the cradle/belt clip if it was placed "glass in". Hope this helps. Cheers
  • just got mine yes its big but when you spend $300 on a phone i dont want it broke it was about kicked off the bed last night i would have cried if it brok seeing i got my phone 4 days ago i say this is the best case out there i dont mind how it looks. to me it looks like a phone the army would use when its in the case. for get all you who think its ugly
  • I heard about screen bubbles and echo making calls and it being ugly etc. But this is the best case I've had and without it I would have killed my iPhone several times over. I work on fast response boats and although it's not a completely waterproof case, the phone has survived some very wet situations and seen some decent falls and even been walked over several times.
    It's not all about looks, although this case draws more interest than most others.
  • I just bought the pink and black,,,I'm a case junkie and I actually like the look of this one, BUT...I can't open it to get the iPhone out! Any tips? Thx.
  • Ok, I figured it out ;) If anyone else is having trouble, you need to pry open the top tab and the two side tabs. I bought mine at the AT&T store-packaging was minimal and direction non-existent. I'll use this case when the phone is going to be in dicey outdoor stuff with the kids-probably not an every day case for me. I don't like the way the screen protector defeats the purpose/beauty of the oleophobic phone on the 3GS. Lots of fingerprints on this protector. I may just remove it. There is still a nice border that I believe would protect the screen in the event of a drop.
  • Definitely a popular case. One of our highest selling products. Not the best looking case but it does the job.
  • The Defender case from OtterBox is the best protection that I have found for my new 3GS phone. Let’s face it. This was a big investment. After cracking the screen on my iTouch, I knew I had to find a protective case when I got my phone.
    I ordered the case from Amazon for under $30 and it protected the phone as advertised except for one thing. The phone would slip out of the belt clip case for no apparent reason. The contact between the case and phone offered little resistance and I could remove the phone with almost no effort. Talking with a friend, I discovered that there was a flaw with my case. I bought another black case with the same results. I then tried the white case and it held a little better. I took it back because it reminded me of an oreo cookie.
    While I was in the 3rd AT&T store, I saw they had a pink case. I wasn’t excited about having a pink case, but I asked to see if the phone would stay in the case better than the others. It ended up working like it should. My phone will not fall out accidently. I ended up getting the case and just using the belt clip.
  • My phone constantly falls out of my belt clip. Am looking for a better case. Any ideas?
  • This may have been posted already but to get rid of the moisture bubbles between the plastic cover and the glass is to use baby powder. Just simply hold the iphone(glass down) above the bottle of baby powder. Squeeze the bottle hard enough to see a puff of powder come out onto the iphone. Repeat for the case itself and then put the case back together around the iphone. It worked very well for me.
  • I just got my otterbox in the mail! I love it! I am glad I made the choice to get one for my iphone. I know that my phone is protected.
  • It's just a case, but the real fact is Otterbox has developed a problematic product. The oil slick issue and air pocket leads to deadspots on the screen...this issue does not occur unless the phone is in the case. Many people have written about it and the baby powder solution on the Otterbox website is pathetic. It is unreal that Otterbox has posted the baby powder video; essentially admitting there is a problem that they don't know how to correct. The Otterbox screen issue is simply a product defect and people should know about it before buying. By the way, if the Otterbox solution is to have an antiglare film on the iPhone then include in the purchase of the Defender. Otterbox - FIX YOUR PRODUCT your product.
  • Hey Jeff I had the same problem with my iPhone slipping out of the belt makes a leather holster for the otter box it is expensive but it is well worth it I have the natural with the small tab magnet metal belt clip
  • I'm typing this as we speak with the Otterbox Defender case on my phone. I'm experiencing the air bubbles that most other people are getting...however, I'm not getting any "dead spots" on the iPhone's screen. Ever heard of pressing down? It's an interesting concept that works nicely. The case itself is amazing, and I feel like my phone is completely safe in it. I've even dropped my phone from an 8 foot ladder onto concrete just to prove a point to a friend. Can your iPhone case do that?
    Yes, put your phone in the holder glass-in. The holder itself gets a better grip on the frame when it is placed like this. I'm not sure why you would want to put it in glass-out, since it's going to be on your belt, you couldn't read it anyways. The holder itself also doubles as a mini-stand when the clip is positioned right, for those who want to set your phone down to watch the movie instead of holding it. I guess there's your glass-out functionality.
    The case is not water tight due to the two speaker holes on the bottom and the headphone jack cover on top, but it is pretty water resistant from what I can see. I found most of this out while cleaning the case.
    Dust can be a small issue, but after leaving my phone in the Otterbox and carrying it in my pocket instead of the holder for two weeks, the dust was only on the screen itself, not on the back or sides of the phone. Taking the case off to clean the inside isn't too difficult. Perhaps if you had long nails it would sting a bit. The trick to taking it off is to hold the phone where the volume and the silent toggle are facing you, push the middle tab of the frame off and pull the circular area of the frame. This'll make a bend in the case (don't worry, from what I've seen, you won't break it) and the bottom edges of the back of the case will pop out. Easy enough.
    As to the air bubble problem, I'm going to buy the $15 no stick skins to go over the screen of my phone to see if that fixes my problems. If it doesn't, I'll deal with it because this case was more than worth it.
    Over all, I say this is one of the best cases you can buy. I've had no serious issues with it. Buy it if you want to keep your phone safe. It's worth it.
  • If you put the screen protected on the iPhone before you put it in the otter box you will have no problem
  • This case is awesome, very bulky but is a great case. I have dropped my phone countless times, forgetting that i left it on my lap while in the car then dropping it when i get out. Not a scratch. Yesterday i accidentally dropped my Iphone in a tub of water as i was bathing my infant, i thought it over, dead phone. It submerged under about 4 inches of water and i immediately took it out. I took it out of the otterbox case and shut it off. The iphone itself didnt seem very wet, but to play it safe i turned it off and let it dry in a cannister with rice, to try to dry it off. Turned on the phone today and it works perfectly. No BS this case is awesome. Im not one to write reviews, but after this experience i just had to.....get this case, definetly worth it.
  • I bought this case this week. I had the problems with the oil slick on the screen initially but I went out and go the power support anti-glare and this has resolved. The obnly problem I have now is the pre-installed screen protector that is attached to the case has already been scratched by the keys in my bag. It is also very flimsy and I really want to get it out. Does anyone have advice on how to do this without ruining the case?
  • James Grove - I cut mine out using a hobby knife. Looking at, and cutting from the front, you carefully cut the clear plastic out around the opening. Make sure you are using a new sharp blade on your knife because that clear plasic is a lot stronger and thicker than it looks.
  • The clip is worthless!!! The whole idea of why you need a case like this is to protect the phone! The phone comes out of the clip if you bump it and the clip breaks easily... I have not had a clip last more than a few months and I take it back and they give me a new one up to a year at the Apple store but I HATE the clip!!! I want a slip in pouch like I had with me PDA!!
  • For those who have problems with the phone falling out of the holster, I bought an elastic strip found in the Wal Mart sewing for 99 cents, I tied it around the top section and it works great. There's enough for quite a few OBox defenders to go around. 3/8 inch wide. Phone hasn't fallen out since and still easy to use.
  • one more thing...
    Removed the screen protector and replaced it with one below from monoprice. Can't tell it's even on.
    Protective Film w/High Transparency Finish for iPhone 3G(S)
    84 cents
  • sound problem using otterbox for iphone 3g
    every time i clip the last clip at the top it mutes everything keypad sound text sounds ringtones
    how can i fix this
    and its not because the mute button is on i think the case is too tight or something at the top
  • totally protects my I phone 100% I'm very hard on my phones and this case has protected my phone from numerous falls crashes bumps. It has even protected my phone from an accidental dump into water even though I snached it back up pretty quickly, took the phone out of the case to make sure it didn't get wet. My only gripe is the belt holster, it doesn't really hold the phone securely enough and I find that even the slightest bump from even a passing person will cause the phone to fall out. The holster has caused more spills than even my self has caused and I think they should have put a little more thought into the holster. otherwise a great case it has saved my iphone many times over and I'd give it 4 out of 5 stars if only for the holster I'd have given it the extra star.
  • I can't help but make a comment about the holder with belt clip. I read earlier in the thread someone mentioning putting the phone in the holder with screen facing in. I have to reiterate this. If you put it in screen out it is not seated well at all (a space between the holder and the phone). If you put the screen in you can see/hear the little nobby things go click and the phone is snug against the holder. My girlfriend actually has trouble getting hers out of the holder. I love my otterbox defender - I don't have a heart attack every time my toddler picks up my phone to watch a movie or play a game.
  • Love the protection offered by the Otter Box. The belt clip is another issue, a serious one. Not only does my phone fall out almost daily it offers thieves an easy grab. I am seriously considering modifying my case and adding a Velcro strap just below the top click tabs. even with this potently ulgy addition I give this case a big two thumbs down
  • About one year ago, we bought three Otterbox cases to protect three work-related iPhones. We ABSOLUTELY love 'em! Because we received the Otterbox prior to receiving our i-Phones, we were able to assemble the phone and case immediately upon activation of the i-Phone. So... we only "know" the i-Phone as "bulky" but it has not hindered us one bit. On the contrary, we have been protected because of the Otterbox. When the Otterbox is removed for cleaning (about once per month), the i-Phones sparkle with exceptional preservation. I imagine that people who are used to sleeker skins would have to get used to the "feel" of the Otterbox, but overall it is a protective investment and well worth the fifty bucks! Five Stars *****
  • i love my otter box except i have never been able to get rid of the condensation that appears on the screen, i have tried wiping the cover with vinegar ( numerous times) and then let it dry... but it's still on there. my friend's who have one say the same thing. I do love the protection it provides and that trumps the irritant of the condensation!
  • to get rid of that moisture take otter box apart then put a light dusting of baby powder on your screen.put it back together and all bubbles and moisture will be gone
  • So my phone broke WITH the otterbox on it :( anyone know what I can do in this situation?
  • well the otter box guarantees that your phone wont break while in it or they ll replace your phone so get a hold of them is what id suggest
  • Since I bought my iPhone I have had the Otterbox and it in my book is the best case for any of my phones I have had. I highly reccomend it for anyone with an iPhone.
  • Absolutely the best case. It takes the sissified looking iphone and transforms it into a rugged beauty. Don’t understand the problems with it falling out of the clip. When positioned properly (screen in) it clicks into place and takes a conscious effort to remove it. In fact I took it off my belt, shook it all over the place, shook it till I was blue in the face and it just won’t fall out. Screen out and I can’t make it more than a couple of steps. Anyway great product for me.
  • I love my otterbox. Have had one for over a year. Only complaint is, or has anyone ever noticed, that when on vibrate the case seems to absorb a lot of the vibration? I seem to miss a lot of calls. I circumvent the case issue by carrying my phone in my rear pocket. Maybe my ass is just to fat.......
  • For those of you concerned with the holster issues listed below, If you have purchased your otterbox defender series with in the last year, call them and tell them your issues and they will send you a new upgraded holster which has a much better grip. The new holster actually says Otter on the inside. Older holsters don't. I had the holster issues shortly after purchasing the Otterbox and was very unhappy with that aspect of the case. However, since I have received my new upgraded holtster I am OtterNut. This case is awesome. No worries when my kids or others kids grab my phone, which happens more often than not. For me the Iphone was a major investment, let alone paying an extra $50.00 for a case. But I didn't want to buy the phone and have a heart attack every time I dropped it or when one of my kids wanted to play a game or whatever. This case and the customer service you get through Otterbox rocks. The bubble/oilslick issue is well worth dealing with for the piece of mind.
  • I LOVE the otterbox
  • OILSLICK: Just put a anti-glare screen protector on the phone before putting it in the Otterbox. Fixes the oilslick effect instantly and permenantly.
  • Tired of your iphone falling out of it's OtterBox Defender belt clip? I even lost my iphone completely, but once I attached the Lifeline not only have I not lost it, the phone hasen't hit the ground! This thing is the greatest! The Lifeline gives you a gentle tug if you go to get out of the car and your iphone is in between the seat. All I have to do is pull on the Lifeline and out pops my phone. Alot of times I need my two hands and to be on the phone aswell, with this Lifeline I'm able to hang the iphone over my sholder and talk on speaker hands free. It also gives me a sence of security since if someone were to try to grab it and run it would pop out of their hand when the line ran out. If you like to keep the iphone on your lap this great invention keeps the iphone from falling on the floor of the car while you drive. I got mine on ebay for ten bucks! search iphone lifeline on ebay.
  • I've had my otterbox about a week now. It is a bit bulky but I'd rather that than a $300 paperweight. Once problem though...Has anyone else tried to use it on a docking station? It appears that the only USB chords that fit are the Apple ones and those are crappy. Can anyone help me?
  • Not impressed, it's a good thing the phone was in a rugged case as it kept falling out of the holster. I can't even count the number of times it stayed in the car as it fell out of the holster while I was getting out of the car, In fact it fell out one last time and landed in the toilet so now I need a new phone thanks to the 50 dollar otterbox. Yes I had it in the holster correctly. It also was a pain that every time you needed to plug something in you had to manipulate the case to uncover something. While driving this was inconvenient as heck. And forget using a docking station while it's in the case. All in all yes it's a very rugged case but it has to be has it won't stay in the holster. 50 dollar piece of junk that cost me an iphone, thanks ottercrapbox!
  • Love the case BUT not worth the purchase if you ever need to safely store or plug it into anything in a car.
    Otterbox Customer service won't even respond with recommendations or access to their product managers to request assistance.
    DO NOT purchase this case if you want functionality and safety outside of the belt clip.
  • I been having problems wit my Otterbox defender case. I bought it in May of this year and it's still under warranty. I been writing the company otterbox and they don't respond back. It seems they don't like to stand behind their products and more or less run from the problem. Before you flop down $50 hope to hell it's not a defect or otterbox will make you eat the $50.
  • How many times does one need to contact a company before they man up and warrant their product the way they claim to? sickening.
  • I'm spreading the word everywhere. I will put hours and hours of my time in sharing my story with otterbox... DO NOT BUY... I will find better cheaper alternatives from companies who will back up the warranty.
  • Not sure what happened to you, but I bought the case and holder off of ebay for $17.00. The holder broke. I contacted Otterbox and they sent me a whole new case and holder. Free - no questions asked. Doesn't get much better than that. The holders are not so good. I've got a few extras now, but when they break - I'll be looking for something else, that's a little more robust.
  • NEW IPHONE CASE COMING SOON! If you are impressed with the otterbox, then follow us on facebook under acase210 or goto our website Case will be coming soon, and offers a lot!!!! :)
  • I have the iPhone 3G. When I have the Otterbox cover on and make a phone call, I have to peel the Otterbox off of the light sensors in the upper left corner to get the phone to respond so I can hang up. It's really annoying! Any ideas?
  • I to had a problem with the phone not staying in the clip. I got a lighter and heated the part of the clip that has the nipples which lock into the dimples on the case, once heated aply a slight amount of pressure and let cool down. 100% improvement.. And as far as bubbles under the screen cover; buy a antiglare screen protecter then reinstall the otterbox. With a couple small mods I would give it a 10 out of 10
  • Just wanted to let everyone know that my son's iphone 3G is no longer working. However, I find it truly amazing that I ran over it with my car and the glass on the phone never broke thanks to otter box! Wow!
  • You guys, look at the video. Your supposed to take off the film in the front
  • I just found my iPhone 3G in the washing machine where it's been sloshing around for about 10 minutes. Thankfully I have it in an OtterBox and it is completely fine!! I see some negative comments about the company's customer service and can't comment either way on that, but as far as phone protection goes, I will forever be a fan of this product! Unbelievable!
  • my phone has the air bubbles it so fustrating
  • Put a zagg cover on the screen and remove the cheap plastic one on the otterbox.
  • So I just got my iPhone 3G and want a case for it and I am usually hard on phones and know the otter box is suppose to be good but heard the iPhone skins are good too.
    I don't want any moisture on the screen but want it protected.
    So whats the best choice the skin or the box?
  • Get the Otter Box, I've had both the skin and Otter Box. Otter Box protects better and I've had trouble with the skin turning yellow.
  • What can I do to fix the problem with the home button? I have to push pretty hard to get it to respond. It bugs me. The button on the top is hard to push as well. Thanks for any help you can give.
  • need a otterbox for a sumsung focus phone
  • Has anyone had trouble with reduced accuracy on GPS with this case? I have this case on my iPhone and use an app that uses GPS to track my running speed and distance. When I run with others, my distance is not as far or speed as fast, and the comparison of the GPS with a sensor on my shoe is the same difference, so I believe my GPS is not accurate, so I wonder if it is the case. I love everything else about that case. It has saved my phone MANY times!
  • I love the ottorbox cases for my iPhone. I bought one at for a reasonable price. It really does a good job at protecting your phone from the elements.
  • UGH...AT&T really shouldn't tell people that a phone can survive a two story fall while in an otterbox case. I've had one iphone replaced, and my replacement needs replacing now!! And the phones were dropped no more than 3 feet by a 3 year old!! Otterbox cases do NOT prevent your screen from cracking 100 percent of the time!
  • Well... I thought I lost my IPhone 4 3 months ago... Found it last night in the bed of of truck beside a small bag of soil that I've been carting around.... It has been through numerous rain storms and car washes. It was totally protected with the Otterbox and works perfectly!! Great Product!! :)
  • dude I keep getting bubbles on my screen and it didn't come with the film to take off what do I do??:/
  • I have put a Zagg cover on the iphone and took the cheap plastic one off the otter box. Works great..
  • I have one and it looks pretty bad ass to me :)
  • got the otterbox for my new iphone 3gs. great- can slam on the ground and will survive some water on it.
    will not dock on any usual things, like speakers, etc. have to buy an extension in order to do this. didn't fit on my cable for my car (scion), and ended up yanking out the silver lining of the prongs. (thank god for apple care).
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  • I relish, lead to I found just what I used to be taking a look for. You have ended my four day long hunt! God Bless you man. Have a great day. Bye