Not indestrucible, but pretty damn close!!

Feb 7, 2011
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Slim design, rubber grips ANY surface, phone is now rugged

Cons:won't fit docking station, wont survive a tank (see review)

The Bottom Line: BUY BUY BUY! if you value your investment, which we all know was $299-$699, then get this!

When i had my iPhone 3Gs, i got a cheapo plastic case that has a slight rubberized coating. To protect my screen, i got Belkin screen protector. the downside was a) the screen protector got gouged just from being with keys, and b) dust got under it. the case itself proved its worth after a few drops.

A year later, enter my iPhone 4. i had seen people with the 3Gs OtterBox Defender and was thoroughly impressed. So i picked one up for my new iPhone 4. I had gotten InvisiShield installed on the screen, sides and back of my phone. with this, the case didn't fit because the OtterBox is designed specifically to hug the phone snugly. so i removed the InvisiShield off the sides and this allowed the case to shut securely. However, leaving the shield on the screen created the infamous "oil slick". removing the InvisiShield from the screen fixed this too. the InvisiShield is still on the back because hey, i like the carbon fiber look and it doesn't interfere with the case. A testimony of the screen protector that is part of the OtterBox was my Sergeant dropped his iPhone, in its OtterBox, inside the turret of our tank. the screen took a direct hit, from about 4' on a sharp corner gouging the screen protector. the actual iPhone suffered NO DAMAGE.

A common problem on my generic 3Gs case was the docking/charging port was exposed, allowing it to get caked with lint and dust. The port cover on the OtterBox remedies that. However, using the "home" button is a tad difficult with the charging port cover open. it causes the rubber cover to move. Not a huge deal, just takes a little adjustment.

Major downside is incompatibility with docking stations. Fortunately, there are cables that allow use of it with a case on.

In a discussion with a fellow soldier regarding the durability of the OtterBox Defender, we wondered if it could withstand our tank rolling over it.  Needless to say, i emailed OtterBox at 6:37pm CST (late and after business hours for their HQ in Colorado). Here is my email:

"I'm a soldier in the US Army. Will my OtterBox Defender protect my iPhone 4 if a 70 ton M1A2 Abrams Main Battle Tank happened to roll over it? if my phone breaks, can it be replaced under warranty/guarantee?"

At 8:45pm CST, i received a reply:

"Unfortunately, while the OtterBox may be tough, it’s not that tough. In the event that you lost your phone to a tank, we cannot replace the phone. We can replace the case though."
Now THATS customer service. I ask for the extreme and i get a legit answer. Good on you, OtterBox!

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