When I upgraded my iPhone to the 4S I needed to upgrade my iPhone case as well. A friend of mine has an Otter Box Defender Series and she isn't happy with it, indeed it looks extremely bulky.
The first case I bought for my iPhone 4S was made byCaseMate, and it was too slippery and I returned it. I replaced it with the Otter Box Commuter Series case which I purchased on eBay for only $22.00. So far I've been very pleased with it.
This case consists of two pieces, a white colored rubberized silicone inner shell and a bright pink hard plastic outer case made of polycarbonate. 10% of the purchase price goes to the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade. The breast cancer logo (a ribbon) does not appear on the case.
There is an oval shaped opening on the back for the camera lens, as well as a round hole which reveals the silver apple icon.
Fitting My iPhone into Case
Placing my phone in this case (and getting it out) is a breeze. The white silicone rubber is very pliable and can be pulled in any direction which makes it very easy to place the iPhone into the case. There is a tiny "door" that covers the bottom of the phone and can easily be opened so I can charge my iPhone. It only covers the port where you charge the iPhone. There are two oval holes so the speakers are not covered up.
My phone has two tiny round, silver buttons on the left side that control the volume, and the white rubber case has thin membranes that cover these buttons without affecting the accuracy of the buttons. A thin membrane also covers the on/off button at the top.
The bright pink outer case covers the entire back, and only parts of the sides. It just slightly covers portions of the white case along the front edges.
I eagerly placed my phone in this case before I realized it came with a clear plastic shield that was supposed to be placed on the front of my phone before putting the cover on. No problem, I easily got the phone out of the case! (This was nearly impossible to do with the CaseMate I owned previously).
There were no real directions on how to apply the thin clear film. Instead there was a tiny piece of paper with four illustrations. There are two stickers on the film, one on each side. One reads "(1) Peel off first. This side down. Do not touch surface". The second one reads "(2) Peel off after installation". The film came with a tiny glass cleaner cloth 1 3/4" by 1 3/4") and a hard plastic installation card. (A credit card works just as well). You place the film on the bottom of the phone, then smooth it in place with the installation card. I was not able to accomplish this without a few air bubbles remaining. Once in place, you remove the top layer of plastic on the film.
I feel this case protects my iPhone, and the cover isn't bulky, keeping the slim look of my phone. I carry my phone in an outside pocket of my purse and I can fit it in there easily.
I didn't like the CaseMate cover because it was very slick and I never felt like my phone was secure in my hands. The pink polycarbonate cover has a matte finish with a very slight bumpy texture to it, and I feel more confident while using my phone and I don't worry about dropping it.
An sturdier Defender OtterBox retailed for $80 and was much too bulky. I feel the OtterBox Commuter Series case provides a good, multi-level protection. It feels good in my hands and isn't slick and slippery. I like how the ports are protected and how easy it is to get the iPhone in and out of the case. I gladly give this case 5 stars.
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