Otterbox Defender Samsung Galaxy S III Review: Protection at its Finest
Here we are again with another accessory review for the Samsung Galaxy S III. This time, we’re taking a look at a product from a company whose name is synonymous with device protection, Otterbox. By now, many of you are already familiar with the Defender Series, but for those who are not, here’s a quick rundown.
The Otterbox Defender Series features a robust, 3-layer protection that withstands drops, bumps and shock. It features a built-in screen protector to prevent scratches, port covers to keep out dust and debris, and a holster-style swiveling belt clip is also included.
Now, here’s what I have to say about my experiences with the case, which I’ve used for a couple of weeks now, thanks to the kind folks from Otterbox, who generously beamed it over to the ol’ review desk.
Installing the case isn’t difficult, but it’s not a straightforward process if you’re unfamiliar with the Defender Series line. There are 3 layers to the case, which comes assembled inside of the box, so you have to take it apart before you put it on your phone.
One thing I’m just now realizing is that I must have removed the pre-installed screen protector, thinking it was just an extra piece of plastic in the case, so I won’t be able to comment on the screen protector in my review. Another thing worth noting is that the fact it was a screen protector wasn’t obvious to me, so it is kind of disappointing to know my experience was tainted from the beginning. In other words, if you buy one, don’t throw that piece away.
To open the case, you have to peel the silicone outer layer away from the polycarbonate inner layer and impact-resistant exterior layer of the case, then pull the inner layer apart from the exterior layer of the case. Then, place the phone inside, snap the two pieces of back together, and put the silicone outer layer back on. Voila.
As far as protection is concerned, the Defender Series is top-notch. There isn’t a case on the market (at least that I’ve met) that offers more insurance that your phone will survive those unforeseeable and unavoidable drops, dings, and other mishaps we all experience at one point or another.
All sides of your phone are completely covered, and the exterior layer is raised slightly to stop your screen from coming in contact with the ground, should it fall face first. Each of the ports are covered by silicone plugs attached to the outer layer. The plugs stay in place rather nicely, but getting them into place could be a bit easier. It’s not the most difficult of tasks, but it’s not the easiest either.
The back of the case features the same raised design around the camera, LED flash, and speaker to protect the areas, and has a coated texture on the back, which gives the phone a slight grip in your palm. This is a welcome feature, as it should help to stop the phone from flying out of your hand, even though the case will still protect it if it does.
It’s Like Putting Your Phone Inside a Brick…
Words can’t stress how tough this case is. Unfortunately, with all the added protection comes a huge hit to the Galaxy S III’s form factor. This isn’t the case you want if you’re in love with how slim and slender your phone is. The Defender nearly triples the thickness of your phone and certainly doubles the weight, if not more.
Additionally, the case voids your ability to use the official multimedia dock — it’s just too darn big to fit. Putting the phone in its holster is even more of a chuckle. It kinda reminds me of some type of futuristic pistol holster.
That being said, there’s no reason to shun the Defender series, especially in a day and age like we’re in now, where customization means so much. If you don’t want to rock this big and bulky case on a daily basis, it’s still a great idea to have one lying around when you’re heading out to engage in physically strenuous activities.
For instance, next time you’re mountain climbing, you may want to pack an Otterbox, rather than a Cruzerlite or Amzer case. While the latter two may look and feel slightly better, they don’t offer nearly the amount of protection.
It’d be a travesty to give the Defender Series a rating lower than 4/5, so I won’t. As always, Otterbox comes through for the win with its products. They’re a bit pricier than your typical case, at $49.95 on the Otterbox website, but you can always save yourself a few bucks and pick one up from Amazon — they’re about $30 there, at the time of this post. With the price of phones these days, especially one the caliber of the Galaxy S III, this is a great investment to make sure your device makes it through those extra active moments in life.
Other Galaxy S III Accessories I’ve Reviewed
- Case-Mate Tough case
- Amzer Shellster case
- Official Multimedia Dock
- Official Flip Cover
- MHL-HDMI Adapter
- C Pen
- Arkon Slim-Grip Lighter Socket Mount
- ZAGG invisibleSHIELD full body screen protector