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99 of 101 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Quality, highly protective case IF you're OK with added bulk...
UPDATES AT THE BOTTOM -- possible extended battery problem...

Just want to start off this review with a disclaimer: Otterbox Defenders are known to be bulky compared to the "skin" style cases such as the popular Diztronic Flexible TPU Case. This review is written with that in mind -- I'm not knocking this case's size, because we're all aware of that going...
Published on December 23, 2011 by Nathaniel Allen

versus
24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great case with a few exceptions
I have had this case for about a month now and the case that holds the phone has proven it does protect the phone. the other day my phone fell out of the clip and was kicked across the street into a snow bank. It was there for 15-20 minutes as I didn't immediately relize it had fallen. When I found it there were some scratches on the case and water all over, but the phone...
Published on January 16, 2012 by J. Greco


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99 of 101 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Quality, highly protective case IF you're OK with added bulk..., December 23, 2011
This review is from: OtterBox Defender Series Case for Samsung Galaxy Nexus i515 Only Not for the Nexus 2 3 and 4 (Wireless Phone Accessory)
UPDATES AT THE BOTTOM -- possible extended battery problem...

Just want to start off this review with a disclaimer: Otterbox Defenders are known to be bulky compared to the "skin" style cases such as the popular Diztronic Flexible TPU Case. This review is written with that in mind -- I'm not knocking this case's size, because we're all aware of that going in.

And in answer to another question that is sure to arise, YES, this case is compatible with the Samsung Galaxy Nexus 2100mAh Extended Battery & Cover. The extended battery comes with a replacement back for the phone that results in perhaps an extra millimeter of thickness, making the fit of the Otterbox Defender snug, but just so. It fits.

If you're in love with the subtle curve of the Nexus' screen, a word of warning: this case makes it disappear. As you can see from the photos I've added, there is a slight curve evident when the phone is set, face down, on a flat surface. But the bulk of the case really makes the phone appear to be dead flat up front. The back, however, attempts to maintain a bit of the tapered curve, and even has nicely rounded edges that make this monster more comfortable and natural to hold.

The case is actually four components, as follows:

1. There's a hard plastic "inner" case that is actually two pieces, a front and a back that snap together around the phone. This hard plastic has cutouts appropriate for the display screen, front & rear cameras + flash, LED notification, speakers & mic, prox sensor, headphone & MHL (USB) port, plus the volume rocker and power button.

2. Glued into the hard plastic case is a "thicker-than-mylar, thinner-than-a-credit-card" screen protector. That's right, it's a rigid plastic screen protector, and it can't be swapped out.

3. The whole plastic shell is wrapped by a substantial silicone boot. The edges of the boot engage with a channel around the face of the plastic shell to "lock it in" and, for the most part, give it a very integrated look. The boot has two very pronounced solid block protrusions that carry button presses down to the power and volume switches on the phone. Cutouts are present for front and rear mics, camera & flash, rear speaker. Silicone flaps cover the MHL and 3.5mm audio jack, and these flaps are held securely closed by channels on the hard plastic shell. The back of the rubber is lightly textured for improved finger grip. The boot itself is soft and not overly sticky/grippy -- in fact, a little "slippery." So it doesn't give me too much of a problem in my pockets whereas some silicone cases tend to grip pocket material -- as in the actual cloth in my pants or jacket -- making inserting or retrieving my phone a nuisance, and collecting pocket lint in the process. The Otterbox boot *mostly* doesn't have a problem with that.

4. Lastly, there's the holster, which is, in fact, optional. The phone snaps in securely, either facing out or facing in, and the spring loaded belt clip rotates a full 360° to allow the whole contraption to be worn in any orientation. To round things out, the holster doubles as a desktop stand and holds the phone in a not-quite vertical landscape orientation, for media consumption.

One benefit of having a phone as thin as the Galaxy Nexus is that a relatively bulky case such as this can be fitted without causing the phone to resemble a paperback book. And without the holster, my rubberized Nexus still slides easily into pant, jean and coat pockets.

But let's talk about some of the negatives:

- The holster blocks the 3.5mm audio jack -- so no wired headphones if you're using it as a desktop stand.
- The case covers the 3-pin connector on the side of the phone. But considering the phone with *any* case will never fit into a Samsung desktop dock or vehicle mount that might make use of those connectors, it's a bit of a moot point.
- I've noticed the hard plastic frame around the screen obstructs the movement of icons and widgets to the next left screen on my Home page. It's just in the way by maybe a millimeter, causing me to have to "re-grab" the icon closer to its right edge to be able to force it on over to that next page. A minor annoyance that doesn't affect day-to-day use, except for when I'm rearranging icons & widgets.
- The cutout surrounding the camera lens & flash is a finger magnet. I almost wish this came with a removable plug to provide protection in day-to-day use, because having a recessed, oily camera lens is not good for snapping pics.
- The silicone cover is just every-so-slippery, and with the extra weight added to the phone (mine now weights 210 grams / 7.4 ounces with the case + extended battery), if I'm sitting around lazily ingesting a longer YouTube clip, the phone tends to want to droop a little out of my grip.
- The mic port cutout in the boot is just every so slightly misaligned. This hasn't caused a muffled audio problem on the other end of my calls that anyone has pointed out, but the potential is there. It would be easy to correct with some precise work with a razor blade.
- I don't want to knock the integrated screen saver too much, but it has these faults:
(1) It collects lint and dust underneath (between the screen protector and the screen)
(2) It has a slight, slight unevenness to it -- I can feel a "wave" as I run my fingertip across its length
(3) It is not independently replaceable if I scratch or damage it, and there's no way I'm going to slap a stick-on screen protector over it!
(4) It is a fingerprint magnet, especially in contrast to the bare Nexus screen, which incorporates a oil-resistant coating
(5) There is a slight rainbow discoloration to it at certain viewing angles and/or brightnesses, AND it makes off-angle reading slightly fuzzy

But in day to day use, the Otterbox screen protector is very invisible to me. I'm impressed that this hunk of clear plastic sitting between me and my phone doesn't present itself as more of an obstruction.

And that can be said for the Otterbox Defender case as a whole. Yeah, there's no getting around its bulk. But it has a level of finish that is betrayed by its size, and I trust it to keep my silicon, glass and plastic toy from getting too banged up -- because I know those few accidental drops my last phone survived are only going to be rougher on a phone with a screen this size.

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Update September 2012:

During the first few months of use of this case (and the Galaxy Nexus on the 4.0.1 ICS operating system), I began experiencing an increasing number of lockups where I had to remove the Otterbox case to perform a battery pull to reset the phone. This took a toll on the case, and eventually the tabs that hold the two halves together chipped off and no longer held.

At the end of March, I contacted Otterbox, who collected some basic information, and sent me a replacement case.

The replacement case seemed every bit identical to the original. Despite what I read online about Otterbox slightly modifying the case for something or other, the rep I worked with assured me that they hadn't -- and there was no evidence that anything was different, i.e. no changes to model or version numbers stamped on the case. Oh, and the screen protector on this one was perfectly flat -- gone was that "wave" I mentioned in my review.

About this time, I updated my OS to 4.0.4 and the lockups stopped, so the phone has been more-or-less sealed in the case, with the exception of 3 times I've removed it to show the naked phone to somebody.

This third time removing it, I was surprised to find all but one of the tabs broken. It appears that the only thing holding the case together was the exterior boot. I haven't abused the case, and can only suspect the pressure from the extended battery cover is contributing to these tabs breaking.
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great case with a few exceptions, January 16, 2012
This review is from: OtterBox Defender Series Case for Samsung Galaxy Nexus i515 Only Not for the Nexus 2 3 and 4 (Wireless Phone Accessory)
I have had this case for about a month now and the case that holds the phone has proven it does protect the phone. the other day my phone fell out of the clip and was kicked across the street into a snow bank. It was there for 15-20 minutes as I didn't immediately relize it had fallen. When I found it there were some scratches on the case and water all over, but the phone inside was unharmed. I took the case off the phone, cleaned and dried it off and put it back on the phone.

The downside to this case is the clip that holds the phone to your belt, I have had the clip pop off my belt as it catches on the stand somehow. this usually happens getting into out out of the car. The phone also does not always snap securely into the clip as mentioned above it seems like it's locked into place but does fall out. If you are in a rush the likelyhood of the phone securely locking into the clip is low.

From a protection standpoint the case around the phone is 5 stars. The clip that holds the phone to your belt is 1 star.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Belt clip breaks easily - Two failed for me, February 20, 2012
By 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: OtterBox Defender Series Case for Samsung Galaxy Nexus i515 Only Not for the Nexus 2 3 and 4 (Wireless Phone Accessory)
The holster is great except for one problem that makes it useless. I bought the first one from Verizon when I got the phone. The case worked well for me. A few weeks later, as I was getting out of my vehicle, the back edge of the case, which I had horizontally on my belt, apparently caught on something and the clip broke. It did not just pop off. The part with the holes for the pin on the holster broke off of the clip on both sides. Verizon would not replace it.

I thought it might be a fluke and because I was otherwise happy with the holster I ordered another one on Amazon. Within two weeks the same thing happened in a different car. I am not small but not huge, 6'2" and 250#. I don't think I was doing anything unusual.

I will be looking for a different case. I understand that the clip cannot be infinitely strong but before breaking it should either come off of the belt or the clip should pop off in a way where it can be replaced. Other holsters do work this way. I was not applying great force to it. I did not get hung up on something and then force it. Just my normal movement getting out of the vehicles broke it. Because I had two fail in 2-3 weeks I am giving it one star.

My issue is not with the seller but with Otterbox.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I really like this case, January 7, 2012
This review is from: OtterBox Defender Series Case for Samsung Galaxy Nexus i515 Only Not for the Nexus 2 3 and 4 (Wireless Phone Accessory)
I work in a relatively harsh environment with significant opportunities for damaging my personal equipment. I've used Otterboxes for many many years. Not all of them are great. I had one for my original droid and it did not last as I would expect. However I did chose to go with an Otterbox for my Galaxy Nexus and I am glad that I did. It is very large, but it is large in a good way.

The integral screen cover was a concern at first, but I really have not noticed a difference. It offers a tremendously increased layer of protection than a applique film screen protector.

Most importantly, it is a hard shell that works with the 2100ma extended battery.

I would say that if your principle concern is protection, the defender series is a good choice. The rubber over a polycarbonate shell can not be practically beaten, it is a very sturdy case for active people.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Poor Design for the Money, April 25, 2012
I always had the impression that Otter Box gear was tough stuff. But, this cell phone protector doesn't hold up to daily use. The metal clip that holds the phone up for use as an alarm clock, etc. only lasted about 2 months. It broke completely off. Other than that, it worked perfectly. :-(
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Holster breaks, March 27, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: OtterBox Defender Series Case for Samsung Galaxy Nexus i515 Only Not for the Nexus 2 3 and 4 (Wireless Phone Accessory)
I have had two of the otter box defenders for the samsung galaxy nexus. On both, the part of the holster that holds the phone in place broke after one month. I am giving up on this design and buying a different case. I have had the Otterbox case for 3 other phones and had no problems. I think that the design for this particular phone is poor.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The case itself is good, and the warranty works. Otherwise, steer clear., June 8, 2012
By 
Kevin (Indiana, USA) - See all my reviews
I bought one of these directly from a Verizon retail store the same day I got my Verizon Galaxy Nexus, which was a few days after launch in December, 2011.

The screen protector succeeds in making the Nexus' beautiful screen look like crap. If it gets dust or hair in it (which is easy because there is a pocket of air between the screen and the protector) you have to completely remove the case to remove the dust. After about a week, I got sick of doing this daily so I removed it from the case and put on a better screen protector that actually comes in contact with the screen to keeps the dust out. It's really easy to remove it since it's just glued in, just pop it out. If you decide to do this, make sure that you remove the glue, otherwise you'll get goop all over your screen.

As for the case itself, it's protected my phone from a couple of drops and the phone doesn't have a scratch on it. One drop made a small cut in the silicon cover, but it's hardly noticeable and doesn't affect the performance of the case. The only thing I don't quite like is that it adds a lot of bulk to the phone, but that is understandable and expected from a case that turns your phone into something a tank could run over and still leave the phone unscathed.

The real problem is the holster and this is why I can not recommend this product (the less-than-stellar screen protector is at least fixable). My first one lasted about four and a half months, but one day the tab that holds the phone into the holster snapped off when I was trying to remove the phone. I'm not an overly strong person so when this happened during the course of normal use I was a bit surprised. I tried using Gorilla Glue on it, which worked in reattaching the broken tab. The problem with Gorilla Glue is that it expands as it dries, so there was a large hump that prevented the phone from snapping back into place. About to give up, I went to Otterbox's website and looked into their warranty info. These cases have a 1-year warranty, so I filled out their form and about an hour later (I was surprised that this was at about midnight!) I was notified by e-mail that they would dispatch me a replacement the next day, no questions asked. It arrived, and everything was great. Except, a few weeks later, the exact same tab broke when I was trying to remove the phone. I have decided this is a massive design flaw in this model and have given up on it and Otterbox.

Overall, I removed three stars: one for each holster that broke for me, and one for the craptastic screen protector. That leaves two stars, one for the case itself and one for the warranty coverage.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect, April 7, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: OtterBox Defender Series Case for Samsung Galaxy Nexus i515 Only Not for the Nexus 2 3 and 4 (Wireless Phone Accessory)
This is the best product to protect your phone. It ads a little bulk, but it is worth it because this case protects your phone from screen scratches and even protects it when you drop it.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Belt Clip Blows, February 18, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: OtterBox Defender Series Case for Samsung Galaxy Nexus i515 Only Not for the Nexus 2 3 and 4 (Wireless Phone Accessory)
Had it for two weeks then the belt clip broke. It is no longer useable as a kick stand for the phone.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Case even with extended battery, April 9, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: OtterBox Defender Series Case for Samsung Galaxy Nexus i515 Only Not for the Nexus 2 3 and 4 (Wireless Phone Accessory)
My wife and I got these for our Galaxy Nexus phones. Both of them have the extednded battery on them. While this case does add a bit of bulk, the functionality of the phone is no different than without it. The case feels sturdy and I feel that it will definately protect my phone from dropping and my 3 and 6 yr old kids! Can't beat the price either!
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