Most helpful critical review
75 of 86 people found the following review helpful
Defender or Commuter? Which is better?
on March 7, 2012
Protecting a $200 phone is quite a formidable task and a lot of cell phone case companies do not seem to understand protection. They strive for style, design, and aesthetics. To me, this is all nonsense. Otterbox understands the principle of protection better than any other company making these types of products. Fuction is what I am looking for and and this company produces fuctioning cell phone cases. These 4S generation cases share an improved design, mainly with the camera area. I think people were complaining about shadowed pictures and video due to the tight camera cut out. They widened it to ensure the new 8MP camera with not be hindered by a design flaw.
First, the defender technically provides more protection than the commuter and also comes with a handy holster with a clip. However, the defender is bulky and the port covers do not stay as well as the model for the 3GS. Also, I am not a fan of the defender because of the screen protector it comes with. Eventually, particles of dust or grit will work their way into your case and be sandwiched between the screen and the hard plastic film. Then, friction from your finger will scratch the screen up pretty bad (this happened to me). To make matters worse, I put a Zagg shield on it and it basically fused with the screen protector on the defender. I needed to pry the phone off the case and, while doing so, lifted the glass of the phone, creating permanant air pockets in my screen. Not a good scenario at all. The anti-glar films sold at the apple store, however, work fine because they have a smoother, less sticky surface. I would not reccomend this case at all, though, without these screen protectors because without a screen protector, air bubbles will form and distort your view and scratches on the screen will occur. But, if you work construction or another potentially hazardous job, this case with the anti-glare screen protectors may be a better choice then the Commuter series of cases.
The Commuter, on the other hand, offers a balance between versitility and protection. With this case, I can use my Zagg shield and is not peeled up by the case like many do. Also, I love the soft shell on the inside and the hard shell outside. The soft inner allows the port and button covers to be attached to the case and function propperly. This also helps absorb shock. The hard shell allows the phone to slide in and out of pockets very easily, even out of tighter jeans. In addition, it has a much thinner profile than the defender but still provides adequate protection. The ports are still protected from water and it can take a tumble. I've dropped my 4S about 4 times with this case on it, on hard surfaces from pretty significant hieghts (5 feet or so on some) and the case barely even shows it let alon the phone wrapped up inside. Also, by flipping the phone face down, the exposed inner rubber case prevents it from slipping if you needed it to stay put, for instance, in a car. For the average person, the commuter is the superior choice.
However, both cases with the lighter colored silicon soft shells, like white and grey, get dirty easily. They even get stained from dye in jeans. Not a huge deal to me, but might be to some. Overall, these are the two best cases on the market for the iPhone and believe me, I have researched and read up on them all. You must simply decide what your needs are for a case and make your decision.