Is Otterbox as good as it gets for protecting large phones?

bsj

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My Samsung Galaxy Note 2 met a cruel fate last week when I very carelessly dropped it. I had the Samsung stock "flip" cover deal on it which was useless, and the screen is a shattered mess. No one's fault but my own. Fortunately I have insurance which means I ONLY have to pay $200 for a new device. 
 
Sucks but it is what is is. 
 
Anyway....what's the gold standard for protection? Otterbox has a "defender" model for about $60 but wondering if that is as good as it gets? Willing to spend whatever it takes to make sure I dont have to deal with this again....
 
 
 

Cellar-Door

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bsj said:
My Samsung Galaxy Note 2 met a cruel fate last week when I very carelessly dropped it. I had the Samsung stock "flip" cover deal on it which was useless, and the screen is a shattered mess. No one's fault but my own. Fortunately I have insurance which means I ONLY have to pay $200 for a new device. 
 
Sucks but it is what is is. 
 
Anyway....what's the gold standard for protection? Otterbox has a "defender" model for about $60 but wondering if that is as good as it gets? Willing to spend whatever it takes to make sure I dont have to deal with this again....
 
 
Defender is likely the toughest case going for a Note though the Ballistic SG Maxx case is also supposed to be in that class. Check them out at a BestBuy or something to see which one you prefer.
Having had an Otterbox that I don't use anymore the advantages are that it is very good on drops, and has a good warranty. Disadvantages: Huge, stupid screen protector dulls screen, and the soft  layer stretches out over time.
 
Jul 10, 2002
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Good thread, I'll be in the market.
 
Here's a concern about Otterbox:
 
I was looking at the Otterbox Defender page and started reading the reviews (lowest to greatest): http://www.otterbox.com/Galaxy-S3-Defender-Series-Plastic-Shell/sam2-galaxy-s3-plastic,default,pd.html?dwvar_sam2-galaxy-s3-plastic_color=1049&start=2&q=samsung-galaxy-s3-defender
 
And a common theme amongst the complaints was some soft cover expanding/loosening (EDIT: Looks like the same thing that Cellar-Door is talking about)
 
Verified Buyer ALuv4Fun speaks on this issue nicely:
 
The protection concept of the OtterBox gives is very good. The problem lies in the casing as well as the holster. I've had 3 OtterBox cases on 3 different phones, the Motorola Droid, the Motorola Razr Maxx and now my Samsung Galaxy S 3. On all three of these phones, I have had to have the OtterBox covers (full covers) as well as the holsters replaced because of the tabs breaking off, the holster tabs breaking as well as the soft covering around the phone's protective shell loosing it's ability to keep it's form around the phone. These phones are not being subjected to abuse. In fact, only only 1 phone was dropped, the original Droid. I just received my GS 3 replacement case and holster and the soft cover doesn't want to maintain its shape on the new protective casing and the soft cover binds when I try to put my phone into the new holster. This review is not a total bashing of this product, it simply needs some future design changes to make the small parts more durable.
 
So, definitely interested in possible Otterbox competitors.
 

jayhoz

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The best protection is to not drop your phone.

I can't imagine putting my phone in one of these cases. Where would I put it? In my murse?

Edit - LifeProof is a slimmer alternative to Otterbox. Interestingly enough, they were recently acquired by Otterbox.
 

bsj

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jayhoz said:
The best protection is to not drop your phone.

I can't imagine putting my phone in one of these cases. Where would I put it? In my murse?

Edit - LifeProof is a slimmer alternative to Otterbox. Interestingly enough, they were recently acquired by Otterbox.
 
LifeProof was interesting to me, saw the product at SxSW last year and was impressive, but they dont actually come in this size. 
 
I've never dropped a phone like this in probably 15 years of cell ownership. I was using the mp3 function with headphones, arm clipped cord, and bam....finit.
 

24JoshuaPoint

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Did you stick with a s2 or were you able to upgrade to an s3?
 
I've had an Obex by Seidio for about a year now. It's a little bulkier and has a flap every time you want to charge the phone but i've gotten used to it considering i'm nearly 99% sure the phone will be ok no matter what it goes thru including a pool or a couple times in Long Island Sound. (who goes fishing without tunes?). It will also help on the backend when I get around to reselling it to make money with an upgrade.
 
Lifeproof is a great case and i had one for years on my phones although I don't see one available for an s2.
 
Here is the Obex:
 
http://www.seidioonline.com/samsung-galaxy-s-iii-obex-case-black-p/cswssgs3-bk.htm
 

Captaincoop

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The Otterbox rubber casing does stretch over time, but they have a really liberal warranty policy - I had mine replaced very quickly, free-of-charge, when I emailed them photos of mine in a state of moderate distress.
 

KiltedFool

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Hmm wonder if I could get mine replaced, the retention clip on the case broke off, so I could only clip it into the belt clip one way rather than either side.  Then the post between the belt clip and the plastic holder broke, so I'm carrying it in my pocket.  And the rubber is stretched and frayed and cracking.  It's only ever been on my belt but looks like hell.  In another thread I'm contemplating switching phones, in part because I don't want to buy an otterbox for this older phone.
 
But the one I have has done the job, it has protected the phone from standard drops on the kitchen floor type deal.  Since I have young children I figured it was a smart investment.
 

bsj

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24JoshuaPoint said:
Did you stick with a s2 or were you able to upgrade to an s3?
 
I've had an Obex by Seidio for about a year now. It's a little bulkier and has a flap every time you want to charge the phone but i've gotten used to it considering i'm nearly 99% sure the phone will be ok no matter what it goes thru including a pool or a couple times in Long Island Sound. (who goes fishing without tunes?). It will also help on the backend when I get around to reselling it to make money with an upgrade.
 
Lifeproof is a great case and i had one for years on my phones although I don't see one available for an s2.
 
Here is the Obex:
 
http://www.seidioonline.com/samsung-galaxy-s-iii-obex-case-black-p/cswssgs3-bk.htm
 
Havent actually bought the replacement but going to stay with the 2. Would have to pay full retail for the 3. $200 sounds better than $800 right now.....and I liked the 2. 
 

Cellar-Door

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jayhoz said:
Edit - LifeProof is a slimmer alternative to Otterbox. Interestingly enough, they were recently acquired by Otterbox.
lifeproof are the best for water, but their shock protection is pretty low.
 

threecy

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I've had an Otterbox for my Android for a little over a year and am generally happy with it.  It's a little bit bulky, but I don't wear Metrosexual tight jeans, so it fits just fine in my pockets.
 

NortheasternPJ

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KiltedFool said:
Hmm wonder if I could get mine replaced, the retention clip on the case broke off, so I could only clip it into the belt clip one way rather than either side.  Then the post between the belt clip and the plastic holder broke, so I'm carrying it in my pocket.  And the rubber is stretched and frayed and cracking.  It's only ever been on my belt but looks like hell.  In another thread I'm contemplating switching phones, in part because I don't want to buy an otterbox for this older phone.
 
But the one I have has done the job, it has protected the phone from standard drops on the kitchen floor type deal.  Since I have young children I figured it was a smart investment.
 
Don't worry, I'm sure you look cool...
 
 

KiltedFool

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Meh I'm an engineer cool isn't my job. Thankfully I no longer get stuck carrying two cell phones.
 

benjamin6

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Dec 11, 2013
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Yeah Otterbox is the leading battery case in the phone market. If you don't mind adding a bit weight and prevent from a big injury like you did before, getting a waterproof and dustproof from this brand is a smart pick. This kind of model costs more than $80 I think. I personally is more cautious when using my phone, so I just get a normal size case and an external battery charger for my phone. That's great so far. I got an original case from apple store and a juicy 14000mAh battery charger from RavPower. That's enough so far. 
 

Sinistas

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I have an Otterbox for my Droid RAZR (I know, it's old, but it works fine), and it's been fantastic.  I've dropped it a bunch of times with no ill effects.  I'd definitely buy one again.
 

jk333

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Joe Sixpack said:
My wife drops her phone constantly - she has a Galaxy S3 - and has had great results with this case:
 
http://www.amazon.com/Acase-ACS-01PCSLSGS3BK-AS-Superleggera-Hybrid-Samsung/dp/B0089YS4CK
 
It's not quite as bulky as the otterbox, but it protects very well and has been extremely durable.
 
I have the same type of thing from Griffin from my iphone. I've dropped it a dozen times, nothing happens to the phone. If you look at it, most of the phone is covered and the remaining side is only going to get hit if the phone hits an object in 100% the wrong way. If it hits a flat surface even on that wrong side, its still absorbed by the type of case above.
 
I can't imagine using an otterbox, they're so bulky. But they are probably the best at protecting your phone.
 

Bosoxen

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I use this case for my S3:
 
http://www.bodyglovemobile.com/cell-phone-cases/samsung/galaxy-s-iii/dropsuit/
 
I've only dropped it once and the phone made it through the ordeal just fine. It's also not bulky at all so I don't have any issues keeping my phone in my pocket.
 
The Allented Mr Ripley said:
Anyone who clips their phone to their belt deserves whatever they get and more.
 
This cannot be stressed enough. I die a little bit each time I see my dad and father-in-law doing that.
 

CodPiece XL

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I made a quick dash crossing a street. My iphone was in an Otterbox, as I was running I heard something bouncing on the road. Turned and saw my phone lying in the road....to my horror,  I saw cars barreling towards it. I think it was run over at least twice. Hardly a scuff on it when I retrieved it...worked fine. Yeah.......I had it clipped to my belt...yeah I was jaywalking.
 
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Before spending a lot on an Otterbox, serious question here:
 
Would some $5 case on eBay not offer some type of protection?  For regular drops (from fumbling around at waist or chest distances), would these not protect the phone?
 
I'm seeing all types of variations of ruggedized cases like this here:
 
http://www.ebay.com/itm/300759302347
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Hard-Mesh-Silicone-Combo-Stand-Case-Cover-For-Samsung-Galaxy-S3-SIII-Multi-Color-/111000965646
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Black-Hard-Stand-Case-Cover-Clear-Screen-Protector-For-Samsung-Galaxy-S3-SIII-3-/130788803187
 

crow216

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I think an Otterbox is overkill for almost everyone. If you drop your phone with a simple $20 case made by belkin or speck, it will be hold up great. If you're worried about the glass shattering, spend $7 a month and get your phone insurance from the carrier this way you can at least enjoy your phone and not be holding a brick. You can get it replaced or repaired f you lose it, break it, have it stolen, or dunk it in water.
 
Why was your deductible $200 to repair a broken phone? Usually the deductible is only to replace a lost or stolen device. 
 
Edit: Appears that I'm mistaken regarding the deductible. That's pretty shitty and I would bet everyone who damages their phone just says they lost it while putting their old one up on eBay.
 

wibi

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crow216 said:
I think an Otterbox is overkill for almost everyone. If you drop your phone with a simple $20 case made by belkin or speck, it will be hold up great. If you're worried about the glass shattering, spend $7 a month and get your phone insurance from the carrier this way you can at least enjoy your phone and not be holding a brick. You can get it replaced or repaired f you lose it, break it, have it stolen, or dunk it in water.
 
Why was your deductible $200 to repair a broken phone? Usually the deductible is only to replace a lost or stolen device. 
 
Edit: Appears that I'm mistaken regarding the deductible. That's pretty shitty and I would bet everyone who damages their phone just says they lost it while putting their old one up on eBay.
 
Get insurance from SquareTrade and kick the carrier insurance to the curb.  Much cheaper and much better replacement policy IMHO
 

KiltedFool

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Went to an iPhone 5s today, debated what to protect it with, the otter box doesn't allow you to use the fingerprint thing, though I don't really care about that function much. Mainly changed phones because battery was shot and couldn't back it up without iTunes trying to reset it to factory.

Ended up grabbing lifeproof fre case. Like the thinner profile, fits quietly in pocket, so those of you horrified by the existence of belt clips can relax.

Reading reviews of it, complaints about muffled sound and ring tones and the warranty doesn't cover the phone unless that was included in the paperwork down stairs for an extra ten bucks.

So I guess I'm asking what's the best protection for a 5s? Is this the one or is there another? I didn't mind the bulk of the otter on the old one, it got dropped onto tile or hardwood more than once.
 

KiltedFool

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Not compatible with 5s or 5c, great price if you have just the iPhone 5
 

Lefty on the Mound

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I have the SG MAXX case from Ballistic. I like it a lot.

http://www.goballisticcase.com/collections/iphone-5-cases/products/iphone-5-ballistic-sg-maxx-series-case
 

Pedros Midget

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Recently got an iphone 5s and, after religiously keeping my 4 in an Otterbox, I've actually now stopped using a case entirely.  I had even bought a new Otterbox to go with the 5s, but just got tired of the extra bulk.  Here's this great new, slimmer phone and I have to keep it in a bulky case?  I heard tell once that Jobs walked around with the first iphone prototype in his pocket for like two weeks to see how it held up when subjected to everyday life, drops, etc., and that the phones are designed to be durable.  I think the latest are made with like Gorilla Glass or something extra hard, because I've dropped this phone several times sans case now and haven't had a scratch.  One time I even inadvertently dropped it directly on its face on a metal water spout -- not a scratch.
 
Firmly in the "no case" camp now.  Phone fits in the breast pocket of my dress shirt and I barely know its there, it's great.  That's all I got.
 

crow216

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Recently got an iphone 5s and, after religiously keeping my 4 in an Otterbox, I've actually now stopped using a case entirely.  I had even bought a new Otterbox to go with the 5s, but just got tired of the extra bulk.  Here's this great new, slimmer phone and I have to keep it in a bulky case?  I heard tell once that Jobs walked around with the first iphone prototype in his pocket for like two weeks to see how it held up when subjected to everyday life, drops, etc., and that the phones are designed to be durable.  I think the latest are made with like Gorilla Glass or something extra hard, because I've dropped this phone several times sans case now and haven't had a scratch.  One time I even inadvertently dropped it directly on its face on a metal water spout -- not a scratch.
 
Firmly in the "no case" camp now.  Phone fits in the breast pocket of my dress shirt and I barely know its there, it's great.  That's all I got.


The glass won't scratch but you can bet your but the metal will. The glass will also have no problem shattering if hit correctly. Although, it certainly seems like I see less shattered screens nowadays.
 

Pedros Midget

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crow216 said:
The glass won't scratch but you can bet your but the metal will. The glass will also have no problem shattering if hit correctly. Although, it certainly seems like I see less shattered screens nowadays.
 
You're probably right, but the convenience of the slim design on its own is worth it to me.  I mean, when the phone hit that metal spout, it was a direct hit at quick toss speed, and that mother held up like a champ!
 
Jul 10, 2002
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Personally, I want a rugged case of some type, even if I'm not concerned about it breaking.  Holding this Galaxy S3 is like trying to hold a bar of soap.  Slippery little fuckers.  And most "design" is like that these days, with the smooth edges, and trying to get as thin as possible, but with bigger and bigger screens.  Trying to pay a bill just now, with my phone tucked into my shoulder and my head tilted to hold it against the shoulder ... that thing wanted to squirt out multiple times.
 
I had a case with my last phone and I didn't ever having a problem putting it in my back pocket.  Or, I can't imagine having issues with this new phone.  I'm not sure what type of tight/metro jeans you all are wearing!
 

phrenile

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HillysLastWalk said:
Trying to pay a bill just now, with my phone tucked into my shoulder and my head tilted to hold it against the shoulder ... that thing wanted to squirt out multiple times.
Aren't you screwed either way, since a case obscures the proximity sensor and you end up face-dialing other random people while you're pressing the phone to your shoulder?
 
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Would that be the ... "case"? *knee slapper*
 
On the S3, all the proximity sensor does is turn off the LCD screen when you hold the phone to your ear.  Or really, when something is close to the earpiece.  For example, you can test out this sensor by making a call, and then taking your finger and placing it near the earpiece.  Would a case block the earpiece, or enough to stop it from working correctly?  Also, during that that call, it would display the specific contact you are talking to, not the contact list.  The top half of the screen is taken up by an image, and not any buttons.  I guess I'll find out.  I don't ever recall it being an issue with my last phone.
 

maufman

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HillysLastWalk said:
Personally, I want a rugged case of some type, even if I'm not concerned about it breaking.  Holding this Galaxy S3 is like trying to hold a bar of soap.  Slippery little fuckers.  And most "design" is like that these days, with the smooth edges, and trying to get as thin as possible, but with bigger and bigger screens.  Trying to pay a bill just now, with my phone tucked into my shoulder and my head tilted to hold it against the shoulder ... that thing wanted to squirt out multiple times.
 
I had a case with my last phone and I didn't ever having a problem putting it in my back pocket.  Or, I can't imagine having issues with this new phone.  I'm not sure what type of tight/metro jeans you all are wearing!
 
You need a case with a fabric exterior -- it keeps the phone from slipping out of your hand, yet it's easy to slip in and out of your pocket (unlike sticky rubber cases, such as the Otterbox).
 
My wife and I bought Otterbox cases for her iPhone and our iPad. We had bad experiences with both and will never buy anything from them again. I'm sure the protection is great out of the box, but how good is it once the case is bent out of shape and starts falling apart (which happened within a month or two)?
 

bsj

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Random update to this thread....
 
After bitching and moaning via Twitter for weeks and basically being 90% of the way toward eating the ETF (which was about the same as they wanted me to pay towards the new phone) and jumping carriers Sprint finally caved and agreed to send me a replacement phone at no cost. So i will def be taking that money saved and putting it into the best case i can find!
 

NHbeau

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Lowest level of hell.
 I'm going to guess in actual real world use I have more experience than most on what will and won't hold up for a phone case. I work in a granite quarry year round. Which is to say I happen to work in quite possibly the worst environment possible for a mobile without actually being shot at while working. Driving snow/rain, major impacts, blasting, and dust that will eat any metal alive in short order. That said I've really only found 2 cases worth buying if you need maximum protection with the phone still being useable and not to cumbersome to stuff in your pocket. I'm currently sporting a Defender on my 4s I recently got. It's a solid case and my only real gripe is the lack of mesh covers over the ear piece/speaker's etc. The internal "padding" is a joke and not a funny one but seems to have held up over the past couple months. It's been dropped onto either granite or concrete from heights of up to 8' and not so much as a scrape or ding to the phone. Most people won't come close to the abuse I heap on a phone, or subject it to the environments I do so I am going to give the Defender a second place. The top dog I have found is the Trident Kraken though. It's like someone designed a case just for the shit I throw at a phone. Mesh over all the important places, full functionality, outstanding dust resistance and incredible drop protection. I'd even recommend the Aegis to someone over the crap that is an otterbox commuter if you think you can forgo the bank vault style cases. The only other compelling case is the lifeproof ones. Those I find terribly priced and down right inconvenient to use or to pocket but that's more a personal quibble than a matter of fact. I'd recommend the Trident Aegis for roughly 95% of people out there. Toss on a decent screen protector (i.e. one that doesn't go on dry) wrap the whole thing in an aegis and pop it apart once a month to clean out the dust and you'll be surprised how well your phone will hold up.   
 
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I ended up going with some case (and screen protector!) I got off of eBay for like $3.  Basically good enough to eliminate scratches.  Fine by me.  But, I received an email from AAA and they have an offer for the OtterBox Armor series (the best OtterBox you can get) for $29.99 incl. shipping.  That's a pretty good price.  Might grab 2.
 

bsj

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The otterbox seems pretty damn bulletproof. But dust collects under the screen via the buttonhole at the bottom. Looks like shit if you dont open it (pain in the ass) and clean every couple of weeks.
 
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True, but the $3 case I have now isn't exactly keeping the dust out.  And is dust an issue for most cases?  Although, the Armor series says it's dustproof - claiming 0 entry of dust and debris.
 
I didn't think I needed much more than this case I have - and it has a kickstand!  But $29.99 (incl. shipping) for this case is a pretty damn good deal.