Otterbox Defender for Apple iPhone 6s Plus Product Review

Otterbox Defender for Apple iPhone 6s PlusMy recent purchase of an Apple iPhone 6s Plus calls for a good case.  After a lot of research I chose the Otterbox Defender for Apple iPhone 6 Plus and 6s Plus.

Readers of this site shouldn’t be too surprised by my final decision as I have been a huge Otterbox proponent for many years.  The last time I purchased a case for a phone was a few years ago, so I wanted to take a look at what’s available.  I tried out several cases before finalizing my selection.  You can read about one of the other cases that I tried out here.  None of the other cases were as good as the Otterbox Defender for protecting my really expensive new phone.

For those unfamiliar with the Otterbox Defender, it’s the top of the company’s line for protection.  The Defender consists of an inner hard shell case that encases your phone.  The hard case has a built-in screen protector that is attached to the case.  The back of the hard shell case has a thin foam pad to cushion your phone.  There is an outer rubberized skin that fits tightly over the hard shell.  Unlike the cases for the iPhone 5s, this one has a protective surface that covers the home button and it works well with fingerprint recognition.  The Defender also comes with a holster which I don’t typically use but it has a nice kickstand option that I may use on a plane for watching some videos.  This is a big case and it will no doubt add some girth to an already large device (especially with the holster).  But it feels solid seems like if I dropped the phone, it will stay safe.

Keeping your phone safe is what the Otterbox Defender is all about.  I used this line to protect my Apple iPhone 5s and an Apple iPhone 4s.  I dropped these phones on concrete, tile and my desk.  Never a scratch.  Yes, this an expensive case but so is your iPhone.  Please don’t be lulled into thinking that your cell phone insurance is going to protect you from a large financial outlay to fix a broken phone as the deductibles are more than the Otterbox case.

I learned a few interesting things about the Otterbox Defender.  First of all there is a significant flaw in early manufacturing runs of the case for the iPhone 6 / 6s Plus.  Earliest production of the case left a small gap between the phone and the screen protector.  Unfortunately, my first purchase of the Otterbox Defender had this flaw so I needed to return it and buy another.  It was functional but very annoying to have to exert additional effort to interact with the display.  So annoying, that I was misspelling everything and spell check was constantly in correction mode often replacing my typos with something other that what I was intending.  Be sure that your retail package indicates it is for the Apple iPhone 6 Plus / iPhone 6s Plus.  If it just says iPhone 6 and doesn’t mention the 6s Plus, it likely has the flaw as that was the older manufacturing run.

Also baffling was the method for removing the outer skin from the hard shell case.  This new Otterbox Defender case was made a little differently from the past cases I owned in that the outer skin was more rigid and couldn’t as easily be separated from the hard shell.  I watched a few videos and none were helpful.  The easiest way to take the outer skin off is to start at the side attachment where the hard shell closure snap is exposed and start peeling at the top of that snap.  You can also use a steak knife (but be careful not to cut yourself or the case).  A detailed article on this challenge can be read here.

I considered other Otterbox models including the popular and lower priced Otterbox Commuter Case for Apple iPhone 6 Plus / 6s Plus.  The Commuter line is similar to a Defender.  It has an inner and outer case as well as a screen protector.  There is no holster with the Commuter.  Unlike the Defender, the Commuter case doesn’t snap shut as it just fits the back of the phone.  The Commuter includes a screen protect that is pasted onto the front of the phone versus the integrated protector on the Defender.  The assembled case is more substantial on the Defender versus the Commuter however that comes with a disadvantage in increased girth.  If you would prefer to avoid additional bulk on the iPhone 6s Plus, the Otterbox Commuter might be the better choice.  I found the Defender to offer much more protection for only a small amount of additional cost and I was really after that additional protection and didn’t care about the added bulk.

If you’re sold on Otterbox but not sure which model is right for you, read our article on How to Select the Right Otterbox Case.

The Otterbox Defender for Apple iPhone 6 Plus and 6s Plus has again validated my long time opinion that the Otterbox Defender provides some of the best protection a case can provide.  I’m very pleased with my final selection and in case you’re curious, I got mine in gray and white.