Thanks to my recent quest for the best case for my brand new Apple iPhone 6s Plus, I became a bit of an expert on the topic of protective cases. I looked at a lot of different protective cases and at the end chose the Otterbox Defender for Apple iPhone 6 Plus and 6s Plus. Getting there wasn’t too easy. I tried numerous cases and researched what was probably several dozen cases from various manufacturers.
I have used Otterbox cases for many years and my research and experience enlightened me to the fact there are different models of Otterbox cases. This article will explain the differences between the lines and will help to select the right Otterbox case for your smartphone or tablet.
The Otterbox Defender Series is the top of the company’s line for protection. The Defender consists of an inner hard shell case that will encase 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 synthetic rubber skin that fits tightly over the hard shell. Unlike the Otterbox Defender 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 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 and makes me believe that if I dropped the phone, it will stay safe. You can read our Review of the Otterbox Defender Case for Apple iPhone 6s Plus for more detail on this series as they are all made with the same design regardless of the device it fits.
A popular protective case is the Otterbox Commuter Series which is somewhat similar to Defender. It has an inner and outer case as well as a screen protector. There is no holster with the Commuter. The Commuter uses a synthetic rubber shell over the device then places a hard shell which partially wraps around the phone from the back. 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 from the case, 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. But, as I said, if you looking to reduce the added bulk, this is a well designed case that offers good protection for your phone.
The Otterbox Symmetry Series is the slimmest of all the cases. The assembly of the Symmetry is similar to that of the Commuter case however the case is made of one piece and consists of synthetic rubber and poly carbonate. There is no screen protector with the Symmetry line and you can add your own for added protection.
The Symmetry has the widest variety of colors and designs out of all the Otterbox case lines. While this is a good case, the absence of the screen protector makes this a deal breaker for me. I think the screen protector adds important protection and helps to keep dust away from the phone. I would opt for the Defender or Commuter versus the Symmetry.
Here’s the summary. Otterbox Defender Series for extreme protection with a really thick case. Otterbox Commuter Series for a moderate case profile with good protection. Otterbox Symmetry Series for moderate protection and the smallest amount of additional bulk from the case.
My Apple iPhone 6s Plus in the Otterbox Defender Case complete with holster is what’s in the photo that accompanies this article. I really mean it when I say that I’m fan of Otterbox because they are all that I use on my expensive phones. These are solid cases that provide some of the best protection you can find.