From the entry-level to the super expensive flagship, most current smartphones come with glass builds and near bezel-less screens. While that makes for good-looking phones, it leaves them a lot more susceptible to accidental damage. A good case or cover ensures that this won’t happen, and some, like wallet cases, offer utility beyond safety as well. However, if you are looking for complete protection, Otterbox cases are the best way to go! Here’s everything you need to know.
Looking for more options when it comes to case brands? We have a detailed guide for that!
Why choose Otterbox?
Otterbox launched back in 1998. It was an idea in the making for more than 10 years. Founder Curtis Richardson wanted to make waterproof cases for his electronic gadgets to keep them safe while outdoors. Richardson and his wife arrived at the unique name simply because they both like otters, which also have waterproof fur.
The company’s move into the segment we all know it for started in 2010 with the first iPhone. Otterbox was one of the first out of the gate with protective cases for it, and the rest, as they say, is history. Otterbox now offers cases for most major smartphones, tablets, laptops, Chromebooks, and more. You can also get screen protectors, wireless chargers, power banks, cables, and a variety of other accessories.
However, protection continues to be the defining feature of Otterbox products. From cases to wireless chargers, everything is built to take a fall and survive harsh environments. Its accessories are big, bulky, and might not be the best-looking, but if you want to ensure that your phone stays protected, Otterbox cases are the best bet.
Otterbox cases are on the expensive side, with prices ranging from around $30 to $70. They are worth every penny, however. It’s a great way to make sure that your even more expensive phone is safe.
The good news is that Otterbox cases are available in most major markets across the globe. Nevertheless, its smartphone selection is limited to US releases. So, while you won’t find an Otterbox case for a phone like the OnePlus Nord, you will find a case even for some entry-level devices from Samsung, Motorola, and others, that are available in the US.
What kind of Otterbox case do I need?
Otterbox specializes in rugged cases and covers, so you’re in the wrong place if you’re looking for something thin. There are a few things to consider when deciding what the right Otterbox case for you is.
- What kind of protection do you need? Otterbox cases come with varying thickness and weight. Some offer multi-layer protection, while others have a built-in screen protector. There are also few thin enough options to let you wirelessly charge supported phones without removing the case. Its newer cases come with an anti-microbial coating for an added layer of protection as well.
- Do you need any add-ons? Higher-end Otterbox cases come with a belt clip holster that also doubles as a kickstand. You can also get cases with built-in pop sockets or ones with a cutout to let you attach your own. If you’ve just bought an iPhone 12, you’ll want to check out Otterbox’s Magsafe cases as well.
- Designs and colorways: There are arguably better-looking cases out there. But Otterbox lets you add a touch of style with a variety of colorways to choose from. You can also get a clear case to show off the phone’s design, but this option is limited to one type of case.
The best Otterbox case: Defender series
The Otterbox Defender is one of the first case types that Otterbox launched, and it remains a fan favorite even today. It uses a synthetic rubber slipcover and a polycarbonate shell to keep the phone safe from accidental bumps and drops. The buttons are covered, and you also get port covers to keep dust, lint, and dirt away. A thick, raised bezel around the front keeps the display safe. Depending on the phone, you might get a built-in screen protector as well.
Defender cases for more recent releases also come with an anti-microbial coating that protects the case’s exterior from common bacteria. It’s infused with a silver-based additive to stop microbial growth continuously. The Defender is also one of the options that come with a belt clip holster. It’s thick and bulky, but if all-round protection is what you’re after, this is the case to get.
The Otterbox Defender isn’t available for every smartphone, but most major flagships are covered.
Get the Otterbox Defender for:
Other Otterbox cases to consider
Otterbox Defender Pro – The ultimate protection
The Otterbox Defender Pro somehow manages to be even more protective than the Defender series. The two are quite similar, but the Pro tacks a little more thickness and bulk to help your phone survive even harsher falls. It also comes with a more textured finish on the back that adds to the grip. The anti-microbial layer and a belt clip holster are both available with the Defender Pro too.
Get the Otterbox Defender Pro for:
- Pixel 5: Otterbox
Otterbox Symmetry: The case for everybody
The Otterbox Defender and Defender Pro are excellent cases, but they are overkill for most people. If you want the safety features that Otterbox is known for, the Symmetry is the case to consider. It doesn’t have the extra thickness and bulk. The polycarbonate case is one of the thinnest you can get from Otterbox. It still offers three times the drop protection you’d get with a MIL-STD 810G 516.6 certified case.
This is the only Otterbox case you can get that lets you show off the phone’s design. The Symmetry also supports a much larger number of phones, including the latest flagships from Motorola, OnePlus, and more.
Get the Otterbox Symmetry for:
- Galaxy S21 Ultra: Otterbox | Amazon
- Galaxy S21 Plus: Otterbox | Amazon
- Galaxy S21: Otterbox | Amazon
- Galaxy A52: Otterbox
- Galaxy A42: Otterbox
- Galaxy S20 FE: Otterbox | Amazon
- Galaxy Note 20 Ultra: Otterbox | Amazon
- Galaxy Note 20: Otterbox | Amazon
- Galaxy S20 Ultra: Otterbox | Amazon
- Galaxy S20 Plus: Otterbox | Amazon
- Galaxy S20: Otterbox | Amazon
- Galaxy A71 5G: Otterbox | Amazon
Otterbox Commuter: The middle ground
The Otterbox Commuter offers the perfect middle ground. It borrows the best elements from both the Defender and the Symmetry cases. It has a relatively slim profile but it sports dual-layer protection with the combination of a synthetic rubber interior and a polycarbonate shell. It also comes with port and button covers and an anti-microbial layer. The Commuter series isn’t available for every phone, but it is a great option if you have a compatible device.
Get the Otterbox Commuter for:
Otterbox Commuter Lite: The entry-level case
The Otterbox Commuter Lite is the best protective case you can get for a slew of entry-level smartphones. It may be the cheapest case Otterbox has, but doesn’t compromise the device’s safety in any way. In fact, it’s almost as good as the Commuter as far as drop protection is concerned, but without the added benefit of port covers and the anti-microbial layer.
Get the Otterbox Commuter Lite for:
Frequently asked questions
Q: Will an Otterbox case keep my phone safe?
A: There are no guarantees, but Otterbox cases are some of the best you can get for complete device protection. The cases are repeatedly tested to ensure their drop protection capabilities. Even the cheapest Otterbox case will keep your phone free from damage.
Q: Can I use an Otterbox case with screen protectors?
A: Otterbox cases are designed to fit your phone precisely. The thick raised bumper around the display may not let you use these cases with certain screen protectors. You will have to make sure that both accessories are compatible with each other before making a purchase. Otterbox has its own range of screen protectors as well.
Q: How do I clean and disinfect a case?
Using special wipes or a microfiber cloth is usually a good way to keep your device and phone case disinfected. Certain Otterbox cases come with an anti-microbial coating as well. For more specifics, check out our guide to properly cleaning your phone.
Q: What is the warranty period of an Otterbox case?
A: You might have come across the fact that Otterbox offers a lifetime warranty with their cases. This means that you can make a warranty claim for up to 7 years from the date of purchase.
Q: Does Otterbox ship globally?
A: You can place orders on Otterbox’s website in the US, Europe, Asia, and Australia. You might also find Otterbox cases listed on your local Amazon store.