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Otterbox Defender iPhone 5 review

The Otterbox Defender for the iPhone 5.
The Otterbox Defender for the iPhone 5.

Otterbox Defender for iPhone 5


If you’ve upgraded to an iPhone 5 you’ll find your old case doesn’t fit. Fortunately, many companies have already made its newest cases on the market. Among the best of the companies is Otterbox, and its heavy-duty Defender.

The Defender rose to prominence on the iPhone 4 with its ability to cancel out the death grip. Back in 2010, I gave it a sparkling review due to its ability to make the iPhone 4 nearly invulnerable to damage. However, over time, the rubber outer shell would stretch, making the flaps difficult to close. Rhe case also became too bulky over time, especially after Otterbox released its more lightweight Reflex case.

Otterbox’s new Defender for the iPhone 5 is an upgrade in nearly every facet. The case itself is more streamlined, making it have the same amount of protection, but with less bulk. The rubber outer shell feels like a different material that is more solid, and fits snuggly to the case. The outer rubber was so snug, it took me five minutes to figure out how to get it off. If this holds up over time, it is a major coup for the Defender Series.

The usual refinements are back. Built in screen protector, a hole for the camera lens and flash and flaps to reach the plugs. Unlike the previous Defender, which closed to be nearly air-tight, this version has too holes, one for the camera and one for the speakers at the bottom of the case. This is a double-edged sword, as the holes are needed for the phone to function properly, but also make the case a bit less indestructable than the last one. There have been instances with the previous version surviving brief submersion in water. This will not happen on this Defender.

Holes aside, this is definitely Otterbox’s best and most durable Defender yet. It survived the standard drop tests with flying colors, is much lighter and still comes with the clip on holster. It also comes in a multitude of colors.

$50 is a little more than the normal price for a case, but if you’re regularly in areas where your iPhone is at risk or you’re rougher than most on it, it’s worth the investment. Furthermore, until Otterbox’s Reflex or Duracell’s Powermat hits the market for the iPhone 5, I’d go as far as to say this is undoubtedly the best iPhone 5 case on the market.