Otterbox has several cases that suit different needs. However, the differences arenʼt always obvious. That is why we decided to create this article that discusses about the different Otterbox cases we already reviewed and compare the Otterbox to different case manufacturers.
Otterbox Product Highlights
A fancier version of the Otterbox Symmetry Clear
- Clear back showcases color of iPhone
- Leather bottom improves handling (better than the Symmetry and Symmetry Clear)
- Pricey for a “fancy” case since the leather portion is quite small
- Bulkier than other brands of cases
- Back is quite slick
- Clear back will show scratches easily
A slightly tougher day-to-day case. We actually prefer the Commuter over the Symmetry
- Handles better than the Symmetry and Statement due to rubbery corners
- Lightning port is protected from dust
- Bulkier than other brands of cases
- Back is still quite slick (not as bad as the Symmetry)
A beefy, great looking, one-card wallet case. Great for those looking to store a transit pass
- Cover is magnetic, wonʼt open (most of the times) during an accidental drop
- Leather cover and back looks nice
- Handles better than the average Otterbox case
Bulkier than the average wallet case (considering the card capacity)
Toughest Otterbox case for the iPhone X. Not a great day-to-day case unless you need the extra protection
- Tough (weʼve thrown iPhoneʼs 4ft in the air without any problems in Defenders)
- Comes with a belt holster
- TPU sleeve may become loose over time
- Dust/debris may collect
General Otterbox Impressions
With all things considered, Otterbox cases should be at the top of your list if youʼre a little more clumsy with your devices. Otterbox products are generally larger than the average case which generally means that your iPhone has more protection. However, the protection does come at the cost of handling. Larger cases means that your fingers wonʼt wrap around your iPhone as well as thinner cases so there is a tradeoff you need to consider.
When it comes to overall drop protection, Otterbox cases arenʼt certified to the normal Mil-STD 810g but rather their own internal drop rating called Otterbox certified drop protection. Otterbox doesnʼt state the height that you can drop your device but weʼre quite certain anything between 4-6ft wonʼt be an issue for their cases.
Otterbox cases are a little pricier than the average case. However, you do get what you pay for. Spending a few extra bucks on an Otterbox case will give you better peace of mind when it comes to using your $1000 iPhone on a daily basis.
One of the standout features for Otterbox is the custom printed Otterbox Symmetryʼs. One of our biggest issues with custom printed cases is the poor quality/protection the printed case actually comes on. With the Otterbox Symmetry, you can basically print any photo you want onto the back of a Symmetry which means you can have a amazing looking custom case that looks great and offers you great protection
Otterbox comparison to other case manufacturers
Against Spigen cases
If we had to pick one brand over another, weʼd probably go with Spigen. There is a bit more variety in Spigen’s case lineup
to the point that itʼs actually confusing. The Spigen Reventon and Neo Hybrid are some of our favourites cases for the iPhone X and 8ʼs. They are thin, lightweight and offer decent day-to-day protection (at least 4ft drop protection). The Spigen Reventon comes with two screen protectors and has a unique design feature where the iPhone sits in the front edge of the case.
The Spigen Tough Armor is also one of our all-time favourites for cases and from our perspective, if you donʼt know which case to get in general, go with the Spigen Tough Armor. Make sure you get it from Amazon as it will be much cheaper than the price listed on Spigen’s website.
We aren’t too fond of Spigenʼs clear cases mostly because of the slowly yellowing/discolouration of the TPU over time. However, the newer iPhone 8 and iPhone X clear cases seem to solve that problem. But if we have to pick, our personal choice would be to get a Crystal Shell as the polycarbonate back will offer better drop protection in an accidental drop.
Against Urban Armor Gear cases
The biggest difference between Urban Armor Gear and Otterbox cases is the textures on the case. Urban Armor Gear (UAG) is known for their unique looking cases that have a lot of texture. Take the Urban Armor Gear Monarch for example as it is made from 5 different materials with everything fused together so if youʼre a fidgety individual, the UAG case will be better for you.
Weʼve used the UAG Plasma and Pathfinder several times over the last few years and they are great cases. From our perspective, they will offer just as much protection as the average Otterbox case.
The one standout case that weʼll mention is the UAG Metropolis. If youʼre considering the Otterbox Strada, you might want to check out the Metropolis. The texture on the Metropolis is second to none. It has the same one-card capacity as the Otterbox Strada so itʼs great for those looking to hold a transit pass. The UAG Metropolis is going to offer your iPhone Xʼs screen a bit more protection as the latch wraps around the edge of the case. However, it flops around when youʼre using the case with one hand which isnʼt great.
The UAG Metropolis also isnʼt as fancy as the Otterbox Strada so if you need something that looks good for your iPhone X or iPhone 8, go with the Otterbox Strada.
Against LifeProof cases
This is a funny comparison since Otterbox owns LifeProof. With the iPhone becoming tougher in terms of water protection, LifeProof has moved out of the being a waterproof case manufacturer to a tough case manufacturer so there is a bit of overlap between the product offerings. The Otterbox Pursuit and LifeProof Next are quite similar in terms of overall design but if you need a case to show off the color of your iPhone, the LifeProof Next is the case to get. We personally prefer the rubber edges of the LifeProof Next over the Otterbox Pursuit.
When it comes to the LifeProof Slam, we would recommend any case over it. The LifeProof Slam is thin however slick and it will make your iPhone harder to use due to the extra width of the case.
If you need something that offers you 100% water protection, youʼll need to get the LifeProof Fre. Otterbox doesnʼt make a comparable case since the iPhone 5s and their Otterbox Preserver.
Against Speck cases
The Speck Presidio Grip is one of our all-time favourite cases. The grip on the case is unbeatable and because of that, no Otterbox case comes close to it. It “supposedly” offers 10 ft drop protection. However, not for the screen as we found out the hard way. Weʼve been told that the ribs on the case will slowly come off but thatʼs a small price to pay for a great handling iPhone case.
Against our personal favourite case
If youʼve been visiting our website or watching our videos for a while, youʼll know that weʼre quite fond of the Loopy case. The simple loop on the case adds another level of handiness which an absolute necessity when it comes to one-handed usage. Any parent can tell you how awful it is to use a smartphone while holding a squirmy infant. Itʼs almost impossible.
The loop on the back of the Loopy case solves all those problems!