iPhones and iPads are elegant, resourceful, and stylish, which is why they need protection. I have a variety of cases that provide varying levels of safety and security, but the OtterBox has long set the standard for utility and durability. I’ve recently acquired versions for my iDevices with excellent results.
Only on OtterBox.com can I build my own Defender Series case for either my iPhone or iPad. The multi-layered Defender Series iPhone 5/5S (also 5C, 4/4S, 3G/3GS) case guards against drops, shocks and dust while maintaining seamless usability. There is also a Defender version for iPads (mini Retina, Mini, Air, 4, 3, 2).
The high-impact polycarbonate shell fully covers the iPhone or iPad while the integrated screen protector guards against scratches and smudges. The built-in memory foam cushions the device inside the case while the outer slipcover absorbs impact from drops and shocks. The included holster (screen cover on the iPad) clips to nearly anything and doubles as a kickstand for hands-free use.
These rugged, multi-layer cases ready the iDevices for heavy use and potential mishaps from my sometimes rough and tumble life. Each has port plugs which keep out dust and debris (but not covers over the speakers, microphones, or cameras). The Defender series is not waterproof (the Preserver series has that feature), but otherwise provides a high degree of protection.
Installation of the Defender series cases is very straight forward and easy to accomplish (be sure the iPhone or iPad is clean first so dust is not trapped inside, particularly the screen). But, if you must access the bare iDevice (such as for a Galileo motor mount or other holder), taking the case off is much more challenging since the snap-together plastic fasteners are very secure. The rubber slip cover is not too difficult (though a snug fit), but great care is needed in removing the plastic shell (a thin chisel-shaped hard plastic pry tool is very handy). This case is truly designed to protect my unit under the roughest conditions, and not be in danger of breaking apart.
I find the built-in screen protector to be very durable and resistant to scratches or impact, but it does require a little more pressure for daily use. In addition, the very sturdy rubber menu button on the iPad requires extra pressure to activate (the iPhone does not have a menu button cover because of the finger-print recognition). As expected, neither device feels light and thin any more, but instead feels durable and sturdy, with excellent grip and hold.
I can certainly see how OtterBox earned it great reputation for excellent protection (and it looks good too). The belt-clip on the iPhone unit swivels well and clips on with ease (it does stick out from the hip more than is comfortable though). The plastic screen cover for the iPad is ingenious because it can snap on the front (or back), and has a built-in hinged brace and stops which allow for easy horizontal or vertical mounting of the iPad at several angles (nicely designed piece).
At www.otterbox.com, you can purchase the Defender Series case for the iPhone 5S for $59.95 (the slip cover or plastic shell can be purchased separately). A Defender Series case for iPad mini or iPad mini with Retina display is available for $79.90 (the slip cover and shell can also be purchased separately). Other models like the Utility Series Latch II, Commuter and Symmetry series are also available. I now get protection that inspires confidence with the Defender Series cases from OtterBox.