I’ve owned the Defender Case for almost a year as of this writing:

The good:

  • Protects the phone well. I have dropped the iPhone multiple times with no damage to the phone. It has preserved my phone many times. The case lives up to its name.
  • The part that the phone clips into securely holds the phone and also makes it easy to clip the phone in and to remove it.
  • The belt clip comes with the case, which does not appear to be so with the other OtterBox iPhone 4 cases.
  • The belt clip rotates 360 degrees. I haven’t used this feature very much but it could come in handy for clipping it to a backpack.
  • Good customer service. When the belt clip broke they sent me a new clip with no argument.

The bad:

  • I caught the case on the seat getting into the car and the belt clip cracked then broke. However, OtterBox promptly sent me a new clip when I reported it to them.
  • The case is big. That high level of protection comes a price of a much thicker phone.
  • The screen protector, which is a sheet of plastic attached to the case, interferes a little with the viewing the screen. This is no worse than any other screen protector and it could be easily removed from the case with a little effort.
  • The rubberized case is starting to split. Time to test OtterBox’s customer service again.
  • This is a strictly personal preference but OtterBox decided we all wanted to show off the fact that we have iPhones. They made a porthole in the back of the case that lets the shiny Apple logo on the back of the phone show through for everyone to see. It would have been cheaper for them and preferable to me to have had a solid black case and let everyone just wonder that brand the brick on my hip was.
  • The rubber case grips very well. I it is great for setting your phone down on desk and having it stay there and it gives you a good grip on the phone when holding it. Unfortunately, the rubber cover also grips very tightly to lined pockets in clothing and bags that have phone pockets.

Summary:

I have been happy with the performance of the case. It has protected my phone well despite several hard drops onto the pavement. Three of the four corners of the hard inner shell have gouges in them from these drops. My complaints about the case are minor. When it broke, Otterbox replaced the broken part. My phone is as good as new without a scratch, dent, crack, or ding so the Defender Case has defended my phone well.

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