Review: OtterBox Defender Case for BlackBerry Storm

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Review: Otterbox Storm Defender Case

Rating: Rating: ★★★★★★★★★☆

Link: http://www.otterbox.com/blackberry-cases/blackberry-storm-defender-case/

Price: $49.95 (USD) + postage

Color: Black (come on OtterBox… give us a yellow one)

Over the years, I have been quite partial to OtterBox products. Their constant attention to detail, overall design, competitive pricing and rugged good looks has always been a winner with me. Combine that to a company that really listens to their customers and keeps up with latest handsets then these guys are here for the long term.

dsc_0302Design: 

I’ve not kept it much of a secret that I’m not a big fan of the Storm. From day 1, I have truly disliked this model and after about a week of solid use, I retired it as my main device in favor of the 8220 Pearl Flip. As I had signed a 24 month contract with Vodafone for the Storm it took pride of place in my 15 year old daughters array of electronic gadgetry. 

Now I thought I gave my devices a hard time… I’ve got nothing on my daughter. Her Storm gets thrown around more than a baseball at a Yankees vs Red Sox game… Thanks to OtterBox, I don’t have to worry too much. Damage is kept to a minimum due to their standard 3 layered protection system. 

The hi-impact polycarbonate shell is integrated to a clear membrane that covers the touch screen allowing full functionality to your Storm. A silicon skin outer is then fitted to a number of ribbed clips surrounding the polycarbonate shell. Lastly, the whole lot fits inside a tough, hard plastic holster with a strong, positive locking belt clip. 

Both access ports (Micro-USB and Headphone) are still accessible by simple removing the attached plugs. The front and rear speaker is covered by a fine gauze filter  preventing the ingress of dust and sand into these 2 susceptible  points. 

One problem I did have with the OtterBox for the Bold that I reviewed some months ago was with the flash reflecting off the inside of the clear cover over the lens. OtterBox have addressed that issue with this model ( and as I believe they have also rectified it on the Bold defender case). Although there is a clear cover over the camera lens and flash, I have experienced no interference and the  pictures turn out well. 

dsc_0305The status LED is clearly visible and all bottom, side and topside buttons are easily usable. 

There is only 2 drawbacks that are a sore point with me, neither of them are an issue of OtterBox. The first one is that it can be tricky to fit the first time around. To all the Storm owners out there… You know how many times you have to do a battery pull reset per day… Can be quite a long and drawn out affair once you have an OtterBox fitted. (Although as the case loosens up a bit, it does get easier). Secondly, the cleaning bill to my Jeep. Seems that every time I do an OtterBox review, it gives me an excuse to go out and find some mud so I can get some pictures. (That’s my excuse, and I’m sticking to it… :-) ). (It’s actually white under all that…)

dsc_0309

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pros:

 

  • Looks Great
  • Ridged Plastic Camera/Flash Protection that is functional.
  • Same Bullet Proof feel as the previous OtterBox Defender cases for Blackberry.
  • Snug fit and somewhat stouter, plugs over the charge/headphone ports.
  • Filter over ear piece and rear speaker port.
  • Magnet for sensor in the holster to keep the ‘factory’ type behavior happening.

 

Cons:

 

  • With all the battery pull resets on the Storm, it can be a lengthy process.
  • Makes the device more bulky than it already is. (Although not a notable as is on the Bold).
  • No yellow available (yet?)

 

dsc_0312Conclusion: 

In todays current financial times, people may be seeing something like the OtterBox Defender as a bit of a luxury instead of a necessity. I think the opposite is true. 

You, as the consumer, can’t afford to buy a new device every time you drop one down a flight of stairs or accidently leave it on top of the car. (Not that I’m saying the OtterBox will save your device from certain death… But it will definitely delay it).

It makes sense. If you have invested your hard earned dollars into the latest device, your don’t want to be shelling out more for a replacement… It’s kind of like an insurance policy for your BlackBerry against stupidity… or Hard-Core fun…

6 total comments on this postSubmit your comment!
  1. Thanks for the review, after reading I ordered one. (I was debating it for a bit now.)

    For the Canadian readers out there:

    I would strongly suggest that you don’t order directly from OtterBox as they charge something insane like $50 for shipping.

    Instead, go through the authorized Canadian reseller EverCoprp.com (http://evercorp.com/catalog/batteries/Smartphone+Cases/RBB29500S-20/) and use the following Coupon Code at checkout to save yourself another $5: 6007

    My order with taxes and shipping ended up at $62.80 (CAN).

    Note that they only accept Credit Cards.

    Enjoy!

  2. Thanks for the review, pushed me over the edge and I just ordered one.

    For any Canadian readers out there:

    I strongly suggest against ordering through OtterBox as they charge something astounding like $50 for shipping to Canada. Instead, order through the authorized Canadian reseller EverCorp.com (http://evercorp.com/catalog/batteries/Smartphone+Cases/RBB29500S-20/)

    Use the Coupon Code 6007 at checkout to save an additional $5.

    With taxes and shipping (UPS 1-5 days) my total was $62.80 (CAN) – not bad given that OtterBox’s $49.99 US (without shipping or taxes) is really $64.44 CAN with the current exchange.

    Thanks again Greg.

  3. I use an OtterBox for my 8320 and wouldn’t trade it for anything else. As for battery resets, I use a free app called QuickPull that that resets my device for most needs via an app on the Homescreen and can even be scheduled.

  4. Storm user and OtterBox user. I wanted to review this case right out of the box I was so thrilled with it but have waited to get a better feel for it. I am still very thrilled with it after a month, I ordered it as soon as it was available and received it 2/4. Very sharp looking and the protection it provides cant be beat. I love the holster it comes with and in having spent countless amount of money on cases/clips for various phones over the years this is by far the best I have ever used. I would suggest the use of the app QuickPull as previously mentioned with this case, but I still take the Storm out once a week and pull the battery myself (just makes me feel better if nothing else). There are a few frustrations…..1-if the plug for headphone jack is to big around you cant get the plug fully into the Storm with the case on, 2-opening menus in apps in landscape mode the bottom most catergory (ie,close) is near next to impossible to use. I tend to flip the phone into portrait and close from there. 3-using keyboard in landscape mode it is difficult to press the (!?123) in the bottom left and the bottom row of keys. Again, when I run into this, I flip to portrait and try to do what I need to do there. I have read somewhere that OtterBox was working on these issues, and I wouldnt doubt they are. The folks over at OtterBox have defineately put a lot of thought into this case and it shows. Other than the few quirks I mentioned, this case is outstanding. I love it!!

  5. I really wish I could recommend this case. I bought it mainly because my Storm is one of the units that has the dust-under-the-screen problems and Verizon won’t replace it, so the membrane was an attractive selling point for me.

    Unfortunately, the membrane does nothing to keep out dust, and in fact, seems to attract it. My screen is dirtier than it ever was without it. Also, moisture seemed to form almost immediately between the membrane and the screen. Odd, since I live in Colorado, a very dry climate.

    The other complaint I have is that the raised edges of the case make pressing the buttons along the bottom of the screen, especially in landscape mode, very difficult. I have yet to successfully press the ’0′ key when the keyboard is up in landscape.

    Other than that, it seems like a decent case and will no doubt protect against damage when I inevitably drop my Storm.

  6. As far as the battery pull goes, download a free application through blackberry app world called “quick pull” allows you to simulate a battery pull using an application, therefore eliminating the need to remove the otterbox.

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