Review: Otterbox Defender for BlackBerry Bold 9700
At the end of 2009, we had announced the launch of Otterbox’s Defender case for the BlackBerry Bold 9700.
For those of you not familiar with the Defender series, the series specializes in offering premium protection for your BlackBerry or iPhone while offering the user full access to all the features of their phone. The Defender series cases offer three layers of protection against bumps, drops and shocks. Luckily, Otterbox was happy enough to provide me with a sample so that I could explain to all of you about their product!
The first, innermost layer, is a hard plastic shell which wraps around the phone. This layer includes has embedded in it a hard plastic cover protecting the users screen and camera. This layer also offers a 2mm bevelling along the edges of the screen and camera so that if the device is to be dropped, impact would not occur against the screen or camera. There is also a built in plastic screen protector attached to the plastic shell which ensures that your screen will remain in great condition!
The second, outermost layer, is a silicone skin which completely covers the hard plastic shell. It is this layer which I would like to mention one caveat which irked me a bit. The silicone is a dust magnet. Even when placed in the third layer, the holster, my sweat or jacket covers the device in lint. I have found no way to avoid this. The only way to clean the case, is simply wipe it down with a damp cloth. One positive of the silicone however is the gripped backing. This allows the users to safely hold the device without having to worry about losing grip.
The third, and external layer, is their heavy duty holster. This belt clip on the holster made me have some nostalgic memories of my old BlackBerry 72xx series holsters. It has a very high quality, heavy duty plastic clip in which I personally have 100% confidence will NEVER fail on anyone. In addition to the clip, the holster itself is very thick further instilling trust into the quality of the product. There is one caveat however. One’s ability to remove the phone from the holster is very easy. In fact, I don’t go a week at work where someone doesn’t dislodge the phone from the casing, without my knowledge, just to show me how easily one’s device can be disconnected and stolen; however, Otterbox’s primary concern is protection from drops, bumps, and shocks and that they do very well!
To test the quality of the casing, I did the unthinkable…yes, you thought correctly…I dropped my phone, in it’s casing, onto several surfaces from about 5 feet above ground to test the quality of the casing. Not only was there no damage to the phone itself, there are NO visible markings or damages to the casing in question. I have owned Seidio & CaseMate products and never, until I used the Defender, have I felt that my phone was more secure than when I began using the Defender!
All in all, with the exception of the case being a dust magnet, and the cases apparent lack of security in regards to theft, I am very happy with the product that Otterbox has created and I am confident, that in the future, they will develop new technologies that will remedy the caveats that I have mentioned!