iProtection

Product: iProtection (iPhone Defender Series)

Manufacturer: OtterBox <www.otterbox.com>
Price:  $49.95
Test Rig: iPhone 4S

It’s not a question of if but a question of when. Your HDD failing. No, that’s a given. I’m talking about dropping your iPhone.

During a recent light snow, I went to take a picture of the bucolic scenery with my iPhone 4S. I was wearing these cloves where you can flip the top back,, exposing your fingers. All except your thumb. I lined up the shot and pushed the button. Unfortunately, all the pressure was distributed to my gloved thumb, sending my iPhone 4S flying out of my grip and crashing to them ground. Result: cracked back glass. Not good.

I need protection. My iPhone 4S needs protection.

“This rugged iPhone 4S case provides heavy duty protection from rough treatment in the worst environments. Our Defender Series iPhone 4S Case defends against drops, dust and damage without taking away from the interaction of the iPhone’s features. The iPhone 4S Defender Series Case offers triple-layer protection and is built from a high-impact polycarbonate shell, durable silicone and a built-in screen protector, making it one of the toughest iPhone 4S Cases out there.”

Sounds impressive. Does it really deliver on its promises?

THE JUICE

Today, I have the OtterBox made specifically for the iPhone4/iPhone4S. Your can purchase OtterBoxes with

various  degrees of protection and, of course, for different devices (iPhone4/4S, 3Gs, iPad, etc.). You can choose from various colors, the number of choices limited by the device that you choose.

The way OtterBox provides protection is by having a unique two layers of protection. First, you place your device in a plastic casing which provides sturdy protection. Then you slip over that shell a rubberized sleeve which helps to cushion the blow when it’s dropped.

There are various flippers that allow access to your connector and to plug in your earbuds, canal phones, or cans. There are openings for your camera lens, your phone speakers, and one vanity opening on the back to display the Apple logo.

THE PULP

The OtterBox without que stone is the most rugged case out there. But it comes at a price, which I can see no way around. It takes your iPhone from being a single handed device to something a bit bulkier. I find myself torn between the supreme protection that it provides and the ease of use that it subtracts.

But you can argue its abilities. A friend of mine recently over a third floor balcony railing, forgetting that his iPhone was in his top pocket. It plummeted the three stories and landed solidly on the sidewalk below. He ran downstairs to retrieve the phone and found that it didn’t have a scratch and worked perfectly. Very impressive.

THE RIND

The engineering of the device is generally good, except for some sloppy exceptions. First, you’re supposed to be able to plug in your headset with the flipper closed. But it appears that some one inverted the section of the blueprint that relates to this particular cover. If you open the flap, the port is to the left side of the opening. But the opening on the flap is to RIGHT side, so you have to open it up if you want to plug in your buds.

Also, the flipper over the power connector is poorly hinged. It doesn’t set properly, so remains unhinged the majority of the time. And it’s definitely a two-handed struggle if you want to plug in the charger cord.

Finally, I personally I find it to be butt ugly. Here I bought a beautiful white iPhone 4S with brushed aluminum trim, only to cover it with a gray case the hides the beauty of the design. I would think, that at least they would manufacture a clear model so that I could see how nice it looks.

SUMMARY

OtterBox iProtection delivers on its promise. You can have your iPhone take a licking’ but keep on ticking’. Sadly, this comes at a cost of tossing the devices aesthetics out of the window. Is it possible to have a functional medium?

At $50, you have to ask yourself which do you value more – the peace of mind or the aesthetics. I guess that all depends on how you use your iPhone.

For me the jury is still out.  With my sausage fingers, the case will remain on my iPhone. But I long for the sleekness and the cool factor of my prized possession.

RATING

7 out of 10

© Frank Petrie 2012
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About ympnow

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