Just a couple of months after purchasing a new iPhone, I accidentally dropped it. I was taking a walk and my hands were frozen because of the cold. I dropped the phone while I was holding it because I had no sensitivity in my hands. At first the fall didn’t appear to have caused severe damage, but then I was shocked to notice blue vertical lines slowly forming all over the shiny screen’s surface. After the first instants, the screen was covered in a fancy stripy pattern; a few minutes later it was totally unresponsive. The only protections on the iPhone at the time of the fall were a thin plastic case and a film screen protector. It wouldn’t have been so bad with the older 3G/3GS models: I dropped my older iPhone a number of times and it kept on working just fine until it had an accident involving a pool of water and a car. The 4S however broke as soon as it touched the ground on that single instance and to replace the screen I spent ISK 25,000 ($207) with tears in my eyes. Not that this proves anything, but probably I was not the only one so stupid and careless to drop the device in a moment of distraction: on the desk of the local repair service at least 6 or 7 other iPhones with broken screens were stacked up on the very same day. Iceland is a small country and 7 broken iPhones per day is quite a lot, especially given the country’s population. Perhaps iPhones could be a little sturdier, so that even awkward people like me could safely handle them.
After the accident described above, it was obvious that to prevent future tragedies and nervous breakdowns a protective case was needed (prices for the iPhone 4S in Iceland start from around $1,000 for the 16GB model). The people at the repair store suggested to get one of those heavy duty cases that are fairly popular in the military. Unfortunately, the only case they had in the shop was a camo one, which honestly seemed a bit too hardcore for a lady like me. So I looked on Amazon and after careful research I decided to get a more discreet black OtterBox Universal Defender case.
The case features a triple-layer protection and it is made of a polycarbonate shell, silicone cover and built-in screen protector. The polycarbonate part constitutes the inner armor of the case, while the silicone cover ensures a firm grip and protection against bumps. The case comes with a detachable holster with rear clip that can be used as a stand. Overall, the OtterBox fits very nicely, leaving no wiggle room around the device. Thanks to the way the case is designed, the interactivity with iPhone’s buttons, speakers and connectors is not affected; the frontal protection doesn’t seem to alter the screen’s sensitivity. The case may be a little expensive for some users, but those who are into the “better safe than sorry” philosophy should check it out. The only criticism I have is that it takes a little practice to put the case on and take it off and that the holster doesn’t feel as durable as the rest of the case. Also, the OtterBox is not very practical for users constantly attaching lenses and other add-ons to the iPhone camera.
Otters must love their mobile devices quite a lot, but I must be frank: I am too afraid to experiment and throw the iPhone against walls and from roofs, to run it over with a roller or even to step on it just to see if the case is sturdy enough — but if you look, you will find videos on the web of people doing it. It will suffice to say that the build quality and the materials of the OtterBox seem quite resistant and they will likely endure the kind of damage one could inflict on the device in normal conditions, like dropping it from reasonable height and bumping it against things. The OtterBox will adequately protect the iPhone from dirt and dust as well.
The OtterBox Universal Defender case is available in a variety of colors and will fit all iPhone 4 and 4S models.
Dimensions: 7 x 2 x 4.5 in / 17.8 x 5 x 11.4 cm
Weight: 2.1 Oz. / 59.5 g
Compatibility: All iPhone 4/4s models
Product Code: APL2-I4UNI-B6-E4OTR