Samsung Galaxy Nexus Otterbox Commuter Case Review

I used to really loathe having to use a phone case. In the olden days I would never use one, I would drop my phone on a daily basis (approximate) and by the end of my contract my phone would be covered in cracks, scratches, sellotape and holes.

Now though in the days of two year phone contracts, I use my phone for six months, sell it on Ebay, then buy another phone and then repeat. Sure, not everyone will do this but for me I like to have the latest and greatest phones.


So, as most of the phones I use are probably going to be sold, I now like to keep them well protected. Even if it means the once thin and light phone is now the size of a house brick (approximate).

I have used a few of those really thin mesh style cases with my Nexus and decided I needed something that offered a bit more protection. So after a bit of investigation I found Otterbox. Otterbox have become a big name amongst case manufacturers as they offer what I feel is the most protection you can add to your device. I bought the Otterbox Commuter case which offers three part protection for your device.

Design

In the box you get a silicone rubber inner layer which helps reduce shock from any impacts and also protects the corners and screen of the device. You also get a hard outer shell which clips over the inner layer. Lastly you get a screen protector as well.

The inner only has a few cut outs in it. You get a couple of holes for the microphones and the camera.For the headphone and charging sockets, you get clever little flaps. The volume and power buttons are totally covered by the inner as well.

The outer shell clips over the inner shell and protects the rear of the device and all of the edges. It gives the finished protected device a nice solid feel to it.

Adding the screen protector to the Nexus as well makes it feel indestructible. I feels like whatever you could throw at the Nexus it could cope with. Maybe not a hammer though.

Pros and Cons

Here are my pros than cons for the case. Pros are as follows..

  • Totally indestructible feel to the finished case
  • Socket covers are a nice touch, they stop fluff and dirt getting into the phone
  • The cut outs are well thought out leaving nothing missed out, i.e. Sound cancelling microphone hole as well as normal microphone
  • The inner case wraps around the front of the device adding extra protection to the screen

The cons are as follows..

  • The case might be a little large for some
  • The hard outer case is a little slick, it could slide off something
  • The silicone inner layer that protects the corners and the front is quite grippy, sometimes getting it out of you pocket is tricky
  • Getting at the sim card or battery requires a little skill
  • The volume and power buttons feel a little unresponsive, they aren’t though. They just feel numb.

Conclusion

Overall the Otterbox is a great case. It offers more protection than either a silicone case or a hard case individually would. The combination of the two layers allows clever little features like the micro usb socket flap to be made. Getting a screen protector with the case as well is definitely a bonus. If you want even more protection than this Otterbox do an even more hardcore case called the “Defender” which reverses the inner and outer layers and includes a built in screen protector. Although for some people it may be a step to far in protection. A few little quirks may put some people off. I really liked it though and after a week the little quirks really do not bother me any more.

Link – Otterbox

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  • Sendmesomejunk

    Looks similar to the Casemate Tough – I have one for Galaxy Note – although the buttons are even more positive/responsive than before and the rear of the hard shell part has just the right amount of grip so it doesn’t slide in your hands or on surfaces… I’m very happy with it, although I don’t use a screen protector (not sure if I want to or what the trade-off is in terms of display quality and touch). Judging from your review it sounds like the Casemate is superior.