Otterbox Commuter case for the Samsung Galaxy S4 – Review

Otterbox Commuter case for the Samsung Galaxy S4   Review

I’ve said this many times before, or something similar anyway.


An expensive phone deserves a decent case

So when the Samsung Galaxy S4 arrived on my desk the first thing I did was get a case for it. Over the years my go to brand has been Otterbox as I’ve never had any problems and each generation the cases have some new features that make the better. So back to the review and as usual we’ll start with good and bad points.

Good Points

  • Solid
  • Buttons only covered by rubber
  • IR Blaster left uncovered
  • Did I mention solid?
  • Not as chunky as other Otterbox cases
  • Comparatively easy to fit

Bad Points

  • Chunky
  • Extreme edges of screen slightly awkward to tap
  • You loose 3 seconds of your life each time you open a flap

Design

Recently Otterbox seem to have been taking the design of their cases more and more seriously, not only do the current generation of cases come in a wide variety of colours but also the cases are having to deal with all sorts of extra ports and buttons. The Commuter case for the S4 is no different, with a host of hole, flaps and cut outs in the case.

Some of you may have heard of Otterbox and some of you may not. Basically Otterbox have been making a range of solid protective cases for smartphones for a good few years now. The Commuter case is not quite at the top of the pile in the protection stakes.

The Commuter case comprises of three parts. A soft grippy inner layer, a hard protective outer layer and a screen protector.

Surprisingly you fit the inner layer first (unless you’re going to use the screen protector), it is made of soft grippy silicone rubber stuff, the power button and volume rocker are covered by this layer, the IR Blaster, microphones, headphone socket and Micro USB socket are all accessed via cut outs in the inner layer. With the headphone socket and Micro USB being covered up with a flap that you can open up through the outer layer.

The outer layer is fitted next, with the Galaxy S4 version it was really easy to fit, just a matter of clipping it over the other layer and pulling the flaps through, which was made easier by having a fingernail sized slot in the flap.

In Use

In use the Commuter case is handy, it offers a decent level of protection and not too much extra bulk. As the bezel on the Galaxy S4 is rather narrow I found the rubber screen surround meant that it was hard to perform the hand swipe screenshot gesture. I had to take the case off to take screenshots.

The flaps on the Commuter case for the Galaxy S4 have had a slight design change, they now have a slot for your fingernail, which means they are even easier to open than before. With previous version you just had to claw at the rubber instead.

Conclusion

Overall I liked the Commuter case for the Samsung Galaxy S4. The black was understated and worked well with the dark Galaxy S4 I had, the new design flaps sped things up a little, the S4 felt a whole lot more solid with the case on and I was confident that if I did drop it things would be ok.

You can get Otterbox cases at many different retailers and this Commuter case is available in a wide range of colours. Head over to this product page to see the other colours.

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  • Lee Marshall

    “An expensive phone deserves a decent case”. No, you just need insurance.

    • James Pearce

      haha I like that

  • Guest

    Has anyone else had an issue being able to plug in the micro USB port with the charging cord? I love the case besides not being able to access that pet

  • James Lucas

    Has anyone had an issue accessing the charging port? I cannot plug into the phone to charge it unless I removed the case from the phone. I love the case but this is a fairly big downfall. I have not seen any other comments with this issue so I’m assuming this is an isolated incident.