Hands-on: OtterBox Defender Series iPhone 6 case review

By Peter Chubb - Mar 7, 2015

Having already reviewed various cases for the iPhone 6, such as the one from Carved and the Tech21 Case Classic Shell with Cover, we thought we would now look at something that offers more protection. There is a huge choice of rugged cases to choose from, although our friends at MobileFun were more than happy to send us the Defender Series iPhone 6 case from OtterBox.

It’s clear to see that OtterBox has not completely redesigned its Defender Series case, but has taken the best from previous designs and incorporated it into this new version for the iPhone 6. There are one or two issues that still need to be addressed, which we will get to later in the review, so for now let’s get into it.

The new Defender case for the iPhone 6 is extremely tough and comprised of three layers and from what we could tell will be able to provide tough and sturdy protection, and handle whatever it is you will subject it – within reason of course.

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Ok, so we know there are other brands out there that offer even greater protection, but the Defender series is the most well known and for the price seems to be popular with iPhone owners. You have the outer silicon shell, and an inner plastic shell, along with the belt, clip holster. A word of warning, if you like to swap your cases regularly, then you might not like this one, as it takes a while taking it apart to put your phone in.

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The easiest way to start taking this Defender case apart is by pulling one of the silicon button covers and then stretch it so that it comes away from the hard plastic shell. You then keep doing it all the way around until it is completely removed. As for the plastic shell, you will notice several clips, just pop them open and the shell will come apart as well.

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Once all together you will notice why this is one of the most popular cases of its kind, because it all seems very tight and ready to offer your iPhone a huge amount of protection, However, I was not happy with the built-in screen protector, as it just seems a little loose and when typing it does start to get on your nerves with the feel of it just lifting away from the screen each time you type. However, that is just a minor issue, one that you will get used to after a while.

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The opening for the mute switch is rather large, so you should not have any trouble getting to it if you have larger fingers to switch it off. The volume buttons have been covered but you are still able to hear them click, although you will need to press them just that bit harder. On the bottom you have an opening for the headphone jack and the Lighting port. However, the speaker remains uncovered, so just remember this case is not waterproof. And finally, we have the standby switch, which is also covered and takes more pressing before you hear that click.

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I also had a slight issue with the fingerprint scanner because there were times when it would not unlock my phone, but if you just place your finger on the scanner just a little harder it will then get recognized, Just don’t be tempted to take the thin clear cover away from the home button.

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I do love its overall design, especially the large lip on the front of the case because if you slam it down face first or drop it, the screen will not come into contact with the surface. I also found that the plastic protective cover does not inhibit the camera flash because the opening is rather large.

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Bottom Line – If you are truly paranoid about dropping your iPhone 6 and cracking the screen, then this case is for you. However, if you want to add a little protection while not adding too much bulk, then this is not the case for you, as it is rather bulky. I have a family member that is out working in the Middle-East and he said that he is more than happy with the Otterbox Defender iPhone 6 case, and even though some sand does get it, he has not had any issues so far.

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The Negatives – Using such a dull looking plastic case takes away the coolness of the iPhone 6, the screen protector needs to feel a little tighter, and skin oil seems to show up on that cover if you use the handset a lot. The hard plastic around the Lighting port is a bit small, and so makes it harder for third-party chargers to fit. And finally, temperamental Touch ID because of that thin membrane.

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The Positives – I liked the addition of the inner foam that helps to further protect the rear of the phone, and the protective cover that stops the Apple logo from being scratched through its large cutout. A choice of colors, I also liked the holder, and while I would not need it for everyday use to clip to my belt, it did come in handy as a mini-stand while watching videos. Oh, and the most obvious, the peace of mind it gives the owner if they were to drop their iPhone 6.

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    Main features:
  • Built-in touchscreen protector defends against scratches and scrapes
  • Protective membrane cradles Touch ID, allowing for full functionality
  • Multi-layer case protects your investment from potential damage
  • Port plugs allow for easy access while keeping out dust and debri
  • Holster clips onto straps and belts, plus it locks in place for hands-free viewing
  • Snap-click plastic shell ensures hassle-free on-off installation
  • Two-year warranty

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If you are interested in this case, then we ask that you head over to MobileFun, where you will pay just £39.99.

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Also See: Touchscreen Replacement Program for iPhone 6, Plus a possibility

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