Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: The Big Apple
Device(s): GS4, Note 2, GS3, Note, Charge, Vivid, Inspire, Desire, Nexus 7.2, Note 10.1, Tab, XOOM; iPhone5/4/3
Carrier: AT&T, Verizon
Thanked 21 Times in 17 Posts
Well, I received my Otterbox COMMUTER case and I have to be honest - I am pretty disappointed. Mainly in comparison to my previous Otterbox cases.
I had the Otterbox Commuter case for my GS3 and I liked it a lot. The matted plastic seemed sturdy and it really enveloped the phone except for the corners and it kept it held the rubber inside in place securely.
Then I bought the Otterbox Commuter case for my iPhone5 and noticed that the plastic did not seem as sturdy and I also noticed that it did not really surround the phone as much and the rubber insert was used as the frame for the area around the buttons. This bugged the hell out of me because everyone knows that the rubber eventually stretches, and without the hard plastic frame to secure that part, it is only a matter of time that that area will expand. So it feels like the top part of the phone is rubber and the bottom part and the back is hard plastic. To top it off, the top layer of the rubber started coming off after a week. :-/
Fast forward to today - my Otterbox Commuter case for my GS4. I thought it would be built like the one for the GS3, but boy was I wrong. It was designed with the same concept as the iPhone. The hard plastic frame is more for the bottom half and the back (where there are no buttons), and the top part on both the left and right side is the rubber insert that is not held down by any hard plastic. So even visually, the top part is a tiny bit wider than the bottom because it's not secured with the hard plastic. Given time it's just going to expand.
So, while it looks fine from a distance, the hard plastic is a bit glossy which to me looks cheaper and the rubber part is just covering more of the edges that I would like without it being secured down. It's not like as if the rubber was like the hard rubber in the Speck cases, but it's a soft rubber that is maybe a little bit hardened in the corners and the exposed top.
I don't know - maybe in reality the hard plastic is stronger and the rubber won't expand, but I already don't like the fact that I can easily stretch open the rubber that is not covered by the hard plastic.
I probably didn't do a good job describing it - but compared to the GS3, which for the areas of the buttons - the hard frame covered that area with the rubber insert covering only the buttons - it just doesn't feel as sturdy and it makes it feel like they want the rubber to stretch out so you buy a new one.
Anyway, are there any other cases out there that are similar? I like the added protection but do not want a Defender case (too bulky) and don't really want a Speck case (I have that for my Note 2 and it has it's own rubber stretching issues).
Most of the cases above seem more for minimal protection and aesthetics.
Ah, well - just my opinion on the Otterbox commuter cases... At least for me, I liked the GS3 version better.