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Old December 11th, 2012, 10:08 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Otterbox Defender vs Commuter Comparison for Note 2 *with pics*

I bought the Commuter online and got it last week. I stopped by the Sprint store and thought I'd give the Defender a shot. Here's my comparison and a couple of pics.

First off, the Defender is definitely more bulky than the Commuter.



Both add protection to the USB and headphone jack ports.





The Defender, as it's always been, is a hard shell with a rubber/silicone glove on the outside. The Commuter is the opposite, a sillicone glove with a hard shell on the outside.

The Defender comes with a belt clip, the Commuter does not.

The Defender comes with a built-in screen protector on the hard shell.

The Commuter comes with a regular screen protector you can buy a pack of from anywhere.

Biggest complaints from either one?

The Defender is definitely bulky, and that can be a huge turnoff for many of you, especially when not only is it tight inside your pocket with the sheer size of it, but the rubbery outside layer will pull your pocket inside out. But if you've ever had a Defender case on anything, you knew that already.

Another complain about the Defender--and this just plain sucks--is the built-in screen protector doesn't necessarily hug the screen, but hovers over the phone's screen throughout the majority of it. The best thing I can compare it to is if you've ever been to an office where the copier has a touchscreen there's always a clear film that goes over the LCD, so you have to make an effort and actually push and not just touch the screen to make a selection.

Sorry for the bad picture quality, but you can somewhat make out what I'm talking about here. The built-in screen protector has a cut-out for the home button, and you can see how the screen protector is lifted:



Here it is with me pushing the screen protector down with the S Pen:



You do have to make a slight effort to touch apps/icons or whatever compared to when you have no screen protector on or even the kind that sticks on the the screen. It's more noticeable towards the middle of the screen.

As far as protection goes, the Commuter feels like it protects just as good as the Defender, even if it's not as bulky or doesn't have a built-in screen protector. It feels just as sturdy as the Defender, and if I could compare the Commuter to anything else, I'd compare it to a Ballistic case. The raised lip would protect the phone without a built-in screen protector. You could set it down face down with no problems at all.

I've yet to drop my phone with or without a case, and I'm not going to do it for testing purposes either. I work in a very, very dusty industrial setting (steel boots and all) and I honestly feel just as safe with the Commuter case as I do with the Defender.

But if you want to see a similar comparison as far as protection goes, check this out. The Galaxy S3 is built pretty much the same as the Note 2, if not, even more fragile. Here's a drop test someone did with the S3 using both the Defender and the Commuter:
(Fast forward to 2:03)
Otter Box Galaxy S3 Drop Test - Defender vs Commuter - YouTube

Here are pics of the Note 2 in the Commuter as requested earlier:





Using Spigen screen protector. Didn't wipe it down, but when it's clean it is very, very clear and responsive. Highly recommend it.






Personally, I'm taking the Defender case back to the store and staying with the Commuter. But if you're paranoid and want to not only have the protection but *feel* it, by all means, the Defender case is for you. Or even if you want a belt clip.

P.S. The volume buttons are much harder to press on the Defender than they are on the Commuter. Power button is easy on both though.

Also, if you plan on using it with a vehicle mount, both cases work with the iOttie, but with the defender you really have to squeeze it in. It doesn't latch on completely and you may run the risk of it falling out if you hit a pothole, but good thing it's in a defender anyway.

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Old December 11th, 2012, 11:16 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I agree with you, in that much bulk (Defender case) would be too much for me.
I would prefer the Commuter case hands down.
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Old December 11th, 2012, 11:38 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks for the pictures! If only that commuter case had a built in kickstand I'd jump all over it.
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Old December 12th, 2012, 01:16 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Excellent review and photos -

Does the silicone on the Commuter case , fit tightly to the phone before you put the plastic outer shell on?
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Old December 12th, 2012, 01:33 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Holy crap, I just watched the youtube video you posted

The man acutually throws his phone in the air and from a window !!!!!

Now thats what I call a review - he has great legs which was an added bonus to watching his video
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Old December 12th, 2012, 05:37 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Anyone have a link to where the commuter can be bought other than otterbox website?
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Old December 12th, 2012, 06:05 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Anyone have a link to where the commuter can be bought other than otterbox website?
They have them on the Amazon UK site, might be worth trying on amazon.com?
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Old December 12th, 2012, 06:35 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Zatx View Post
Anyone have a link to where the commuter can be bought other than otterbox website?

I bought the Commuter version from MobileFun for my son yesterday – I only wish I had seen this excellent comparison beforehand. Choosing a case for someone else is particularly difficult because one does not know how much extra bulk they would trade for extra protection. Being uncertain about that I was attracted to MobileFun because their ’no quibble’ returns policy has been extended ie:-

“At Mobile Fun we have every confidence that you will be delighted with your purchase, but what happens if you buy a Christmas present early and for whatever reason it turns out on Christmas Day that you need to return it?

Well don't worry, you can organise your Christmas shopping with Mobile Fun a bit earlier this year with the secure knowledge that we are offering an Extended Returns Policy.

We’ve specially extended our returns period for the Christmas season. Items purchased from MobileFun.co.uk and dispatched during the period from November 1, 2012 to December 31, 2012 inclusive may be returned at any time before midnight on January 31, 2013. Our returns policy will revert to the standard 30-day period for items purchased after December 31, 2012.”
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Old December 12th, 2012, 07:14 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
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Excellent review and photos -

Does the silicone on the Commuter case , fit tightly to the phone before you put the plastic outer shell on?
It fits snug, but not to the point where you would carry it that way without the hard shell.
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Old December 12th, 2012, 07:30 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Hi please can you put more pictures of the commuter up
And If you have a gray note 2 can you post pictures of it on please?

Also is it easy to take on and off? Can it be taken off and put back on in let's say 15 seconds
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Old December 12th, 2012, 07:40 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
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Hi please can you put more pictures of the commuter up
And If you have a gray note 2 can you post pictures of it on please?

Also is it easy to take on and off? Can it be taken off and put back on in let's say 15 seconds
Sure thing, can do that this afternoon or evening. Someone posted pictures of theirs earlier in the week on these forums. Not sure if he had the gray note 2 though.
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Old December 12th, 2012, 08:19 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Excellent review. I think I'll still wait for the Defender as I've had one for pretty much every phone I've owned in the past several years. The first thing I always do with the Defender is punch out the built-in screen protector. You would think after a couple years they'd get it right but, alas, this is not the case. Once removed then the Defender is "perfect" for me. Though, after seeing this review, I am half tempted to give the Commuter a try.
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Old December 12th, 2012, 08:58 AM   #13 (permalink)
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I'm still getting the Defender. Hahaha

The phone is big anyway. I really wanted to use that screen protector though so I hope it's not too bad.
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Old December 12th, 2012, 09:17 AM   #14 (permalink)
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The review by the OP plus the pics validate my opinion that Otterbox cases are just plain ugly and bulky. I'll be sticking with my Mercury case.
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Old December 12th, 2012, 09:20 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
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I'm still getting the Defender. Hahaha

The phone is big anyway. I really wanted to use that screen protector though so I hope it's not too bad.
It's a pretty weak screen protector. Haven't had it more than 24 hours and already a scratch. I've read that removing the screen protector won't void the warranty. Don't know how true that is.
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Old December 12th, 2012, 09:33 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Thanks for the review. I currently own the Commuter as well as the Seido Active. The Defender is on order and I expect it within the next day or two. For me a belt clip is a must which is why I am not using my Commuter case even though I like it. The Seido Active seems decent, I like the built in kick stand, the belt clip works well, it's just not an Otterbox so the trust level isn't there.

I also really like the rubber cover around the Defender series as it should keep my phone from sliding off my desk. I actually cracked the screen on my Note2 four days after getting it when I turned around in my chair while wearing earphones, the phone slid off the desk and hit right on one of the legs of my office chair. It was unprotected at the time as there were very few case options available then. But still, with the rubber case of the Defender I know I would have felt some resistance and it wouldn't have slid so easily. The Commuter slides too easily for me, the Active is a bit better but still not where I'd like it to be.

I will also be punching out the built in screen protector on my Defender and sticking with my SGP Ultra Oleophobic screen protector. I came from an iPhone 4 where I put a Zagg on it and a Defender case the day I bought it and sold it just last month without a scratch or mark on the phone, was in brand new condition and got a great price for it. Hopefully this combo will keep my replaced Note 2 in the same condition for the next 2 years.
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Old December 12th, 2012, 01:53 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Thanks, looking forward to them!
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Old December 12th, 2012, 02:16 PM   #18 (permalink)
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You just saved me $60.
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Old December 12th, 2012, 02:51 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Reaffirms my choice of wanting to get a commuter case.

Now I just need to find a vendor that sells them in the States! I'm not going to trust Amazon sellers that just created their accounts....
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Old December 12th, 2012, 06:20 PM   #20 (permalink)
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I got the Defender today....it's going back tomorrow. The power button won't depress at all in the case, can't turn on or off while in the Defender.
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Old December 12th, 2012, 08:17 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Quote:
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I got the Defender today....it's going back tomorrow. The power button won't depress at all in the case, can't turn on or off while in the Defender.
How was the screen protector on yours? Was it raised or did it hug the screen?
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Old December 12th, 2012, 09:13 PM   #22 (permalink)
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I used the Commuter on my S3 and I loved it but I'm weary about getting one for the N2 cuz of how big it already is. Would you say this case pushed it over the top to being too big?
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Old December 12th, 2012, 09:37 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Quote:
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How was the screen protector on yours? Was it raised or did it hug the screen?
It is very slightly raised off of the screen, just enough there is a little "click" sound when touching the screen..I guess it's just the plastic smacking the screen.

I have had Defender cases on numerous phones, so I am very familiar with how they should function. This one was released a little early in my opinion.
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Old December 12th, 2012, 10:04 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by donas View Post
It is very slightly raised off of the screen, just enough there is a little "click" sound when touching the screen..I guess it's just the plastic smacking the screen.

I have had Defender cases on numerous phones, so I am very familiar with how they should function. This one was released a little early in my opinion.
Agreed. I've played with some friends' iPhones, and none of their Defender cases were ever like this.
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Old December 12th, 2012, 10:06 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Quote:
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I used the Commuter on my S3 and I loved it but I'm weary about getting one for the N2 cuz of how big it already is. Would you say this case pushed it over the top to being too big?
The Commuter does add bulk, just like the Commuter added to the S3, but it's not as bulky as the Defender. The Defender is not THAT much bulkier, but the huge advantage of the Commuter is that the outside is the hard shell, whereas the Defender the outside is the rubbery glove. So the Commuter is much, much easier to slip in and out of your pocket.

If you can fit your Note 2 naked in your pocket, then you can fit it with the Commuter, unless you're wearing skinny jeans or something really tight.
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Old December 12th, 2012, 10:17 PM   #26 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ne0lyfeism View Post
The review by the OP plus the pics validate my opinion that Otterbox cases are just plain ugly and bulky. I'll be sticking with my Mercury case.
I love my mercury case. Can't beat the quality for the price.
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Old December 13th, 2012, 01:29 AM   #27 (permalink)
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I occasionally hear the click, overall though it rarely messes up. Pocket storage for me is not convenient due to frequent kneeling and picking up heavy items. Prior to obtaining the Defender, I used a small camera case that was clipped to the belt.
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Old December 13th, 2012, 06:59 AM   #28 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by donas View Post
It is very slightly raised off of the screen, just enough there is a little "click" sound when touching the screen..I guess it's just the plastic smacking the screen.

I have had Defender cases on numerous phones, so I am very familiar with how they should function. This one was released a little early in my opinion.




Quote:
Originally Posted by g2manhou View Post
Agreed. I've played with some friends' iPhones, and none of their Defender cases were ever like this.
Not early. Maybe lazily. The Note 2 has been out since late October in the US and the case is just being released now.

Iphone cases are ready at launch. They figure the iphones are their bread and butter.
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Old December 13th, 2012, 01:43 PM   #29 (permalink)
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Thats what irritates me as much as it is true. Iphones are these companies money makers.

I'm a Firefighter/Paramedic and and Emergency Nurse on the side.

So obviously my phone gets into many rough situations. Not to mention carrying the N2 in my pocket is not very handy or comfortable. I use my phone as a mini tablet twice as much as I talk on it or text.

I need a case with a belt clip!

I've had the Ballistic case on my I4 since it was offered. This case is top notch! Much less bulk than the Defender I think. I wish Ballistic would get it in gear and get the belt case out.

In the mean time I bought the Case Mate snap on case with kick stand and a screen protector at the AT&T store when I got the phone.

I've thought about getting one of these for now:
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Old December 13th, 2012, 03:21 PM   #30 (permalink)
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Can you please upload the additional pictures then??
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Old December 13th, 2012, 04:29 PM   #31 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ren857 View Post
Iphone cases are ready at launch. They figure the iphones are their bread and butter.
Arrggg...thats so annoying. Best Buy, Walmart, Sprint, ATT, TMoble stores have row and rows of Iphone covers, but only a spot about the size of a piece of paper of "other" phone covers. :-(
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Old December 14th, 2012, 10:57 AM   #32 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NeuDroid View Post
Thanks for the pictures! If only that commuter case had a built in kickstand I'd jump all over it.
Quote:
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Arrggg...thats so annoying. Best Buy, Walmart, Sprint, ATT, TMoble stores have row and rows of Iphone covers, but only a spot about the size of a piece of paper of "other" phone covers. :-(
There's just so much variety in hardware for Android that they don't concentrate a whole lot on particular Android phones. But we love variety.
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Old December 14th, 2012, 02:54 PM   #33 (permalink)
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2 videos are up of the white and black ones!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kYKHySXwb5M

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TiEdR-ox3gs

Sticking with the black one and it's not too bulky either!
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Old December 14th, 2012, 05:56 PM   #34 (permalink)
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I just got my gray Defender and I love it. The screen protector isn't as bad as I thought it was. It does increase the glare but I can deal. The buttons are a little harder to press, but I can adjust.
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Old December 14th, 2012, 06:16 PM   #35 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by keyan333 View Post
2 videos are up of the white and black ones!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kYKHySXwb5M

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TiEdR-ox3gs

Sticking with the black one and it's not too bulky either!
If you saw my $12. case you'd think it was an Otter box.
Looking at the videos, there is no difference.
Same 2 piece design yet people pay more cause it's Otter.
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Old December 14th, 2012, 06:17 PM   #36 (permalink)
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I just got my gray Defender and I love it. The screen protector isn't as bad as I thought it was. It does increase the glare but I can deal. The buttons are a little harder to press, but I can adjust.
See above post....

Have you adjusted to the button presses yet?
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Old December 14th, 2012, 06:53 PM   #37 (permalink)
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See above post....

Have you adjusted to the button presses yet?
Actually, I have. Mainly because I've had otterbox defenders on my previous 2 phones - my s3 and Evo LTE.
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Old December 14th, 2012, 07:30 PM   #38 (permalink)
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If you saw my $12. case you'd think it was an Otter box.
Looking at the videos, there is no difference.
Same 2 piece design yet people pay more cause it's Otter.

What case do you have?? And I doubt it offers the same protection??
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Old December 14th, 2012, 07:35 PM   #39 (permalink)
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What case do you have?? And I doubt it offers the same protection??
It's in quite a few posts around here.
Kick your feet up get comfortable and find it. LOL!!!!!







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Old December 14th, 2012, 07:49 PM   #40 (permalink)
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Ha, really don't like the style and the back design. Also Otterbox is the most protective, and they have great warranty. It's just annoying how it's taking so long to come to the UK.
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Old December 14th, 2012, 08:33 PM   #41 (permalink)
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The commuter is perfect for me
I enjoy the added bulkiness it gives me something to hold on to
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Old December 14th, 2012, 08:36 PM   #42 (permalink)
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I wanted black but otterbox sold out
So I settled for pink....yes I'm a guy
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Old December 15th, 2012, 07:43 PM   #43 (permalink)
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Haha, they're in stock now but I'd never ever go with a pink case.

It looks horrid and so feminine!!
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Old December 16th, 2012, 09:24 PM   #44 (permalink)
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Well at least it's for a good cause.
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Old December 17th, 2012, 01:19 AM   #45 (permalink)
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My Note 2 fell out of the holder 4 times today, securely seated each time. Kneeling and pressure against the bottom of the holder.
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Old December 17th, 2012, 10:19 AM   #46 (permalink)
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Got my Defender and I love it. Very solid and seems like it will offer great protection. I popped out the built in screen protector and kept my SPG on it. Belt clip has also been solid for me as well so far.

I like that the buttons are harder to press, I had too many times where I would accidentally press a button prior to having this case so I like that it actually requires an effort to push.

I do wish the rubber was a little less slippery though but it's still pretty good.
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Old December 17th, 2012, 11:13 AM   #47 (permalink)
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My 14-month-old sat on my phone with the defender on (he weighs about 24 pounds). He's the main reason I got the defender in the first place. Ha!
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Old December 21st, 2012, 09:54 AM   #48 (permalink)
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I just got my gray Defender and I love it. The screen protector isn't as bad as I thought it was. It does increase the glare but I can deal. The buttons are a little harder to press, but I can adjust.
How's the screen protector? Does it hug the screen or does it hover above?
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Old December 21st, 2012, 06:31 PM   #49 (permalink)
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How's the screen protector? Does it hug the screen or does it hover above?
It does kinda hover it. I think I may get a replacement. It does cause me to have to press a few letters a little more forcefully.
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Old December 22nd, 2012, 02:45 AM   #50 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by ScandaLeX View Post
It's in quite a few posts around here.
Kick your feet up get comfortable and find it. LOL!!!!!
What case is this? Couldn't find it from your posts so registered to ask.
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