Otterbox Armor Series (for the iPhone)

My Review: 8

It looks like the Humvee of iPhone cases:

This thing is a brick.  A giant, yellow brick.  As I was testing it out for the day, a number of people made fun of me.  But I told them what I’m about to tell you.

This case is not intended for everyday carry.  It’s bulky, heavy, and clunky because it’s meant to withstand a hailstorm while being driven over by a tank.  (If the ground underneath it were sufficiently squishy, I think it just might survive the aforementioned tank rollover.)

The purpose of this case is to be waterproof, shockproof, dropproof, and ass-kicking proof. It is not elegant or sophisticated.  But it will withstand a nuclear bomb blast.

The o-ring seals well and tightly.  Water spilled onto it from a faucet tap at full blast never penetrated the interior, and no condensation or moisture built up inside the case.  I might not want to go SCUBA diving with it, but in rain or brief submersion, I would be totally comfortable.   All major functions except for one are accessible in this case, that one being the silent/vibrate toggle.  It is not too difficult to hear or be heard when talking through the case, and the touch-screen is very responsive.  I’d put it at 90% of normal sensitivity, even though your using it through the plastic, waterproof membrane.

I have only two major complaints, and the second one is unreasonable.

Complaint #1: The steep edges of the case where it borders the touch screen can make it difficult to type.  I often mis-hit keys when typing an email, SMS, or website address as a result.  No bueno.

Complaint #2: This is the unreasonable one.  I’ve just found out that this case will not be compatible with the new iPhone.  Of course, there’s no way that OB could have built this for the 3G iPhone, the specs did not exist.  But it’s a bummer.

I did not let complaint #2 affect my review score.  For what this case is, for what it’s meant to be, it does a a great job, and is fully worth an 8 out of 10.  If you are looking for a svelte, stylish case, look elsewhere.  If you are looking for a case that will let you bring your iPhone into a wet week in the jungles of Madagascar, this is your case.

You can purchase them here, directly from Otterbox.  At $70, if you want a waterprrof case that lets you retain almost all the functionality, this is a great purchase.  And I’ve been assure that they will have an Armor-series case for the 3G iPhone when it becomes available.


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