Griffin Survivor vs. Otterbox Defender opinion

Discussion in 'iPhone Cases and Accessories' started by Hoganlex, Mar 2, 2011.

  1. Hoganlex

    Hoganlex New Member

    After purchasing my new 16gig iPhone 4 and putting a Zagg IS front and back protector on it I decided that I needed more protection so I got a Griffin Survivor and an Otterbox Defender and made some comparisons. The biggest difference I found was that the Survivor didn't have any watermarking issues, where the Defender did. Also, the Survivor port covers fit much tighter, and it seems to offer a tighter fit from it's silicone cover than the Defender. The Survivor has a camera cover and protects the speakers better than the Defender, with the dock port cover protecting the bottom speakers and a clear plastic piece covering the face time camera and ear piece (its got 5 small holes in it so sound still transfers). The sleep wake and volume buttons don't seem to lose any of their feel with either case. The Otterbox has a slightly recessed home button while the Griffin is slightly raised. The silicone is smoother and less sticky on the Griffin case, which makes it easier to get out of a pocket even though the Griffin case is bigger. The belt clip for the Otterbox offers more protection and is a bit more sturdy than the Griffin, but the kickstand on the Griffin seems to work better. Overall I prefer the Griffin case because it doesn't watermark and the kickstand works better, but either case will probably keep your baby nice and safe.

    One other thing, the Otterbox started to peel up my Zagg protector on the back of my phone, and seemed to put a small circular mark on the front protector. YMMV.
  2. canamera

    canamera Zealot

    You must have gotten a defective Otterbox, 'cause the Defender for the iPhone 4 has never left me any did on my old 3G, but never on my 4! I use a screen protectors on the front and back, and have never had them marked or scratched by the Defender....and I do take my case off quite often to clean it, and it is still perfect! Not a mark on it!
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  4. Hoganlex

    Hoganlex New Member

    I'm pretty sure that my watermarking was a combo of the Zagg Screen protector and the Otterbox case. Not necessarily the fault of the Otterbox per se but just a note about my specific situation.
  5. Rictur

    Rictur Member

    I have a Survivor and I also have the ZAGG front and back protectors. My survivor does tend to stick to the ZAGG shield a little. I read about a baby powder trick and another using eyeglass cleaner, but I've not been too successful with it. I shouldn't complain, but it just looks bad.
  6. Hoganlex

    Hoganlex New Member

    That's odd that I had sticking issues with the Otterbox but not the Griffin case, yet you're getting it with the Griffin case
  7. canamera

    canamera Zealot

    This is all strange....the only time I had water markings on my Defender, was with the old 3G....I used to use the old baby powder trick, and it would solve the problem everytime! I have never had that problem on my iPhone 4 though... Don't really know what to say!

    Sent from my iPhone using iCafe app
  8. Ti Rider

    Ti Rider New Member

    Interesting, I was going to post a "versus" about both these cases. Thanks to my job my iPhone 4 is regularly exposed to dust, dirt, humidity, bumps, etc. I've had both cases so I can give a first hand report on each -

    Otterbox Defender -


    Slim - the case mimics the phone's original shape
    Screen Protector - no longer suffered from severe watermarking
    Shock resistance - in my one and only drop it survived a drop from waist height with no damage

    Belt clip - it's almost too sturdy, it can be a two handed operation to get it in/out. But it's secure so no accidentally knocking it out.

    Complete Failure
    Silicone Skin - unlike the past Otterbox Defender cases the outer silicone skin is poorly secured, stretches over time and fits even more poorly. The skin is also a lint magnet.

    Griffin Survivor -


    Built like a tank. Thick, shock resistant siliscone over a hard plastic case.
    Buttons, functions still work well despite thick case
    Nicely textured outer skin that's well secured.

    Covered camera lens. It's a pain to pick it open, hold it back, to get a picture. On the plus side it keeps the lens clean.
    Flimsy hinged covers over the headphone jack, mute button. My guess is it's just a matter of time before these get torn off due to the thin silicone hinge

    Complete Failure
    Flimsy Belt Clip - the case may be "Mil Spec" the belt clip certainly isn't. Calling it flimsy is being generous. On the first day I used this case I barely grazed the clip against a parked truck and it sent the phone flying. Good thing the case itself is built like a tank because the clip completely lets it down.
  9. canamera

    canamera Zealot

    great review....

    I can't speak for the Survivor, because I've never had, or even seen one....but I'm not sure I agree completely with your Defender "weakness". I don't think you can consider it a weakness that the belt clip securely holds the phone in place! To me, that is a great "Strength"! The problem with the Defender for the older 3G, and 3Gs, was that the belt clip did not old the phone securely...which they eventually fixed, and made it much more secure! ....and regarding your Complete Failure part....well, not sure what to say except for....I must be a lucky one, because I have never had an issue with my silicone stretching, or coming off.

    Your "Complete Failure" for the Griffin Survivor, contradicts your "Weaknesses" for the Otterbox Defender!
  10. Hoganlex

    Hoganlex New Member

    I have to agree wi ti rider about the belt clip on both the griffin and the Otterbox. The Otterbox clip is too secure, to the point of being a pain to get the phone in and out of, and the griffin is pretty much useless, it doesn't hold the phone at all hardly. Overall I'd give the Otterbox a 4 and the griffin case a 4.5, but would probably knock the griffin to a 4 if I used the camera with any regularity.
  11. canamera

    canamera Zealot

    I just checked out the Griffin (I had never seen it before), and I have to admit it looks like a tank, literally!people have always said that the Defender was too bulky, and ugly, but the Survivor takes it to another level. Otterbox has tried to slim down their cases to make them more appealing while keeping them rock solid, but it doesn't look like Griffin was too worried about looks....

    I've been using Defender for three years now, and have never considered changing to another case, even the Griffin Survivor, until I came up on a little case called LifeProof cases! I can't wait for mine to come in!
  12. jsntrenkler

    jsntrenkler Zealot

    @canamera I agree, life proof case looks amazing .. I am on the pre-order list as well.
  13. Dallas Phil

    Dallas Phil Member

    I have purchased two Otterbox Defender cases. In both purchases, I really thought that the cases were great for about a month or so. Then, on the back side at the bottom by the charge plug this section of the case became stretched out to the point that it annoyed me enough to yank off the case. LOL For what it is worth I am currently using the Seidio Innocase Rugged Combo Pack and absolutely am impressed with it. It is like to get two different cases each with it's own holster. When you want it to be rugged it can, or not so much. Very easy to switch back and forth. One thing about the rugged holster, and yes it is a little bulky, is that with a flick of a button you can lock your iPhone in the holster, with piece of mind that while traveling or putting on jackets or whatever that your iPhone wont fall out of the holster without you knowing it. Below is the link:
  14. EverythingApple

    EverythingApple Hi, I'm Chris!

    I purchased and returned the seidio case. I have a review on here somewhere. I didn't like it. I'm waiting for the Lifeproof case.

    Sent from my iPhone 4 using AT&T
  15. Ti Rider

    Ti Rider New Member

    An update - I just switched back to the Defender from the Survivor after the Survivor's flimsy belt clip fell apart while I was at work. The phone landed in loose gravel so it took me awhile to find it (had to borrow a coworker's phone to ring find it). So despite being "Mil Spec" the Survivor is worthless to me without an adequate belt clip.
  16. canamera

    canamera Zealot

    I've never had that problem with the Defender holster....holds the phone really tight, has never fallen off, I'm sure you'll like it.
  17. greasemuntney

    greasemuntney Member

    I just swapped over to the Survivor and so far loving it. The belt clip is a slight issue but not a big one. The case itself is a beast. I have been youtubing videos of the test they have performed on this case. The thing is pretty darn awesome. I hope it is better than the Otter. The Otter was a good case just the rubber swells and bulges out.
  18. ianpwilliams

    ianpwilliams New Member

    Hi everyone. I'm getting an iPod Touch 4 soon, and I really want to get a case for it (one that I can keep it in where I can still use it), because I always get paranoid about gadgets with screens, and especially ones with touchscreens. So I searched online and came across this forum. It seems that either the Otterbox Defender Case or the Griffin Survivor Case are the way to go (apparently the LifeProof one is no good because you have to press harder on the screen because there is a gap), but which one? First of all, Can I just check that I am looking at the products as you (I'm in the UK)?

    Otterbox -

    Griffin -

    My main uses for my iPod Touch will be to listen to my mp3's. So it's important that headphone jack is readily available, which is why I don't like the sound of the "Flimsy hinged covers over the headphone jack" on the Griffin Survivor (1 point to Otterbox).

    I will also play games on it. But it seems like that won't be a problem with either case. Although the Otterbox Survivor weakness says "Silicone Skin - unlike the past Otterbox Defender cases the outer silicone skin is poorly secured, stretches over time and fits even more poorly. The skin is also a lint magnet." (1/2 a point to the Griffin?)

    I will use the camera for photos and videos, but only occasionally. So actually it would be better if it was covered so it was protected (a point for the Griffin Survivor)

    I'm really not bothered about the belt clip, as I'm guessing I would keep it in my pocket all the time anyway. It looks like only the Griffin has a belt clip, but that it's detachable.

    So as things stand, it's:

    Otterbox - 1 point
    Griffin - 1.5 points

    It also looks like the Otterbox is designed for more casual on-the-street use, whereas the Griffin is more for mountain climbing and stuff. Not that I mind a big bulky case if it means better protection. And let's face it, the iPod Touch 4 itself is so slim anyway.

    What do you guys think? Which is best for me?

    My other question is, as both of these products seem to have built-in silicon screens, meaning you can still use the touchscreen, buttons etc while it's inside the case, do you still need to use a screen protector as well?
  19. Jarred

    Jarred Contributor

    The silicon popping off in places on the older Defender was only mildly irritating for me - But I've found the silicon outer for the new 4/4S Defender is a lot better then the older model. It seems a lot firmer and was a right mission getting it back over the plastic inner case after installing the phone. Haven't had it pop off once getting it in/out of my pockets.
  20. Jmbaker429

    Jmbaker429 Evangelist

    agreed. The new otter box is way better. I love it compared to the 3GS one. It seems way more sturdy and better built. Would definitely recommend it to anyone. That is what I use for my iPad 2 as well.
  21. RoofMonkey

    RoofMonkey Genius

    +1 for Otterbox. One thing I noticed with the Griffin case is that the camera lens is also covered with a very difficult to remove tab. Great protection, but so much for
    Getting that quick photo using that case!

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