Otterbox Defender for iPhone5 review

Discussion in 'iPhone Cases and Accessories' started by doppelganger, Oct 14, 2012.

  1. doppelganger

    doppelganger Member

    Its been a little over 3 weeks now since I got me a black Otterbox Defender case on iP5 launch day from BB. I've had iPhone 4 and iP4s versions of Defender. The silicon is again different than before. Tactile feel touching it definitely feels nicer than before. Silicon seems more rigid and thicker. Case is definitely sleeker feeling. The holster is sleeker than previous versions, thinner now. Fashion alert, you still shouldn't be wearing it out on a belt though. lol. :) (I've only worn the holster a couple times, once at home with no pockets, and once at the gym with no pockets). FYI, the case with it's new silicon slips in and out of my pants/jeans pockets easier than previous versions.

    Anyways, haven't dropped it on a hard surface yet so I don't personally know if it holds up in falls as good as the previous ones did.

    From the few times I've used it in the holster, it's already started peeling at the contact points. It looks like the silicon has some thin top layer of silicon and that's what's peeling. Also, a couple other peeling spots starting. Good thing I bought this case for protection and not for its sexy good looks.

    One think I do not like is the screen protector oil slick problem. Never had that problem on the iPhone 4 or iP4s versions, but this right from the start of my iP5 version. Right when I peeled the original plastic screen cover from the iP5, it went straight into the Defender case. Maybe a few seconds between removal and install... so, I'm happy no dust got in between the screen and protector. But the oil slicks!!!! aaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhh!!

    Since I use this case for protection, overall I'm happy... except for the oil slicks and to a lesser extent the peeling. Hope it lasts longer than the 6 months my 1st iP4s defender case lasted (stretched overall and cracked/ripped silicon at mute switch and charge port tabs). My iPhone 4 case lasted over a year before being too stretched out (and mute switch area eventually got weak and ripped) that I had to get a new one. I use assistive touch to toggle my mute now. lol. FYI, I don't remove my phone from my case often. Maybe once every few months to clean the dust out. If another good tough case comes out, I may switch from the defender series.

    Maybe I'm getting old and my memory is going bad, but I thought we had a case sub-forum before...

    ***editing this post to include my 5 month update...***

    Here are some pictures approx 5 months of use. Started using this the past couple months in its holster at the gym 3-4x per week just 1-2 hours a day... Otherwise case is in my pocket. Looks like this now.


    On the plus side, after 5 months, no bad stretch or gummy feeling... I can feel a slight stretch in the case starting (the back has a very slight bulge I can feel but not see), but it's pretty minor compared to my 4's defenders. Only removed the case rubber maybe 5 times total.

    Screen protector oil slick problem not as crazy as when it was new. Couple small spots but nothing crazy. Tactile response of protector is still fine.
    • Like Like x 1
  2. MoneyMaker79

    MoneyMaker79 Evangelist

    To fix the air bubble (oil slick) issue, please watch this video on Youtube. This is straight from Otterbox. They suggest it as a solution to get rid of the air bubbles. There is a longer video for this, but I can not find it at the moment.

    Here is the longer version that explains it in detail and actually does the trick to show you that it works.

    I have done this trick, and it works. Also another solution before even putting the Otterbox case on, is to use dryer sheets and click both sides of the screen. This also came from Otterbox, and they say not many people know about this trick.

    As far as the new Otterbox Defender for the iPhone 5, I am not satisfied yet. They are sending me replacements as the one I keep getting either has defects such as not snapping on fully, or dirt under the screen already before I even take it apart.
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  4. Jarred

    Jarred Contributor

    The screen protector is a step up in quality in terms of how it affects the resolution of the retina display though. On my 4 and 4S I poked the factory one out and just ran an el cheapo protector straight on the device (also fixed the oil slick issue), which I replaced every few months. I've yet to want to resort to this with the new case. The oil slick I only notice if the screen is locked, so it doesn't really bother me anyway. The fit is far superior, but I do worry about the access ports to the headphone jack and lightning port tearing over the long term - will have to wait and see. I also wonder if they could have made it 1 or 2 mm thinner on the front piece.

    Happy as though, may have to get a black one so I can run it with a white hardshell from my Glacier one and black outter. NZ colours :)
  5. InyigoMontoya

    InyigoMontoya Contributor

    I have the slate/orange version. The fit is fantastic. I don't really care for the holster though. No silicone weakening on mine at this point after about a week. I only notice the oil slick under fluorescent lights, so I can deal.

    Compared with my wife's 4S Defender - I think they really bumped it up for the 5 case. YMMV.
  6. btitus

    btitus Contributor

    I decided to go with the Commuter as my first Otterbox for myself. I have gotten the Impact and the Commuter for my son in the past and he now has a Defender on his 4s.
  7. doppelganger

    doppelganger Member

    Oil slick gone now!! I've heard about the talcum powder trick but I don't want to put powder between the screen and screen protector. Anyways, I removed my case for the first time since putting it on and just wiped down the phone in general and also wiped the screen and protector with my clean finger to get dust off before putting phone back into the case and lo and behold, the oil slick went away. Maybe my phone was too clean when first applied or something but the oil slick is gone for now. Lol.

  8. Ohmster

    Ohmster Member

    Had the Defender for a few days. Was like carrying a cinder block and almost as big! :eek:

    Switched to nicely colored Commuter for the wife. She loves it.
  9. btitus

    btitus Contributor

    I keep taking the commuter case off. Too heavy and makes it hard to type.

    Sent from my iPhone5 using iCafe app
  10. lmluciano

    lmluciano Member

    The Defender case for the 5 is only slighty bigger then the Lifeforce case for the 4s
  11. Ohmster

    Ohmster Member

    I think new LF for ip5 is different. I've tried both Otterbox and LF for ip5. The Defender seems like a cinder block. Everyone noticed how big it was. LF seems much much slimmer.
  12. Love the lock on the ip5!!
    My bro has the IP5 I have the 4S.
    Due for an upgrade though lol but no rush. LOVING the 4S vs the 4!
  13. iPhone 4 i love defenders.
    I have the commuter as well but prefer the defender.
  14. Ohmster

    Ohmster Member

    The Commuter from Otterbox offers less protection, but is less bulky. The lifeproof offers more protection and is less bulky. However, I am having some issues with mine. There is a rattle when the speaker is active, and many times people cannot hear me through the 'membrane'? mics. Also for some reason, it does not respond to the 'End Call' button through the screen protector. This only happens when trying to end a call. It is not the phone as I tried it 2 days without the case with no issues. Baring those minor issues, it is a pretty nice case. Hopefully mine is somewhat of an exception. I plan to exchange it soon.
  15. iPutz

    iPutz Contributor

    I've used the Otterbox Defender on my last three versions of the iPhone and am very happy with it. The only drawback I have noticed is that the silicone softens with age and seems to get almost gummy. This seems to happen at somewhere around one year of use. It's happened with the last two cases I've had and I just replace the case after about a year. I have also noticed that with the iPhone 5 version, I need to remove the phone and clean both it and the case more often than with my previous iPhones. It seem that dust gets in under the screen protector easier on this case.
  16. Kgd0630

    Kgd0630 Contributor

    I have the "peel" on my defenders also. They look old in just a month or 2. I contacted and sent pics to otter. They say its cosmetic, not defect, and not covered under warranty. So a flaking, fading case is now normal. :-(

    Sent using iCafe app
  17. ImageUploadedByiCafe Forums1356921692.160734.jpg
    OMG love love my otterbox!
    I had a white inner pink outer and the screen cover peeled off. I contacted otterbox all I needed to do was send a pix and I got a new case and its even BETTER lol!! NO plastic by the sensor and the silicon is thicker!
    The plastic casing is black instead of white but it looks fantastic and easy I clean!
    I have a reverse case (my daughters lol) w black silicone and pink plastic too hilarious!
    Otterbox is what I honestly prefer over all 21 cases i own.
    I have a Lifeproof (thinking of selling its new) I do lOve my mophie but that's for days I will go far etc but for daily protection this case is it.
    TOSS in my purse and not worry about anything scratching my screen.
    Its am iPhone 4S... I'm upgrading soon.
    Eligible for one line a month ago and 3 more in 2 mos... Just happy for now lol
    Enjoy!! I can't see how anyone can go wrong w the otterbox. It fails The company will give you another one!!
    In January the new waterproof ones come out (armor) series. I'm happy enough or now lol

    Sent using iCafe app
  18. I had no plastic and they replaced mine.

    Sent using iCafe app
  19. Kgd0630

    Kgd0630 Contributor

    I was shocked @ the reply. I have always had otter and never had a problem. This is a first and I'm disappointed. I sent the pics and all.

    Sent using iCafe app
  20. mistah_mumford

    mistah_mumford New Member

    I have the glacier Defender for my 5 and I really like it. But, when I left my 4S to go 5 I was running it with just power support protectors on the front and back so the Defender was a bit much. I'm now in a white Speck Candyshell on my white 5 and I love it.
  21. naviwilliams

    naviwilliams Zealot

    I'm going to replace my Speck case with an Otterbox a defender. I just watched a Larry Greenberg video on the Otterbox Defender, it looks good.

    Sent using iCafe app

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