[REVIEW] Otterbox Defender Screen-less Edition for iPhone X

metllicamilitia

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A Case By Case Basis
You may have seen my review of the Otterbox Commuter case that scratched my iPhone, so why did I get another Otterbox? Well, it's a case by case basis really. And the Defender is applied differently so scratching isn't really an issue. While I already have a Mous Limitless that claims to protect up to forty-five-foot drops, I still wanted a case that's a little sturdier than that for work. I know I could potentially be up to around one hundred feet in the air for my job. That requires a sturdy case for a better chance of accidental drop protection. There aren't many cases out there that can reliably protect your phone from such a drop and the Otterbox Defender is one of them. It helped that when I bought it there was a discount on them so it didn't have such a ridiculous price tag. There are things I still quite dislike about the Defender, however, it is better than it has been. One of those things also happens to be the new screen-less edition available for the iPhone X. We'll get to that in a minute though, for now, the Otterbox Defender is a known defender. It really lives up to the name, and that's why I wanted to get one for work.

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Design and Usability
For starters, the screen-less edition of the Otterbox Defender doesn't have that annoying built-in screen protector. This saves me the trouble of having to use my heat gun to remove it. Like every Defender, it is still a multi-layer case with a plastic inside shell and a very thick rubber outer jacket. The inner case still uses a series of snaps to hold it together and is easy to put together and take off. The inside of the back portion even has foam backing to protect the back of your phone. Once you snap it all together then you can start putting the rubber jacket on. This is the same as always too, you just start slowly attaching it around the inner shell being sure to get the edges of the rubber jacket into the grooves on the inner case. You will have to adjust for the mute switch and lightning port covers.

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The Otterbox Defender is as big and bulky as ever. You have a huge lip protecting your screen and, as mentioned a moment ago, mute switch and lightning port covers. The lightning port cutout is deeper than most which may make some cables harder to use, and the mute switch cutout is large enough that it shouldn't be too difficult to access. There are speaker and microphone cutouts on the bottom, only the holes though, which doesn't affect sound at all. The buttons are tactile and satisfying to use, it's amazing how many cases don't do this properly. There is also the polarizing Apple logo cutout on the back, which is still covered by a plastic protector and centers the Apple logo well enough. The camera cutout is also done very well and centers the camera so you won't have any issues using it. Of course, the Defender still comes with the belt clip that is easy to use and can be used a stand for your phone. I would still like a version of the Defender without the Apple logo cutout. I find them annoying and in the way. Despite that though, the Defender remains as true and good as it always was build-wise.

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The Good
  • Very protective
  • Grippy
  • Easy to use screen

The Bad
  • Very bulky
  • Not pocket-friendly
  • Expensive

Conclusion
All in all, if you buy an Otterbox Defender you know exactly why you're buying it. Ultimate drop protection, and if you don't need that, it's hard to recommend getting one. There are a number of slimmer cases that offer great protection for less. However, when you need a lot of drop protection, I have a hard time recommending anything other than a Defender. The screen-less edition makes it easy to use a high impact protecting screen protector in place of the horrible built-in one. If you're looking to buy one, you can buy them almost anywhere including directly from Otterbox. You know if you need one, they are easy to find and are as great as ever.
 
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Just_Me_D

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Another well-written review. Everyone knows that I’m not into placing my iPhone in protective cases, but for those who are nervous about damaging their iPhone X or want to keep it well-protected for a future sale then the case you just reviewed may be perfect for them.
 

nnahorski

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Thanks for the detailed review. I am quite satisfied with my Apple silicone cases (4 already), but this would be perfect for my father in law. He's always used the defender cases.
 

anon(10000748)

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Did you have any issues with your cases “creaking” if you gently squeeze the sides? I’m not talking about doing a grip strength test or anything. But my case fit was pretty loose.
 

metllicamilitia

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Did you have any issues with your cases “creaking” if you gently squeeze the sides? I’m not talking about doing a grip strength test or anything. But my case fit was pretty loose.

I haven’t noticed any creaking yet and I used it for about a week consecutively. Off and on for a few days. So far it’s been good.
 

anon(10000748)

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I haven’t noticed any creaking yet and I used it for about a week consecutively. Off and on for a few days. So far it’s been good.

Glad to hear it, called otterbox and they are sending me a warranty replacement. If I get the same thing I’ll post some pics of the scratches on my phone and a video of the creaking.
 

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