[REVIEW] Otterbox Symmetry and Pure.Gear TGSP for iPhone X


Dec 25, 2011
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While I am waiting on more cases to arrive in the mail, I decided to go ahead and get a case and screen protector at the T-Mobile store. I picked up an Otterbox Symmetry in clear, and Pure.Gear tempered glass screen protector. I like the guide that comes with the Pure.Gear, however, I had the T-Mobile rep install it and he didn't line it up quite right. I'll get into the issues associated with that later on. So without further ado, let's get to the good stuff.


Otterbox Symmetry
Otterbox has been a big name in the case world for a long time, and in the last couple years, I shied away from them. This is because even their slimmer cases are generally more rigid and bulky than competitors. The buttons have usually been quite stiff as well. This Symmetry I got is much better. It is a hefty case, it nearly doubles the weight of the iPhone X. The buttons though aren't terribly stiff and are fairly easy to press. All the cutouts are spot on, even the rear camera is centered in the cutout. This year Otterbox moved their logo a bit again, it is now right under the side button and smaller than ever. This is okay because it also adds a point of texture and grip along the side of the case. There is a minimal lip over the screen so you can place your iPhone facedown without worrying about the screen.

I haven't had enough time with the Symmetry to see if it yellows with age or not, but the clear is pretty clear. You will see your iPhone without too much issue. The one issue you will see is fingerprints. The Symmetry shows many more fingerprints than the glass back of my silver iPhone X. The back of the Symmetry is also slicker than that of the iPhone. Before I forget to mention, the sides of the Symmetry are also softer allowing a nice comfortable grip to the case. The last big thing to mention is that the lightning port cutout is wide enough to allow even the largest of third-party cables. All in all, I'm impressed with the most recent Symmetry from Otterbox, though I don't think I'll continue to buy them.


The Good
  • Solid construction
  • Good grip
  • Clear finish is quite clear

The Bad
  • Overpriced for what it is
  • Back is quite slick
  • Fairly heavy case

Update: What I thought at first were smudges are actually multiple small scratches on the back of my iPhone X in one corner from the Otterbox Symmetry. This is something to take note of. It’s a hard case and you have to push your phone in, this is what caused the scratches. Here is a picture of the damage, it helps if you can zoom in. Multiple scratches along the bottom edge, one or two on the bottom side, and more concentrated in the top right corner.


Pure.Gear Tempered Glass Screen Protector
So I mentioned earlier how I let the T-Mobile rep install my screen protector, just in case. If it was installed badly, or the protector got screwed up, they would replace it free right then and there. That's the only reason I let stores install my screen protectors. The version I chose is the high definition model, which claims to be three times stronger than competitors screen protectors. Pure.Gear also claims industry-leading touch and swipe precision, scratch resistance, and touts a lifetime warranty. Like all tempered glass screen protectors, it has an oleophobic coating to reduce fingerprints. My biggest issue is that Pure.Gear also claims that a "perfect alignment" tray is included. Yes, a tray is included, but it is not perfectly aligned. My screen protector installed using the tray is a little to the left side and little low.

The problem with a misaligned screen protector on the iPhone X is actually the OLED screen. For those that don't know, an LCD screen uses lighting beneath the screen, whereas with OLED panels each individual pixel is its own light. So if a screen protector isn't properly aligned and doesn't go over the edge of the screen, you will see rainbows. These are caused by the lights from the pixel hitting the edge of the glass screen protector. I see this all along the right side of my screen and a few places around the notch. Other than this protector being misaligned, it is a great screen protector. It feels just like I'm using the screen of the phone itself and it is very precise in actionability. I would just prefer Pure.Gear make the protector a little wider, and the guide a little more precise. It's disappointing because Pure.Gear makes some of my favorite tempered glass screen protectors.


The Good
  • Doesn't alter the feel of the screen
  • Doesn't affect the color of the screen
  • Installs cleanly

The Bad
  • Guide isn't precise
  • Barely covers the whole screen
  • Fairly expensive]


I haven't been blown away by either the Otterbox Symmetry or the Pure.Gear screen protector, but they are more than adequate and serviceable. The biggest drawback to each is their price tag. If you can find them on sale, I would definitely recommend them, but they are a hard sell at full price. Of course after my update, I can’t in good conscience recommend the Otterbox to anyone. You can buy the clear Symmetry from Otterbox for just under $40 here, and the Pure.Gear screen protector from Pure.Gear for $40 here.
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