If you haven’t already read my smartphone horror story, I recently experience a scenario where I dropped my phone and shattered the internal display, costing $262 to fix. After that, I sort of lost confidence in my Urban Armor Gear case after the incident. I’ve already used OtterBox Defender cases on previous phones, and it wasn’t a pleasant experience. With no where else to turn, I decided to give OtterBox one more shot.

otterboxdefender1First Impressions

Upon my first few days of usage, I actually liked the case. Bulky? Absolutely, but the Galaxy S6 is so thin that the added bulk didn’t bother me. Cosmetically, I didn’t mind how the case looked at all. My biggest annoyance with Defender cases is the built in screen protector, since dust gets trapped in it, ad it’s also hard to touch your screen.

The Typical OtterBox Problem

After a few days of usage, I immediately started to notice the problems that have bugged me for years: (1) there was a huge amount of dust under the screen protector, (2) the rubber is already loosening up, and (3) the plastic is starting to become loose. Basically, after 2 weeks of use, the case is already beginning to break down. With my one piece Urban Armor Gear case, there is barely any wear and tear after 9 months of full time use.

So, What’s the Problem Here?otterboxdefender2

To be honest, I’m not entirely sure. I suspect it’s because production costs are so low, meaning parts are cheap. In addition, I think it’s just a design flaw with the case. If you’re going to have rubber that you have to stretch to remove from the case, of course it’s going to loosen up easily. The same thing goes for the plastic clips, although, I’m pretty sure that the problem would be non-existent if production quality was increased.

As far as the dust problem, there is really not much that can be done to stop it, that’s just the flaw of a protective case. It could be greatly lessened if the home button were covered and not exposed (and this issue is fixed on the newer iPhone OtterBox cases).

Is a Protective Case Worth It?

Yes and no. I still swear by the great protection offered by Urban Armor Gear, and other simmer cases. With that said, I’ve definitely learned that bulky cases offer added protection, and it may just have been sufficient enough to protect my phone from that drop. For me personally, I’ve decided to use the OtterBox Defender as my full case for a while. I still plan to use my UAG case when I want a break from the bulkiness. With phones continually getting thinner and thinner, “bulky” cases really aren’t that bulky anymore. The biggest downside is the screen protector and build quality. In the end, if you want the best protection and are willing to sacrifice part of your user experience, bulky cases are a solid option. If you want decent protection, but want a non-intrusive user experience, consider a slim case.

Kevin Nether