As a clumsy technophile, sure to drop his iPhone 4 within the first few weeks of ownership, I searched high and low for the most protective suits of armor for my phone. During my search, I happened across an article for Otterbox’s then-upcoming iPhone 4 Defender Series Case. What caught my eye first was that, for such touted protection, it appeared to be very stylish and not overly-clunky like a few other models out there. Otterbox has, since that read, released their new Defender case and we got our very own to play with.

Too many cases out there are simply a sleeve of rubber to encase your phone in. Otterbox’s Defender is actually a multi-layered protection system, starting with the internal skeleton giving the whole setup its strength. The internal skeleton is a hard plastic complete with inner felt lining so as to not scratch your phone from any banging around that may occur while encased by it. This has proven to be somewhat unnecessary as there is not much room for the phone to move around inside this skeleton, however it is a nice feature nevertheless.

One really nice thing about the internal skeleton is that it has a built-in screen protector. I hate having to constantly purchase those little stick-em screen protector packs for my devices and having one built-in is a blessing. I wish more phone/device cases had this feature.

After placing your iPhone 4 inside this inner skeleton, the entire thing is encased in the outer silicone layer. The silicone skin tightly wraps around the internal skeleton, and after installation you have to set it in place by pressing the edges into the internal skeleton’s ‘grooves’, nooks, and crannies.

The silicone layer has numerous flaps which allow the user access to the more vital iPhone 4 interfaces, such as the big sync/power/IO port on the bottom of the unit as well as the mute toggle on the side of the phone. Since this outer layer is silicone, it will stretch quite a ways before tearing or ‘stretching out’. This will ensure you are able to install and uninstall the phone from the Defender as many times as you like without the case getting worn out.

The only negative aspect to this case assembly is the over-sized belt clip. Unlike the iPhone 3GS Defender case, this model has a very robust clip. It is made of a hard plastic and covers the entire side of the phone and then some. It is cumbersome to say the least and I think the system would have been far better served to have a sheathe-style belt clip seen on the iPhone 3GS Defender model.

Overall, the iPhone 4 Defender Series Case from Otterbox is a must-buy if you are an iPhone 4 user. It provides maximum protection with minimum fuss.

Stay-tuned when we release our review of the Otterbox iPad Defender Series Case in just a few day’s time!


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Jerry Paxton

A long-time fan and reveler of all things Geek, I am also the Editor-in-Chief and Founder of