Product Review (March 2009) - OtterBox™
iPhone 3G and 1st Gen Defender Series Cases

By Kevin Nakano

OtterBox 3G iPhone CaseOtterbox™ has been hard at work making custom cases for a variety of portable electronic devices. Naturally, the iPhone falls into this category with the company supporting both the first generation as well as the newer 3G model. We had the opportunity to take both of them for a spin. OtterBox™ also offers cases for Palm, BlackBerry, and HP devices. The OtterBox™ for iPhone™ 3G Defender Series™ offers users a stylish and sophisticated design that protects in 3 layers. First, a thin, clear membrane covers your touch screen to help prevent scratches and dings. Second is a hard, strong Polycarbonate skeleton that surrounds the device. Wrapped around all of this is a Silicone skin that absorbs bumps and shock. Also included with the case is a ClipStand holster allowing users to quickly access their portable device while keeping it on their hip. Users can get full protection while keeping their iPhone completely functional. The large open area for the screen allows the user to type without being overly restricted. OtterBox™ has an online video that shows users how to install the 3G Defender Series™ on their iPhone. The case is available in black, white, or yellow.

In the Box
OtterBox™ provides all the essential items needed to protect your iPhone. The clamshell design encases the phone and snaps cleanly together. The nice part is the case fits snugly around the phone, so you don't have to worry about it moving around inside. The silicone sleeve stretches around the polycarbonate case creating a snug and secure wrapping that prevents the phone from easily slipping out of your hands. While this case is not waterproof, it still provides excellent protection from the elements that often leave debris on your phone. The case works well although some may find the increase in size objectionable. I use a similar case on my BlackBerry 8830 and have adjusted to the larger size. It is really a personal preference in most cases.
Otterbox - 3G iPhone Case

First Gen iPhones
For those with older first generation iPhones, Otterbox also has you covered (literally). The holster design is slightly different, but still succeeds in providing quick access to your protected iPhone when placed on your belt. Like the 3G model, several colors are available depending on your preference. Available colors include black, yellow, or pink. The only issue I ran into with this case is there is no access to the mute switch when using the original iPhone. It appears the decision to limit access to the switch may have been due to the structural integrity of the case, since it is located in the corner where the case snaps together. Care must be taken when peeling off the thin plastic cover over the transparent areas. Users may accidentally remove the thicker protective plastic from the case which will void the warranty.


The OtterBox™ for iPhone™ 3G Defender Series™ case not only protects your expensive iPhone, but also keeps it from easily slipping out of your hands. The larger size may be an issue for some, but if you can get past that you will be happy to know you phone is safe. Most shirt pockets work fine with this case, but those trying to squeeze it into their pant pocket may have a problem. This should be a consideration based on how one plans to use it. The great news is OtterBox™ stands behind their products and offer a lifetime warranty against defects.

- Kevin Nakano

OPPO BDP-103 Blu-ray Player

Review at a glance

OtterBox™ - iPhone 3G and 1st Gen Defender Series Cases


  • First, a clear layer that protects your Touch Screen
  • Second, a hi-impact Polycarbonate skeleton
  • Lastly, a Silicone skin to absorb bump and shock
  • ClipStand holster included with the case


  • Dimensions (case only): 4.87" x 2.77" x 0.8"
  • Weight (case only): 1.90 oz.
OtterBox iPhone 3G Defender Series Data Sheet

Company Information
Otter Products, LLC
1 Old Town Square
Suite 303
Fort Collins, CO 80524
Phone: 888.695.8820
Fax: 888.695.8827

Part Number: iPhone 3G or 1st Gen Defender Case
MSRP: $49.95
Source: Manufacturer Supplied
Warranty: Lifetime


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