Otterbox Commuter Review (Samsung Galaxy S4)

As soon as I get a new cell phone, my primary concern is keeping it in good condition. We all hear and witness the horrors of cracked screens, broken home buttons, and mangled internal components. When you lay out over $700 for a new phone, you want it to last. The answer comes from our friends at Otterbox. Otterbox is renowned for it’s rugged defender series of cases. Whether you had an original iPhone, iPad, Playbook, or an android tablet, there was always a solution from Otterbox to suit your needs. As soon as I got my new Samsung Galaxy S4, I knew that I had to get an Otterbox case for it. Without further a due, here is my review of the Otterbox Commuter for the Samsung Galaxy S4.

The Samsung Galaxy S4 is a big phone. It’s not as big as a Note 2, but its big. I didn’t want to add too much bulk to the phone so I opted for a Commuter instead of a Defender. I love the defender, but I work in an office, not a construction yard, so I don’t think I need a defender for my day to day purposes. The Commuter features several layers of protection. A silicone wrap that feels like rubber, a solid polycarbonate shell, and a clear screen cover. Once they are assembled, they combine to make a solid shield for the Samsung Galaxy S4.

Almost every inch of the device is covered. You do not lose any functionality, as all of the camera lenses, sensors, buttons and ports are either exposed by cutouts, or have a rubberized flap that you can flip open.

The case and phone combined feels solid in your hand. For those who are all about aesthetics, the case really changes the look of the phone altogether. It goes from a slim, plastic feel, to a thicker denser and slightly heavier unit. This may come down to personal preference, but I prefer a bit of bulk and the feeling of solidity. With it comes the confidence that my $700 investment is safe in the event of an accidental drops, scrape, scratch, etc.

The raised edges around the screen can often protect it from a direct drop with the display facing the floor. What is the purpose of the multiple layers of protection? If / when you drop your phone (sadly it is inevitable) the silicone layer acts like a shock absorber, this can help protect the vital internal components from getting damaged during a drop.

Once again, Otterbox has impressed me. The Commuter case is easy to install, it is extremely reliable, and I personally love the look of it. The case I reviewed was black, and it features clean lines and a masculine feel to it. For those concerned about size, don’t be. The case makes the phone slightly thicker, but the S4 is already incredibly thin, even with the case the phone still slips easily into your pocket.

I recommend the OtterBox Commuter case to all Galaxy S4 users. It is less bulky than a defender, while still offering some of the best protection on the market. If you are working in construction or if your phone is constantly at risk of physical abuse, opt for a defender. For everyone else, get the Commuter. It is stylish, durable, and extremely high quality with an affordable price tag. Knowing my phone would survive a fall is priceless and the Commuter puts my mind at ease. Thank you Otterbox!