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Otterbox Defender Vs. Commuter Cases Comparison

We compare Otterbox Defender and Otterbox Commuter in this guide

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Otterbox Defender Vs Commuter

Many people wonder which one to choose between these two series from Otterbox. Both have the same features except the belt clip. Since the Samsung S8 series, Defender doesn’t have a screen protector. So what other things differentiate your $10 other than the belt clip? Does it worth the money? We will cover both cases, plus and minus sides, usability, etc.

While you probably know about Otterbox, did you know that Otterbox offers different phone cases that provide various levels of protection and designer appeal? Two of their strongest and most famous cases are the Otterbox Defender and Otterbox Commuter cases.

Otterbox Defender Vs. Commuter – The differences

From the title, the defender series is tougher than Commuter. But why? What makes the difference? Both are made from Synthetic rubber and Polycarbonate shells; both block the port covers. And both have Otterbox Certified drop+ Protection.

The main difference is that the Defender uses the rubber on the outside and the Commuter on the inside. Why? and does it matter? The Defender will protect your device better, in our opinion, since the outside rubber will directly absorb any shock from impact in any direction. On the other hand, the Commuter will also absorb it the same way, but since the Polycarbonate is on the outside, it’s possible to have scratches and crack if you drop it. Don’t get me wrong, but all plastic will mean breaking one day or getting scratches from sharp objects. This is where Defender comes in handy to put the rubber side outside.

Otterbox Defender Vs. Commuter – Size

As far as size goes, the Defender is much thicker and longer. It’s a more rugged case, made for heavier phone users who need more protection. The Commuter is the lightweight case of the two and is also less bulky and invasive. It’s not a space hog and fits more easily into pockets, whether in your jeans or purse. For example, the Otterbox Commuter for iPhone 6 adds about ¼” inch to your slim device’s profile. The Otterbox Defender will more than double the thickness of your device. But keep in mind, thickness adds protection, so you have to weigh your options…no pun intended. Ok, maybe pun intended.

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Otterbox Defender Vs Commuter – Screen Protection

No one wants a cracked screen, and both of these Otterbox cases allow you to protect your screen. The Defender comes with screen protection included, as it has a built-in screen protector attached to the case. The Commuter case allows you to add tempered glass and is compatible with third-party screen protectors. Unfortunately, the Defender case isn’t compatible with third-party screen protectors if you have one you fancy. However, you can shop our tempered glass screen protectors to add to your Otterbox Commuter case for the ultimate in protection.

Drop Protection

We feel comfortable accidentally dropping our phones with either case in terms of drop protection. However, we’d feel a little safer dropping our phones from a higher distance or on a less forgiving surface with a Defender case since its three-piece design makes it more capable of absorbing the shock from a drop than the Commuter case.

The three pieces include a hard inner shell case, a thin foam pad on the back of the case to cushion your phone, an outer layer made of synthetic rubber, and a built-in screen protector. These three layers give the Defender case more padding all around the edges and more protection for your phone if you have a heavy-duty job or if you have kids.

The Commuter Case has two layers of protection, making it a medium-duty case. However, it still has similar protective qualities compared to the Defender. Still, the Commuter has a hard exterior shell and a rubber interior cover, so the materials used are swapped but still offer excellent protection compared to other case brandsOtterbox Commuter Case Layers.

Also read: Apple Watch Stainless Steel Vs Titanium: Which should you buy

Port Protection

In the last round of Defender vs. Commuter, we look at port protection. And surprisingly, we’ve got a tie because both cases have port protection. It keeps dust, sand, and other debris from your phone’s ports. You can open or close the port flaps with each case, but these flaps also make your phone incompatible with docking stations. So remember to remove your case when you need to dock it to jam out to your favorite playlist.

Which one lasts longer?

In our opinion, the Defender surely defeats the Commuter. Both have the same Rubber elasticity & Polycarbonate shell. Still, if you’re a heavy-duty user or have kids around your home playing with your devices, Defender is the one you should choose since it has greater impact resistance and is less likely to scratch or crack.

Here we list the Pros and Cons for both series:

PROS

Defender:

  • Better Protection
  • Easier to clean (snap the rubber off and wash it)
  • Scratch proof
  • Belt clip that works as a stand
  • You can clip your phone anywhere using the clip
  • Last Longer
  • Scratch-proof (even from sharp objects)
  • Commuter
  • Pocket ready
  • Easy slide in-out
  • More variations of colors and styles
  • Easy to install and remove
  • Fit any aftermarket Tempered glass and screen protectors
  • No need to wash the case. Just wipe if there’s a liquid spill

CONS

Defender:

  • Easier to get dirty (the rubber absorbs any dirt from your hand)
  • Harder to install and remove
  • Harder to slide into a pocket
  • Cannot install aftermarket tempered glass except Alpha glass

Commuter:

  • Possible to get scratches from sharp objects
  • Less lifespan
  • No clip & handle

Conclusions

Both are great and have the same durability, drop & scratch proof. But if you’re a heavy-duty user, work outdoors, have kids playing with your device & or do not see your phone much, the Defender is the one you must choose. The belt clip is also doing a great job working as a stand-to-watch video with your kids.

If you have a dynamic personality, love to change cases, look at your phone much & color is the main reason for buying a case, then Commuter is the one for you.

Editor’s recommendations:

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