AppMinute Podcast # 15
Otterbox Defender for iPhone 4

Sam Levin looks at the AppMinute 15 Otterbox Defender case for iPhone 4

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40 thoughts on “AppMinute Podcast # 15
Otterbox Defender for iPhone 4

  1. Josh

    I recently bought an otterbox defender caes for my iphone 4. Being someone who drops the phone atleast once a week I needed a really tough case.

    I like the protection that the defender case offers. But I am totally unimpressed with the holster. The holster often gets locked with the clip wide open. The lock is for holding the iphone at an angle on a flat surface to watch movies and stuff. But why would they design a fantastic case and go really beserk on the holster.

    I loved the holster on my seidio case (blackberry storm), wish they could design something like that.

    Other than that I like the case. Great protection. Love the built in screen protector

  2. Jim Nuzzo

    Love the case, but the access to the head phone jack is in the wrong place (it access’s the pin whole for the sim card instead).

    1. Don't own one, but would

      The hole on the top is not for the sim card access. I believe that this is a hole for a mic, and that is why it is left open. You need to lift the flap to access the headphone jack.

    2. Sean O'Keefe

      Yeah the headphone jack isn’t even close to being in the correct spot. Unforunately I didn’t even notice until a few days later. I like the case but that’s just pathetic. How does that even make it into production?? I’m so thrilled that once they do fix the problem I’ll be stuck with the dysfunctional version that I’ve already paid for…. It would have been nice if they rep at the AT&T store would have pointed it out to me. (I’m sure they all new about it, just like Otter did)

      1. Look carefully

        The rubber flap that covers the headphone jack must be lifted to use the jack. The hole you see in that rubber flap is to there to expose the second (noise canceling) microphone next to the headphone jack. Covering that mic would ruin the phone’s noise reduction feature. Otterbox and the ATT rep did not make mistakes or mislead you about that hole. Know your products.

  3. Jason

    I Love the case… Everything is designed just right. The pin hole at the top is for the noise canceling microphone. It is designed to be open so that it can “hear” whats going on around you and cancel it by flipping the phase 180 degrees.. (I’m a audio engineer). You have to open the plug to get to the headphone output which is great so dust and or mist wont accidentally find its way inside. Im excited about using this case and seeing what I can throw at it!! Great job Otter!

  4. Confused Owner of case

    I have just purchased and “installed” the case on my iPhone4. I’m confused why you feel it is dysfunctional. The flap at the top has to be lifted to access the headphone jack just as you would have to lift a flap to access the “silent” button on the left side or to access the charger plug at the bottom of the phone. The hole is there at the top for the mic (not for the headphone jack) just as you have holes at the bottom for the speakers. I don’t believe that makes this a dysfunctional case.

  5. John

    Thank you guys for the reviews. My question is pretty simple, Mac has made a name for itself as being minimalist in design. Does this case take all of that away and make it a bit overkill? It reminds me of older seniors that wear their eye glass cases on their belts… $50……..?

    1. darrell

      mac desings so well that if you drop your iphone 4 the glass if hits on its side it will shatter unless it is better protected.

  6. ed

    ya i agree with most of the reviews, i love the case, not impressed with the headphone jack, jst seems, they rush to put this out, without much though. I bee havin issues close the flap on the bottom after i charge it, seems u have to put it in there jst right and play with it a bit, but thats jst me.

    1. Eyepo

      how did they rush it out??? it is great and always has been since the beginning. it takes everything throw at it even when i throw the phone itself.. AND THE HEADPHONE JACK COVER IS NOT MADE WRONG! THE HOLE IS FOR THE LITTLE MIC ON THE TOP…THE CASE IS NOT MADE WRONG ITS JUST STUPID IDIOTS BUYING SMARTPHONES

    2. TL

      to close the flap after charging it, you “roll” the flap in to the close it. Kinda like placing the flap before the seal and “rolling it in” takes some practice, but is simple enough. A co worker had to show me..he he.

      My case is stretched…anyone have those issues?

  7. LP

    The case is sturdy, which is it’s primary function. However, the clip is in the middle and when I clip it onto my shorts when I go for a walk, the weight of the phone causes it to fall forward. The clip will navigate to reorient itself so that you can clip it from top to bottom, however it isn’t much of an improvement. In summary, the case is great, the clip needs some re-engineering.

  8. Scott

    So glad I read the reviews, great information on the correct use of the earphone jack and noise cancelling opening….love the case just as all previous I-phone case made by Otterbox, lives up to all the hype!

  9. pat

    Love the case, I would like to have it easier to get the phone out so I can put it in my arm band for running, or have an option for an arm band that hooks onto the otterbox. I would have to say that it is better to have the headphone hole covered up and protected a bit from the elements when not in use, than have it exposed all the time.

  10. Matte

    This case blows nuts!!!!! the rubber out side attracts dirt and dust. the flaps for the dock connector never stay closed and allows dust and dirt into the the case scratching the phone when taking it in and out of the case. the rubber ways peels way around the screen in your pocket and fills with dirt, your away spending time pushing it back into place. I work construction around cement dust. saw dust, sand, dirt, metal filing’s, gas, oil, glue you name it along with drill bits, knives screwdrivers in in my pocket. It suck when go to answer your phone and its a block of dirt with flaps hanging out. after work i have take the out and use and different case because its too dirty. the case needs dally scrubbing and because the speaker and mic are not covered like the older case I have to use a brush to clean the actual phone and not just the case. the older 3g defender case did not attract this much dirt, did not need that much cleaning and protected the phone better. It does feel like this case was rushed. have have been looking for other phone case alternatives but the otter box it still the best lets hope they make an improvement soon.


    1. Shawna

      I agree totally. The edges are contstantly popping out of place and there is so much dirt collection. We bought 2 of these cases. OtterBox really compromised quality for production this time! The 3G cases were so much better. Going forward….I will certainly think twice before ordering new products from OtterBox. I would like to see them replace it or I wish I could just return it!

    2. Carol

      I agree the flap NEVER stays closed. The case is sturdy and is great in case you drop it. For the price I do not think it is worth it.

    3. Scott F

      I agree as well, I am constantly having to take mine apart to dust the inside. Also as mentioned, I am constantly having to adjust the outer rubber housing due to it coming loose from the grooves. I had two of these for my 3G and never an issue, but this case for the iPhone 4 is terrible.

      1. John C

        Case is great protection wise but it does attract some dust. The only flap I usually have problems with is the charging port which does pop open somewhat regularly. All in all a good case but 3G/3Gs case design was better.

    4. Stephanie

      I agree 100%. Can’t believe I paid $50 for something I have to constantly fix. It’s almost like it didn’t get shrunk enough to fit right. Does it provide protection from a shattered screen? Absolutely. But I can’t see how it protects against dust, etc. I’m really disappointed but can’t really afford to chunk it either.

  11. Eric

    Got Iphone in last night. This case is much more refined than my fathers Ballastic Iphone 4 case. However, this case doesn’t appear to be water resistant as the Ballastic case. I.e. when riding a motorcycle, running to your car in the rain. Works great over all and happy with the purchase.

  12. Marty

    Over all I think this is a great case to protect your iphone 4 from daily wear and tear and most of the elements. It is sturdy, protects most of the phone, and the screen protector does a good job of taking nothing away from iPhone 4’s retina display screen. There are a few problems I have discovered though since purchasing and using the new defender for iPhone 4.

    I do not understand why they did not cover the openings for the receiver speaker and the speaker phone on the bottom as they did with the previous version of the otterbox for the 3gs. That is an important function in this case; keeping out dirt, dust and anything else that can find its way into the case and scratch the phone. Also, the back camera is not covered. Now, this may be because they did not want to lessen the quality of the pictures taken with the camera, but the front camera is protected with a cover. I understand not covering the hole for the noise reduction microphone. I feel that was a smart design in keeping the headphone jack covered, but allowing this microphone to do its job.

    Another flaw I have noticed is that the protective rubber cover is constantly coming out of its seal or snug fit with the hard case. The worst part being the flap that exposes the charging port on the bottom of the phone. When open and the phone is connected to the cable, the fit of the rubber shell is odd and loose. Almost like it is going to come off. And getting that flap to fit back snuggly after done can sometimes be a chore because it seems it does not want to go back easily.

    Like I said, over all this is a good case to protect your new iPhone 4 from daily wear and tear, but I feel that there are some issues with design that Otterbox should look into and correct. It appears that they rushed this case out on the market to soon and did not take enough time in considering these flaws which would cause consumers to be unhappy. I hope they come out with a newer design soon. Although, it will not help me too much. I have already shelled out $50 on this case.

  13. TheOak

    Not impressed. The rubber case does not fit well. it is always loose at the upper right corner and now the bottom seem stretched out. Should have saved the $50 towards buying something different. The Itouch case is a much better design.

  14. KimberG

    I had the Otterbox 3G Defender, and loved it, and while I like the feel of the iPhone 4 version, I am very disappointed with some of the changes they made this time around. Specifically:

    – The loss of the protective membrane over the speakers. I accidently dropped my 3G into some oatmeal (don’t ask) and the membranes protected it. The new version will not, and that almost made me return the case.

    – The flap at the bottom does not fit as snugly or easily as the 3G version, and is a pain to get closed again. This is frustrating when charging or using in a car jack. That needs to be easy to open and seal due to frequent use. (As I write this, I notice that it has again come open.)

    – The outer rubber also does not fit as snugly on the plastic, and continuously comes loose in places.

    Unfortunately no one else makes a case with all the other protective features, so I’m stuck with Otterbox and these new issues. But if someone makes a competitive attempt, I’ll be interested.

  15. Paul

    Well I’ll have to be honest. I think this is the best designed case I’ve ever owned! The holster worked well for me. The fit and finish is perfect. Tip my lid to who ever designed it. Great case and I’m glad that I bought one.

  16. b.f.

    i love the case but this holster is a piece of (all the explicit you can think of)!!!! purchased two neither holster lasted 2 weeks who thought of a snap-on holder. there should be a refund given for this high priced you-know-what.very very i’m confused at what i paid for.

  17. Carmen Davis

    Gotta share my story….I am so in love with my Otterbox….I am an OTTER BOX fan all the way; yall will not believe this but around 3am this morning, my iPhone 4 fell off the hood of the car while driving down Bill Morris parkway and I thought it was gone but my friend and my gut feeling said “Go back and see if it fell on the side of the road”; there it was at 10:30 am, lying in the median fully protected by the my best investment ever, the Otter Box defender and it saved me a $400 replacement….whew!!!

    Some friends and I were outside talking in the parking lot. 3 of us were sitting on the hood of the car where I placed my phone and I forgot I left it there…we were so busy talking that we got in the car, drove off…entered the parkway from and as we begin to get speed we heard something hit the windshield but had no idea it was my phone…it was later when I got to my girl house I realized it was gone…..low and behold, it was still there this morning in the median….man, this just motivates me more to be a good person because great things happen to good people…. 🙂 Because yall I was SICK!!!!!!

    I am sold on this protection for real!!!!!

  18. buddy haley

    My husband purchased the case we like it although he would of love to have the option of colors. After a little over 2 months the rubber shell started lossing its shape and no longer fits snug on the harder shell. I just never thought it would last just 2 months its fustrating specially since this item was purchased while it was in such high demand that we had to wait over 30 day after purchased. I’m just glad I did not purchased 1 for me. I wanted to hold untill they were made in PINK, but with this issue its not worth the cash = (

  19. adam

    i agree in some ways ..

    1: the speakers having covers like the 3g case did would be well as the earspeaker.

    2: the rubber does start to sag off of it a little bit, around the clips on the side and on the back after 2 months its kinda frustrating

    3: the screen is not resistant to fingerprints

    1. Megan

      I completely agree with you about the rubber sagging becasue mine satarted after having it a month and it made me mad because why pay all this money for a case and it ends up doing what the cheaper cases do sag and stuff

      1. TheDave

        I wish they would come out with a tighter rubber outer layer and sell it as a replacement. I am kinda miffed after spending 50 bucks and the case is almost useless now.


  20. Megan

    I’ve been with the Iphone since the 3g and purchased the Iphone 4 when it first came out. And i noticed a lot of people was putting the otterbox on their phones because its and awesome case. So i decided to do that for my Iphone 4 and literally I went through 2 black cases for the defender and its and awesome case but if the silicone is so good the WHY DOES IT EVENTUALLY STRECTH OUT THEN??? I recentally invested in buying another because i love the feel of it and I’m hoping that this case doesnt strecth at all but if it does then i wasted yet another $54.61 on this case why is this happening with the Iphone 4 and not the older ones because i refuse to keep paying money because the silicone keeps strecthing on the phone.

  21. Stephen

    Great case, not so happy with the holster. My wife has the iphone3 case and its been great for her. The case is now loose and we need to replace it. I was excited to order this one for my iphone4. I was however disapointed with the holster that was provided. Seems like they could have done a little more. The clip on it actually broke today so I am a little disapointed. They are replacing it, but seeing I’ve only had it a month or so, I am a little worried about how it will last for a year or so. Still great case for protecting your iphone 4!

  22. Jake

    hands down perfection. i was hammered drunk one night on the beach, left my phone in the pocket of my bathing suit and accidently left it in the sand for over 12 hours. when i found it the next day a golf cart or some other small atv had left tracks right over my shorts so i assumed my brand new iphone was a goner but sure enough the otterbox defender lived up to its name. of course some sand stuck to the silicon but other than that. its in mint condition. must buy.

  23. Mannstein

    The Silicone, is way too loose. They should have made it smaller to “stretch” to cover well. It is made to fit just right which means it gets loose, and now there are gaps in the fit.

  24. Patricia H

    We have the otterbox defender case for the iPhone 4. We had portable chargers that we could use with our other case. We also had a stand-up style charger that worked with other cases. Now that we have the defender case on, the only charger that works is the one that comes with Apple. Anyone else have this problem or know a portable charger that works with the defender case?? Thanks.


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