April 23, 2014

Hands-On Review of the OtterBox Commuter Series Case for the HTC EVO 4G

Since its mid-summer release, the HTC EVO 4G has received a fair amount of publicity. With a 4.3″ screen, it is one of the largest Android phones on the market, and it is one of only four phones with “4G” data capabilities. With increased visibility comes increased popularity, and it is clear that the EVO 4G has been well-received by the public. Third party accessory makers seeking to capitalize on the EVO’s success have released a slew of products for use with the EVO 4G. OtterBox, a Fort Collins, Colorado based company, with a successful history of producing cases for smartphones and PDAs, has released its Commuter Series Case for the EVO. Will your friends Jackson, Hamilton and Lincoln be dismayed if you invest them in an OtterBox Commuter Series Case for the HTC EVO 4G? Hit the read link to find out.

OtterBox has released three cases for the HTC EVO 4G: The Impact Series Case, which provides the least protection of OtterBox’s three cases, is for individuals who are interested in protective silicone case that remains true to the original size of the EVO 4G. The Defender Series Case, OtterBox’s most protective case, is for people looking to protect their phone from a Mike Tyson uppercut. The Commuter Series Case would be Goldilocks’ choice as it remains true to the slim lines of the EVO 4G without sacrificing a substantial amount of protection.

Design

The OtterBox Commuter Series Case is a two-part case that provides your phone with a substantial amount of protection. A silicone jacket and a thin polycarbonate plastic shell combine to create a durable, secure case that can withstand multiple drops and, most importantly, the rigors of daily use. The silicone jacket is easy to apply and has a texture similar to most single-piece silicone cases. The silicone jacket is very flexible and easily fits around the EVO. While the fit is not as secure as a single-piece silicone jacket, it is not intended to be. Rather, the silicone jacket separates the EVO from the rigid external shell of the OtterBox Commuter Series Case and it serves to absorb the force of impact attributable to drops and general daily use. The polycarbonate plastic shell secures the silicone jacket to the phone and is applied directly on top of it. The shell grabs on to the phone and does not let go; Applying the shell required a slight amount of force, but once you put this case on your phone, you will never take it off .

Daily Use

The polycarbonate shell features a brushed look that, from a distance, appears to be brushed aluminum. With the Commuter Series Case applied, the dimensions of the EVO 4G increase a mere 0.26 in x 0.20 in x 0.18 in. The polycarbonate shell is textured to increase friction and decrease the chance of the phone slipping out of one’s hand. That being said, the shell is still slick. The entire exterior, however, does not consist of the shell alone; a part of the silicone case can be felt in your hand when handling the phone. With the Commuter Series Case applied, the phone feels slightly bulkier, but not markedly so. The already-large EVO is still easy to hold and even feels more natural in your hand. The volume rocker is responsive and the kickstand can still be used while the case is applied. The silicone jacket features two plugs: one for Micro USB port and another for the 3.5 millimeter headphone jack. Both plugs tuck into the polycarbonate shell and remain tightly secured during normal use. Although I am not typically a fan of plugs that cover the charging port (the Palm Pre can be blamed for that), OtterBox’s implementation is nearly flawless.

Conclusion

The OtterBox Commuter Series Case is the next case in a long line of successful products from OtterBox. The Commuter Series Case is a durable, two-piece case that will protect your EVO from damage without substantially increasing the phone’s size. It retails for $34.95 and can be purchased on OtterBox’s website, and let me be clear: the OtterBox Commuter Series Case for the HTC EVO 4G is worth every penny.

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