Otterbox owes a lot of their fame to their iPhone cases. I have seen them everywhere, and despite the majority of them being pitch-black, they are also easy to recognize; they have that signature-shaped notch near the earpiece. They have also been known for offering superior protection to your phone, with greater resistance to dropping and breaking, and a nice feel in the hand. Well now Otterbox has branched into Android phone coverage, and were kind enough to send me a Commuter case for the Nexus One.
First of all, like the other Commuter Series cases, this one feels pretty solid. There is an inner flexible layer that is black and smooth to the touch. On the outside, a harder plastic shell which wraps around the edges of the inner piece once on your phone. Getting the software layer on isn’t too difficult, and neither is the outer shell that accompanies it. The top and bottom of the case have plug-doors for your headphone jack and USB charging/data transfer port. The power button is also covered with an extended form of the inner layer.
One major drawback for me was the volume button. This, too, is an extension of the inner soft layer, but it fits into an empty notch in the side of the case. While the rest of the case has no issue sliding in and out of your pocket or purse, this volume button seems to get caught quite often. It might be possible that if it was a little less raised than it currently is, it would work better. I’m also not a huge fan of the plugs going into the headphone and USB ports. Since this case is not for waterproofing purposes, I don’t really understand plugging the ports up. I guess it helps keep debris out of them, but they easily remind me of the USB port on the G1 I was using in the past and its little cover. Also note that I ripped that thing off after plugging in the cable a few times because it was terribly annoying.
Like most cases, you will not be able to use this one with the Nexus docking station, since it covers the pin connections with its inner layer. Overall, it is a nice case for those who are rough with their phone and don’t want it getting stuck on their pocket/purse as often as might happen with Otterbox’s less expensive cases. Though, if you just need a protective layer, the less expensive series is still a viable option. I just wish they offered some color choices in either series, like they’ve started with the iPhone cases. Show Android some love!