I recently got my hands on an Otter Box Commuter Case for my HTC EVO, and while I didn’t go tossing my phone out the window or stomping it with a boot, I can say that, after carrying the heavily armored gadget around for a week, I’m confident the Otter Box could handle the standard beating any cell phone is likely to encounter.
The Commuter Series EVO case is Otter Box’s mid-range offering for EVO at $34.95 before taxes and shipping, and is buttressed by the coming soon Defender Case at $49.95 on the high end and the also yet-to-be-released Impact Case, which will go for $19.95.
The Commuter Case consists of a rubbery silicone sleeve that goes on first and a hi-impact polycarbonate shell that snaps on top, offering a slick and rugged two texture design. There is also a screen protector that ships with protective strips on both sides. It is applied using the provided plastic card in order to eliminate bubbles. The silicon skin is thick and absorbent to impact, and has solidly attached and durable flaps that snap into place covering the audio jack, HDMI-out, and USB port. Holes allowing for kickstand use and camera shots line up perfectly, as do the ports in the hard shell. The protective screen cover gave a better touch experience than I’m used to but I still prefer flesh on glass interaction–even if it means a few scratches over the life of my phone.
The only downside I found to this case was that it does not accomodate for extended batteries, which I consider a necessity for my EVO. Aside from that, I found no reason to remove the silicone skin and flexible but extremely tough shell. Sure the phone is a bit bulkier, but it’s cheaper than insurance, which won’t keep lint out of your headphone jack.
Otter Box offers industrial strength protection for a wide variety of devices at their site. Commuter images below: