Written on: 17/08/2011 by macman (8 reviews written)
I have been a professional window cleaner now for nearly 10 years. With over 1000 customers on my books, and a full window cleaning schedule I purchased a new Blackberry 9300 3G to enable me to pick up customer e-mails, do quotes and manage my rounds much more effectively.
My job can get very mucky, I am always having to tread through muddy areas, push through overgrown hedges, handle gritty hoses and poles; and on occasions have to go up ladders to access flat roofs.
In the past I never really bothered getting a nice phone for work, as usually after 6 months or so id have dropped it off a ladder, or it would have gotten grit inside the screen. The most frequent ways I tend to kill my phones are from using them with wet hands, they just don’t last.
After purchasing my Blackberry 9300, I decided to leave the phone in the van, so I wouldn’t ruin it. Problem was I kept missing phone calls and e-mails from customers. Kind of pointless having the phone really if I can’t be there to use it. Plus we all know that in business, you only get one chance to answer the phone.
I decided to have a look on the internet for a decent phone case, and I came across the Otterbox Defender.
Enter the Otterbox Defender
The Otterbox Defender isn't a case for the faint hearted. It offers four layers of protection.
The 1st layer is a protective clear plexi-rubber membrane that covers the keypad. This stops grit and dirt from getting into the keys and hindering their function; it also offers a certain degree of moisture resistance so my wet fingers won't ruin the keyboard.
The 2nd layer is a surprisingly hard and durable impact resistant polycarbonate shell. The shell is in two halves which snap together encasing the phone. Included with the shell, is a flexible scratch resistant screen protector window. It sits a few mm off the screen which offers a much higher degree of flexibility to adsorb bumps from sharp objects.
The 3rd layer is a shock resistant outer 'tyre'. The tyre completely covers the hard shell, and has rubber bungs for the headphone & USB sockets. It also has buttons on the outer tyre so you can still operate the side & top buttons on the device.
And finally the whole case clips into a solid plastic holster with a belt clip offering a 4th level of protection.
So in all a very good case.
On receiving my otterbox I decided to test it before using it for work. I did three tests, 1) a mud/grit and moisture resistance test 2) a drop test from 10 feet onto concrete and 3) a drive off test by sticking the phone on top of the van and driving off.
Mud Grit & moisture test
The otterbox offered good protection against grit, when subjected to a gritty dirty surface (the floor of my van). No grit appeared to enter the phone at all. So far so good. Opertaing the keyboard with wet gubby hands seemed good too, again keeping water out and the keypad dry & dirt free.
Drop test, 10 feet onto concrete
This was amazing, the phone just bounced like a rubber ball. No damage was sustained at all; even the scuffing on the rubber outer 'tyre' could simply be wiped away with a damp cloth. I have a feeling I could have subjected the phone to a 50 foot drop onto concrete with still no damage.
Drive off test
I have gone through 3 phones in the past doing this unintentionally. I was a bit worried about doing it; however the drop test of 10 feet did instill confidence. I took the van to a quiet road, and drove off with the phone on the roof. I didn’t hear it drop. When I got out the van after taking it up to 30 miles an hour, it was still on the roof. The rubber case stopped it from sliding off. I’m confident that it would have survived if it did drop off, but I didn’t want to test at higher speeds to be honest.
All in all a very good phone case, I am very happy with the way it protects my phone. It offers good moisture resistance, and has high impact resistance. However the grippy nature of the case means that if you did leave it on top of your car, it would probably take a higher speed to knock it off, would it survive? Probbably, before a lorry run it over.
The case is also very bulky, and the belt clip turns it onto something from the 1990's, however if your phone is your lifeline for business, and you need to keep it safe, you wont get better than an Otterbox Defender.
At £30 I think they are right on the money, worth every penny.