Technology can be, when properly utilized, a beautiful thing. I finally caved, and added the data package to my Blackberry. Google Maps has helped me get to more than one tow destination when the car’s owner was not going with me. It has also helped with the estimation of the tow cost when the owner of the car is not certain they can afford the bill. Being able to send and receive photos has helped my coworkers and me, to help each other, in some of the more tricky situations.
Since I am a tow truck driver, the fact that I carry a Blackberry is somewhat of a leap of faith. There is just something about delicate electronics and tow truck drivers that doesn’t mix well. The propensity for all sorts of mayhem to occur is just too hard to avoid. I am a very careful person in regards to my phone; But, once in a while, that care is still lacking. (Shameless or, perhaps shameful plug; See “Tales from the Tow Truck” )
Enter the Otterbox Defender to save the day. This little gem of a case and holster combination has saved my phone from one or two drops and from one exploding soda bottle. I have had my case for several weeks and my review of the Otterbox Defender for the Blackberry 9700 follows.
Ease of Installation
The case comes with a clear protective membrane that fits over the keyboard kind of like a diaper. Then one puts on the polycarbonate, impact resistant, shell. The shell has a clear membrane to cover both the screen and the camera lens. Over the top of the shell one fits a durable silicone skin. This skin does a wonderful job of making the phone stick to just about any reasonable surface on which one chooses to lay the phone. It takes a few minutes to get the thing on but it is not difficult to install.
I give this a score of three and a half stars out of four.
Phone Functionality Within the Case
Access to all the ports on the phone and buttons is well maintained. The charging and headphone ports are covered with a silicone plug. The volume up and down as well as the shortcut keys on each side of the phone have corresponding buttons on the case that push through to the phone very well.
There are two minor failings in this category. The keys on the side edges of the keyboard are a little harder to utilize when composing a text message because of the polycarbonate shell. The other is that one sometimes feels the edge of the membrane that covers the keyboard when one is using the sensor pad.
I have noticed no degradation in the phone’s capabilities in picking up my voice through the case. I can also report that the speaker phone is not muffled by the case.
There is little chance of accidental key strikes as the phone front faces in toward the back of the holster. The holster also has a magnet in it to put the phone in standby mode.
I give the Otterbox a rating of three and a half stars out of four in this category.
The case looks alright in the sleek design, but the case and holster are only offered in black. A little more variety would be nice in this reviewer’s opinion.
I give a score of two out of four stars in this category.
Protection from Environment
This case offers a high degree of protection against bump and shock duress to the phone. It is also very good at protecting the phone from dust intrusion. While the case is not meant to be watertight the thing does a very good job being resistant to the errant splattering of liquids. (Otterbox does have water tight boxes that a watercraft owner can purchase.)
Here I give a score of four out of four stars.
The case does an excellent job of doing what it is designed to do, namely, protect the phone. It does not look bad but it could do with some more color choice. Weighing in at 1.39 oz; it adds little weight or bulk to the phone. Over all I must say the case works as advertised. At last look it can be had for $49.95 direct from Otterbox.
When we do the math the phone averages a score of three and one quarter stars out of four possible.
Other articles by this writer can be found here.