Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The anatomy of an OtterBox case

I was never big on cellphone case. They may the phone bigger and bulkier. But back in 2005 I "dropped" my Nokia 6600 smartphone on the pavement, destroying the casing. The internals were not damage, and a new case was all that was needed. I considered this a freak accident because I had left my cellphone on my lap while getting out of my car. Two years later, I had my Nokia E61i on a belt holster, and accidentally slammed it into a door knob which damaged the case. After that I change my mind on the need for a protective case for a mobile phone. 

OtterBox Commuter on a HTC Desire HD
With the increased utility of todays mobile phones getting the some protection is more important. As the amount of time we spend with our mobile phones increase the chance of having an accident resulting in damage to our devices increase.

OtterBox Commuter on a HTC Desire HD
One type of protection are the thin "Invisible Shields" that are really thin layers of plastic, similar to screen protectors. The advantage of these is they add almost no weight or bulk to the phone.  These protect your phone from scratches but not from impact.

Plastic crystal and aluminum cases, are also primarily intended to protect your phone from scratches and do provide some protection in case you drop your phone. Since these cases are made of hard plastic the full force of the impact is still transfer to your phone.

Better protection can be had from silicone, rubber, leather and soft plastic cases.  These cases shield your phone from scratches and absorb or dampen some of the impact from a fall. Generally, the softer and thicker the silicone is, the better it is a dampening shock damage. A very soft silicone or rubber case would itself get easily scratch or torn, and may actually allow sharp or pointed objects to easily penetrate the case. OtterBox has several solutions problem.

OtterBox Impact series is looks like your basic silicone case but the inside of the case is "cored". Basically a series of holes are molded into the inner side of the case, resulting in a fairly hard and durable silicone case exterior with a softer skeletal like interior. The inside is effectively softer by taking aways lateral support from the silicone in the interior of the case. This will provide a greater degree of shock protection to your phone than the typical silicone case.

A second solution employed by OtterBox is to provide a two piece case with a very soft piece of silicone to wrap the phone and placing a hard polycarbonate shell which snaps onto the soft silicone case. It results in hard outer shell with a soft shock absorbing interior. This is the technology employed in OtterBox's Commuter and Defender cases, the latter being the larger more protective case. 

I have used two of these cases, a pair of Commuters, one on a HTC HD2 and the other on a HTC Desire HD. I have to find a case which I feel will provide a greater degree of shock protection in case of a drop.

The newest technological innovation from OtterBox is their Reflex series. This is a probably the most innovative OtterBox design which is silicone case with a hollow interior, surrounding your phone with an air cushion. On impact, the Reflex cases "flexes" absorbing the shock and returns to its original form back. The design principal is pretty much follows the principal of a car tire. 

Whichever series you opt for OtterBox has clearly applied the most to discovering new innovative technology to protect your mobile device.   

1 comment:

  1. Use mobile phone guards that has openings precisely made for the top and side buttons, charger port/Dock Connector, headset jack and speaker to allow full access to all the functions the phone offers.
    Phone Accessories Otterbox Ipod


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