Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Posted by Chris Gohlke in "Android Slates/Tablets & Accessories" @ 07:00 AM
I've had the DROID since it first came out. Like many people the first accessory I purchased was a case. The sliding keyboard of the DROID provides a unique challange in constructing a case that protects the phone as well as retains its functionsality. The case I purchased was a basic snap on plastic case with two components, one for the keyboard half and one for the screen half. I've had a few minor drops since then. The DROID is a tough phone and has survived nicely despite the case popping off and becoming pretty scratched up. The last drop resulted in the gold paint flaking off the camera button. So, I decided to see if there were better options out there. A friend mentioned how much they liked the Otterbox case for their iPhone. I had no idea that they made phone cases but after checking their website I found out they make cases for a large variety of phones. After the break, I'll let you know what I think of this case.
Figure 1: In the box.
The case has three basic components. The first component is your standard screen protector, second is a plastic bezel to go around the screen, and the third is a full coverage cover for the back of the DROID. The case also comes with a cleaning cloth and a plastic card to assist in the installation of the screen protector.
Normally, I don't bother with screen protectors. The DROID has been bouncing around in my pocket for 7 months now and the screen still looks perfect. But since it was included I installed it anyway. It is fairly rigid and went on easily with only a small air bubble at the edge that I couldn't get rid of. Now that is on, I'll be leaving it as I don't even notice it is there. Both other pieces installed easily, although the base doesn't give you that satisfying snap, so I wasn't sure for a while if I had it all the way on. After a few days use, I'm sure it is on all the way and there is no risk of it coming off accidentally.
The thing that makes the Otterbox case different from the other snap on cases out there is that the main shell is lined with silicon, giving it the ability to actually absorb some shock when dropped. The silicon liner is also used to create plugs for the USB and headphone jacks. While this will not make your phone waterproof, it should add some extra protection from stray pocket lint, and adds a finished look to the entire product.
Figure 2: USB cover.
Figure 3: Headphone jack cover.
One of the nicer things about the silicon liner is that they use it to build out the power, volume, and camera buttons. Most other snap on cases have cutouts for these controls, leaving the buttons recessed and giving a very after-market look.
Figure 4: Back of case, note the raised, rubberized buttons for the controls.
You'd think all this extra protection would add a lot of bulk. Everyone's definition of bulk will vary, but I don't think it adds much to the size of the naked DROID and compared to the case I was using the difference is negligible and well worth it.
Figure 5: Size comparison, side view.
Figure 6: Size comparison, front view.
I'm really satisfied with this case. It feels good in the hand and unlike most after-market cases, looks like an integral part of the phone due mostly to the raised control buttons. The only improvement I'd like to see is the addition of a cover for the camera. You can get it for $21.78 from Amazon.com. [Affiliate Link]
Chris Gohlke is a Contributing Editor for Thoughts Media. He loves roller derby, poker, RPGs, and Sci-Fi and loves to get his hands on real-life tech gadgets. He lives in Tallahassee, Florida, USA with his wife and three cats.
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