However, as I have now cracked the casing on my second Otterbox Commuter I decided to try something different.
Enter the Case Mate "Tough".
Apprently this is the revised version according to Amazon (UK) where I got it from, I cant say what the differences are between this and the earlier model as I havent had one so its possible that depending on which revision you get, some of you might get different results to me.
I'll be comparing this to my Otterbox Commuter, the reason I used one of the Otterbox units is I have one for my Xoom, I had one for my HD2 and in general I like the look and protection that they offer. However as I have now cracked the plastic in the same two places on two different units its safe to say that they dont fit my needs.
To be fair theres not a huge amount of difference from the front, the Otterbox appears to have slightly more coverage on the front of the phone as its rubber is more closely molded to the speaker area.
The Otterbox also lets the power and volume rockers protrude from the hard shell, this at least for the volume isnt an issue, however where the power button is the hard shell is only a few mm wide at the top front edge, this is where I have managed to crack both of the Otterboxes I have had, I've also noticed when my other half has the phone she struggles to turn the phone on/off.
At the bottom where the USB and audio sockets are the Otterboxes hard shell goes around this area and has a rubber flap that pops in and out of place to with show or hide the ports, on the Case Mate no such flap exists so if you work in dust environments then that could be a minus for the Case Mate.
Hard shells, after breaking two, I'd say the Otterbox either needs a redesign or material change, the Case Mate's hard shell doesnt cover as much as the Otterbox one but in not covering as much of the phone it doesnt have the same weaknesses as the Otterbox.
As it stands now the Otterbox seems to offer a touch more protection at the expense of life expectancy, both of the unit's I've had have lasted 6/8 months.
The Case Mate seems more rugged due to its hard shell being matte and textured vs the Otterboxes smooth shinier finish.
At this point neither case stands out as a clear favorite, however having broken two of the Otterboxes the Case Mate certainly seems hardier out of the box.
Will report back in a while after I've used the Case Mate a bit more.