[Review]Otterbox Commuter case w/screen protector....4 of 5 stars
After getting an Otterbox Defender case for my iPod Touch and liking the level of protection it gave, the minute I bought my Atrix 2 I hoped they made one for it. Luckily they have a couple cases for it, the Commuter and the Defender. After careful consideration I went with the Commuter for a few reasons, less bulky, I don't use hip holsters and I thought it would be like the Defender for my iPod and have a built in screen protector....Since the screen on the A2 is beveled on the edges I didn't think that would work out too good. I bought my case on Amazon from a seller named "Alwayz on Sale" for $24.99 + $4.48 shipping. My experience with this seller was as expected, quick order processing, quick shipping, product arrived as advertised, even a couple days early too. Just received it this afternoon and installed it this evening when I got home from work, here's my take on it.
The case consists of two parts, a silicone sleeve and a polycarbonate shell. Also included are a self adhesive screen protector, a screen cleaning cloth and a "squeegee" card to help push the air bubbles out from under the protector. The first thing I did was mocked up the screen protector to see how it fit. This is a major fail by Otterbox! The protector does not cover the whole screen, it just covers up to the beveled edge of it. Not only that but at the top where the cutout is for the speaker and camera is there are not separate cutouts for each, there is just one large notch type cutout. And since the camera is lower than the speaker, the cutout goes down far enough to clear the camera and then straight over, then up the right side of the speaker. The end result is some screen real estate not protected by the cover directly under the ear speaker. In the grand scheme of things this is just a tiny part of the screen, but it's a detail that should have been given better treatment. I imagine it would be difficult to produce a self adhesive screen protector to fit like a glove over the A2's beveled screen, I get it, but for those looking for full screen protection this is not the answer.
I was let down with the screen protector but still had high expectations for the case itself and it didn't disappoint. The silicone sleeve feels quality, is relatively thick and seems like it will absorb much of the shock and jarring from falls and what not. It fits nicely on the phone, it's a snug fit like you'd expect. Then came time to install the polycarbonate shell....being the impatient mofo I am I coudn't be bothered to look for instructions on the best way to do this. The shell encapsulates the sleeve/phone so it's not just a slide it into place and move on type of deal. The way I did it was slid the phone with the sleeve installed top first into the shell, then pressed the right side of the phone down into the shell taking care not to put too much pressure or force on the buttons as it slid into place. Lastly I grabbed the left side of the shell and kind of bent it backward, if that makes sense, and pushed the phone down into place and let the shell go so it "grabbed" the phone and held it in place like it should. I then checked the port covers to ensure they were lined up right and opened and closed properly, then tested the buttons to make sure they were lined up right as well. No problems here.
With the case fully installed I inspected it's build quality and fitment and was not let down. No sharp edges anywhere, no molding overhang, the mic opening at the top and bottom of the phone were aligned perfectly, the beveled edges surrounding the rear camera and speaker was a nice touch, ensuring no interference with either. Obviously, the case did add some bulk and weight to the phone but that was to be expected. However it's not an exaggerated bulk, it's just enough to put your mind at ease knowing that if you were to drop your phone, it's not likely to get damaged. The silicone sleeve is borders the face of the phone, allowing you to set it face down without worry of it resting on the screen. The raised buttons are easy to press and make for especially easy locking/unlocking of the phone for people with fat fingers like me. The only thing I don't like, aside from the screen protector, is the lack of silicone in strategic spots on the shell to ensure improved grip. There is none. The shell is just that, a plastic shell, so it's quite slippery to hold. There is so much room on both sides of the phone that they easily could have cut out a large opening in the shell on both sides and allowed the silicone shell to fit in said openings giving much improved grip. That's about the only thing I could see that could be improved with this case. And the screen protector. There is a good thing about the plastic shell though, it should allow easy entry and removal from pockets. That's one that I like about it over the Defender case for my iPod, which is housed in a poly shell with the silicone sleeve wrapped over the shell. And since I keep my phone in my pocket, should work well for me, as long as I don't drop it.
Luckily I had some experience with Otterbox before so when I placed this order I ordered an Xtreme Guard screen protector for it as well. This combo results in 99.9% frontal protection of the phone. The only part not protected is a tiny area above the camera as the cutout for it is a U shaped one, not a circle. I highly suggest the same skin type protector if you go with this case so you get a complete, form fitting screen protection. Overall I give this case 4 out of 5 stars, with a better screen protector and improved grip like I mentioned above, it would easily get 5.