This case is exceptional. I've had the same one for nearly 2 years on my iPhone 5 and it's been the best case I've ever seen. The comments from others about not being able to hear, or being too bulky should be disregarded. This case is the most durable one that Otterbox offers for the iPhone 5, and for that level of protection, it's going to be a little bulkier than most. The bulkiness is not even bad. For a man who keeps his phone in his pocket, it's hardly an issue. It makes holding the phone easier, rather than holding a caseless phone with the thickness and weight of a credit card. As for the charging, make sure you order Apple brand chargers, or ones with the same dimensions. It's not hard to find reliable chargers online that fit into this case without having to take the phone out to charge. The negative reviews for this case aren't warranted. Best case I've ever used, hands down.
This wasn't the product that I was expecting, but read thoroughly before deciding for yourself. I have the commuter currently (I think that's what it's called)- that's just the basic rubber outer part covered by the plastic piece. It leaves the screen open. This one that I purchased completly encloses the phone. It's a lot bulkier, weighs more, and I was getting complaints from the people that I was talking to that I sounded far away. But it also protects your phone a lot more than the commuter series that I currently have. It really depends on what you are looking for. For me, I would prefer the lighter one. I'm willing to sacrifice the protection and have the lighter, less bulky cover. If you drop your phone a lot, have a high risk of submerging it in water, or work in conditions where your phone is vulnerable to getting smashed, this would be the cover for you.
I tested the case empty in water for several hours and there was no condensation inside the box. I purchased it to use on my vacation to take some pictures while we were snorkeling. The phone was being splashed but never completely submerged. The touch screen does not work if your finger is wet, and I didn't get to take pictures of my kid on their first snorkeling trip or petting a nurse shark our guide found for us. I'm so mad to have missed those moments! Also, as soon as we got back into the boat there was water inside the case! Again, it was not submerged, and definitely not to 6' for 30 minutes as OtterBox claims. I would NOT recommend this case to anyone who wants to take pictures in the water, submersed or not. I regret simply not buying a waterproof camera.
This is the heaviest phone case I've ever seen. Sometimes when you're having a conversation on the phone, the person on the other end hears your voice like an echo. The cover makes the phone keypad and the buttons on the side of the phone very hard to press. When you are finished with a call, the cover doesn't allow you to see the contact and phone information so you can't end the call, the other person has to actually end the call. I only used it for 1 week so I don't know how waterproof it is but I hope it has that going for it because everything else about it is terrible.
It protects your phone from wind and dust...and sound. You can barely hear through the membrane over the ear piece, and people can barely hear you thanks to the membrane over the mic. If you use a Bluetooth headset this isn't that big a problem...if it dies, you're pretty well screwed.Likewise, the screen protector also seems to protect your screen from being touched - it hovers mere millimeters from the screen so swiping is not an issue, but actually touching radio buttons on a website or typing can be - one of my co-workers placed a business card or two behind his phone in the case to alleviate the problem, but from where I sit we shouldn't have to do that. NOT water-proof.
I liked my Otterbox Commuter case (everyone that I know that owns one does) but I wore it out. Found this great deal on the Otterbox Defender for my iPhone 4S and decided to upgrade because reviews were good. The problem is people often (almost always) can't hear a word I am saying when the case is on. I decided not to return it because of cost and time it was just easier for me to purchase a pair of Bluetooth headphones. I used them with iphone and I think it will be okay. The case is heavier and thicker and I do think it will protect my phone which is important to me. I do not know anyone else that owns this case so I can't ask them if they have the same problem.
This will keep your iPhone safe, but there's a tradeoff for it. It's harder to hear when talking with someone on your iphone. Your ringtones aren't quite as loud and you can't hear your music very well through the iPhone speakers like you're used to. The case is so dust proof and water resistant that it covers these sounds up pretty good. In order to hear messages and music you have to have the charger cord cover open. If it's closed in the water seal mode, you'll have a hard time hearing your music and messages. But the case will protect your investment, which is why I bought mine. I work in a strenuous environment for humans and iphones, so this was the best option.
After two years with a Lifeproof case on my Iphone 4, it was time for a new case. I wasn't really looking to spend the money I did on the Lifeproof, and the Otterbox happened to show up on Groupon at the time I was ready to purchase a new case. The case was a bit bulky, but not that big of an issue. I liked the strap for it also. I took it to a pool party and not long after, my phone shut off and wouldn't turn back on. I pulled the case off, and water had somehow seeped into the case through the bottom where the flap for the charging port is. Let it dry for a half hour and it finally turned back on, but now the sound randomly turns on and off...
I have to continually remove the phone from the case to end a call. The screen will not recall when in the case. When it is not in the case, I do not have the same problem. I am a contractor, & as such, I was thrilled with the low price for such a protective case, but it is not very convenient if I have to take it out of the case every time to disconnect a call. Also, I can hear an incoming call, but with the screen blacked out, I cannot tell who is calling nor can I switch over the calls. If you have any suggestions on how this is supposed to work, please email me back, otherwise, perhaps the phone case is a big dud!
Sometimes it can be a little bit of a pain using the speaker, and your not always clear on the phone to people due to the design of that area. Facetime tends to be an issue because of this. But if I were to rate this on protecting my phone alone, 5 stars.