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TUAW review and giveaway: OtterBox Defender case for iPhone 4


Judging from the number of entries for our recent giveaway of two OtterBox iPad cases, most of you are familiar with the excellent products made by the Colorado company. Shortly after the end of the iPad case giveaway, I was surprised to find another box at my door from OtterBox containing one of the "bullet-proof" Defender cases for the iPhone 4.

No, an OtterBox Defender isn't going to save your iPhone 4 from a speeding bullet, but it can definitely keep your device clean and safe in a variety of tough conditions. TUAW reader Scott B. sent us an email today describing his experience with an iPhone Defender case, which reads "I received my Otterbox Defender Case for my IPhone 4, three days ago. It is great. I had one for my 3GS and it fell into a mud puddle. The case totally protected the phone. I now feel better having my IPhone 4 so well protected."

It's not often that we get unsolicited reader love for an iPhone case, which tells you just how special the OtterBox products are. Read along for a short review of the Defender for iPhone 4, and see how you can have a chance to get one from TUAW.

Gallery: OtterBox Defender for iPhone 4 Giveaway | 7 Photos

As we noted in the iPad case review a short while ago, the Defender series provides excellent protection against drops, bumps, and accidental drops into mud puddles. The iPhone itself is surrounded with hi-impact polycarbonate, building a thin and strong shell around the device. That's wrapped with an impact-absorbing silicone skin, complete with port and button covers to make sure that dust, dirt, and spilled beers don't trash your device. Finally, the iPhone's display is covered by a scratch-resistant screen protector. The Defender is not considered waterproof, but OtterBox aficionados often talk about that one time that they accidentally dropped their iPhone into a puddle or stream, and it survived.

The Defender, which currently comes in your choice of black or black, weighs in at 2.08 oz (59 g) and adds a bit of heft and weight to the iPhone 4. The exterior dimensions of the case are 4.85 in x 2.67 in x 0.66 in (123.23 mm x 67.85 mm x 16.77 mm), which means that the Defender adds .35 in x .36 in x .29 in of protective materials to your iPhone.

Defender cases have their detractors who say that the design is ugly, but I think that OtterBox did a good job of making the iPhone 4 case attractive and extremely functional. As with other Defender cases, a ratcheting belt clip holster is included.

The case is very easy to install and remove, so if you'd like to dress your iPhone for outdoor activities only, you can replace the Defender with another case or bumper in less than a minute.

I liked the feel of the Defender in my hand. The case feels very solid, and the "diamondplate" texture on the silicone wrap gives your fingers something to grip. In the gallery above, you can get an idea of just how sturdy the Defender looks, and how it adds a bit of bulk to the bare iPhone 4.

Now it's time to give away our review OtterBox Defender case for iPhone 4. As with most of our giveaways, we need for you to leave a comment. For this giveaway, leave us a comment with the color(s) you'd like to see OtterBox use for a more colorful version of the Defender. We'll pick one winner from the entries. Here are the details.

  • Open to legal US residents of the 50 United States, the District of Columbia, and Canada (excluding Quebec) who are 18 and older.
  • To enter, leave a comment with the color(s) you'd like to see on a future OtterBox Defender.
  • The comment must be left before midnight on Friday, July 30th, 2010, 11:59PM Eastern Daylight Time.
  • You may enter only once.
  • One winner will be selected and will receive an OtterBox Defender case for iPhone 4, valued at $49.95.
  • Click Here for complete Official Rules.
Good luck!

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