Otterbox’s Defender for the iPhone 5s is similar to the iPhone 5 model but with a few tiny changes.
A LITTLE while back (in January, to be exact) we tested the Ottterbox Defender for the iPhone 5.
We liked that case,for its protection except for its lack of protection against water intrusion.
While the new iPhone 5s released this year still fits the original Defender case, the iPhone 5s’ Touch ID feature does not work with that Defender case, simply because the original Defender had a rubber covering over the Home button.
Otterbox’s latest Defender fixes this issue — instead of the rubber button, the built-in screen protector of the new Defender has a circular cutout so your finger will make direct contact with the Home button for TouchID to work.
Out of the box
Apart from the cutout for the Home button, the Otterbox Defender for the iPhone 5/5s hasn’t changed at all — you still get the same foam inner layer (for shock absorption), a hard plastic layer to protect against impact and a soft silicon outer layer for absorbing major impacts.
You also still get the belt clip holster, with a clip that can be locked open so you can use the holster as a kickstand to prop up your iPhone when in landscape mode.
Installing the iPhone into the Defender requires you to first peel off the silicon outer layer, then detach the two halves of the inner plastic shell.
Once installed, the iPhone 5/5s sits very snugly in the casing and of course, feels really, really big.
One slight improvement with this new Defender case is that Otterbox has reduced the space between the screen protector and the iPhone screen, making it a LOT more sensitive when I am typing through the screen protector.
The Defender is made tough and while I only dropped my iPhone with the case on from about three or four feet, I’m sure the casing can take much more than that.
Again, my biggest complaint is that while the Defender has rubber doors to protect the audio and sync ports, the speaker and camera areas simply have an open cutout — which means that any water splashes will still get into the iPhone.
On top of that, the cutout for the Home button is yet another area where water can get in.
Since the Otterbox Defender hasn’t changed much from when I first reviewed the one made for the iPhone 5, my opinion on this casing remains much the same — if you lead an active lifestyle or have butterfingers, then the Defender case is for you.
With the casing on, the iPhone 5/5s is as bulky as a PDA from the old days but at least you can be assured that the Defender will protect your investment from drops and bumps, although it stops short of protection against water.
Pros: Good all round protection; built-in screen protector; belt holster supplied; cutout for Home button so Touch ID will work.
Cons: No protection from water intrusion.
iPhone 5/5S protective case
SPECIFICATIONS: Silicone outer layer, polycarbonate inner layer, built-in screen protector
OTHER FEATURES: Belt clip included
DIMENSIONS (W x D x H): 135.12 69.9 x 16.18mm
RATING: 4.5 stars
Review unit courtesy of Otterbox Asia. For enquiries contact Ogilvy PR at (03) 2718-8805