Review: OtterBox Commuter, Defender + Symmetry Series Cases for iPhone 6

OtterBox was one of a number of companies to introduce cases for the iPhone 6 before the device officially hit the market — now that Apple has released the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, we’ll be digging in deeper for our case reviews. We take a close look at the cases’ coverage, fit and finish, protection, and price, with extra consideration given to outstanding aesthetics and innovation. Otterbox’s first iPhone 6 cases are models we’ve seen for prior iPhones: the two-piece Commuter ($40-$45), bulky Defender ($60), and one-piece Symmetery ($40-$45).

Commuter uses two pieces — a rubber inner layer and hard plastic shell — to keep the iPhone 6 safe. The rubber layer covers the Lightning port and headphone jack when not in use for extra protection. The case also exposes the Apple symbol, a continuing design choice from Otterbox that doesn’t really appeal at all to us. Users can order separate shell and cover colors to make their own color combinations. Commuter also comes with a stick-on screen protector, cloth, and a card for applying the screen protector.


Review: OtterBox Commuter, Defender + Symmetry Series Cases for iPhone 6

Review: OtterBox Commuter, Defender + Symmetry Series Cases for iPhone 6

Review: OtterBox Commuter, Defender + Symmetry Series Cases for iPhone 6

Defender ($60) uses a two-piece plastic shell surrounded by a rubber outer layer, with complete port and button protection, a built-in screen protector, and a holster. This new version has a thin clear plastic membrane covering the Touch ID sensor, and the Touch ID worked just fine in testing. Defender definitely feels like a substantial case — however, users may actually have a tough time figuring out how to get it off an iPhone 6. As in the Commuter, we experienced no drop in speakerphone performance even though the bottom microphone is inside a substantial recess. Unfortunately, there’s also a $10 increase in price from the all-black iPhone 5s version of the case.

 

Review: OtterBox Commuter, Defender + Symmetry Series Cases for iPhone 6

Review: OtterBox Commuter, Defender + Symmetry Series Cases for iPhone 6

Review: OtterBox Commuter, Defender + Symmetry Series Cases for iPhone 6

Review: OtterBox Commuter, Defender + Symmetry Series Cases for iPhone 6

Symmetry uses the same one-piece plastic-and-rubber design and shock-absorbing interior found in the case’s previous iteration; it remains one of the slimmest OtterBox cases for iPhone. It’s a simple protective case in the Speck CandyShell style. At $40, it’s a solid, no-nonsense option — the volume controls and sleep/wake button are covered, and there’s a lip around the display for protection. The price is the same as Commuter, but Commuter provides a bit more coverage and protection without adding much bulk. Currently, black and white options are available, with future design patterns to cost $5 extra.

 

Review: OtterBox Commuter, Defender + Symmetry Series Cases for iPhone 6

Review: OtterBox Commuter, Defender + Symmetry Series Cases for iPhone 6

Review: OtterBox Commuter, Defender + Symmetry Series Cases for iPhone 6

Review: OtterBox Commuter, Defender + Symmetry Series Cases for iPhone 6

All of these cases from Otterbox are very similar to their past iterations. Choosing between the Commuter and Symmetry will likely be a matter of preference, as the Commuter feels a tad more protective, but some may prefer the simpler design and ease of use with the Symmetry — neither distinguishes itself in either way to have a higher rating than the other. Defender is a fine option for those seeking an iPhone 6 case with more protection, though the price increase is unfortunate. Overall, all of these cases get the same B+ rating and strong general recommendation, but for different reasons.

Table of Contents

Our Rating

B+
Recommended

Company and Price

Company: OtterBox

Models: Commuter Series, Defender Series, Symmetry Series

Price: $40-$60

Compatible: iPhone 6

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