HTC One Case Review: OtterBox Defender Series

The phone may look to good for a HTC One case, but users who need to take the MacBook Pro of smartphones to work in rugged environments or outdoors for hiking and camping will need more protection than the basic aluminum can deliver.

Enter the OtterBox Defender Series HTC One case. This case combines a two-part design and a built-in screen protector to deliver protection from drops and dust without hindering the function of the HTC One.

Yes, you will need to cover up the beautiful HTC One design and aluminum with this case, but the IR sensor still works and the screen still looks very good behind the screen protector. I won’t be using this HTC One case every day, but when I go Zip-lining this summer and on any other outdoor adventures it will be the case I grab.

This OtterBox Defender Series HTC One case offers protection from drops.

This OtterBox Defender Series HTC One case offers protection from drops.

 

OtterBox is well-known for making cases that protect our favorite smartphones from damage and the OtterBox Defender is the top of the line case they offer. We picked up the HTC One Defender Series case in black at Radio Shack and after two weeks of use are ready to weigh in on what it can do.

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Read: Best HTC One Cases

Users looking for a waterproof HTC One case should keep looking as OtterBox Defender cases focus on protecting the body, screen and ports from drops, shock, dust and debris, but won’t keep more than a splash of water out of the device. Users who are in need of more battery power may be interested in the HTC One case from Mophie with a built-in battery. With expectations in check, here’s how the Defender Series HTC One case from OtterBox performs.

This HTC One case from Otterbox features a built-in screen protector.

This HTC One case from Otterbox features a built-in screen protector.

This HTC One case adds a good deal of bulk thanks to a hard inner section and a rubber bumper that snaps in place over top. This rubber portion absorbs shocks while the hard inner provided additional protection. The rubber outer also plugs the headphone and Micro USB ports to prevent dust, water and debris from damaging the phone. The volume buttons are covered with rubber for easy access, but the power button can be a pain to use because it is left uncovered. OtterBox had to choose to leave access to the IR blaster underneath or cover it up, and we’re glad they left it open even if it is tougher to press.

The case leaves openings for the two dual-membrane microphones to capture sound and a wide opening for the Ultrapixel camera on the back of the device. There is no type of cover here, so optical clarity isn’t an issue at all.

The multi-piece design of the OtterBox HTC One case adds to the protection.

The multi-piece design of the OtterBox HTC One case adds to the protection.

The case comes apart fairly easily, but thanks to the stacked design there is no worry that a fall will knock the HTC One out of the case. The image above shows what the case looks like when taken apart. Un-clipping the plastic is tough, but after practice it only takes a minute to assemble and disassemble this HTC One case.

Read: Best HTC One Accessoriesaper

The HTC One screen is protected by a plastic screen protector that is built-in. This means there is no messy, bubbly installation to deal with. The clarity and overall operation of the phone are still good, but it is clear that there is a screen protector on the phone. Cutouts let sound through the BoomSound speakers and let the wide-angle front-facing camera take photos without any issues. The cutouts also leave room for the capacitive buttons at the bottom of the phone.

The HTC One case belt clip acts as a stand.

The HTC One case belt clip acts as a stand.

In addition to the screen protector, this HTC One case includes bumpers that offer a large amount of screen protection. Combined with padded corners the HTC One display is protected from most drops unless a rock or corner hits the center of the screen. There is an included belt clip that protects the display when connected. This adds considerable bulk, but clips to a pocket or belt and adds protection. This can also act as a stand to prop the HTC One up while watching movies or making a video call.

A large bumper keeps the HTC One display safe from many dangers.

A large bumper keeps the HTC One display safe from many dangers.

Overall the OtterBox Defender Series HTC One case offers a lot of protection at a fair price. Users will need to deal with the added bulk, but the phone will still fit in a pocket or clip to a belt with the included cover; and there’s no need to give up any functionality of the HTC One.

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Comments

  1. Jack says

    And a simple drop can kill the whole phone.
    Better safe than sorry.
    Or pay for the expensive insurance.

  2. baldemar says

    I own this phone and case… It’s good protection but I do lose a bit of functionality towards the edges of the screen

  3. Rick says

    If you don’t mind people constantly saying “What”, It”s a great case for protecting the phone. It muffles the the call quality..

  4. Richard says

    I agree. As much as this case covers up the shiny and beautiful body, I value this device too much to NOT have the Defender Otter on it.

    And if it wasn’t for the fact that the phone feels so delicate I probably would never even use it.

    I don’t know about you guys, but sometimes the sleek design feels TOO sleek and I feel like I’m going to drop the damn thing.

    Lol.

  5. Jeremy Hyne says

    Nice rugged case design is really flawed. The weak plastic tab that retains the phone in the belt holster has already snapped off twice. Otterbox warranty is VERY responsive but they have a poorly designed product. Switched to a Seidio case which is a much improved design.

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