Thanks to the kind donation made by OtterBox, today I’ll be taking a look at OtterBox’s Defender case ($29.95 US) for the 1st-generation iPod touch. I would like to thank OtterBox, especially Kristin, for your donation. It’s appreciated.

Amongst the first things I noticed about this case is that the box is large! For the size of box they package this case in, you could easily fit three of four Defender cases in there. I started to wonder whether or not this has anything to do with the OtterBox name. We’ll open the box and take an in-depth look at the case, across the jump.

Inside the box along with the Defender case is instructions on how to apply the case, a mini OtterBox catalog, and an OtterBox decal sticker. There’s also a card about Planet OtterBox, which is where you can submit photos of you using your OtterBox around the world. On the opposite side is an advertisement for OtterBox’s pink iPod cases, in support of Avon’s breast cancer crusade.

My first impressions of OtterBox’s Defender case were negative, but I slowly gained respect for it. The main reason I thought this case was negative was because of it’s bulkiness, but I’ve come to realize that this is the type of product that OtterBox offers. They’re not so much worried about looks, but rather protection.

And as shown in Planet OtterBox, these cases do just that. OtterBox cases have been to Alaska, Afghanistan, Africa – around the world. They’ve been attached to motorcycles, underwater, and even dropped into a running stream of water.

I never thought that looking at the step-by-step instructions on how to apply a case would be of any use to me. I mean, how simple could it be? Was I ever wrong. For the first couple days of use, I couldn’t stand the fact that the case seemed to make the screen blurry. And after looking at the instructions briefly, it turns out I forgot to take off the protective film on the inside of the case. And just so this doesn’t happen to you, I’ll give you some advice: take off the protective film!

What’s nice about the Defender case is that it has two layers of protection. On the inside is a hard, durable plastic case that is covered by a flexible, silicone case on the outside. Both can be used with the iPod at once, or you can decide to use one or the either.

The hard inner case is two parts that clip together, and they can be opened to place the iPod touch inside the case. Once the iPod touch is in the case, you simply clip the hard inner pieces back together, and slide on the outer silicone layer.

Boldly displayed on the back of the Defender case is OtterBox’s logo. And shown in the picture below is a glimpse at the clear circular opening on the back of the case, which displays the Apple logo above “iPod” on the aluminum back. But for my scenario it shows a GelaSkin that I did a previous review on.

A unique feature that the Defender case has is that it leaves openings for the dock connector and headphone jack, but has plastic tabs that cover them when they are not in use. I’ve seen this tab feature on many cell phone cases, but never before on an iPod touch case. I think this is an excellent feature, and a good effort to protect every single aspect of the iPod touch.

The case doesn’t leave openings for the Sleep/Wake and home buttons, although if you apply the slightest amount of pressure on the silicone you can access these buttons. This is also another effort of OtterBox’s to cover every part of the iPod. I’m beginning to realize why the case is called a Defender. Additionally, this case has an opening for the ambient light sensor, which is essential for the iPod’s auto brightness feature.

After using this case on my iPod touch for just over a week, I’ve experienced what it’s like with everyday normal use. By that I mean at school, at home and on-the-go. At school, the bulkiness can be a nuiscance, especially when it is in your pants pocket the majority of the day. At home, it’s great for normal use. And on-the-go, this case is great. It’s silicone layer offers good grip when you need it most, and it’s protective. But, whether or not you find it appealing design-wise is personal opinion.

Overall, this case offers great protection over design. I would highly recommend this case to people who use their iPod touch on the go, largely due to the durability and protection the Defender case offers. I give this case a rating that is split into two categories:

Protection: 10/10


  • Two layer case: inner hard plastic shell surrounded by outer silicone layer
  • $29.95 USD
  • Great protection; not so great looks
  • Has clear circular opening on back to show Apple logo

3 Comments on “OtterBox: Defender”

  1. Haesslich says:

    Nice. If only these were available in Canada – I’ve looked. :D And the shipping’s way more than $29.95 US. Do you usually send the cases back after reviewing them?

  2. Rileyman says:

    otterbox, dont they make underwater cases, does this work underwater?

  3. Haesslich says:

    Rileyman: No. You’d want the Otterbox Armor for the underwater functionality. This one’s merely splash-proof and can stand the rain for a bit.

    Kiks52: The shipping to Canada’s about $50 since they only allow Worldwide Expedited, which means UPS courier service or similar.