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Otterbox Armor Series Case for iPhone 4/4S/5/5S and Galaxy S3 Review

Otterbox Armor Series iPhone 4/4S/5 Case

Otterbox Armor Series iPhone 4/4S/5 Case


  • Product Name: Armor Series Case for iPhone & Galaxy S3
  • Manufacturer: Otterbox
  • Review Date: April 01, 2013 04:00
  • MSRP: $100
  • First Impression: Pretty Cool
  • 10 ft drop to concrete*
  • 6.6 ft submersion up to 30 minutes
  • Dust and waterproof
  • Can withstand 2 tons of pressure
  • Weight: 3.91 oz / 110.88 g
  • Dimensions: 5.51 in x 2.97 in x 0.70 in / 14.02 cm x 7.55 cm x 1.78 cm

*Note: Does NOT mean you can drop concrete on it from a height of 10 feet!

Otterbox was late in releasing their Armor Series cases for the iPhone 4/4S, iPhone 5 and the Galaxy S3 (we're guessing it will also work with the upcoming iPhone 5S case) but, as they say, better late than never. Now, I'm going to start off this Otterbox Armor review with all the reasons you wouldn't want to get this case. And here's why—if you get the Armor case without understanding it, then you're going to be disappointed. You just are. So let me give you some examples of why this case might not be for you:

1) You care for your phone's aesthetics.

If the Otterbox Armor case is anything, eye-candy is about as far away from the description as you're likely to find. It's not that the case is ugly, but "ergonomic" or "sexy" isn't part of the design goal as far as we can tell. By the time you wrap your phone in this case you'll feel as if you stepped back in time and are calling someone on an early 2000's cellular phone with NiCad battery and wall charger. Your beautiful new iPhone 5 or Galaxy S3 will be "safe", but they just won't be the same.

Which brings us to our second reason you might want to not get the Otterbox Armor:

2) Carrying a brick around in your pocket isn't your idea of fun.

The Armor isn't just big, it's heavy too. And if you were somehow hoping that Otterbox had come up with an ultra-protective case that doesn't weigh a ton, you would be mistaken. If you want a case that's lightweight and agile, one that can easily slip into your back pocket, the Armor Series isn't it. Check out one of Otterbox's other products.

brick case

3) You want to spend under $50 to protect your phone.

Nope...not gonna happen. The Otterbox Armor case for the Galaxy S3 or iPhone 4, 4S and 5 runs around $100.

4) You want to be able to make and receive calls with crystal clear audio from the onboard speaker and microphone.

Listen, if there's one thing I've learned, it's that cell phones are lowering my expectations for what sounds good in a call. But wrap your phone in this case and you're entering what we around here lovingly refer to as "the underwater zone". You're now speaking through membranes and waterproof seals that will make your phone sound much quieter and muffled to the person on the other side unless you're using a Bluetooth headset or accessory.

waterproof seals

The fifth and final reason you might not want the Armor case is if...

5) You need to wear you phone on your belt or otherwise require a holster.

The Armor, surprisingly, doesn't have one.

So, now that we've warned off consumers for whom this might not be the best solution, the rest of you need to listen up. Cause we have another list.

You might want an Otterbox Armor Series case if...

1) You want the most, or at least one of the most rugged cases currently available on the market.

We've used a lot of cases, and many of them look tough and even handle drops and falls. But this Armor case is for the guy who thinks its a good idea to use his phone on an aluminum extension ladder while carrying a roll of 12/3 cable on his shoulder. I know this guy. He's been through like 6 cases in the past three years. In fact, I'm giving him this case after we finish this video.

2) You're prone to being around a lot of water.

The new Armor case can last submerged to a depth of over 6 feet for a full 30 minutes. So I sat on the bottom of my pool playing Angry Birds...actually I wasn't that brave and the Otterbox warranty doesn't extend past the case...but it's good to know that I could.

waterproof seals 2

3) You've ever set your phone on the top of your car and driven away.

...only to see it fly off your roof onto the highway behind you and get run over by several vehicles (true story by the way.) With the Armor case, you've got a crush rating of 2 tons. It'll take some hits and protect your phone.

4) You work in a commercial environment where there's tons of dust.

I'm thinking of a construction job site or a manufacturing plant. The Armor will keep dust and debris out and not just some of it.


Otterbox says this is the toughest case ever built. It's certainly the toughest case they've built. And as far as we can tell, your phone is going to be about as safe as it can possibly be—at least until they perfect the formula for rubberized glass and waterproof electronics. Yes your phone will be safe. Safe and very big. Very...very...big.

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Unless otherwise indicated, this is a preview article for the featured product. A formal review may or may not follow in the future.

About the author:
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Andrew Gash was the online personality for Audioholics' video reviews back in 2010. He's an accomplished video editor and scriptwriter and enjoys masochistic events such as entering 48 hour film festivals each year, for which his last several attempts have placed in various nominations and awards.

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