HTC One M8 Otterbox Commuter case review
Otterbox has one of the best reputations for durable smartphone protection. I remember back in the day being able to throw a BlackBerry wrapped in an Otterbox case across the room, picking it up, and the phone being in mint condition. Otterbox has made some of the toughest cases around so let’s see if the Otterbox Commuter case lives up to the company’s reputation or if it falls along par with average cases. We won’t be doing any drop tests in this review; we’re simply exploring thoughts on practicality here.
The Otterbox Commuter case is a two-piece design; an inner rubber shell with a tougher plastic-like exo-skeleton that binds the two pieces as one. For some aesthetics, the outer and inner pieces come in a few different color options like light blue, black, white, purple, grey, and red. To install the case around the phone, one would have to first separate the two pieces of the case, install the inner shell that surrounds the whole back and sides of the HTC One M8, and then the plastic shell which only covers about 80% of the first shell. The inner piece has holes for the cameras, speaker, mic, and at the bottom there is a single flip cover for the USB and audio ports. I’m not a fan of the area over the volume rocker, because it feels like it needs equal pressure when trying to adjust audio levels up or down. It seems like pressing on the ends of the rocker wouldn’t be sufficient enough to adjust the sound it would have to be pressed closer to the center.
For some odd reason the outer, plastic shell only covers a portion of the phone and doesn’t fully cover any of the corners of the HTC One M8 so your primary defense in those areas is the first gel layer. In my opinion, the corners would be the primary areas to cover with the plastic shell, because those would absorb a lot of force if they touched the ground first during a fall. The visible gel portions of the Otterbox Commuter case are thicker since they’re so exposed. The gel layer combined with the second piece of the case strengthen the overall support of the Otterbox Commuter case on the HTC One M8 so as long as one can live with less structural support with better pocket-ability then this is a case to consider.
The use of the word Commuter in the name of this case implies that this case has the same core Otterbox is known for, but with a lighter twist. I think the product description they have for the Commuter case says it all:
Sturdy 2 layer protection that’s sleek enough to slide in your pocket but tough enough to throw in your rucksack.
With this case on the HTC One M8 I feel a little more comfortable tossing my phone around on the table. It seems like my normal, everyday use wouldn’t be very challenging to protect for the Commuter.
Even though the Otterbox Commuter case has some weak spots, especially around the corners, the case paired with the sleeve of plastic offers more protection than the Speck GemShell case and a lot more protection than a wrap like the one I reviewed from SlickWraps. If you are known to drop your phone often you might consider investing in case with at least as much protection as the Otterbox Commuter case or look into something with some level of guaranteed protection.