90It is extremely hard to design a case to shield all the buttons and balls of the BlackBerry.

OtterBox somehow found a way to get as close as you can.

While you still can’t throw it in the ocean and make calls from the deep end of the pool, the OtterBox Defender. The tough plastic shell we’re used to with an OtterBox combines with an optional clear membrane to protect the screen and keyboard.

The case is surprisingly comfortable. It’s still easy to use the keyboard, but the trackball is a little more awkward. How awkward? It’s harder to play BrickBreaker and make those quick saves when the ball suddenly accelerates or jumps because you got a text message.

The OtterBox is comfortable, but practicality is a slight concern. It’s not waterproof. It protects against a few accidental drops of water, but that’s it. So you can’t really count on it when you’re in the canoe or something. I did find that it keeps a lot of the sand out at the beach, though.

OtterBox is a popular brand with outdoorsmen. I’m not sure how many hunters and fishermen carry a BlackBerry, but the OtterBox is as good as it gets. If you drop your phone a lot or work with your hands and are always banging your phone against something, the Defender is great.

About The Author

John Guilfoil is the editor-in-chief of Blast: Boston's Online Magazine and the Blast Magazine Network. He can be reached at [email protected]. Tweet @johnguilfoil.

21 Responses

  1. tom

    it seems that it doent snap togeather right. but everything else i love about it. I with the holder would fit a 3″ sam browne police belt

  2. Milo Ruiz

    I work in a construction environment, and the Otter Box has proven to be a great accessory. The clear membrane protect my screen from an abrasive environment, the water that drips onto the keypad, and of course all the other $h!t that usually gets transferred onto and in between my buttons. My first Blackberry lasted about 3 weeks on my sites. The second one has been seviced a few times. My personal BB is in the Otter Box, and looks like the day I opened the box.

    The only inconvenience I have is a problem with the microphone. The Otter Box attenuates the user’s voice. Most people on the receiving end, complain that I sound as if I’m holding the phone very far away from me. I have to use the phone in “1975 Walkie Talkie” style.

    I have made a modification to my Otter Box to reduce the attenuation, and although improved, voice transmission is still noticeably compromised.

    I am however very pleased with the Otter Box. Its comfortable — I don’t even notice that there is an accesory added to the phone.

    I’m also still the owner of a new BB 8300 as a result.

    • walt

      I’m with you in heavy service industries. have had a chance to wear out the holster ,,,,mine was loose and falling off my belt within a month. they need to build the holster as strong as the box itself. durability is absolutely crucial to guys and gals like us!

  3. Stew

    Is there a way to modify the plastic membrane to allow for clearer pictures?

    • robb byington

      I used a razor knife and cut a small hole in the plastic where the lens is, I have much better pics now, the plastic was just too hazy.

      • jeff mcdowell

        I agree…Pics are a lil better once you cut a hole in the protector..

  4. Mark4

    First of all let me say this is a great case! There are a few things that could use fixing though. 1 – the silicone cover doesn’t stay snapped in place on the sides. 2 – the clear cover is a great idea, but virtually eliminates the use of the camera unless you cut a hole around it which defeats the purpose of that piece even being there. And it attracts and holds dust like a magnet. my advice is buy the case, but efore you put it on your BB, throw the clear cover in the trash.

  5. Chris

    The clear cover is a great idea but couldnt get the plastic case to snap on with it on the blackberry so like Mike4 said, I threw it away. I bought this after dropping my blackberry permanently and irreversibly damaging the screen, Now have the Otterbox on my new curve hoping to avoid any more mis-haps. I like it so far.

  6. Jim

    I think this is a great case. I work outdoors in construction and in all kinds of weather. This is ideal for that. I had no problems assembling it. A little windex help remove the bubbles while installing the protective screen. The protective cover for the screen and key board is why i purchased it, not sure why anyone would throw them out its one of the best features. Nobody says its “water proof” ,only water resistant. so a little hole for the camera is no big deal.

  7. Dave Tomlin

    Great product and even greater service!!!
    Thanks to Alex for your help this morning!

  8. Robert

    Is there is way to purchase extra plastic screen and keyboard covers? I’d like to have some extras just in case.

  9. Jarrett

    I had the BB 8350i curve with otterbox case and LOVE it! I searched and search and clearly the best case on the market for someone who needs protection. Traded phone up for BB 8330 curve and bought corresponding otterbox case. It serves is purpose well, but not designed nearly as well as the 8350i case. Silicone skin does not stay on well, have to be careful how I hold phone. That is a disappointment, but still a great case for protection.

  10. kiwi

    Im a full time fire fighter, and I will say that the case has held up great. The only think I dont like about the case is the outer skin of my defender case Ive had to buy 2 of them so far in less than 1 year. They tend to streach out and become loose over a short period of time. By this happening it makes it harder to put back in the case. Also the cover peice that goes over the ear piece jack and charger jack wears outs and breaks off after a few months. I love plastic membrane, the only draw back there is no photos are no longer have that sharp image. The case as a hole is top rate.

  11. M.R.

    How is the clip? I am thinking about purchasing an otterbox defender case because of issues with every other case’s clips breaking? Is it worth the money or is it just a cheap clip?

  12. A. L.

    I’ve just ordered my 3rd clip, they last about 6 months before they break. Otterbox replaces them free of charge. The case is rock solid and has taken many drops without harming the phone. I just wish it came with a metal clip instead of plastic.

  13. Richard S.

    Remedies to common faults

    I have a BB 83210 and it’s a good solid case. Couple of problems with some remedies… 1) The clear membrane makes the photos hazy. The solution is to cut out a hole out of the membrane that covers the flash and lens. 2) The membrane over the screen produces bubbles. The remedy for that is I drop a little bit of water on the screen, then place the membrane over it and use a rubber squeegee or a credit card to rid the bubbles. It greatly reduces the imperfections.3) Sometimes battery pulls are necessary and taking the case apart can be difficult and time consuming. The solution is to get a download called Quickpull-free. It simulates a battery-pull without taking off the box and getting at the door. Hope this helps…

    • Kyle

      I’m not sure if it does the same exact thing as Quickpull-free, but pressing Alt+aA^+Del works like it does on a PC and appears to do the same things as a battery pull. Great case and glad to see other people with complaints about the camera haze and I was contemplating cutting it out, too. Good review and comments here!

  14. Richard S.

    One more thing I would like to add… If you need to replace the two white filters on the receiver and speaker, Bounce fabric softener sheets do just fine.

    • Joe G.

      I am a Firefighter and when I called Otter Box about the belt clip not fitting over my wide belt to clip on properly they told me about their Public Safety Belt Clip. They sent me one and it is great, fits over my duty belt with room to spare! I have had it for well over a year without any problems. The only thing is that it does not clip on very well, it is easier to slide it on the belt which is no problem for me and it has NEVER come off my belt. I do not know why they do not show this feature but it is avaliable just call Otter Box.


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