The 8 Best OtterBox Cases of 2022

Keep your phone protected without sacrificing style

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Protective phone cases don’t just help protect the screen from shattering, should you drop your phone, but they can stop your device from picking up knocks and scratches from everyday wear and tear. They make phones easier to hold, keep germs at bay, store cards, help you express your individuality, and more.

And in the world of durable cases, one brand reigns supreme: OtterBox. OtterBox categorizes its cases into “Series,” and each series fits different budgets, styles, and needs. To help you choose which case will best suit you and your phone, we’ve tested, researched, and handpicked the best OtterBox cases—whether you’re on a budget, looking for something kid-friendly, or you want to make a more sustainable choice.

Best Overall: OtterBox Commuter Series

OtterBox Commuter Series

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Hinged covers protect the jacks and ports

  • Slim design

What We Don't Like
  • Grip sections look out of place

  • Slightly heavy

The Commuter Series case from OtterBox is ready for on-the-go use. Though it’s such a thin case, it crams in DROP+ 3X protection. This rating means it can withstand three times as many drops as the military testing standard (MIL-STD-810G 516.6). This case also has added grips on the rear and hinged covers that protect the jacks and ports from dust and lint in your pockets. 

Instead of lying flush against the display, the case has raised edges around the screen and the camera mount to protect the glass from damage. This design adds a slight heft to your device, but the impact is minor, and it doesn’t interfere with how you use or hold the phone. The slim design of the Commuter case also makes it easy to slide into the pocket of your jeans or coat.

The grip sections on the rear detract a little from the sleek and stylish nature of the overall design, adding an almost industrial look to it. Yet as soon as you’re trying to use the case on a packed subway, you’ll be grateful for their added support.

Material: Rubber slipcover with hard polycarbonate outer shell | Water-resistant: Yes | Wireless charging compatibility: Yes | Layers: Two

Best Budget: OtterBox Symmetry Series

OtterBox Symmetry Series Case

Best Buy

What We Like
  • Good value

  • Choice of transparent or colored design

  • MagSafe cases

What We Don't Like
  • Single-layer protection

  • Looks and feels cheaper than other OtterBox cases

For all the added protection a phone case brings, the sacrifice you make is that you often can't see the design and color of the handset underneath. That's not the case with the Symmetry Series of OtterBox cases.

Although the thin, transparent design doesn't feel as robust as the Commuter collection, all Symmetry Series models have the same DROP+ 3X rating and raised edges to protect the screen and camera mount. The lower price comes from the fact that these cases are missing the port and jack covers seen on more expensive models. This Series also uses softer material that looks and feels less luxurious than the more rigid outer cases from the brand. 

In addition to the Clear range of cases, which are completely transparent on the rear and edges, you can also opt for variations of this see-through design. For instance, you can buy a clear case with a visible MagSafe charger built-in or clear cases with glitter, ombre effects, and intricate flower designs across them. These allow you to add a touch of style to the device while enjoying the color beneath. 

Material: Polycarbonate and synthetic rubber  | Water-resistant: Yes | Wireless charging compatibility: Yes | Layers: One

Best Rugged: OtterBox Defender Series

OtterBox Defender Series SCREENLESS Edition Case for Samsung Galaxy Note9 - Retail Packaging - Dark Lake (Chinchilla/Dress Blues)

 Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Three layers of protection

  • Customizable protection

  • Holster doubles as a kickstand or belt clip

What We Don't Like
  • Chunky, industrial design

The Defender Series is the most rugged and protective of all OtterBox cases. This model has the same port, jack covers, and rubber slipcover as the Commuter range, but raised edges add further shelter for the display and the camera mount. It also adds a hard plastic outer case shell and holster to offer three layers of defense: the most protection from OtterBox. As a result, the Defender Series is the only option to offer DROP+ 4X protection (four times as tough as the military drop standard).

Although the addition of an extra layer makes these cases thicker than other OtterBox cases, you can remove each layer depending on your needs. The Defender Series slides easily into the pockets of most trousers and coats. For a better fit, you can either remove the holster or attach it via this holster to your belt. This accessory also doubles up as a kickstand for when you want to watch videos on the go or for hands-free viewing.

As the most serious-looking OtterBox series, the Defender cases come in darker, more muted colors than seen in other collections. Options include black, navy blue, a deep lilac called Purple Nebula, and a soft red called Berry Potion Pink. These colors and designs vary based on your handset.   

Material: Synthetic rubber slipcover, polycarbonate outer shell, polycarbonate plastic holster  | Water-resistant: Yes | Wireless charging compatibility: Yes | Layers: Three

Best Folio: OtterBox Strada Series

OtterBox Strada Series

OtterBox

What We Like
  • Sophisticated design

  • Card and cash storage

  • 360-degree protection

What We Don't Like
  • Not water-resistant

If you want 360-degree protection without purchasing a separate screen protector, the OtterBox Strada Series of folio covers is your best bet. Each Strada case offers cover for both the front and rear. A metal latch keeps the folio closed when your phone's not in use, and inside the front panel is a small pocket for a single bank card or cash. It's possible to fit up to three cards in this slot, but this will prevent you from closing the folio properly. 

Design-wise, the Strada folios are the most sophisticated of all the protective cases. Available in brown, black, purple, cream, and pink shades, they're made from leather, with a thin plastic shell fitted around the edges and the camera mount. This subtle design allows the case to offer DROP+ 3X protection without detracting from the smart fabric finish. The soft leather also adds a luxurious and expensive feel to the phone and doesn't pick up scratches as easily as its plastic siblings. 

Despite this folio range's larger, thicker nature compared to the broader OtterBox collection, the company has still managed to create a slim profile. The Strada fits easily in most trouser and coat pockets. You may struggle if your jeans are particularly tight, though. However, the sacrifice you make for its fabric finish and folio design is that this case is not water-resistant. 

Material: Polycarbonate shell, leather case, metal latch | Water-resistant: No | Wireless charging compatibility: Yes | Layers: Two

Best for Gaming: OtterBox Easy Grip Gaming Case

OtterBox Easy Grip Gaming case

Walmart

What We Like
  • Ergonomic grip

  • Sweat-resistant, anti-microbial coating

  • CoolVergence technology prevents overheating

What We Don't Like
  • Limited color options

OtterBox sells a range of gaming accessories, from cases to anti-slip covers, for Xbox controllers. Yet if you're more of a mobile gamer-on-the-go, give these Easy Grip cases a try. 

These cases have a single layer of molded plastic fitted with anti-slip edges and strips along the rear of the case. This design not only increases your grip, but it makes the case comfortable to hold for long periods. It's also sweat-resistant, even during the most intense gameplay. The range additionally offers OtterBox's DROP+ 3X protection, whether you drop the phone accidentally or throw it in a game-fuelled rage.

The inside of the case comes with what OtterBox calls CoolVergence technology. This material helps dissipate heat to draw it away from the handset and prevent overheating. Meanwhile, the outside of the case is coated with antimicrobial technology to protect it from common bacteria as standard. 

Material: Plastic case with anti-slip edges | Water-resistant: Yes | Wireless charging compatibility: Yes | Layers: One

Best for Style: OtterBox + Pop Case

OtterBox Otter + Pop Symmetry

 Courtesy of Best Buy

What We Like
  • Large range of color options and designs

  • PopSocket doubles as a kickstand

What We Don't Like
  • No MagSafe compatibility

Perfect for people who want to make more of a statement with their phone case, the OtterBox + Pop range comes in designs such as Daisy Graphic, Day Trip Tie-Dye, White Marble, What A Gem, and Feelin' Catty. The entire range offers the OtterBox DROP+ 3X protection, and the color options vary based on handsets. 

Each of these plastic cases comes with a built-in rubber PopSockets PopGrips. PopSockets are removable grips you attach to the rear of the handset, allowing you to hold the phone one-handed more easily. Whether it's for taking selfies or watching TikTok, YouTube, or Netflix when placed in landscape mode, these PopSockets can also function as phone stands.

The PopSocket matches the handset's design. However, the universal design of the connector means you can swap PopSockets in and out as you please when you're looking to switch up your style. OtterBox sells replacement PopSockets, or you can buy them directly from the PopSocket website. When the PopSocket isn't in use, it's removable, and the connector will lie flush with the rear of the case, making this design compatible with wireless chargers. 

Material: Polycarbonate, synthetic rubber | Water-resistant: Yes | Wireless charging compatibility: Yes | Layers: One

Best for Sustainability: OtterBox Core Series Case

OtterBox Core Case

9 to 5 Toys

What We Like
  • Sustainable materials

  • Fun designs

  • MagSafe connector built in

What We Don't Like
  • Lacks DROP+ protection

  • Available only for iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro

The OtterBox Core Series is the newest addition to the OtterBox collection and is the first to be made using 50% regrind silicone. Regrind silicone is a specially created material that’s made by reclaiming and upcycling waste materials. It has been combined with rubber in the Core Series of cases to help OtterBox reduce the amount of plastic it uses. 

While previous ranges have had sustainable elements—certain OtterBox + Pop cases are made from 50% recycled plastic—the brand claims its Core Series is its most significant commitment to sustainability. The range is relatively small. It’s available only for iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro models and comes with two transparent designs: a white, Funfetti design or a Black Carnival Night design. Both options have MagSafe connectors built-in. 

OtterBox claims the cases provide added protection against drops and shock, compared to no case at all, but they don’t meet the military standards seen across the rest of the range, and they’re not water-resistant.

Material: Regrind silicone, synthetic rubber  | Water-resistant: No | Wireless charging compatibility: Yes | Layers: One

Best for Folding Phones: OtterBox Thin Flex Series

OtterBox Thin Flex Case

Cases.com

What We Like
  • Thin and functional

  • DROP+ 2x rating despite the two-part design

What We Don't Like
  • Limited color options

  • Lower durability than other OtterBox cases

Available for the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip, Samsung Galaxy Z Fold, and select Motorola Razr phones, each of the Symmetry Series Flex cases come in two parts. One part clips onto the front to form a protective frame around the display, while the other clips onto the rear.

When each phone is open, the two parts of the case sit snugly against each other, side-by-side. Yet they’re also designed in a way that leaves enough room for the hinges on all models to remain unobstructed. 

Color options are a little limited: you can choose between black across all versions or pink and black in the case of the Galaxy Z Flip3. The DROP+ rating is slightly lower across the board, too, at 2X. This reduced protection is due to the fact that when the phones are closed, parts of the handset remain exposed by the case and represent areas of potential fragility. However, this case still makes the phones twice as durable as the US Department of Defense’s Military Standard (MIL-STD).    

Material: Plastic and rubber | Water-resistant: No | Wireless charging compatibility: No | Layers: Two layers on the rear panel. One layer on the front frame

Final Verdict

If you’re looking for the best OtterBox case that combines style, protection, substance, and price, the Commuter Series (view at Amazon) ticks all of the boxes. The Defender Series (view at Amazon) is your best bet if you want a case that offers the most robust protection.

What to Look for in an OtterBox Case

Protection

Every OtterBox case goes through a series of stress tests, including standards set by the U.S. Department of Defense. Only the cases that complete more than 230 hours of testing across 24 different tests receive the OtterBox DROP+ designation. If you want more than the standard DROP+ rating, a DROP+ 3X case means it’s three times more durable than the U.S. Department of Defense’s Military Standard (MIL-STD).

All models across the OtterBox collection also come with or without antimicrobial technology. The two options cost the same, but the latter contains silver additives that protect it from microbial growth forming.

Device Support

OtterBox makes cases for many handsets, from Apple to Samsung, Google, Motorola, Huawei, OnePlus, and more. Not all cases are available for all devices these brands sell, and the color options vary significantly depending on which device you have. Before purchasing an OtterBox case from any of the Series listed above, make sure it fits your specific make and model. If you select the wrong kind, not only will it not fit properly, but it won’t protect your phone in the way it should.

Warranty

OtterBox is so confident in its cases that it offers a Limited Lifetime Warranty on all OtterBox smartphone and tablet cases. This warranty covers the “Lifetime of the product,” which OtterBox determines as being seven years from the original date of purchase by a customer from an Otter-authorized dealer. Cases bought from non-authorized dealers and retail stores may offer different warranty protections.

FAQ
  • How do I open an OtterBox Defender case?

    The OtterBox Defender Case has three layers: an outer, plastic holster, a rubber slipcover, and a hard plastic shell. Each of the individual layers is removable. To remove the plastic holster, the outermost layer, unclip each of the four corners one at a time. Next, peel the rubber slipcover away from the plastic casing. If you're struggling to get underneath the cover, undo the flap covering the charging port and pull the small tab of rubber away from the device. You will then be able to slide your finger underneath all edges. Finally, using the clips on the underside of the remaining plastic case, unclip the case's frame from the rear. These clips sit along both sides and the top and bottom of the phone. Once you release the clips, the frame and the back cover will separate from the phone.

  • Do OtterBox cases work with wireless charging?

    All OtterBox smartphone cases work with wireless charging, although they can vary in performance depending on the type of charger you’re using and the handset in question. That’s because there are two main types of wireless chargers on the market: Qi chargers and MagSafe chargers. While you can use both to charge any phone with wireless charging capabilities, MagSafe chargers specifically fast-charge iPhone 12 handsets and above. If you buy an OtterBox case for a MagSafe handset, but the case itself doesn’t have the proprietary MagSafe magnets built-in, you’ll still be able to charge it via MagSafe, but you won’t be able to take full advantage of the increased MagSafe speeds. To guarantee top MagSafe performance, purchase an OtterBox case labeled “with MagSafe.”

  • Are OtterBox cases waterproof?

    Most OtterBox cases with the DROP+ protection rating are water-resistant but not waterproof. Cases that don’t have the DROP+ protection rating are not water-resistant by default. Water resistance means they can withstand splashes without damage. OtterBox doesn’t guarantee the cases will protect your device when submerged, so you should avoid taking your phone in water unless the device itself is waterproof. 

About Our Trusted Experts

Victoria Woollaston-Webber is a freelance science and technology journalist, editor, and consultant. She has over a decade of experience in online and print journalism, having written about tech and gadgets since day one for national papers, magazines, and global brands. 

For this list, Victoria used the Commuter Series and Defender Series cases as her primary phone case for the iPhone 13 Pro for a week while commuting to work, at the gym, and while her toddler watched YouTube Kids. To select the remaining cases, she analyzed more than 100 models based on their specifications and scored each Series and the individual cases based on price, color selection, handset compatibility, and protection ratings.

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