Review: OtterBox Defender Case for BlackBerry Storm

February 26, 2009 | By | 14 Comments

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OtterBox has always been a favorite case of mine. I tell anyone who owns electronics and drops them frequently that they should own an OtterBox. In the past I’ve had an OtterBox for pretty much all of my BlackBerrys and now I have received the OtterBox Defender case for the BlackBerry Storm. OtterBox cases may not be the cheapest solution on the market, but they offer the best for protection! I recommend them to nearly anyone who works in tough environments or is just clumsy.

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First thing I noticed when opening up the packaging is that the new Defender case for the Storm features a screen protector which is built right into the case instead of being a separate piece like previous models. The second layer of the case is the Hi-Impact Polycarbonate shell which fits together like a glove to ensure your device is protected. The silicon skin which goes over is considered the third layer of the case because it absorbs most of the impact or shock of the odd drop or bump. All OtterBox Defender cases include the old school BlackBerry style holsters (think 8700) only its way more durable. Right out of the box you will notice if you’ve ever purchased an OtterBox before is that the Storm now comes in a smaller more compact packaging, which is great for our Environment!

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Here’s a breakdown of the three layers included in every OtterBox:

  • Layer 1: Thermal formed protective clear membrane to safeguard screen and keyboard against scratching as well as dust and dirt* (layer optional depending on the level of ruggedization desired).
  • Layer 2: Hi-impact polycarbonate shell.
  • Layer 3: Silicone skin absorbs bump and shock (silicone includes innovative retaining features to hold it in place).

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With the OtterBox Defender case on your BlackBerry Storm you will feel a lot more secure. The case seals in the display with the formed protective plastic-like material. This will prevent dirt, dust, and light water droplets from getting into the display causing liquid damage. All of the Storm’s input jacks including the stereo headphone jack, micro USB port, earpiece, microphone and audio speakers are covered and sealed by a protective plastic.

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Only real compliant about this case I had is that I found it was a little harder to put together (see picture above). When assembling the case you have to ensure that the case lines up perfectly with each other to get that glove fit. I can’t really explain how to do it but its a little odd. Once the case is together all you have to do is simply wrap the third silicone skin layer over the polycarbonate shell and your good to go. To ensure the silicone skin doesn’t slip off off they have put little plugs in the shell to connect the case with.

Overall: As always I’m impressed with the level of quality OtterBox has provided in their product. At first I wasn’t sure how OtterBox was going to work around RIM’s Surepress clicking screen, however they defiantly found a way to make it work! You can use the Storm’s touchscreen with barely any issues. When trying to use the buttons along the bottom of the display you may find them hard to press. This is become of the rounded edges of the case. You will notice the case feels a little rough because the silicone skin doesn’t wrap compeltly around the edges. My only recommendation to OtterBox would be to find a way to still provide maxium protection but round the edges around the display on the sides and bottom. Regardless If you have never had an OtterBox before I recommend you give it a try!

Pros: Super durable, lots of protection, display is sealed off, includes Holster, new packaging is much more compact!

Cons: Price may be a little higher than wanted, skin doesn’t cover as well on sides/bottom

Rating: ★★★★½

Purchase the BlackBerry Storm OtterBox case from OtterBox.com >

See other BlackBerry OtterBox cases for Bold, Curve, and Pearl in the BlackBerry Sync Store >


Filed in: Accessories, BlackBerry, Reviews, Storm 9500 Series | Tags: , , , , ,

  • Tyler

    Good review, one question though. Can you access the screen lock button on the top left of the Storm with the case on? From the pics it does not look accessible.

  • http://Collinsboating.com JT Thomas

    I received my Otter Box for my Storm on Thursday. I am making arrangements to return it. I was very excited as I unpacked and assembled it on my device. It is very restrictive to the function of the touch screen. It is nearly impossible to operate the touch screen near the edges, especially in landscape mode. I really made a sincere attempt to give it the benefit of doubt and for me to accept minor shortcomings, but this exceeds ‘shortcoming’. Every on screen function is impaired but the edges are near if not impossible. The Storm has enough ‘bugs’ without adding more restrictions. Am currently using a hard, clear protection case that is a much better choice (purchased @ Verizon), no loss in functionality and it even enhances the ‘feel’ of the device (as does the Otter Box). Without the loss of performance, I would really love to keep the Otter Box, but that is simply not the case. jt-thomas@nc.rr.com

  • MW

    I am a first time Blackberry owner, so the storm is my first. I have had it for two weeks and already dropped it and damaged the case slightly. I have been using the verizon supplied screen protectors but they are difficult to get on correctly and dont last that long. At 3.00 ea. from verizon that will add up. I also bought a silicone sleeve for it from verizon, but in the sleeve you cant put it in the belt case. The otter box seems to be the perfrct compromise. The downside is the thing is huge, and the sounds are diminished. I am going to give it a day or two before deciding if i keep it. I like the protection but it comes with a price. Ringers are impossible to hear and hearing during a phone call is tough. The screen still works good enough for me.

  • http://collinsboating.com JT

    I’m not giving up on a future upgraded OtterBox. I really liked the concept (I like larger phones, so the obvious ‘bulkiness’ is not a problem for me) and the ‘feel’ created by the case. However, the lack of screen function is impossible for me to deal with. When I called and spoke to a really nice & professional customer service person to arrange a return he acknowledged they were aware of a problem & offered my choice of a refund or a free replacement case that would not require me to return the one I now have. Sounds as though they are confident they will make necessary corrections. I was able to improve (somewhat) the sound issue by cutting out the little white cover over the speakers. Haven’t had a problem installing the Verizon screen protectors but, make no mistake however slight they too have an adverse effect on the touch performance of the Storm. Using screen ‘as is’ gives by & far the maximum performance. The OtterBox representative said they would notify me when the problem is corrected. I am very impressed with their customer service and their honesty of being aware of the problem. As soon as I am informed they have it corrected, i will be back on board.

  • MW

    After 2 days i came to the same conclusion, called Otter and also got a very nice CSR, who made me the same offer. I elected to hold this one and wait for the new one. More after i receive it.

  • Frank

    I just got one of these, so it must be the newly redesigned one, and I love it. It certainly does add some size to the phone, but I like it. The screen works just as well as it did without the protection, and I’m VERY happy to keep dust out of it now (esp. around the screen).

  • http://otterbox Charlie

    I received my defender today and so far I love it! I am assuming I have the redsigned case because I can hear everything perfect! I also love big phones and this is my first Blackberry ( a storm 9530 ) and I can operate all functions perfectly! Definately worth the price and I was so lucky I hadn’t dropped my phone ( a month ) before I got the defender. Now it is very protected and I am very satisfied with the purchase! Great Job Otterbox! If this is the new case. And thanks Crackberry! Well designed and stylish!

  • http://otterbox Charlie

    I received my defender today and so far I love it! I am assuming I have the redesigned case because I can hear everything perfect! I also love big phones and this is my first Blackberry ( a storm 9530 ) and I can operate all functions perfectly! Definately worth the price and I was so lucky I hadn’t dropped my phone ( a month ) before I got the defender. Now it is very protected and I am very satisfied with the purchase! Great Job Otterbox! If this is the new case. And thanks Crackberry! Well designed and stylish!

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