The Otterbox Commuter Series Case for the Samsung Galaxy S3 finally hit Otterbox kiosks in Metro Manila this weekend. This is very welcome news for Galaxy S3 owners who’ve been patiently waiting for a good, sturdy, and premium case that will protect their sezzy smartphone. We were able to snag one this afternoon and we’d like to share our review of the case.
Hey, new packaging for Otterbox products!
Otterbox decided to change their packaging. Instead of the usual printed carton box, they now use a plastic blister pack. According to Anthony Kierulf, one of the executives of Tenkiebox (the local distributor of Otterbox), the new packaging was made so that it is easier to open since a lot of customers prefer to test the case out first before they buy it. I don’t know about other countries but that’s definitely true here in the Philippines. In fact that’s probably the reason why e-commerce hasn’t really taken off because Filipinos still like touching, feeling, and even smelling products before they make the decision to buy it, hehe.
The Otterbox Commuter Signature: Polycarbonate Shell and Silicone Skin
Just like the previous Commuter Series cases for other smartphone models, the Commuter for the Galaxy S3 is divided into two major components. The first is the silicone skin that helps in distributing and absorbing the shock of falls and bumps. The second is the hard polycarbonate exo-skeleton which provides even more protection especially from high impact situations. To put the case on just slip in the S3 into the silicone skin then slide it in the polycarbonate shell.
The case does add some weight and heft to the Galaxy S3 but it’s really not a problem since the S3 is already ridiculously thin and lightweight. In fact the Commuter Series kinda balances it and makes it feel more like a phone in your hands. I found the form factor transition from the naked S3 to the “Otterboxed” one very natural and positive.
There are lids for the headphone jack at the top and the mini-USB port at the bottom. You can also still access the power button and the volume rocker but you might need to exert a little effort in pressing them. It gets better over time though.
For the back they have cutouts for the flash, Camera, and the external speaker. The Otterbox logo is proudly emblazoned on the lower part of the case.
This also comes with a screen protector, wiping cloth, and a small manual. We didn’t bother with the screen protector though since the Galaxy S3 already has Gorilla Glass 2.
UPDATE: DROP TEST VIDEO
So we decided to slip on the S3 into the case and throw it to check if it’s really “drop proof”. Check it out for yourselves.
Pricing, Availability, and Verdict
The Otterbox Commuter Series for the Galaxy S3 sells for Php2,150. It might be pricey compared to the cheap cases you see in the tiangges in Greenhills but it’s a good investment to make since you get to protect your Php30,000 smartphone from accidental drops and bumps. Getting an Otterbox is very practical and the company has made long strides in making it more fashionable and stylish. Right now the only color available for the Galaxy S3 Commuter is black but they will be coming out with more options later this month.
We highly recommend the Commuter Series for the Galaxy S3 but just to be sure just try them on first before you buy. There are several Otterbox kiosks already in malls but the ones that I regularly visit are the ones in Vmall (3rd Floor), Robinson’s Galleria (middle of food court area near Yoshinoya) and SM Megamall Cybermall.