The Unwired Medic

Teaching EMS providers & other public safety pros about using mobile tech to improve their practice, patient care, continuing education, scene safety, general entertainment, & productivity.

Coming Soon From Otterbox


Coming Soon From Otterbox

Check out the the releases for Otterbox for 2013.

Defender Series

Otterbox's Defender Series with iON Intelligence

Otterbox’s Defender Series with iON Intelligence (image courtesy Otterbox website)

On my recent trip to the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, I had an opportunity to speak with the designer of Otterbox’s new Defender Series cases.  I already have a very high opinion of these cases, but there’s a new feature coming to them that makes them extremely attractive.

The new Defender series will still feature the same level of protection as previous generations of Defenders, but now it will have an optional built-in 1450mAh battery, effectively doubling the life of your phone.  There is also an app to help you keep tabs on the battery life.  According to the case’s designer, the battery/case and app in tandem will keep the phone at full charge, so the case’s battery discharges first, leaving the phone with a full charge until the last possible moment.

In the photo at the right, you might notice the row of LED lights across the bottom of the case.  They will light at a push of a button immediately adjacent to the lights, telling you, in 10% increments, how much battery life is left on the case’s extra battery.

Another very nice feature is that the case plugs into the charging port of the phone, then leaves you with a microUSB port to plug in to a wall or sync with your computer or other device.  So, especially for you iPhone users, you needn’t worry about the 4S traditional 30-pin Apple port or the new Lightning connector for the iPhone 5.  microUSB cables and car chargers are much cheaper to replace and more widely available.

Of course, iOS devices are the single most popular brand on the market, so iPhone users will claim first dibs on the new device cases, but Android devices will see some love shortly after.  No word on Windows Phone and BlackBerry devices.  It will simply depend on what devices become most popular.

Armor Series

Otterbox's Armor Series Case for the Samsung Galaxy SIII

Otterbox’s Armor Series Case for the Samsung Galaxy SIII (image credit Otterbox’s website)

Next up, at CES 2013, Otterbox debuted the new Armor Series cases.  This is like the Defender Series on steroids.  You can expect:

  • waterproofing up to 6 1/2′ for up to 30 minutes
  • 10′ drop protection (to concrete, not just nice plush carpeting)
  • dustproofing
  • 2 ton crush resistance.

Your device’s camera is protected by a glass shield.  There is a built-in screen protector, just like with the Defender Series.  The phone rests on a silicone padded interior.  Metal latches close the seal to keep out the elements.  All your buttons remain fully accessible with soft-press points in all the right places.

You do have access to the headphone and charging ports, but that will eliminate the waterproofing (honestly, who charges their phone underwater anyway???).  As for the headphones, if you expect to be in inclement weather, you might consider using bluetooth headphones.  Several companies are offering sweat and waterproof protection (I even saw one brand that said you can go swimming with your earbuds in, though they weren’t bluetooth).  Or you could just wear a bucket hat.

Protection like this isn’t going to come cheap.  You can expect to shell out almost 100 bones for the Armor Series, but it’s as good as any insurance policy for device protection.  If you work in unpredictable environments (I assume you’re in public safety like me), then this is THE case for you.

Pursuit Series

Otterbox's Pursuits 20 Case

Otterbox’s Pursuits 20 Case (image credit Otterbox’s website)

The Pursuit Series cases are provide Otterbox’s maximum waterproof protection for your phone or other device.  A very thick clamshell casing with seals and a compound latch seal in whatever you place inside.  If you expect something to travel with you while you snorkel or dive, this case can handle it, up to a 100 foot depth, and up to 1000 pounds of crush pressure.  You can loop through the case frame and attach it to your gear with carabiners if you like. the case’s latch can be zip-tie locked or you can pass a smaller carabiner through it.  The frame also integrates sufficient slots to thread a belt through the case to secure it.  The interior features a silicone web to absorb shock and pad your device.

Drop your phone inside, and there may still be room to drop in a credit card and ID card.  I recently bought a 6000mAh universal portable battery and it fits quite nicely inside, so while my iPhone enjoys Defender series protection, my backup battery and adapters enjoy Pursuit Series protection, for just under $20.

In Closing…

With hundreds of brands of phone cases on the market (the good ones including Pelican, LifeProof, and the House of Marley Ballistic cases), Otterbox no longer has the corner on the device protection market, but the new Defender Series with built-in battery and the new Armor Series, Otterbox’s cases stand out from the competition, and you can count on their years of experience to ensure you have good quality, dependable protection with a lifetime protection guarantee, just like I do.

Disclaimer: This post is not sponsored by Otterbox.  This is simply the author’s perspective and experience.

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