There are a lot of options when it comes to cell phone cases. The most expensive offer a superior fit, ultimate protection and a stylish look. The cheapest can be mail-ordered pieces of rubber from Asia that will run you a few dollars and offer minimal protection and faulty design.
While rubber cases are often chosen by people for aesthetic reasons like applying a new skin or texture to their phone, they don’t offer the greatest damage protection. Plastic cases usually protect better, but can make phones bulky and impractical for everyday use.
Taking all of the above in mind, Otterbox has created the Commuter series case for the Blackberry Tour 9630. It is a hybrid rubber/plastic case that offers a slick visual appeal, sufficient protection and keeps your phone comfortable. It is in the middle of the price spectrum and aims to be a product representing the finest elements of all case styles. If you want to keep your phone safe from damage but not have a bulky cumbersome case to deal with, this product will certainly interest you.
The packaging is your typical sealed plastic package. You know, the kind that is impossible to get into if you don’t have a box cutter, knife or hatchet on hand. The backing is a single sheet of paper with information and the case itself just bounces around in its little nook.
Once you decide where you want to slice open the package so you can get to the case, it will come out and you’ll see a paper Blackberry insert where the front of your phone shows through. Underneath it is a small cloth, the Otter installation card and a plastic screen cover.
“The OtterBox Commuter™ Series case for the BlackBerry® Tour™ 9600 Series offers the best of both worlds; incorporating elements from the rugged Defender™ Series line with the silicone, skin-like Impact™ Series line to create a slick case designed with your style in mind. It’s protection without the bulk. The exposed silicone corners dissipate impact away from the device for additional bump and shock protection and the smooth outer layer allows the case to easily slide into your pocket or purse. All buttons are fully functional through the case and the audio jack and USB port are accessible through silicone plugs.
Includes: Self-adhering clear protective film, microfiber cleaning cloth and installation card.
-Accommodates the BlackBerry Tour 9600 Series ONLY.
-All buttons are fully functional through the case
-Exposed silicone corners dissipate impact away from your device with added bump and shock protection
-Sleek, stylish design
-Smooth outer layer allows case to slide easily into your pocket or purse
-Silicone plugs provide access to audio jack and USB port
-Self-adhering clear protective film, cleaning cloth and installation card included
Dimensions (case only): 4.68″ x 2.90″ x .75″
Weight (case only): 0.85 oz.
The reason the commuter series is considered a hybrid case is because it is a silicone case within a plastic shell. This is a very clever design element that brings together the best of both worlds when it comes to case materials. Otterbox is known for their Impact Series and Defender Series cases. The Impact series is a thinner, everyday series made of advanced silicone that dissipates vibrations away from the device. The Defender series is a rugged, hard plastic case that offers supreme protection but is difficult to deal with all the time. The Commuter series we have here is a combination of those two Otter products.
The silicone part of the case is what your phone slips into first. Silicone offers great resistance as it absorbs shock and protects from slight bumps and bangs. It protects the top, bottom, sides and back of the unit.
This layer then clips into the hard plastic layer where everything fits together just beautifully. The hard shell gives tremendous protection against bigger drops and bumps. Coupled with the rubber inside, it’s a great combination to protect the Tour. The way the cases fit together couldn’t be more snug and seamless. It looks like one case to the ignorant eye.
A clear protective film covers the screen. Applying it is as simple as peeling off the protective layers and adhering the film to the phone’s screen. I just wasn’t able to get this to lay flat without bubbling in places. I re-applied it several times with bubbling each time. Maybe I just don’t have the magic touch.
You can’t see the bubbles when the phone is lit up, but in standby mode they are obvious. It doesn’t really bother me, but it might bother some people.
The film comes off without leaving any residue on the screen.
Every aspect of the phone matches up perfectly with the case. The LED cut-out, ports, camera, button placements – they’re all spot-on and couldn’t be better matched.
The headphone and charge ports are covered by plugs ensuring that dust and junk don’t get down into your ports. The headphone plug fits the hole wonderfully, popping right in and out. The charger port’s rubber plug doesn’t go in quite as easily. It likes to fall out or fit crooked unless you put a little extra effort into cramming it flat into the hole so it’ll stay.
The Commuter case doesn’t offer a holster, but since it doesn’t add a lot of bulk, the phone still fits within the nice holster that comes packaged with the Tour.
The Otterbox Commuter Series case is very well made. Its hybrid silicone-plastic design offers an excellent level of protection while keeping the phone nice looking and comfortable for everyday use. With an acceptable price of around $35, it is a solid all-around case that is easy to use, durable and comes from one of the most respected case companies on the market. It’ll definitely be my new day-to-day case.
+Great hybrid design
+Compact size good for every day
-Bubbling screen cover
-Charger port plug is a slight nuisance