OtterBox Defender Series Case for HTC 8X Windows Phone Review @ ModSynergy.com
Smartphone's are the obsession of this generation. It's a technological marvel among many things in this world that keeps us all connected. It's become so prevalent in our daily lives that some can argue we can't live without it. The Smartphone is a marvelous invention and has indeed changed the course of history. It has its obvious advantages, though it also has disadvantages that have and will continue to affect how our society communicates with one another. Nonetheless, because we are so consumed by this device and even sleep with our Smartphone by our side, it's only natural that accessory makers are everywhere to be found making various products such as protective cases to protect our beloved Smartphone.
Back in late 2010, Microsoft released what we know today as the Windows Phone mobile operating system. This mobile operating system was meant to compete with the best of them from Android, Apple, and BlackBerry. Say all you want about Microsoft, but at least they contributed to the industry by providing another choice in the hands of consumers. More than anything we need more competition and choice. Microsoft wanted a piece of the global pie and who could blame them, oodles of money was to be made.
Though I've had some qualms about the initial Windows Phone environment, it's now mature and there's no denying that Windows Phone is very simple to operate, especially for the older generation who isn't used to computers, tweaking and fiddling around with multiple settings and options. My parents were one of these groups of people who were illiterate with technology, one of them couldn't even operate a mouse! The only thing techy they were used to was their old basic flip phone where all it had was a little screen and dial-pad.
They tried upgrading along the way with a typical touch-screen Smartphone, different variations, but found it difficult to use, one even had trouble operating the touch screen interface. It was a learning curve to teach them how to use one but they've ended up settling for a Smartphone that works for them, the Windows Phone HTC 8X.
Even I was surprised at how well the phone performed, the touch-screen is very sensitive, the 720p screen is sharp, bright, and easy to see, you're even able to use it with gloves on, its smooth, and best of all dead simple for complete beginners to operate. It was just what the doctor ordered to bring them into 2014.
The problem now was I could envision what would happen to this new HTC 8X when I looked at their old Samsung flip phone. I kid you not that it was banged up. I cannot count the times they've dropped it on the floor, it has scrapes and bruises, one side of the hinge completely broke off and I had to epoxy it back into place, though it kept on working. That cheap phone that they got for free was truly a tank, it still works till this day.
But with these new Smartphone's being thinner and having their screens exposed, I had to look into a Smartphone case that could take the abuse that the phone was surely going to have. It had to protect this phone with certainty. Today I share with you about the OtterBox HTC 8X Windows Phone Defender Series Case and share my thoughts on if it's worthy of your hard earned money.
Founded in 1998 with a line of dry boxes, OtterBox® has evolved into the No. 1-selling case for Smartphone's in the U.S. and a global leader in mobile device protection. Its diverse lineup of protective solutions for handheld technology protect, connect and enable a mobile world. OtterBox has been a six-time honoree on the Inc. 5000 list of fastest growing private companies in the U.S. and was named one of “America’s Most Promising Companies” by Forbes Magazine. The company is headquartered in Fort Collins, Colo., with offices in San Diego; Boston; Cork, Ireland; and Hong Kong.
OtterBox HTC 8X Windows Phone Defender Series Case Product Overview
OtterBox is in the business of protecting mobile devices so that nothing gets in the way of the constant flow of information you enjoy. The Defender Series Windows Phone 8X case is precisely designed to preserve and complement its iconic and comfortable form and feel while every feature and function works perfectly inside the OtterBox protective case. Get the kind of protection that inspires confidence with the HTC Windows Phone 8X case by OtterBox.
OtterBox HTC 8X Windows Phone Defender Series Case Product Features
I really enjoy how the OtterBox Defender Series case for the Windows Phone 8x by HTC is packaged, and I've got to commend OtterBox on a wonderful packaging design, they make simplicity very exciting. That signature striking yellow is used throughout the package design and the front is a dedicated window that showcases the real product. Got to love that cute Otter on the logo. They've basically used a modified plastic clamshell design that has the top and bottom curved inward to seal the box. A metal hanger sits on top so that the package can be displayed on store shelving easily.
The plastic clamshell explains that the Defender Series case is meant for Rugged Protection for demanding conditions, heavy use, and random accidents. This case protects has impact protection against drops, debris protection against dust, and scratch protection. OtterBox HTC 8X Windows Phone Defender Series Case includes nifty features such as a 3-layer protection for your Smartphone, integrated screen protection provided by the case, and a belt clip holster that also acts as a stand, this means you can have the belt clip holster positioned in a way horizontally on the table to watch movies! Very nice addition!
The package has an OtterBox hologram to provide some level of authentication, and at the bottom informs us that its Designed in Fort Collins, Colorado USA and assembled in Mexico. No mention of China, which is a surprise, and likely a good thing.
Taking the Defender Series case out of the box, it comes protected in another plastic shell with an OtterBox instructional pamphlet, something you don't really need to look at. The two main pieces, one the belt clip holster, and second the Smartphone case are sandwiched together.
The Defender Series case for HTC 8x comes presented in black color standard affair. That's one of the disadvantage of the OtterBox Defender Series for HTC 8x in this day and age of personality, there are no color variations, patterns, designs, styles that you can customize with. There's just one style and one color, and you have to live with it. And this is enclosing the Windows Phone HTC 8x which comes in a selection of bright and fun to play with colors such as the California Blue that is being used, also Graphite Black, Flame Red and Limelight Neon. It's as if you are taming down the HTC 8x playful look by encasing it into the Defender Series case for HTC 8x.
That's something that needs to change and thankfully it is slowly changing with the OtterBox product lineup, that injection of color and personality is being seen on some of their Smartphone case line for the iPhone, iPad Air, Galaxy S4, and other devices. They have a variety of colors now, even MLB inspired team logos, people love their sports team and its refreshing to see OtterBox is trying to adapt to new trends, years ago you would not have seen this happen.
Back to the Defender Series Case for HTC Windows Phone 8x, its really all about the features and layers of protection it will give your Smartphone, compared to other cases on the market. That's one of the things I've been impressed with when looking at OtterBox products, they really give you that confidence in phone protection. And they give you that option in choosing the level of protection you want to give your phone. Each of their product series offer a certain layer of protection. The Pursuit Series gives the most basic level of protection, the Prefix Series offers 1 layer, Reflex Series 1 layer, Commuter Series 2 layer, and Defender Series with 3-layers.
The Defender Series from OtterBox is that ultimate level of protection that you can get in a Smartphone case. It gives drop impact protection from its polycarbonate inner layer, silicone outer layer, and belt-clip holster, dust protection with port covers, scratch level protection, and adds an integrated screen protector and holster. All of this combined, help and complement one another to give that extra strength.
Deeper Look - Putting Everything Together
When you have everything lay out in front of you, there are three main items here. There's a beefy looking holster that acts as a belt-clip, the Polycarbonate inner layer where your phone is inserted into for protection, and the silicone outer layer. I really like how the Polycarbonate inner layer also provides screen protection and essentially negates the need for a traditional screen protector.
There's no rocket science involved, but OtterBox provides arrows at the back of the Polycarbonate inner layer in order to tell you where to open the case. Follow those arrows and unsnap the case to put your phone in, make sure they click once you close it. You'll notice a nice foam pad that lies underneath the back plate, this is to further protect the back of your phone and prevent it from rubbing it against the Polycarbonate inner layer, along with making sure the fitment is as snug as possible.
Fitment with the Windows Phone HTC 8x is truly snug, everything is aligned perfectly, and there's no movement inside the casing. Snap it closed and you'll find that everything that needs to be exposed is rightfully so, the front facing camera isn't being blocked, the earpiece is exposed so that you can hear your calls, the rear camera and rear LED flash is properly exposed, and all the ports are open freely. Slip on the outer silicone layer and things are even more protected and all the ports that were previously open freely are now shut with silicone port covers to help prevent dust accumulation.
That silicone outer layer is a must because it provides you with power, camera, and volume controls, and again everything works with any issues. I particular love how the power, camera, and volume rocker buttons are raised outward with the silicone outer layer. I wasn't particular fond of the flush mounted power, camera, and volume buttons with the naked HTC 8x, how it was originally made it difficult to press those buttons. You really had to either dig your finger in to press the buttons, or use your fingernail. Now with the raised silicone buttons, it's a world of a difference to use. There's no fiddling around and problems doing so, while you still need some effort to execute the button press, but its far less strenuous to complete now. Excellent!
Now the HTC 8x has a lot more heft to it. A bare HTC 8x weighs 130 grams, whereas with everything on, all 3-layers, including the holster, the phone weighs 256 grams. Take off the holster and just have the 2-layer Polycarbonate inner layer and outer silicone layer, the phone weighs 189 grams. With or without the holster, the Defender Series case really will defend your Smartphone really well. As a whole, the Defender Series will make the dimensions of your Smartphone, and with that extra space, it acts as a protective cushion when you have the Polycarbonate inner core (with foam padding insert), silicone outer core, and that holster.
One of the best features with this case, but is not advertised, is the fact that you can have the Smartphone standing on a table horizontally at a slight angle, when you have the holster on. This is cleverly possible by the belt clip that rotates 360 degrees and locks into place at various angles. This is a fantastic feature as evidenced by the photos in the gallery. This means the HTC 8x can sit horizontally on its own while you sit back and watch a movie or talk on speakerphone, it really comes into handy, love it!
Continuing on about the holster, the belt clip pressure is very tight and secure, so it doesn't wiggle or fall out of your jeans. The holster is beefy and has high build quality. The Smartphone snaps into place securely and snug, there's a tab on both sides, place it in with the left side of the phone going in first, and snap the right end into place. You can use your phone with the holster already attached if you like, however, there is a bit of a slight issue you might come across. The holster does block the left side of the screen, since it overlaps the left side of the phone, and makes it a little harder to use, as if you need to push or tap something on the very left of the screen, your thumb or finger will hit and be blocked by the thick holster. So there is some bit of compromise, but it's definitely manageable.
I know from experience that with some Smartphone cases I've come across in the past, certain ports, for example the headphone jack, had some troubles with earphones or headphones that had really fat 3.5mm plugs. It wouldn't fit because the Smartphone case did not provide a big enough opening for the earphone jack. Well with this OtterBox Defender Series case for HTC 8x, the silicone port cover still allows ample room for even the fattest of headphone plugs.
The same goes for the microUSB jack, there's ample room for the USB cables that have a thicker plastic end. I remember having an issue with one of the iPod Touch 1st generation cases, the Apple charge cable would not fit while the protective case was on the iPod Touch, I had to literally take off the protective case to be able to charge the phone, I mean that was just ridiculous. Thankfully there is none of that nonsense with the OtterBox Defender Series for Windows Phone HTC 8x. This ensures the phone will be inside the case 100% of the time, meaning protection at all times.
I like that with this specific case, there is an integrated screen cover as part as the protective case. Maybe it's just me, but I can't for the life of me put those conventional screen protectors on properly, or get it on without getting air bubbles. With the OtterBox Defender Series for Windows Phone HTC 8x, the inner Polycarbonate core has an integrated screen protector, it's a very clear and strong protective film insert. I found that the screen protective is very strong and doesn't get scratched easily as those conventional plastic ones do. I found that the screen protector does not affect the performance of the touch screen, and in the case of the HTC 8x, the touch screen was already super sensitive to begin with, so touch screen performance with the case on felt no different.
The only compromise after extended use with the OtterBox Defender Series for Windows Phone HTC 8x that I've found in respect to its screen protector, is that dust and debris unfortunately do seem to creep inside and under the screen. Mind you this is coming from my mother who literally just dumps the phone in her purse, and that purse isn't exactly clean. So eventually when it gets dirty, you can see on some parts of the screen protector what looks like a rainbow color patch, though when the screen is on it overpowers that rainbow color patch. Though when this happens, I'd open it up and give everything a cleaning. So there is some compromise.
Lastly, I noticed no changes in regards to the signal strength of the phone, it still has the same signal strength with the case on as opposed to off.
Where To Buy? At what cost?
The OtterBox Defender Series for Windows Phone HTC 8x sells for a regular price of $49.95 through Otterbox.com. It is only sold in black. However, I did find two on Amazon.com with the same exact description, one black and the other a Glacier color that I've not seen on the Otterbox website. Take note that these are sold on Amazon.com, but fulfilled though a different company, not directly shipped from the Amazon warehouse. The good thing is that these are significantly cheaper, the black for half price of $24.99, and Glacier for 63% off at $18.59.
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I like the OtterBox Defender Series protective case for Windows Phone HTC 8x. It offers a great level of protection and it just does everything really well, I especially like the fact that the holster and belt clip allows you to stand the Smartphone horizontally on the table on its own so you can watch movies for example without having to hold the phone with your hand. It's tough, beefy, and gives that extra cushion your phone needs if you ever drop it.
About the only compromise you will have to deal with is that while the OtterBox Defender Series for Windows Phone HTC 8x does have some level of dust protection, it does have some open ports, and thus, dust and debris still find its way into the case and under the screen protector causing some rainbow effect under the screen. But all it takes is a quick open and cleaning and you're back under the way.
The OtterBox Defender Series for Windows Phone HTC 8x is easily recommended.