OtterBox Commuter Series Case for the Samsung Fascinate Review


I asked Julie if she had heard of OtterBox, a friend of mine has the Droid X and he has the Defender series case from OtterBox on his phone, and it looks indestructible. When Julie told me she could get me one to review for my phone I was more than happy to do it. OtterBox has been around since 1998 and according to their website motto “We’ve Got Technology Covered”. After perusing their website I was amazed to see all the great cases they have to offer. I was actually given two cases to review the Commuter Case and the Defender Case for the Samsung Fascinate, I will be reviewing the Defender Case a little later. After taking everything out of the OtterBox packaging, I was immediately fascinated, no pun intended, in the quality that is put into each case OtterBox designs.

The Commuter Case offers 3 layers of protection. Layer 1: Self-adhering clear protective film, Layer 2: Durable silicone mid-layer an dLayer 3: One Piece custom molded polycarbonate shell. This case is designed quite well for this phone, allowing full use of the phone, and the case even gives you access to all the side buttons and complete access to the camera and speaker. I opted not to install the protective film seeing as how I already had a screen protector on my phone, once my screen protector has worn out, then I will install the one that comes with this case as it will cover more of the face of the phone.

Installation of the silicone cover was a breeze… Since it is made of silicone it allows for the case to bend to allow the phone to easily slide into place. The silicone case by itself makes for a nice protection of the phone from dings and everyday use. It feels good in your hands, unlike some cases that make the phone feel awkward or clumsy feeling. Next step was to place the phone with the silicone cover into the polycarbonate shell. This takes a little patience.

Not sure if you can see very well in this picture but the side buttons protection covers protrude from the silicone case approx. 1/16” or less so sliding into the polycarbonate shell took me a little time to figure out. One thing that helped was to place one side of the phone into the shell and then gently pry the shell open as you push the other side in. Once it was in the shell it adds that third layer of protection, which makes this case a solid performer in my eyes. The phone doesn’t feel too weighty in your hands, and the case actually feels like it is part of the phone.

The camera is fully operational with the case on, which I know a lot of people use their phones for taking pictures to send to Facebook and such, I myself have not taken very many pictures with the camera.

This case allows access to all the ports on the phone, which is always good. There is one dust cover on the case and that is for the headphone jack. I wish there was a dust plug for the charging jack.

The volume control button works as expected even when the case is on. I have yet to not be able to turn the volume up or down.

The button that allows you to turn the screen on and off, and to power the phone off is easily accessible also although there have been a few times when I have had to depress the button kind of hard to get it turn on. Other than that all the features on the phone work well with the case on.

The quality on the Commuter Case is exceptional; you barely even notice that you have a case on it. I like the fact that OtterBox has designed a case with protection in mind at a relatively reasonable price. I like the added protection of the polycarbonate shell because as any Samsung Fascinate owner would know the back of the Fascinate scratches very easily and with the polycarbonate shell sliding the phone across the table will not harm the phone. The only thing I have noticed about the silicone membrane cover is that it attracts dust, hair and other debris like a magnet. But if you want a case that will stand up to rugged everyday use then I would definitely suggest the Commuter Case by OtterBox.


Product Information

  • Nice quality construction
  • 3 layers of protection
  • Access to all ports
  • Open access to camera
  • Doesn’t make the phone feel too awkward to carry
  • Available in black only
  • Silicone membrane attracts dust and debris like a magnet
Posted in: Android, Reviews
{ 2 comments… add one }
  • Jim May 2, 2011, 10:47 pm

    Since you opt not to use the plastic cover over the screen, Does that void the lifetime warranty on the otter box?

  • James Goforth May 4, 2011, 7:44 am


    That is a good question, I don’t believe it would void the warranty…After looking on their website I noticed someone asked if they already had a screen protector on their phone would they need to remove it and use the one that comes with the case. OtterBox responded with “All of our cases come with a screen protector. Ours does not need to be used if you already have another installed.” So I would say no….

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