OtterBox Defender Pro Pixel 6 case review – A phone case for the very rugged (or the very clumsy)

We use affiliate links. If you buy something through the links on this page, we may earn a commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

REVIEW – When I got my first smartphone, I was working in stream restoration, a field that involves a lot of water, rock, and heavy equipment. A co-worker told me that I needed to get an OtterBox case for my phone since they were the toughest and provided the most protection.  That was the first time I had heard of OtterBox, and their reputation still stands today. 

What is it?

The OtterBox Defender Pro series case is the most protective phone case that OtterBox makes.  It encases your phone in an inner polycarbonate shell and surrounds it with a synthetic rubber cover.  It also includes a holster with a belt clip (since there’s a good chance it won’t fit in your pocket). 

What’s in the box?

  • The OtterBox Defender Pro Pixel 6 case (both parts)
  • Warranty sheet

Hardware specs

  • Available for a ton of popular phones
  • Dimensions (for the Pixel 6 version) 6.90 in x 3.76 in x 1.37 in / 175.30 mm x 95.40 mm x 34.70 mm
  • Materials:  Polycarbonate shell, Synthetic rubber slipcover, Polycarbonate holster (50% recycled plastic)
  • Drop height:  at least 104 times onto concrete from a height of 48 inches
  • Weight:  0.32 lbs | 144.00 g
  • Antimicrobial technology

Design and features

The OtterBox Defender Pro Pixel 6 case is pretty chunky.  But you don’t get that much protection without some chunk.  The case is made up of two parts.  The inner part is a polycarbonate plastic shell that surrounds your phone (except for the screen).  It’s designed to isolate your phone and absorb some of the shock of drops.  It contains a bit of foam along the back of the phone.  This inner shell is two pieces that snap together around your phone.

The outer synthetic rubber part is pretty grippy and helps absorb a lot of the shock when dropped.  The holster includes a belt clip that can rotate 360 degrees for any orientation. The belt clip can be held open and used as a kickstand for watching videos. 

Subscribe to The Gadgeteer Daily Digest newsletter

Never miss one of our posts again. Sent MON, WED, and FRI with the latest gadget reviews and news!

Performance

I’d love to say that I tested the OtterBox Defender Pro Pixel 6 case by chucking my phone off the roof of my house onto my driveway. While I’m sure the phone would be fine, I’m not going to risk it.  You’ll have to take my word for it that this case will protect your phone from the roughest of knocks and drops. Instead, I’ll let you know what it’s like to use the phone with the case on a daily basis.  

The installation of the case is a snap, literally. The inner polycarbonate case snaps on with a very satisfying sound.  And then the synthetic rubber cover snaps onto the polycarbonate case.  The fit and finish is great – the two pieces fit together very securely, and there are no gaps whatsoever. All buttons still work very well, and ports on the phone line up with the holes in the case very well.  There is even a very sturdy cover for the USB-C port on the bottom of the phone. 

The OtterBox Defender Pro Pixel 6 case is like an insurance policy. All insurance comes with a price, but that price provides peace of mind.  Phones are expensive, and knowing you won’t have to replace your $1000 iPhone if your nephew knocks it off the table at a family reunion does carry value.  In this case, the cost is not so much in dollars (although these cases are not the cheapest out there), but in weight and thickness.  This is not a case that will go unnoticed.  It’s likely that the phone won’t fit in your pocket any longer – especially if you have small or tight pockets.  I found the phone no longer fit into the small bag I use when running. But OtterBox is aware of this, and they provide the belt-clip holster that works very well.  But I really didn’t want to be “that guy” with the phone clipped to my belt.  Despite the fact that phones are getting larger, society seems to want us to jam them into our pockets.  I’ve included a few photos of the OtterBox case compared to a “skin” case so you can get the idea of the relative size increase. 

That synthetic rubber cover is very grippy.  Very. Even with wet hands, the phone is secure to hold.  The rubber is pretty soft and has a texture to it that is pleasing in the hand.  But while these grippy features might keep you from dropping the phone, they also make it hard to put it in your pocket (assuming you don’t have massive pockets). The outer case material is a very “grabby” fabric.  Like all features of the case, it’s a trade-off.  Grippy keeps you from dropping the phone, but grabby makes it hard to pocket.  But maybe OtterBox knew this since they included a holster and belt clip. 

What I like

  • GREAT protection
  • Holster with kick stand is nice
  • Stellar fit and finish
  • Easy installation

What I’d change

  • The outer rubber case is a bit too grippy
  • A replaceable built-in screen protector would have completed the protection.
  • The camera bar on the back is not protected and leaves a large area of the phone unprotected (specific to the Pixel 6 version of the case)

Final Thoughts

Do you work in construction, law enforcement, bomb disposal, or perhaps railroad construction?  Or, are you just really clumsy?  Then the OtterBox Defender Pro Pixel 6 case may be just what you need.  But if you are a bit less rugged or clumsy, a thinner case may provide enough protection without as much bulk and heft. OtterBox makes those too. 

Price:  $64.95
Where to buy: OtterBox or Amazon
Source: The sample for this review was provided by OtterBox

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.