Otterbox is a pretty well known case maker for many different types of phones. Their cases are designed with protection in mind. Theyíve been kind enough to send me their lineup of cases (Reflex, Commuter, and Defender) for the iPhone 4/4S. This review of the Reflex case will be the first of 3.
As you can see from the picture the Reflex is a 2-piece case. In my opinion 2-piece cases have their advantages and disadvantages. Putting them on and taking them off from the phone is typically pretty easy and that holds true for the Reflex. The Reflex fits the iPhone like a glove and both pieces lock into each other easily when sliding them on.
I am typically leery of slide-on cases as they have a tendency to scratch the iPhone with repeated putting on/taking off. Otterbox has solved this problem by putting a felt pad on the inside of each piece, which is something Iím quite happy to see. All you need to do to dock your iPhone is simply slide the bottom part of the case off and youíre set.
The Reflex has several openings so you can still connect things to your iPhone. The bottom is left open to allow the cable connection to sync, charge, etc. There is also an opening in the rear for the camera and flash so pictures can still be taken with the case on. There is also an opening for the vibrate switch which allows access. The volume buttons and sleep button are covered with a rubbery material that protects them but still lets you push them. I do have to say though that it requires more effort than Iíd like to push the buttons. The coverings donít give the nice tactile click sensation that weíre all used to.
There is also an opening for the headphones. Unfortunately, because Reflex case is pretty thick (remember, it is designed with protection in mind), some aftermarket headphones work with it. The stock Apple headphones that come with your iPhone will work but if you try to use anything with a 90 degree bend right above the jack, it wonít fit.
As Iíve mentioned, Otterbox cases are designed with protection in mind. As far as cases go, the Reflex is a pretty hefty case. There is typically a tradeoff that you have to make, whether itís having a slim case that doesnít offer much protection and vice versa. The Relex does add some size and bulk to your iPhone, noticeably so if you carry your iPhone around in your pocket but I wouldnít be too worried if I dropped my iPhone with this case on it. The case feels very sturdy and should stand up to some abuse. It looks and feels like a well made case.
The Reflex case for the iPhone 4/4S can be purchased directly from Otterboxís website. Right now, depending on the color, the Reflex is going for between $29.95 and $34.95. Otterbox even throws in a free screen protector and cleaning cloth with the case. The price comes in around what you would expect for an iPhone case.
All in all, the Reflex is a good all around case. If you like slim cases, this isnít the case for you. It does add bulk to your iPhone but for those of you who are accident prone, that might be just what you need. Itís a good looking case made with quality materials. Iíd like the buttons to be able to be pressed a little bit easier and be able to use my aftermarket headphones with the case on but apart from those two things, Iím pretty happy with this case.
And as always, I'm sure there's a few of you out there that would love to get your hands on one of these cases! Leave a comment and we'll ship one out to one lucky member in the next few days.