The Commuter Series OtterBox is a slimmed-down version of its big brother, the Defender case. Instead of a full three layers of integrated protection, there is just the internal soft silicon core and an external hard plastic cover (though the package comes along with a run-of-the-mill screen protector for good measure). MicroUSB and headphone jacks are protected with flaps, while the hard power and volume keys are accessible through the skin, and the camera and speaker are open.
The OtterBox Commuter case for the HTC One X is available in straight black and black/purple combos, but availability will vary depending on your device. Personally, I’m a fan of the two-tone look, though it really depends on the color of your device; the black/blue doesn’t really go well with the white on my device.
The rear of the hard case has a curvy design, alternating between smooth and slightly rough textures. The lines are sharp and definitely stylish enough to catch the eye (though it’s bound to be a bit more subdued if you’re going with a solid color for both parts of the case). Of course, the hard plastic exterior doesn’t provide quite as much grip as a silicone one.
Installing and removing the case is a bit of a hassle because it fits so tightly. Sometimes this means the silicone skin gets bunched up during installation, but after a bit of wrestling, it tends to get evened out. Otherwise, the tight construction ensures that everything stays in place,
As for protection, the OtterBox Commuter Series offers a solid mix of scratch and impact protection. A screen protector is included to handle the front face, while the silicone covers the corners with the support of an internal membrane. I definitely felt more confident with a soft core rather than the hard one in the Defender Series case - more cushioning directly next to the device, after all.
The camera and speaker openings have slight ridges to keep sound flowing out when the device is placed rear-down. The rubber skin makes the first contact on the front of the device with some solid support from the plastic casing, and keeps the screen amply raised from whatever surface it’s resting on. HTC One X owners will want to keep in mind that the rear charge/sync contacts are covered up, which could be a deal-breaker if that's something you use regularly.
- Good balance of size and protection
- Tricky installation
The OtterBox Defender Series case offers a nice mix of protection without adding an obscene amount of thickness to your device. The case fits a little too tightly to make installation and removal particularly easy, but odds are that’s not something you’re going to be doing too often.
You can pick up the OtterBox Commuter Series Case from ShopAndroid over here for $34.95 (currently on sale for $8.00 off).