One of the first names you'll think of when it comes to buying a quality protective case is OtterBox. The company has a whole line of cases for the Samsung Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+. One of them is the Commuter, which offers a higher level of protection without adding a ton of bulk. Here are some thoughts after taking it for a spin.
Bottom line: It's pricey, but the OtterBox Commuter Series case was built to perfection and has the quality to last.
- Easy installation
- Porthole covers
- Responsive buttons
- Two-piece design
- Raised edges
- A little pricey
- Needs custom screen protector
Otterbox Commuter Series case What I like
OtterBox cases have traditionally come in a fair bit bulkier than most others, with the company favoring toughness over brawn in most cases. But in recent years, OtterBox cases have struck a delightful balance between design, protection, and utility. The Commuter Series case for the Samsung Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ is no different.
What we have here is a two-part case that does all it can to protect the Galaxy S9's sensitive curved edges. A silicon inner-shell fits around the phone like a worn-in glove, and the case is reinforced by a tough plastic outer-shell. This design makes for a case that feels well-protected, and despite there being two pieces it doesn't add much bulk to the overall package.
The Commuter is a lot like a bumper case in that regard. In fact, I've had so-called bumper cases that felt much bulkier. It's also just not ugly, something that tends to be an issue in this class of cases. OtterBox doesn't do anything wild in terms of aesthetics, but that's precisely why I like it. The case takes a backseat to let the Galaxy S9's beautiful display shine through.
Regarding functional bits, the Commuter does well to offer access to all of the Galaxy S9's buttons without much friction. Buttons feel satisfying to press and don't take much force to register the action on your phone. At the same time, it has enough feel and tactile feedback to ensure you aren't pressing the button any more or less than you need to, a boon for those who use gestures on a regular basis. Also, wireless charging works just as well as it would without a case.
One last thing: this case has port covers, and I love them. Yes, the Samsung Galaxy S9 is IP68 water and dust resistant, but that doesn't mean other substances that aren't purely dust or water can't damage it. The port covers on the OtterBox Commuter give you a nice added layer of protection if you want to limit exposure as much as possible. The rubber covers have a snug and secure fit, and I don't imagine they'll get flimsy over time.
Otterbox Commuter Series case What I don't like
There are a couple of annoyances to had, but they could be non-issues depending on your particular usage. For one, the raised edges on the front of the case may interfere with your screen protector of choice. You could use an Exacto knife to adapt your current screen protector if you don't want to buy a new one, but if you want a perfect fit, then your best bet is to snag an Alpha Glass screen protector from OtterBox, an added $50 investment.
The porthole covers can also be a bit annoying to deal with at times. The covers bend back far enough for my various cables to fit, but it almost guarantees that cable swapping has to be a two-handed affair as the covers spring back into their natural position reasonably quickly. It's not enough of a pain to ruin the case as a whole, but if you can't stand to use two hands when you need to charge your phone or use wired headphones, it's something to think about.
Otterbox Commuter Series case for Galaxy S9+
If you've always loved the protection of the OtterBox family but thought it was a bit too bulky for your taste, we encourage you to give the Commuter series a chance. It's sleek, relatively thin, and provides toughness at every angle.
You'll pay a bit more for the OtterBox brand, but you're getting a quality case that should stand the test of time and keep your Galaxy S9+ from certain doom if you're ever unfortunate enough to drop it.
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