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OtterBox Symmetry Series Pixel 4 case review: The bold and the beautiful of OG Pixel blue

Bluer than Blue OtterBox
(Image: © Ara Wagoner / Android Central)

Our Verdict

Even if you're not a heavy-duty case fan, this is one of the thinner Otterboxes around and that color is just too bold and beautiful to deny. This is the best Otterbox case I've used in the last three years.

For

  • Bluest of blues
  • One piece heavy-duty case
  • Easier to get on and off than previous generations
  • Extra wide USB-C cutout
  • Good give on the buttons

Against

  • Expensive
  • Back could use more texture

Some cases have mesmerizing textures and patterns on the back, and then some cases pick a color and go full ham with them. The OtterBox Symmetry is one of the latter, choosing to pick a cobalt blue and go completely beyond with a "Sapphire Secret" that looks like it jumped right out of a comic book. Combining this with a durable exterior and immaculate detailing, this name-brand case is as eye-catching as it is classic, and it has some retro vibes that any die-hard fan will appreciate.

It's blue, da ba dee, da ba dae

OtterBox Symmetry Series Pixel 4 case The bluest of blues

Source: Ara Wagoner / Android Central (Image credit: Source: Ara Wagoner / Android Central)

The color of this case is somewhere between OG Pixel blue and ultramarine, which is to say that if you didn't start hearing Eiffel 65 the second you laid eyes on it, you may need to adjust your screen's color balance. The connection to the OG Pixel is one that I'm almost positive wasn't intentional, but I don't care. I wanted that Really Blue Pixel and this case lets me feel like I've gotten to satisfy that unfulfilled dream just a tiny bit.

This generation of the OtterBox Symmetry feels a bit slimmer in the hand than previous years, but the real improvement here is that the Symmetry feels 100% solid while being much, much easier to get your phone in and out of. You'll still need a small amount of effort, but it's not nearly as arduous as it used to be, fixing one of the bigger complaints I had with OtterBox's slimmer Symmetry case.

Source: Ara Wagoner / Android Central

OtterBox knows that the devil is in the details, and the details here are excellent. There's only buttons on one side, but both sides of the case have the same seam up the length of the side with the same curve. Where the buttons — which have the perfect amount of give to them — are on the right side of the phone, on the left we have an engraved Otterbox logo. It offers a nice contrast to the buttons and helps my fingers keep hold on the case while I'm not rocking a PopSocket.

OtterBox Symmetry Series Pixel 4 case What makes me blue

Source: Ara Wagoner / Android Central

I'm usually not a big fan of OtterBox cases because while they're high quality and mostly durable as tanks, the color schemes are usually lackluster and the prices are usually double their worth. The color scheme for the Sapphire Secret is beyond reproach, but the price tag that it carries is not. This case launched at $51 and has only fallen to $40 in the last couple months, which for a case that straddles the line between medium and heavy-duty seems steep.

This price isn't helped by the fact that the solid, flat back on this case doesn't have any sculptured texturing like we see from similar cases like the Spigen Neo Hybrid or the Caseology Parallax. It has a tiny bit of grip to it, but it's mostly smooth, pretty, and a wee bit slippery once your hands get any sort of sweat or grease on them, which here in Florida happens instantly. It's never slipped out of my hands, but I definitely wish that bold blue back had more texture or personality so I'm not so tempted to add in a GrabTab or PopSocket.

OtterBox Symmetry Series Pixel 4 case

It's so pretty, right?

Source: Ara Wagoner / Android Central (Image credit: Source: Ara Wagoner / Android Central)

I'm not usually an OtterBox girl — I prefer my cases thinner and more vibrant — but that Sapphire Secret blue is just too hypnotizing to resist. I've worn this case for the better part of three weeks and it fits oh so perfectly in my shoulder holster, and those ridged sides are more grippy to my mind than most Pixel 4 hybrid cases.

4 out of 5

Can you find a blue case for the Pixel 4 for half this price? Yes, if you're willing to settle for a brittle ultra-thin case or some deep navy TPU case, but for my money, this durable Sapphire Secret is worth it. I mean, just look at that shade! Look at that unkillable blue shade! It's like someone melted the TARDIS down and made it into an unkillable Time Lord data pad.

Ara Wagoner was a staff writer at Android Central. She themes phones and pokes YouTube Music with a stick. When she's not writing about cases, Chromebooks, or customization, she's wandering around Walt Disney World. If you see her without headphones, RUN. You can follow her on Twitter at @arawagco.

3 Comments
  • And I thought Pixel 4 bashing season was finally over.
    I was wrong!
  • Yet another Johnny-come-lately article simply repeating what others must have agreed is the cool thing to say. What is he on about with inconsistent face unlock? I have never had a single issue with face unlock. These sites have become just as bad as those YouTubers.
  • Did you trip on your way to the comments section and end up in the wrong article?