OtterBox Commuter Series Case for LG G2 Review





 

OtterBox cases are tough, and when you want OtterBox-level bump and scratch protection for your LG G2, then the OtterBox Commuter Series Case might be for you. To be clear, this LG G2 case is for non-Korean versions of the LG G2. Meaning, it doesn’t have holes in the case for the antenna of Korean LG G2 variants.

04 OtterBox LG G2

As usual, we’ll go through the Pros and Cons before we hand over the Verdict. (By the way, there’s a step-by-step installation guide, with pictures, below. There’s also a quick comparison gallery with the OtterBox pitted against another LG G2 case.)

 

Pros

Free screen protector. So you’re buying not just OtterBox-level attention to detail but also a screen protector that tandems well with the case.

03 OtterBox LG G2

The finished product, with screen protector installed and the LG G2 snug-fit into two layers of protection – an inner rubber case and an outer hard case. 

Textured back provides several advantages. (See below) First, a good grip, despite sweaty or wet hands. Second, it prevents sliding off of tables since the back provides good friction. That means you have time to grab your G2 when it’s about to fall of the edge of a table. That means wet surfaces aren’t as slippery for the OtterBox Commuter Case. Three, in the dark, or when grabbing your G2 inside your bag, the textured back stands out from other phones or cases.

01 OtterBox LG G2

Great nearly-all angles protection from physical impact – except of course for direct HARD hits on the exposed screen of the LG G2. When you view the pictures, you’ll see that the OtterBox Commuter Series Case for the LG G2 is actually composed of three aspects of protection (see below). The case itself has two layers – the inner rubber case which snug fits around the LG G2, and the outer tougher case that also snug fits around the rubber case. So the outer case shields your G2 from hard impact, and the inner case absorbs the rest of the force. And then, lastly, there’s the free screen protector to protect against scuffs.

Installation 04

Three layers of protection – an outer hard shell, an inner rubber case, and a screen protector. 

Easy to install, except for the screen protector because we don’t all have non-shaky hands and a patience to rub out the bubbles on the transparent film of the screen-prot. (See installation gallery below.)

Installation 09

The screen protector already installed, with the LG G2 just waiting to be slipped into the rubber case, and then into the outer hard shell. 

The base of the case has two rubber flaps covering both the charging slot and the earphones slot. So, compared to LG G2 cases that leaves these slots exposed, the OtterBox reduces instances of dirt and dust getting inside said slots. Also, the publicly visible act of pulling down these slots to plug in a powerbank or an audio jack is a “Wow!” moment for other smartphone owners. “What kind of case do you have?” they ask. It’s an OtterBox, I tell them.

Comparison OtterBox 05

Those flaps covering the audio port and charging ports reduce dust particles from getting inside said ports. Other cases simply leave those ports unprotected and exposed to the elements. 

The rubber edges “framing” the display of the LG G2 is raised (see below), so that the G2 never falls completely flat on a surface. Pressing hard on these rubber edges lets you to feel a rubbery resistance, a tactile assurance that your G2 is protected. I love it! In contrast, other LG G2 cases may or may not have a raised-enough a rubber frame.

03 OtterBox LG G2

Because there’s only a small hole for the camera lens and flash bulb to “see through” (see below), your finger NEVER smudges the camera lens. NEVER. (As in Never, unless you really try hard.) In contrast, other LG G2 cases have a keyhole shaped opening on the back, so that the G2’s rear keys and camera lens are both exposed in one continuous touchable smudge-able hole. So that touching the upper rear key will at times allow you to smudge the lens.

06 OtterBox LG G2

One of my favorite features of the OtterBox Commuter Series Case for the LG G2 – the small holes just big enough for the lens and flash, thereby shielding both from finger smudges. 

The rubber keys overlaid on top of the rear keys (see above) can reduce the wear and tear of the rear keys. I know some people with long nails on their index finger, and nails can leave marks on the LG G2’s rear keys. Small detail, I know. But I like it.

05 OtterBox LG G2

Every item out of the box. 

Snapping on the OtterBox Commuter Case on your LG G2 has a feeling of being “committed”. Because you first need to “wrap” the inner rubber case around the G2, and then snap that case into the outer harder case. I know it’s subjective, but you feel reassured. Taking off the case is a similar reverse two-step process. Still, this somehow tends to “frame” the experience of using other easy-snap-on cases “flimsy”.

 

Installation Steps

  • Installation 01

    You’ll need to remove the inner rubber case from the hard external shell, and also the cardboard screen.

  • Installation 02

  • Installation 03

    The screen protector, pull it out.

  • Installation 04

    The inner rubber case, outer shell, and screen protector.

  • Installation 05

    Prep installing the screen protector by removing is from the plastic.

  • Installation 06

  • Installation 07

  • Installation 08

    There. Screen protector installed.

  • Installation 09

  • Installation 10

    Now, slip the LG G2 into the rubber case.

  • Installation 11

    And now the rubber case into the hard shell.

  • Installation 12

    The finished product.

 

Cons

The rubber keys overlaid on the rear keys can be hard to press at first. It takes some getting used to, but then because your fingers are so focused on the rubber keys, they never wander off to smudge the rear camera lens.

Rubber flaps on the bottom of the case, which cover the charging and audio ports, may at times not close tightly. You need to check that they do when you close them. Takes some getting used to, but not a deal-breaker.

Slightly bulky compared to slim snap-on cases that provide sub-optimal impact protection, grip quality, and camera lens protection.

01
Comparison OtterBox 01

The textured back of the OtterBox Commuter Series Case versus the smooth back of a cheaper iFace LG G2 case.

02
Comparison OtterBox 03

The OtterBox case is a bit thicker, but only slightly so.

03
Comparison OtterBox 02

04
Comparison OtterBox 04

And here’s one key difference. The OtterBox case, the one with flap covers for the audio and charging ports, provide extra protection from dust getting inside those ports. By comparison, the iFace case only has exposed holes.

The free screen protector may not be to everyone’s preference, especially if you’ve tried and have come to like a certain screen protector brand. But believe me when I tell you that free screen-prot is enough to shield my LG G2’s display from scuffs.

At SRP P2,150.00, this case is above the price point of other brand-named cases. So it seems expensive when you only look at the price and the brand, and not delve into the level of protection and attention to detail. Those small holes on the back for the camera lens and flash, for example, are not always found in other cases.

 

Verdict

There’s both a level of carrying and grip comfort and impact protection that LG G2 owners want for their phones. We don’t all have the same disposition (I’m a klutz, for example, but I know people who rarely drop their phones). Or usage scenarios (busy people with cluttered desks can sometimes accidentally swipe their phones off their table, and toddlers can often “borrow” mommy’s or daddy’s phones and end up dropping them). Neither do we prefer to carry our phones in the same way – bulky cases won’t fit comfortably in pants but would tandem well with big cargo pants pockets and hand-carry bags.

04 OtterBox LG G2

So with these considerations in mind, you’re going to want the OtterBox Commuter Series for the LG G2 if you value the level of impact protection plus protection from camera smudges it provides. (I am PARTICULARLY PLEASED with my inability to unconsciously smudge the lens because of this case.) But this level of protection comes with two (maybe) trade offs – a slight bulkiness and a premium price. I have no problems with either.

 

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You may also wish to check out our full review of the iFace Slim Waistline Silicone Case for the LG G2, as well as our hands on with the OtterBox Preserver Series Case for the iPhone 5/5s, which offers dust and waterproof protection.

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OVERALL
The OtterBox Commuter Series Case for the LG G2 is undoubtedly tough enough to protect the G2 not just from minor scuffs but also from drops. The double layer of protection - an inner rubber core and and outer hard shell - is really encouraging. The just-big-enough hole over the rear camera keeps your finger from smudging the lens. The charging and audio ports are protected by flaps. The back side is textured enough to allow some grip even when wet. But in exchange for these protective features the OtterBox case bulks up the LG G2, not as bulky as others, but a bulk that can get uncomfortable over time, especially if you've held other contoured-to-the-hand cases. Ignore the SRP and try to get this on the gray market instead, where it can retail for around P1.2k.

Author

Irwin Allen Rivera loves his wife's cooking so much he's now twice the man he used to be. His English essay won a Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Award for Literature in 2012. His philosophical-horror story appeared in Philippine Speculative Fiction 8 (2013). He was managing editor and lead writer of Sites and Symbols 2 (2005), a coffee-table book about buildings in UP Diliman - his alma mater (BA Philosophy; MA Creative Writing continuing). He worked at the UP Diliman Information Office before shifting to web content writing. His sudden fiction, "Notwithstanding Pigs," initially a Friendster testimonial, appeared in Philippines Graphic (2006) and in Very Short Stories for Harried Readers (2007). He used to write for www.technoodling.net.