OtterBox Preserver Series for iPhone 5 Review
For the person that’s a little harder on their cell phone than the average user, having a case that does more than resist scratches is essential. Otterbox has long been known to make electronics cases for products such as the iPhone, iPad, Samsung Galaxy line, and more. We’ve tested a number of OtterBox iPhone cases such as the Defender Series and Commuter Series case that offer different levels of protection, but still aren’t waterproof. In the past 6-9 months, OtterBox completed an acquisition of Lifeproof which came out with a waterproof case about a year ago. Fast forward to today and OtterBox now has a burly protective waterproof case with no additional bulk than the Defender Series.
OtterBox Preserver Series for iPhone 5 Performance
As simple as it may sound, a cell phone case is as good as its design. Not all cell phone cases are created equal and you typically start to notice this after a few weeks of using the product, or case in this matter. Lucky for you, I’ve been testing the OtterBox Preserver Series for iPhone 5 for about 6 weeks now and have done my best to put it through all the motions without breaking my phone. Unfortunately companies don’t want to pay the $600+ it cost to replace a broken cell phone…
To start, the OtterBox Preserver Series for iPhone 5 is waterproof. To provide waterproofing, OtterBox creates a watertight seal by using a hard piece of plastic on the back that is coated with foam for impact and a durable rubber that creates a tight water seal. The top of the case connects to the hard plastic bottom with a not so easy to connection between the two. For a small child, it would be extremely hard to pry this case apart, but we all know children can often have un-human super powers and surprise us all. And while the OtterBox Preserver Series for iPhone 5 is hard to put together and take apart, this is probably a good thing. The last thing you want is your phone to get bumped/dropped/dinged and your case comes loose and water gets inside the case. If you watch the OtterBox youtube video in this review, you will see their recommendation of using a coin to open the case with is a good idea and can save your fingernails and fingers.
Outside of the case connection, there are also a number of places the OtterBox Preserver Series for iPhone 5 prevents water from entering the case. One instance of preventing water from entering the iPhone 5 case is the screen protector. There is a plastic shield that protects your case and phone from letter any water in and it also is much better than the typical screen protectors where you always get the unwanted air bubbles. For the charging and headphone jack ports, there are two pieces of rubber that are attached to the case that you can open when you need to charge your phone or use the headphone jack. When not using these features, you just close them up and you’re set for waterproof mode. Similar to connecting the front and back of the OtterBox Preserver Series for iPhone 5, these ports are not that easy to open. They do however loosen up after a few weeks of use and become easier to open and close. The first couple times of opening these ports is difficult because the rubber is still pretty stiff.
Camera and Speaker Functionality
If you’re like me, there hardly passes a day that I don’t use my iPhone 5 camera for something. That said, the last thing I would want my cell phone case to do is impede the clarity or functionality of my camera. To allow for high quality picture taking, the OtterBox Preserver Series for iPhone 5 uses a scratch resistant plastic for the tiny camera and flash. This gets a little smugged with dust and debris from time to time, similar to a camera lens without a case. All that needs to be done is to clean it off with a tee shirt, napkin, soft glove, beanie, etc. As for quality, I notice no difference in picture quality with the case on and with the case off.
As most of us know, the speakers in the iPhone 5 are decent speakers giving off sufficient sound for most indoor uses. These speakers are located on the bottom of the phone and it’s nice to know that the OtterBox Preserver Series for iPhone 5 doesn’t have a major effect on sound. To get the best sound from speakers, I recommend opening up the two rubber ports on the bottom of the case.
For the speaker that sits next to your ear while using the phone function, I found that I had to turn up the volume a couple notches to have it equal the same volume level without the case. The first few times I used the phone speaker function (normal talking and listening on the phone) There was a slight vibration in the plastic that keeps the water out. After a few days of use, this goes away.
Other Functions and Features
To keep your phone protected and sitting tightly in the OtterBox Preserver Series for iPhone 5, there are small rubber buffers on the inside of the case that keep the phone from moving around in the case. There are 20 total rubber bumpers. To prevent accidental bumps on your volume or ringer volume buttons, there are two additional rubber bumpers that sit a smidge above your volume adjustment buttons. This prevents almost all accidental volume adjustments.
The OtterBox Preserver Series for iPhone 5 is perfect for the person that is hard on their phone. And for those that think the drop on the ground or in the water won’t happen to you, I leave you with this final story. A month ago, my brother in law bought his new iPhone 5. The last time he bought a phone was over 6 years ago (yes, he’s very cheap), it was a styling flip phone. When purchasing the new phone, he declines the insurance because he “never” breaks his phone. A couple weeks later, he goes fishing with his 5 year old daughter and she is playing with his new phone. 3 hours later, he finds his brand new iPhone 5 floating in a cooler of water and ice. He tries the pity case at the apple store to get a new iPhone 5 and they nicely tell him it will cost him $625 for a new phone.
This one’s for all you non case users, YES, it can happen to you!
For more information, please visit OtterBox.com