Review: Otterbox Armor

July 22, 2013 • Gadgets and Gaming

How tough is the casing protecting your mobile phone? Most consumers will feel pretty confident that their mobile phone cover will protect their precious device no matter what, but it is almost guaranteed that it is not as tough as Otterbox’s Armor for the Samsung Galaxy S3.

Otterbox's Armor for the Samsung Galaxy S3 (image: Charlie Fripp)

What we like about it

Otterbox’s strongest case yet meets U.S Military standards (it even says so on the box), so users can be certain that it will protect their S3 from even the nastiest of falls and spills. The Armor series actually covers the S3 and Apple’s iPhone – so, at least, it is available for the most popular phones on the market.

What makes this case so special is that it has been designed to meet the toughest of working conditions imaginable. Users who opt to use the Armor will get exactly what the name implies – a tank for a phone cover!

The two cover parts clamp together to form a water-tight bond (image: Charlie Fripp)

Otterbox calls it the “toughest case ever built”, and consists of two parts that clamp together over the phone to lock it in tight.

The heavyweight reinforced outer plastic has clearly been built for long-term use and can withstand a crushing force of up to two tons.

With crushes covered, water is also no match for it – the cover will keep the device dry for up to 30 minutes in 2 meters’ of water.  And speaking of crushes, the cover is guaranteed to protect the phone from a 3-meter drop.

The impact on the device is minimized with internal cushions that cocoon the phone and prevent movement within the cover. The non-permeable membrane and mesh layer ensures that sound can be heard, but allows nothing to get in – not even dust.

While the body of the phone is protected by the heavy-duty plastic, the phone’s face is cover by a built-in screen protector that is bonded to the case to guard against scratches and smudges.

The two individual pieces are kept together by two very heavy-duty clamps on the one side (image: Charlie Fripp)

Every little opening, such as the headphone port and the charge area, have all been double-sealed with rubber – so that not even water can seep in.

The two individual pieces that make up the cover are kept together by two very heavy-duty clamps on the one side, and there is no possibility of them slipping open by accident as they are rather tough to open.

What we do not like about it

We understand that the Otterbox Armor has been made with consumers in mind who might actually drop their phones, and do so from some height, or run the risk of their devices being crushed or falling into water, but for an average, everyday consumer, the Armor is not practical.

The bulkiness of the case really doubles the thickness of the phone, adds a bit more width and length, and the cover does not follow the curves of the device – making it a bulky brick of sorts. But that is completely understandable…


Usually with wrap-around cases, the buttons can be difficult to press, but not in the case of the Armor. All the buttons react on the first press, and the screen is just as responsive with the built-in screen protector as it would be without it.

The Armor is a great cover for users who work in conditions that would warrant such a heavy-duty mobile phone cover – and in that regard it really proves its worth. For the average in-pocket, out-pocket mobile phone user, the Armor will be a bit much – but it will still do its duty by providing the best, toughest mobile device cover.

Charlie Fripp – Consumer Tech editor



One Response to Review: Otterbox Armor

  1. Bryan Dolnik says:

    I’ve had the Armor for awhile now using it on my Adventure Bikes and have found it quite durable. So not only is it tough, but it is also made to last. I like it!

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