OtterBox Commuter Series Wallet for Samsung Galaxy S4 Review @ ModSynergy.com
Smartphone's are the obsession of this generation. It's a technological marvel among many things in this world that keeps us all connected. It's become so prevalent in our daily lives that some can argue we can't live without it. The Smartphone is a marvelous invention and has indeed changed the course of history.
Smartphone's have obvious advantages, though it also has disadvantages that have and will continue to affect how our society communicates with one another. Nonetheless, because we are so consumed by this device and even sleep with our Smartphone by our side, it's only natural that accessory makers are everywhere to be found making various products such as protective cases to protect our beloved Smartphone.
In our last protective case review, we tested the OtterBox Preserver Series Case for the Samsung Galaxy S4 and unfortunately it ended up being the worse OtterBox product ever tested. Touted as being the ultimate protection for your Smartphone with submergible waterproof capabilities, the Preserver Series Case could not even withstand moderate exposure to rain, with the watertight mesh screens unraveling. The case actually affected the call quality to a detrimental state. It couldn't even do what it was created to do.
Today I'll be reviewing another OtterBox Smartphone case. I'll be analyzing the ingenious and creative design of the OtterBox Commuter Series Wallet for the Samsung Galaxy S4. Read on to see if fortunes can change for this OtterBox Smartphone case in conjunction with the Samsung Galaxy S4.
Founded in 1998 with a line of dry boxes, OtterBox® has evolved into the No. 1-selling case for Smartphone's in the U.S. and a global leader in mobile device protection. Its diverse lineup of protective solutions for handheld technology protect, connect and enable a mobile world. OtterBox has been a six-time honoree on the Inc. 5000 list of fastest growing private companies in the U.S. and was named one of “America’s Most Promising Companies” by Forbes Magazine. The company is headquartered in Fort Collins, Colo., with offices in San Diego; Boston; Cork, Ireland; and Hong Kong.
OtterBox Commuter Series Wallet for Galaxy S4 Product Overview
The Commuter Series Wallet GALAXY S4 Wallet case is a protective Smartphone case that also provides concealed storage and quick access for your cash and cards. Convenience, security, trusted OtterBox protection — it's everything you need all in one. Now all that's left for you to do is grab your essentials and go.
OtterBox Commuter Series Wallet for Galaxy S4 Product Features
I really enjoy how the OtterBox Commuter Series Wallet case for the Galaxy S4 by is packaged, and I've got to commend OtterBox on a wonderful packaging design, they make simplicity very exciting. That signature striking yellow is used throughout the package design and the front is a dedicated window that showcases the real product. Got to love that cute floating Otter logo. They've basically used a modified plastic clamshell design that has the top and bottom curved inward to seal the box. A metal hanger sits on top so that the package can be displayed on store shelving easily.
The package has an OtterBox hologram to provide some level of authentication, and at the bottom informs us that its Designed in Fort Collins, Colorado USA and assembled in Mexico. No mention of China, which is a surprise, and likely a good thing.
The Commuter Series Wallet provides 2-layers of protection for the S4. The first is a silicone inner slip on cover that wraps the back and sides of the phone to absorb shock and drop impact, and the second layer is a Polycarbonate outer core protecting against drops and scratches to the S4. The Commuter Series Wallet does not have any waterproof protection, but it can withstand minimal amounts of rain and it also has some dust protection with the help of the silicone slip on cover.
The OtterBox Commuter Series Wallet Case' inner slip on silicone cover provides dust protection by covering all major ports and buttons on the S4 such as the volume rocker, earphone jack, power button, and microUSB charge port.
Taking the Commuter Series Wallet case out of the box, it comes protected in another plastic shell with an OtterBox instructional pamphlet. The protective screen protector is slipped inside the inner silicone slip on cover along with some installation instructions and small microfiber cloth. Unfortunately this case offers no eyelet on the Polycarbonate case to install a lanyard, quite unfortunate.
OtterBox Commuter Series Wallet case for S4 is offered in 3 different colors, this review sample being the Glacier/Grey color combination. The other color combination is the Primrose/Grey and solid black color choices.
Deeper Look - Putting Everything Together
When you have everything lay out in front of you, there are only two main items, the silicone slip on inner core cover and Polycarbonate outer shell. The Polycarbonate outer shell incorporates the wallet function of the case, that's why you see the profile gradually become larger from top to bottom.
In regards to the inner silicone slip on cover, I like the fact that it wraps itself snugly around the Galaxy S4 and that it provides a rim of cushion on top of the device so that the screen is protected if the phone is ever on the screen side on a table for instance. The screen never touches the ground, which is great protection. Think about it like extra ground clearance in a car.
Once the Polycarbonate shell is sandwiched above the silicone inner core, the Commuter Series Wallet is completely covered, protected, and snug.
Fitment with the S4 is truly snug, everything is aligned perfectly, and there's no movement inside the casing. Everything that needs to be exposed is rightfully so, nothing being blocked, the earpiece is fully exposed, menu button, all the sensors on the front, the rear camera and LED is appropriately exposed without anything being covered. All the ports are securely covered by the silicone inner core and protected from dust. I particularly like how the power and volume rocker buttons are raised outward with the silicone inner layer.
If we look at the design of the Polycarbonate outer shell, it looks beautiful, I really enjoy how it looks with the these leading symmetrical lines flowing on both ends of the case. These lines are made as ridges within the Polycarbonate casing for added effect. The oval shaped design around the location of the rear camera and LED flashlight also adds to the design of the Commuter Series case, OtterBox could have easily went lazy and just made a rectangle cut out, but did not. The grey color silicone inner core also makes an appearance toward the overall design of the case. Lastly we have at the bottom the embossed OtterBox logo.
The Polycarbonate case looks very nice, however, how does it work in the real world? Well considering its construction is plastic, the case is slippery whether in the hands, more so if you already have wet hands, despite it being easy and comfortable to hold. It's got no serviceable grip, it needs rubber. When you place it face up on the flat tables, the Commuter Series Wallet unfortunately slips and slides easily in these flat surfaces like a hockey puck. You can play "spin the bottle" with this Smartphone case. Placing the screen side face down on the table, there is no slippage as the silicone rim prevents this from happening.
If I would suggest improvements to OtterBox to fix this slippery back issue, they could have easily fixed this by using those symmetrical flowing design line ridges and filled them up with strips of rubber instead. They could also fill the OtterBox logo on the bottom with rubber. This would create some clearance, add some shock absorption, and effectively prevented the Commuter Series Wallet from moving around feeling on its back.
Now on to the star feature of the OtterBox Commuter Series Wallet, the actual wallet compartment function of the Smartphone case. This is the whole reason why you purchase this case.
The Polycarbonate outer shell contains a simple yet clever elevator mechanism that opens and closes to allow 3 credit cards and 1 bill to be inserted on the backing of the case. And there's not that much compromise with the design of the Smartphone case. Yes the profile gradually becomes thicker from top to bottom, but design wise, I can't tell the difference if this was one of those extended battery cases floating around the internet. You know those double sized bulky batteries that require you to use a separate and ugly battery cover?
That's what the Commuter Series Wallet looks like to me the first time I saw it, and if that's what other people think, all the more better as they'll never suspect you are carrying important items such as your driver's license, health card, and credit card.
I love this wallet feature so much, it basically allows me to leave my regular leather wallet at home, I have no need for my old wallet any longer. And for women, it allows you to leave your heavy purse at home. Cash is my plastic credit card, and all I really need is my driver's license, health card, and possibly any points card that I have, Air Miles or Aeroplan for instance. I've successfully placed 4 credit card sized cards in the Commuter Series Wallet compartment.
The wallet compartment drawer is easy to operate once you get the hang of it. I did struggle with it for the first time, but I quickly found the best way is using two hands, using two of your thumbs pushing inward and down to open the compartment. Using one hand to open the compartment is obviously much harder. I have no issue with it being harder to open, I'd want it to be secure and not easily opened by accident. When opening and closing the wallet compartment, there is an audible click that lets youknow its securely locked into place and won't open.
The Commuter Series Wallet only adds a few more grams to the overall weight of a bare Galaxy S4. You don't really notice the added weight, you notice the bulge more than anything. A bare S4 weighs 131 grams, and with the Commuter Series Wallet, weighs 198 grams.
I know from experience that with some Smartphone cases I've come across in the past, certain ports, for example the headphone jack, had some troubles with earphones or headphones that had really fat 3.5mm plugs. It wouldn't fit because the Smartphone case did not provide a big enough opening for the earphone jack. Well with this OtterBox Commuter Series Wallet case for S4, the port cover allows ample room for even the fattest of headphone plugs.
The same good news can be said of the micro USB charge port on the Commuter Series Wallet. On the Preserver Series case for S4, I had an issue with a fat USB cable getting stuck in the microUSB charge port cover, however, with the Commuter Series Wallet I have had no issues of that kind.
With the Polycarbonate body, the case is very easy to clean, all you need is warm water on a cloth to wipe it down.
With the Commuter Series Wallet case, I found no affect on call quality. Thankfully it does not do what the Preserver Series case did with the S4, which was make the call quality turn horrible.
Where Can I Buy One? And For How Much?
The OtterBox Commuter Series Wallet for Galaxy S4 has a MSRP of $44.95USD directly from the OtterBox website. However, why purchase there when you can purchase on Amazon.com for substantially less?
Right now you can purchase the OtterBox Commuter Series Wallet for Samsung Galaxy S4 for only $19.99USD! At that price, you'd be crazy not to buy it! Shipping is extra though. It is shipped and sold directly from the Amazon warehouse, no third party vendor, so buy with confidence.
The Glacier version I reviewed is $19.99USD, black color is $38.48USD, and Primrose color is $34.54USD. Better act quick as I don't know how long the Glacier version will be only for $19.99USD!
Why do I like Amazon? They are fast, reliable, honest, and return policy is great. I actually got money refunded back to my account after Amazon overcharged me on duty costs, talk about being an honest company, most others would keep the money!
If you are thinking of purchasing the OtterBox Commuter Series Wallet for Samsung Galaxy S4, please use our Amazon link, it will help us out greatly
Some Amazon Deals That May Interest You!
In my opinion, the OtterBox Commuter Series Wallet case is damn near perfect. It's just so easy to love. I love just about everything about the OtterBox Commuter Series Wallet, aside from it being slippery on the back side, and having no eyelet for a lanyard or wrist strap, but other than that, for the functionality of the wallet compartment, I'm going to say this is the best OtterBox case I've ever tested and is the easiest to recommend, in fact it earns our Editor's Choice Award! It's a must buy product!