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OtterBox Armor for iPhone 5 Review

Over a year ago, OtterBox embarked on a quest to build the toughest case available for the iPhone. They put all their bets on the Armor series, which holds an impressive offering of protection against drops, dust, water and even from being crushed. OtterBox provided us with an Armor case, I've been using it for the last couple of weeks now and here are my thoughts.


What you can really notice from the photos and from seeing it in front of you is that is bulky, and let me tell you it really is, and this comes from someone that doesn't like bulky cases. Even after this fact, with the iPhone 5 inside, it doesn't feel that heavy as you might think.

The Armor has protection all around. It covers the Lightning port and headphone jack at the bottom, and you can pull the tabs that cover these if you need to use them. Props to OtterBox for going with this design at the bottom, you don't have to use an adapter to use your headphones or auxiliary cable.

On the sides it has buttons that cover the volume buttons and the silent switch. On the other side there are hinges which secure the front and back part of the case in place. By opening these, you can separate the back part to place the iPhone 5 inside.

This way of opening and closing the case makes it harder to break the waterproof seal; personally I don't like the way you open or close a Lifeproof case as it is very easy to damage the waterproof seal.

The design also allows access to both cameras, LED flash, sensors and microphones.


One of the first things I did was to test the waterproof capabilities. This is recommended for all waterproof case prior to placing your phone underwater. I placed the case on water for 30 minutes and I found that inside was dry, it passed the test.

When it comes to toughness, I dropped the case at times, worrying of course, is not something I like to do, but it survived with no problems; even the case remained in perfect condition, with no visible damage.

Aside from protection, there are some important things that one should consider. First, I couldn't forget I had it on my pocket, it is that bulky. Second, when on a call, at times I couldn't hear very well the other person, it appears to block some of the sound coming from the earpiece; for me this is an issue. I tried to see if there was any plastic blocking it that I should've had taken away, but there wasn't any.

Another issue is the screen protector, at times I had issues when tapping the screen, it took some time to register inputs. One big issue was trying to pull the Notification Center, which you do by sliding down from the status bar. Sometimes the screen protector was the issue, but most of the times it was the case frame around the screen that didn't allow me to pull down the Notification Center.


There's is no question that the Armor case is a very thought case, and is not only the look that is. It is very important to have all that toughness on a waterproof case so you don't have to worry about protection against drops, etc.

Aside from the screen protector issues and earpiece sound when on a call, the Amor series is, in my opinion one of the best if not the best choice for true protection against the elements. 

The Armor Series is available for the iPhone 4, 4S and 5 for $99.

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