Otterbox Commuter for Evo Shift

Date Thu, October 6 2011

Otterbox Commuter for Evo Shift

Otterbox Commuter for Evo Shift

Approximately two months ago I broke my Evo Shift. I was taking it out of my purse and it fell on the ground. The shock literally broke the power button off from the internal workings and the LCD screen stopped working. I replaced it with the insurance but, because it’s a smart phone, paid $100 to do so. At the prompting of Collin and because I was more than a little worried about breaking it, I invested in an Otterbox case. Sprint actually carries these cases for a few of their phones as the MSRP of $34 but I bought mine on Amazon for $22 or so. In fact, the price has slowly been dropping since I first added it to me cart.

The Otterbox case consists of a hard plastic shell and a soft silicone insert inside. Thus, it does add some bulk to your device. However, the silicone offers a layer that absorbs extra shock. For those of you unfamiliar of silicone, it is a “A durable synthetic resin with a structure based on chains of alternate silicon and oxygen atoms, with organic groups attached to the silicon atoms.” In laymen’s terms, it’s like rubber but it’s non-porous and has no smell.

After successfully installing the three-piece case, there will e hard plastic edges around the top and bottom of an Evo Shift but there’s a narrow border of silicone that remains exposed between the plastics. The silicone case covers the volume and power buttons, for example, and there is a little flap over the audio jack and USB cable. On the back of the phone, the silicon and plastic are contoured to leave room for the flash, camera lens and speaker. And the contours are tight. This case was made exactly to fit the phone.

Fit it does, once you get it on. I skipped the plastic screen protector because I really like to touch the glass. If you use it, there’s a tiny buffing cloth to first clean the screen and then you stick the plastic on. It’s not the sticky/stretchy kind, though, so it probably works better on the touch screen. The instructions then say to put on the back cover first, followed by the front. This isn’t necessary with the Evo Shift. I’ve found that you can do it either way. The back cover snaps easily into place and there are tiny plastic clips that surround your phone.

The front cover, however, was a total pain in the ass. All the clips but one snapped into place at first. It then became obvious that the last one — on the bottom left corner — needed to be the first clip I pushed into place so that I could wedge it between the screen and slide-out keyboard. I nearly broke my phone, case and nails getting the thing back off just so I could replace it correctly. Once I got that corner on, the other three snapped into place really easily.

I think the generic instructions that come with the Otterbox really hinder phones like the Evo Shift. Your standard bar phones are going to be so much easier when it comes to installation. However, after I did get it on, I noticed that I could still open my keyboard. I don’t actually use the physical keyboard but it’s awesome that this case doesn’t hinder that.

I haven’t dropped my phone since getting the case. Knock on wood. I also haven’t had it shut off due to my battery heating up. That occasionally happened before the case so I worried it would after. I have had to remove the back plate to do a hard reset and it was surprisingly easily to push the clips away from one side to pull it off.

I also really like the added bulk that the silicone adds over the buttons. The power button on the Evo Shift is so poorly designed. It’s not high enough and sits at a weird angle. I have to press slightly harder with the Commuter case but it’s so much easier to locate. The volume buttons work just as well and I love the covers for the ports.

However, the added bulk in general is a slight disadvantage because my phone no longer fits in my front jeans pocket comfortably. I liked to keep it there to listen to music when cleaning and such.

The Otterbox Commuter case is black with a slight texture. I think it makes my Evo Shift a little easier to grasp and harder to slip out of my hands. It’s also more attractive than the blue casing on the back of the Shift. I mean, that was god awful.

So while installation was a pain, I really like my Commuter case. I feel like I could run my phone over with a truck and it would be fine.

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