Review: OtterBox Commuter Series for Nokia N900

OtterBoxN90001I just mentioned the Nokia N900 Commuter Series OtterBox case a couple of weeks ago and the great folks at OtterBox sent along a sample for me to check out since they know I am such a fan of my Nokia N900. The Nokia N900 Commuter Series case looked attractive on their site, but after it arrived and I placed my N900 inside I have to say it may be one of the best cases ever made by OtterBox for a phone or PDA.

Package and contents

The OtterBox Commuter Series for Nokia N900 comes in a clear plastic package with OtterBox labeling and details on a cardboard piece sandwiched between two plastic pieces. Thankfully, OtterBox doesn’t require you to have Ginsu knives and a degree in plastics to get the case open and the two halves separate quite easily. Inside the plastic packaging you will find two halves to the case, a screen protector, lens cleaning cloth, installation card, and screen protector instructions. I did not use or try out the screen protector because I already have BodyGuardZ protector on my display and did not want to remove it for this review.

Installation

You will find two pieces that form this case and it is clear which piece is for the bottom and which piece is for the top. The bottom/back piece is the most substantial and has integrated silicone rubber plugs for the microUSB port and the 3.5mm headset jack to protect these openings from dust. I liked seeing the substantial silicone rubber piece along most of the top/right side with protrusions to control volume, toggle the power button, and control the camera capture button. There is even an opening next to the camera capture button for the IR port (I never use this though). You will find additional openings on the left/top and right/bottom sides for the stereo speakers, lock switch, microphone and stylus silo. There is no compromise really on any of the ports or openings with your N900 in this case. The keyboard is also fully accessible and the case just adds a couple millimeters around the edges.

Flipping around to the back you will see the OtterBox name on the lower portion with an opening around the camera lens that matches up perfectly. There is a notch out of the case so you can easily flip up the N900 kickstand too. You will find your N900 leans back a bit more on the kickstand in the case due to the added thickness of the case shell, but this viewing angle is still great for watching movie content. There is no impact at all on camera functionality when the case is on the N900.

The top piece is quite small and simply clips onto the display with small plastic tabs on the top/right side. I found that these hold the case on very well and experienced no movement or shifting of the case. This top piece adds a border around the display with an opening for the Nokia name and gives a bit of depth to the front display. With the touchscreen part of the display well inside the bezel you will find it has no impact on the touchscreen capability or functionality of the display.

The screen protector is a self-adhering piece of plastic that cover the entire front display on the device with a notch for the Nokia name and opening for the headset speaker. I mentioned I did not use it, but will apply it if my BodyGuardZ wears out since it appears to fit well and looks easy to install (I have used these same type on other devices before).

Every day usage and conclusions

I didn’t think I would actually keep my N900 in the case after the review, but I have to honestly say that it adds very little bulk to the N900 (already a rather chunky device) and my device has not left the case since it arrived. It offers a fair amount of protection and peace of mind knowing that my N900 can probably do better with a slip or fall from my hand while in the case. This is NOT a waterproof case and is designed to protect against bumps and shocks. I found no negative impact on the usability of my device and see no reason it will ever leave the case.

The OtterBox Commuter Series for Nokia N900 is available now in black for $34.95. If you are someone like me who spends time out in the field (shipyard in my case) or moves around a lot with their devices you might like to know that your device is protected from minor drops and bumps while also giving it a cool look and more substantial feel.

Ratings (out of 5)

  • Design and Function: 5
  • Fit and Finish: 5
  • Aesthetics: 4.5
  • Ease of Use/installation: 5

Overall: 5/5

starStarStarStarStar

Pros

  • Adds good protection to the N900 rugged corners and back covered well
  • Attractive and well constructed case
  • Fully accessibile ports and hardware buttons
  • Rubber covers for open ports to keep out dust

Cons

  • Bit bulky, but that is more a case of the N900 being chunky

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7 Comments to Review: OtterBox Commuter Series for Nokia N900

Pinguins de terça
May 25, 2010

[...] de uma capa para seu N900? Leia esta resenha. E, depois, leia o samba que dá N900+Maemo [...]

bertolt
May 26, 2010

i had just one and fits superbly with my N900. more like a 2nd skin tho it makes it look a bit thicker. problem is the screen protector. the paper tab sticks like super glue and i had to scrape whatever that’s left to no avail. it smudges the area and makes it so messy i have to remove it.

enzo
June 19, 2010

Great review!!I would like to try it but I have already installed a invisible shied that covers both front and back; do you think it will fit ??

Arcticrobot
July 14, 2010

bertolt: paper tab actually sticks to the top protective layer that has to be removed after screen protector installation.

Jon
August 13, 2010

I received my otterbox for the N900 a few days ago, and I have to agree. This is a superbly made case, and sturdy enough that all my worry is with the build of the phone itself. This is as it should be with Opperbox products.

One slight negative, though: It’s very difficult to remove the case. I wanted to take the case off to apply the screen protector (thought it might go more easily without the depth around the screen). No go. It’s on there solidly. I’m sure it will come off with a bit of prying around the retention tabs, but I think it’ll put little dents in the plastic if I try hard enough to pry it off. Maybe I’ll just wait until it shows a bit more use…

S Carr
November 6, 2010

I find it very easy to remove the back case.

All you do is gently press on one corner where you see the plastic clipping the n900 in. Then do the same on the other corner. The lift out the n900. Works every time. Very little force is needed to do this. If you put a lot of force to remove it then you’re doing it wrong.

vyns
November 13, 2010

I’ve tried them all…this is the best!

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