To try out the OtterBox Defender for iPhone 3G I took it with me on a camping trip over the Memorial Day weekend. We went out to Gamble Rogers Memorial State Recreation Area in Flagler Beach Florida [http://www.floridastateparks.org/gamblerogers/default.cfm]. This camping area is right on the Atlantic Ocean and has some impressive currents, winds, and weather.
This year we had rain almost every day; from sprinkles to downpours and thunderstorms. Normally I would not have my phone on me during this type of weather since I would be concerned that it would be damaged by the water. However with the Defender I did not even think twice. I was out in the rain without concern. I am not saying the Defender is water proof [In fact OtterBox sates on their website[http://www.otterbox.com/iphone-3g/iphone-3g-defender-case/] that it is not designed to protect against any kind of water intrusion], if you drop this in a puddle you are going to be looking for a new phone. It is splash and droplet resistant for the most part. In other words if you get rained on you should be ok, if you drop it in mud you should be ok but if you drop it in water and it becomes submerged… I hope you have insurance.
Dust and sand [Including salt spray] were also not a concern. After the trip I took the phone out and there was no indication that I had spent four days right on the ocean. By contrast everything else I brought was covered in a fine layer of salt/dust and required cleaning including the outer rubber sleeve for the Defender. But inside the phone was protected.
I also found out the hard way that the Defender is nicely shock and impact resistant. I had an incident where I put the Defender into the belt clip and my shirt was caught in it. When I pulled the shirt loose it caused the phone to fly out and to bounce down the board walk stairs and land in the beach sand below. I was holding my breath as I walked down to recover my phone. However there was no damage at all. There were not even scuff marks on the rubber sleeve. There is one weak link to the impact and shock protection though; that is the screen. Obviously OtterBox had to leave that open so that people would be able to enjoy the multi-touch screen but it does mean that if you drop face down on something sharp you might damage your iPhone.
Concluded on the next page.
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