A few weeks ago, I picked up the HTC One M8 for my ‘work’ phone. It’s a great phone, but the materials used for the body of the phone, while high quality, are SLICK. I knew immediately that I would need a case, and for me, that meant an Otterbox Commuter series. My friends at Otterbox were happy to send one over to review, so here it is.
The Commuter series from Otterbox, for those who don’t know, is a slimmed-down version of their more popular Defender series. It consists of a rubber inpiece, with a hard plastic shell that snaps on. I was pleased to see that, for the HTC One M8, Otterbox has extended their ‘build your own’ concept, allowing me to independently choose the colors of the two pieces. I chose a grey liner with a white outer shell, which goes well with my gunmetal grey HTC One M8.
The grey inner lining has holes cut in various places, usually to match up with the various ports on the phone. There is a flap on the bottom, for easy access to the microUSB port and the 3.5mm headphone port, and the volume buttons are covered, as well. I don’t find that the covering on the buttons makes it any more difficult to press them, either, which is something other cases sometime struggle with.
Normally, Otterbox would also cover the power button, but since the HTC One M8’s power button also houses the IrDa port, it’s left bare with no protection. It is, however, slightly sunk down, due to the design of the case, so it does have some protection. It’s also nice to see that Otterbox has been improving their Commuter design – on the inside of the corners are several pockets. When the case is on the phone, these pockets are full of air and provide a bit of extra cushion if I were to drop the phone on its corner.
There are also holes on the back for the camera lenses, along with the LED flash and the rear-facing microphone. Additionally, there’s a hole in the center of the back, again for extra protection against impact. When you put the inner lining on the phone, you’ll notice that the edge around the display is raised by about 2mm – this is to provide a bit of protection if you drop the phone face-down.
The hard plastic outer shell is about 1mm thick, and has tabs that grip the phone on the top, bottom, and along the edges. The corners are left open, so that the rubber inner lining is exposed. The outer shell mostly protects the back of the phone, and is textured, so it’s easy to grip. The holes for the cameras, flash, and microphone are slightly beveled.
As you can see, the case adds about 4mm to the thickness, width, and height of the phone. For some, that might be too much, but for me, it’s just right. I also really like the flap covering the two ports on the bottom of the phone – this also serves to keep dust and debris out.
Otterbox normally provides a custom-cut screen protector in the box, as well, and I normally use them. However, for whatever reason, I couldn’t get the one for my HTC One M8 to fit properly, so I just went without. With today’s smartphone displays, a screen protector isn’t really a necessity, anyways.
I love having an Otterbox Commuter on my HTC One M8 – it’s a shame they don’t normally make cases for Nexus devices, as I’d really love to have one for my Nexus 5.