While I’ve never been much of a case person with my cell phones, for some reason, I was keenly aware that my Nexus One was unprotected, so I knew I needed to get a solid case for it. I reviewed the Otterbox Commuter case for my Nokia N97, and really like the build quality that you get with Otterbox.
My friends at Otterbox were kind enough to send me a review unit of their Commuter case for my Nexus One. The Commuter series is a bit intense, consisting of a thin silicone skin and a hard plastic shell that snaps on over it. The case also comes with a custom-cut screen protector, application card, and cleaning cloth – everything you need to really protect your phone.
A major concern for me was how much thickness the case would add to the overall phone. The Nexus One is definitely quite thin, so I didn’t want to ruin that. The Otterbox Commuter series case only adds 3.5mm to the phone, making the Nexus One 15mm thick, which is still thinner than most other smartphones. The case is lightweight enough that I don’t notice any additional weight in my pocket, which is also nice.
The Otterbox Commuter case’s silicone skin protects the phone from top to bottom, including attached inserts to guard the 3.5mm audio port and microUSB charging port from debris – a welcome feature, especially as Mrs. Guru and I have started doing more home improvement projects at CasaGuru lately. The plastic shield portion of the case snaps on the back, providing additional protection for the 5 megapixel camera lens with a raised edge around it.
There are holes pre-cut for the single LED flash, speakerphone, and both microphone ports – I suppose they’re not worried about debris getting caught in these openings. At first, I was disappointed that the bottom lip of the phone surrounding the trackball was exposed, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized covering that portion would have made the trackball nearly impossible to use.
The power button and volume rocker on the Nexus One are both protected by the Otterbox Commuter case, as well, and while they’re both covered by a thick layer of silicone, I haven’t noticed any issues pressing either one of them – the silicone is soft enough that it works out fine.
I personally am loving the Otterbox Commuter case on my Nexus One. The covered data and audio ports are a *bit* frustrating, as sometimes the flaps can be difficult to open, but as mentioned, I’ve already been glad I have them while working on home improvement projects with dust flying around. If you’re looking to protect your new phone without increasing the bulk too much, the Otterbox Commuter series is definitely a winner in my book. I just wish that it was available on additional colors – as of right now, the Otterbox Commuter case is only available in black.