Since I bought my T-Mobile G2 a few months ago, I’ve tried a few different ways to protect it. I first bought one of these cheap-o cases off Amazon – for $4 shipped, how can you go wrong? Now, I’ll be honest, it wasn’t a bad case, it just wasn’t a good one. It didn’t take too long for the little tabs holding it onto my phone to break off, and the way the top piece was designed, it didn’t allow my phone to open entirely, which became quite a frustration. Next, I bought a custom skin from SkinIt.com – I’ve bought from there before, and been quite pleased with their products thus far. Unfortunately, the cut of their G2 skin leaves way too much of the phone exposed, so I was forced to look elsewhere. It was about this time that Otterbox finally released their Commuter case for the G2/Desire Z, and having had a few before, I jumped at the chance to protect my phone with such a case.
The Otterbox Commuter case for the G2/Desire Z is a sturdy piece of kit that includes snap-on case for both the top and bottom parts of the phone. The top part, as you can see, covers nearly the entire face of the phone, including the area around the touchpad. Fortunately, the edges of this case are slanted in, so as not to get in the way of the touchpad or touch sensitive buttons along the bottom of the display. There is also a hole cut for the microphone at the bottom of the phone, and a built-in camera button cover.
The bottom piece of the Otterbox Commuter case for the G2/Desire Z is of similar high-quality thick plastic, with a rubber insert for added protection. This rubber insert also includes flaps to cover the microUSB port, 3.5mm audio jack, power button, and volume rocker. This part of the case is rather smooth, save for the back of the phone, which has a special texture etched into, to provide a bit of grip. Both the top and bottom parts of the case attach to the phone via small tabs around the edges, but these tabs don’t stick out the way the cheap case did – they’re far more integrated, which gives them greater strength.
Without the case, the T-Mobile G2 measures 119x60x14mm. With the Otterbox Commuter case installed, the phone measures 124x64x20mm, so it adds roughly 4-6mm on any given side of the phone, but it’s still entirely pocketable. The only complaint that I have thus far is the camera button cover. Unlike the other buttons on the Otterbox Commuter case for the G2/Desire Z, the camera button is hard plastic, and built into the top piece of the case. This makes it quite difficult to press, and nearly impossible to use the two-stage autofocus feature of the phone. Luckily, as you can see in the photo below, it should be relatively easy to alter the case by cutting this tab off, to fully expose the camera button. It’s unfortunate to need to alter the case that way, but I think it would make it the perfect case, at least for me.
I’m glad I sprung for the Otterbox Commuter case for my G2. At around $35 shipped, it’s certainly not the cheapest option. However, it’s miles better than the $5 case I bought initially, and provides exponentially more coverage and protection than the SkinIt skin did. As usual, I’m quite satisfied with Otterbox’s offering. I see people everywhere with Otterbox cases on their BlackBerries and iPhones, so I’m glad to have similar protection on my G2, and would highly recommend it to anyone looking to protect their phone.