Case Comparisons, Lifeproof Cases, Otterbox

Case Comparison: Otterbox Commuter vs LifeProof Wake

When you buy a new smartphone, you’re always going to want to make sure it stays safe. The way to ensure this? Buying a new smartphone case. There are endless choices on the market now, and they all work for protecting your phone. However, some cases are better than others, and every manufacturer has their own selling points. Two of these manufacturers are Lifeproof and Otterbox.

Both of these companies have a huge reputation of making quality smartphone cases. They’re two of the biggest names when it comes to rugged smartphone cases. If you go to your local mobile accessory shop, you’re likely to find these brands side by side. So this naturally leads many to ask, which company makes better cases? Which one do you want protecting your smartphone?

Today, we’re looking to clear things up in this regard. For this comparison, we’ll be taking two examples, the Otterbox Commuter and the Lifeproof WAKE cases. Putting these two next to each other will shed some light on the strengths and weaknesses of both company’s products. It’ll be an interesting test for sure, so let’s get straight into the comparisons.

OtterBox Commuter Case (Left) LifeProof Wake Case (Right)

The Otterbox Commuter

Otterbox are a trusted company for a reason. Among the many options available on the market, Otterbox products are always reliable and durable. Traits like these apply to all of their cases, and its also true for today’s subject, the Otterbox Commuter. So, what exactly are the pros and cons of the Otterbox Commuter, and what sets it apart from its competition?

Now, the first thing to know about the Otterbox Commuter is that it’s a departure from the typical Otterbox formula. With the Commuter series, the company looked to introduce smartphone case that sat in the middle of functionality and stylishness. To this end, they would try and avoid their usual design trappings. Gone are the overly bulky embellishments, now slimmed down but still tough.

The Otterbox Commuter cases are made up of two layers. The first is a soft synthetic rubber layer that sits inside the phone case. The second is a tough polycarbonate shell that takes the brunt of any impact. Some of the inner layer is exposed to make the case less slippery, and we appreciate it. As with any Otterbox case, the Commuter is durable and comes with “certified drop protection.”

Design-wise, the Otterbox Commuter doesn’t look too shabby. While some may still find it somewhat bulky, it’s undeniably trimmed down compared to normal Otterbox cases. It comes in a bevy of color options, and you can swap the inner and outer layers for different colored ones if you so desire. Not the most attractive option, but definitely better than usual.

When it comes to functionality, every port cutout you would expect is still here. Fit and finish is excellent as usual, meaning that your Commuter case will feel nice and durable. It could maybe afford to be a bit more professional looking, but for what it is, it’s a good deal. 

The Otterbox Commuter Pros:

  • Durable
  • Not as bulky as other Otterbox cases
  • Excellent dual layer protection
  • Comes in many color combinations
  • Tasteful enough
  • Hits nice balance between protection and design

The Otterbox Commuter Cons:

  • Despite changes, still not exactly attractive 
  • Remains somewhat bulky
  • Some may find design bland
  • Otterbox prices are generally higher

So, that’s our rundown of the Otterbox Commuter. Overall, it’s actually quite the decent case! Otterbox always has strong offerings, and we’re happy to see that the Commuter doesn’t disappoint. But that’s only half the comparison! More importantly, how does it stack up next to its alternative, the Lifeproof WAKE case?

OtterBox Defender (Left) LifeProof Wake (Right)

The LifeProof WAKE

Carrying similar design philosophies but with a much more tasteful approach, the LifeProof WAKE case has proven to be quite popular on the smartphone case market. Building up a good name for yourself is hard as a case maker, but LifeProof’s WAKE series of cases are hitting all the right notes. So, what are they doing so right that everyone is paying attention?

Now, while the LifeProof WAKE isn’t necessarily rugged, it’s still a good and quite protective case. Unlike most other smartphone cases on the market, the Lifeproof WAKE is made of plastic fishing gear waste salvaged from the ocean. While that’s already enough to make it a more environmentally friendly option, LifeProof also donates a dollar from each purchase to water-conscious non-profits.

Now that we’ve touched on the nice sentiments surrounding it, what about the case itself? Physically, it’s built out of hard but smooth plastic. Thanks to the materials, the LifeProof WAKE feels solid in your hand. It’s not made to be too tough, but it still surprises us with some great construction. When it comes to protection, LifeProof claims that the case can handle 2-meter drops. 

Despite this, the bottom of the case is exposed, meaning there’s no protection down there. Also, while the hard plastic looks and feels nice, it can be slippery. If you mishandle your phone a bit or have butterfingers, you’re quite likely to drop your device.

The design on the back of the case evokes the look of waves on a beach. It also comes in a smattering of colors to fit your tastes. While no one specific area stands out, the LifeProof WAKE is made up of many small strengths. Putting all of these together and combining them with a fair price, it’s easy to see why it’s become beloved.

The LifeProof WAKE Pros:

  • Stylish with many color options
  • Slim and light
  • Good quality construction
  • Adequately protects your smartphone
  • More affordable prices
  • Helps the ocean

The LifeProof WAKE Cons:

  • Not as protective as the Otterbox Commuter
  • Not as durable as competitors
  • Slippery build
  • No protection on the bottom of case

Otterbox Commuter V.S. LifeProof Wake: Conclusion

So, which case comes out on top? As you may expect, the answer isn’t exactly clear cut. Both devices have fairly obvious strengths and weaknesses that clash with one another. As a result, the choice is more about what you need and want from a case.

If you’re looking for a case that’s protective but not too bulky and you don’t need it to be stylish, the Otterbox Commuter is your pick. While it’s a bit more pricey, it makes up for that with excellent build quality and reliability. Plus, you can’t go wrong with an Otterbox case in terms of protectiveness. 

LifeProof Wake & OtterBox Commuter

On the other hand, if you don’t really need all that bulk and protection, the LifeProof WAKE fits well. It’s far more stylish without being garish, and it will still keep your device relatively safe. On top of that, you also get to save a pretty penny, and you’re helping the ocean in one fell swoop. Regardless of which you choose however, you’ll still be making a pretty good choice.

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