Review: OtterBox Defender Case For BlackBerry Tour

By Grafixx01#AC on 24 Jul 2009 10:09 am EDT

OtterBox Defender

[ This community review comes from forums member Grafixx01. Check the original post here: My OtterBox Defender Review. Write your own review of a device, app or accessory and if we feature it in the blogs we'll give you a coupon for accessories or apps from! Details here. ]

This is going to be my official review of the new OtterBox Defender Series case for the BlackBerry Tour 9630 device. I placed the order on Tuesday of this week with my representative, Shane, who mailed it to me 2nd Day Air, and it arrived today at about 3:00pm MST. Needless to say that I was excited because I've had three OtterBoxes already, one on my 8330 Curve and one on both of my 8830 World Editions.

Unpacking from the box was a little different then the older models. They changed their packaging to a clear plastic rather than plastic wrapped in cardboard. This should make it easy for us all to contribute to recycling! The package came in two parts.

Upon opening the package, the main case pops out at you with a cardboard picture of the Tour inside the case. This is actually holding the clear plastic membrane that is used to cover the keyboard of the device.

Taking the case out, pull the holster out as well, and underneath the package, you may find an "OtterBox" sticker to decorate your work cubicle, laptop, or whatever with. That's what was in mine!

Ok, so putting the OtterBox on is not rocket science. It is actually fairly easy and I can tell just by looking at the case without my Tour in it, this one has been designed to be significantly sturdier than the ones I've had on my 8330 and 8830s. The rubber casing that gets put over the hard plastic actually must be forced into the holes to stop dirt, water, and whatever else you can think of from getting into your headphone jack and MicroUSB charging port.

Putting the case on is easy. The case is actually built a lot better than the previous versions for putting it on.

First, slide the keyboard protector onto your keyboard and make sure it fits snug and each key is protected with the corresponding protection area. If you want to take a piece of Scotch tape and put it on the back where your battery door is to guarantee holding, do so.

Drop your Tour in and then look at towards the speaker / status light indicator of the top piece, you'll notice a little lip. Slide the lip into the bottom part of your case, then push the back end of it down and you'll actually hear it snap into place. The top portion has a clear, thin plastic which is a little harder than the standard plastic film used to cover your keyboard which will cover your screen and protect it from scratches or dirt, dust, and water getting into the device through the separation of the screen from the device.

When you snap the top portion onto the bottom to fully encase your device, the keyboard protector should fit snug and be covered from moving. This is done by a thin, about 1/8" thick piece of plastic which borders the plastic screen protector and the trackball / send / end / BlackBerry buttons. If you don't hear the snap, you didn't put it on right. Make sure that it's aligned properly and try again.

The last task is putting the rubber around the device. That is fairly easy but I have found that if you put the top in first, and then work it around in a counter-clockwise manner, it is best fit. This allows you to work in each of the individual 'clips' that the OtterBox has to better secure the rubber to the device.

Overall impression of the case was excellent. The quality of the case is nothing like I've been used to with OtterBox; it is far superior to their previous editions manufactured for older devices. I am going to guess that they may have listened to some of the consumer suggestions on their product and this is a drastic and noticeable improvement.

Typing on the device is a little awkward at first but you will get used to it. No more are the sharp angles by the keyboard like on the 8830WE and 8330 editions, the angle is more acute. This allows for a portion of your finger to rest on the side of the case while you type on the device. The keys which were extremely difficult to get to on the 8830WE and the 8330s editions resided on the outer edges of the keyboard (the "Q", "A", "Alt", "Enter", "Del", and "P" keys) are more easily accessible when typing due to the angle. Though I must remind you, it will take a little getting used to on the first couple of tries to type on this with the case on.

The OtterBox also has a cloth membrane which protects the speaker and earpiece from dirt and grime from getting into it but will not protect from water so be a little careful. Though individuals getting or looking into getting an OtterBox must remember that the case DOES NOT make your device water proof, just water resistant from a few drops of rain or water. DO NOT submerge the device and then get all mad that it doesn't work anymore.

Turning the device around, I also noticed the same clear plastic membrane which covers the screen is also covering your camera. This will help to stop the dirt and grime from getting into it like users of the OtterBox for the 8330 experienced. The plastic does NOT have any affect on the quality of picture taken from the Tour as you can see by the uploaded picture of the Transformer Bumblebee!

The BlackBerry Tour now feels a little more secure in the hands due to the outer rubber skin that comes with the case so there should be no issues of dropping, no matter how much of a klutz you are!

While typing this review, I actually received a call from my brother-in-law and I asked if he had any issues hearing me. I did this because of a previous post by a user who said that the speaker and microphone jacks were a little covered by the case. He told me that he did not have any issues hearing me and I did not have any issues hearing him when he was talking.

The access to all of the keys is very easy so even in the dark; you should not have any issues finding your volume up / down, or convenience keys. Pushing down on the lock or mute buttons seems to be a little easier too. When I first got the device and would push down on them, I felt like the device would eventually crack or snap in my hands so I would use two hands, one to hold the device and another to push the buttons. Now, with the OtterBox securing my device, just pushing down maybe a little harder than usual, and the device locks or goes into mute without any issues.

The one thing that I did notice is that the charger does not fit into the stock location. You can remedy this by one of two things. First, modify the case and make the hole bigger, but then you risk sacrificing the integrity of the case and the protection it offers since the rubber is designed to fit tightly into the spaces to stop water and other things from getting into it. The other option, the one I'm going to go with and stress others to go with is to take a little sandpaper to the bottom of the charging adapter and sand it at an angle so that it will just fit into the charging port and still maintain the integrity of the case. I plugged in my earpiece and it fit fine so no modifications are necessary on that issue.

Obviously, you can see the pictures of the case. There is also a picture of Bumblebee, like I said, taken with the Tour's camera and the case on. Two videos included have the OtterBox being tossed down my stairs in my house, and the other is the video of the device still working after the case went down 15 stairs and about 12' on a vertical drop (you do the actual incline length, I'm not great at math, sorry).

After the drop down the stairs, the only issue was that the snaps for the case came up but this could also be attributed to my still having the PhantomSkinz screen protector still on the BlackBerry Tour, YES, even with the OtterBox on it. I didn't feel like taking it off and possibly ruining the screen. This was easily fixed by just pulling down the rubber and snapping them back up.

Please let me know if you have any further questions that you would like me to answer. You can do this through the forum post, PM, or through my BlackBerry Messenger which is available in the forum.

I hope you enjoyed the review and it wasn't too boring.

    Reader comments

    Review: OtterBox Defender Case For BlackBerry Tour


    I agree now that I see it .. reminds me of the Bud Bowl .. maybe we should have the BlackBerry Bowl and dress up some BB's in OtterBox "helmets" and have it out ;)

    I don't care for the all black look much. I had the Black and Yellow for the Pearl, so I will hold out a little and see if one comes out.

    it looks like that Tour is wearing a hockey helmet.

    edit: didnt even see the first comment- hit leave message from the main page haha.

    There is a thread in the BlackBerry Tour Forum where a users case, when properly fitted, has clearence issues with the charger and the case must be partially removed(proped open) for the phone to charge.

    We covered this in the thread. It is solved more easily just by taking a carpenter's knife and cutting a little angle in the charging adapter for the phone. I did that with mine and it actually fits great. The plug doesn't move because I got it at a perfect angle to have the OtterBox hold it tightly.

    Yes, Otterbox makes it bigger, but for me it's a whole lot easier to handle. I received mine yesterday and thought last night that I was going to have a problem charging, but it fit in perfectly (although a little snug). I didn't do the tape trick for the keyboard cover, but will try that too. My first Otterbox, but so far so good.

    Awesome! I'm happy to find other people who are happy with the OtterBox Cases.

    You said it perfectly, "Yes, OtterBox makes it bigger"... I thought it's a guy thing where, 'bigger is always better'? Hence Tim Allen with "More Power"!

    You wrote: "Turning the device around, I also noticed the same clear plastic membrane which covers the screen is also covering your camera. This will help to stop the dirt and grime from getting into it like users of the OtterBox for the 8330 experienced."

    Could you clarify if you mean that the users of the OtterBox 8330 experienced dirt and grime getting into the camera lense? I ask because I have the cover for the 8330 and I LOVE it except for the fact that when I tried to take pictures with the plastic cover on the back, they DID come out blurry. Then I cut out a hole in that area and of course, it allows dirt to get into it. It sounds like the new membrane is clearer as far as taking photos with it on is concerned.

    I'm a mom of young children and I really love this cover. Despite the negative points for being bulky, if you are clumsy like I am and drop your phone a lot, it is THE best cover out there. I've left the phone on my lap in the car and then gotten out, only to have it fall on the ground, face down. The rubber and plastic really work well, even with a teething toddler. The area around the trackball tends to collect dirt, but you can periodically remove the cover. If you don't want to remove the case when you need to do a battery pull, you can install a free battery pull program too.

    I only wish they would come out with a revised Curve cover for the 8330. Thanks for the review!

    The OtterBox for the 9630 has a 'harder' plastic membrane that is put over the camera hole to stop the dirt and other contaminents from getting into the phone. It DOES NOT affect the quality of the pictures.

    If you look at the full thread, you'll see a picture of the Transformer "Bumblebee" which I took from my phone WITH the case on it. I took it from about 3 feet away. It's as clear as if you were sitting here looking at the figure.

    And I understand where you are coming from with the kids portion. I have a daughter who likes to drop things, my wife tends to drop her BlackBerry (my old one) which also has the OtterBox on it (it's an 8330). But after all the times she's dropped that and my 8830WE she had, they're both still ticking. She is in the U.S. Army and even some of her fellow soldiers are now looking at getting the case due to the durability and protection that it offers to them in their jobs.

    To clarify, I meant that when I had the full plastic membrane over my camera lense, it DID protect it fully from dirt and grime. (So I wasn't sure if you were referring to other people who cut a hole out of the camera area like I did.) After I cut out the hole, obviously it was susceptible to dirt and grime - though the photos came out much clearer.

    I also wanted to clarify that I've had other covers that didn't protect the screen itself and if the the phone lands face down the screen is not protected. If you have an Otterbox for the 8330 and don't want the cover on the keyboard (I love it), you can always trim that area away to keep the screen covered, or if you don't like the plastic over the screen you can trim that area or use a different screen protector, such as the sticky ones designed for Palms.

    Also, I meant that if the plastic cover gets dirty, you can easily clean it off and re-apply.

    I have since bought an extended battery and had to get a different cover. I do not like the cover for my extended battery. I've had to send it back already and it still doesn't fit correctly. I even though I could use the plastic membrane from the Otterbox with the hard case for the new battery, but no luck. I find the Otterbox to be the tightest fit and the best at protection for peoplel who really need it!

    I did this review because I saw a lot of people in the Tour Forum asking about protection for their phones as far as cases.

    While the OtterBox does add a little size to the device, the protection it offers is surpassed by NOTHING that is available out on the market currently.

    I can attest to this if you watch the YouTube video I posted in the full thread of this review where you'll see my brand new BlackBerry Tour getting thrown down the 15 stairs that are in my house and still working after that. The top landing where I tossed it from is 12feet from the ground floor of my house, but it went down 15 stairs. ((I didn't want to do the math to try and figure out how long of a distance it went)).

    i would like to take the time to say i am very disappointed with the store from which i had preordered this item on the 17th of this month and it said it should ship on or before the 24th which is today. and about 2 days ago i wrote the store and asked if this was still going to ship and i was told YES it would ship and that i would have it buy the 29th i was like great. so this morning i got up to check the status of this item and sure enough it had been delayed. why should anyone wait any longer to buy it from when they can buy it directly from and mine will already be here monday or tuesday. to me is selling something on the assumption that they have some coming and in turn they have no idea when they will be getting it in. i think should be honest about what they are taking preorders for when you can buy directly from the makers of this case. and they have it available NOW. TO me i think is a fraud.

    I am sure this case protects the device but boy it makes any cell phone look so much uglier than when it's scratched.
    Unless i plan on going to war with the phone i would never ever buy anythng so hideous in my life

    I just got one for my STORM and I love it. Yes it makes it a bit bigger and bulkier but that's a small price to pay to protect my STORM

    Will the tour with the otter box fit in my stock berry case? i say this because the skin is kicking my ass trying to put it in and take it out of my stock case.

    I'm going to have to say that it won't. If you stretch out the standard OEM case, it could possibly fit. I know people who have silicon skins on theirs and they fit it into their stock case but it takes a while to stretch it out.

    The OtterBox case comes with it's own holster though. You can spin the thing and make the case go upside down and it won't ever fall out of the holster.

    i just got my tour yesterday and i needed a case. this one is a little bit out my reach for the time being ha, but is the other otterbox case (the impact series) any good?
    and also is there a way to make your SMS txts longer than only 160 characters?

    Is it me or is this case too tight for the phone and the keys do not work upon initial pressing. I have to pull the case off in a corner or take the rubber layer off for it to function properly. Anyone else have this issue or know a remedy for this??? Thanks.

    So some would rather see a scratch than this case ? I think the case is awesome looking. This is purely relative anyway. What is not relative is the protection from dust, dirt, and debris. I work construction, and there is no better protection than this case. If I were to use any other case, or no case at all, my phone would be clogged in no time. I hip-drag it across steel beams and brick walls. The dust in the air around me at work cuts visibility and breathing to near zero. If you need real protection, (as real working men and outdoor adventurers do) then this case will keep you in business. If you work in air conditioning, you might try something less bulky (if you dislike the look), and suited more for milder environments.

    I like the way it feels in my hand, w/o the otterbox, it feels too delicate and as a apartment maintenance man, i need something secure to hold onto during usage