OtterBox Defender Series Case for BlackBerry Torch 9850 and 9860 Review

OtterBox Defender Series BlackBerry Torch 9850 9860
By Adam Zeis on 19 Jan 2012 02:59 pm EST

"The OtterBox Defender Series case is the ultimate protection for any device. If you need the most you can get -- this is it."

In Short:
"Total, all around protection"

Should I Buy?
"A solid combo that is well worth it"

The OtterBox Defender Series case for the BlackBerry Torch 9850 and 9860 is overall one bada$$ case. It offers extreme protection from the harshest conditions and will certainly survive pretty much anything you can throw at it. The case itself is comprised of an inner hard shell and an outer silicone cover, giving it two layers of "you can scratch this" protection. The built-in screen protector is pretty sweet too although I did find it hard to type at times. Want to know more? Keep reading for my full review.

The Review

Overall I really do like the OtterBox Defender case. If you work in a tough environment like construction, law enforcement or anything like that where you need to make sure your device is safe and sound, then this case is sure to help you out. The holster keeps the case and device secure so you don't have to worry about it dropping out under any conditions (I even had trouble getting it out when I wanted to at times). The device is pretty much fully protected with the exception of the front keys and trackpad. My only two real gripes are that I had trouble typing through the screen protector at times (which sucked) and the convenience keys can be a big pain to press if the case isn't seated correctly.

OtterBox Defender Series BlackBerry Torch 9850 9860 The back of the case holds the belt clip - No skimping on quality here

The holster holds this case 100% secure and features a swivel belt clip and sleeper magnet. If you're a holster user you won't have to worry about losing your device or the holster itself. The clip should fit most belt sizes and can swivel wherever you need it.

OtterBox Defender Series BlackBerry Torch 9850 9860 The holster is beefy and ready to rock

The case itself is great for the most part. It covers the full device (sans trackpad and front keys) and holds snuggly. My biggest issue here was the built-in screen protector. I do love having it there, but it gives a bit of resistance and makes it hard to type on the touchscreen at times. It was super frustrating at first, but I managed to get along after a bit of practice. Also, make sure the case is seated right as I found the convenience keys (which I'm not a fan of on this device) were hard to contact at times given they end up buried in the case.

OtterBox Defender Series BlackBerry Torch 9850 9860A built-in screen protector is a big bonus

OtterBox Defender Series BlackBerry Torch 9850 9860 The OtterBox holstered up

OtterBox Defender Series BlackBerry Torch 9850 9860 One more side view of the convenience keys 

Defender Series Case for the BlackBerry Torch 9850/9860
by OtterBox

The Good

OtterBox is known for their ultimate protection, and this case is no different. If you want the best you can get to ensure your device is safe and sound, this is the case for you.

The Bad

Once you get the device in the case it's not going anywhere. That means if you want it out, you have a bit of work to do. Also, the convenience keys are a bit hit or miss at times with the device in the case.


If you work in a tough environment or are just a klutz, this case is sure to keep your Torch alive and kicking. It has layer upon layer of protection, and with a built in screen protector, you're really not leaving anything exposed. It's just a beast and I would have no problem tossing my device on the pavement with this case on it.

Three Great Cases Like This One

BlackBerry Premium Skin Mobi Products Hard Shell Body Glove Snap On Case
BlackBerry Premium Skin
"If you want simple, this is probably your best bet."

Mobi Products Hard Shell
"This case is similar but lacks the holster."

Body Glove Snap-On Case
"It's got great protection, is cheaper and has a kickstand!"
Adam Zeis Adam Zeis "Mobile Nations Content Strategist" 3740 (articles) 2892 (forum posts)

Reader comments

OtterBox Defender Series Case for BlackBerry Torch 9850 and 9860 Review


I just got mine yesterday, and I love it. My 7th device to be protected by a Defender, including the Playbook. great products.

The edges of the front piece are too close and too high, making it too difficult to type! Mine is sitting in my drawer. If they redesgn it, I'll get another one. BTW: I had to rip out the built-in screen protector. Complete garbage!

Got it and love it!

For those of you that think it is complete garbage, why not return it. Otterbox has great customer service!

Thanks, I will give them a call, but will they take one back that is broken? Trying to open the case is a chore, and having to do a battery pull about once per week has caused the sides to crack.

I do not recommend the Defender for the 9850/9860 to anyone.

I have had this case for my Torch for a while and please believe it is well worth the investment. I have dropped my phone a time or two, even on concrete, and I can attest to the fact that this case truly does protect.
It does make it a little difficult to type in portrait viewing but I have no problems typing in landscape view.
I also had to adjust the sensitivity of the touchscreen because I was having some difficulty typing with the built-in screen protector.
If you own a Torch and don't want it scratched or dinged up from everyday use, this is the case for you.
Now that I own a Playbook, I will be buying the Otterbox for that too.

Being in the construction field, my case has to be the most rugged around. This case was made for people like me in order to ensure the life of my phone for more than a couple of days without it. The inner case works fantastic keeping saw dust and other stuff out of the connection ports and the outer shell is rock solid. The lip of the outer case does force my thumbs in and did have to adjust in order to hit the bottom space bar/ buttons. Good review. As for my Playbook, I went Ballistic

i had to return 2, the clip broke on the holster both times as well as the flap for the usb slot was coming off .

The flaw with these is the clip breaks off easily. I have had two and both timed the clip broke. I fixed them using a paperclip heated in a flame and pushed through the clip lugs then bent, making a metal hinge. Now it is much stronger than the factory clip.

Also the convenience keys don't really work with this case since they are buried so deep. Again I had to fix it by cutting some zip-ties to size, inserting them into the holes inside the case and taping over the holes. Now I have a strong case that works great.

Also I removed the screen protector since touch sensitivity is lousy if you leave it on.