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HTC One (M8): An In-Depth Review of the OtterBox Commuter Case
Above all, I do not work for HTC, nor do I receive compensation for reviewing HTC products, or for reviewing them a certain way.
Here we go: I'll give it to you straight. The following is a non-biased review of the OtterBox Commuter case for the HTC One M8.
1) Included in the box.
Lets talk about the goodies! Inside, you will receive the inner-shell soft silicone casing, the outer-shell hard plastic casing, one (1) HTC One M8 screen protector (with the included mini micro-fiber cloth, installation card, and instructions on application), and a mini-information packet regarding how to install the device, as well as other miscellaneous information. The included screen protector will not be reviewed in this post (although it does seem flimsier than the ones you can get from Verizon).
I've always loved OtterBox cases. I had one for my last phone and continue the tradition with buying one for my M8. The inner-shell soft silicone case is thick enough to provide good protection for your device, yet still thin enough to deal with the phone in an adequate manner. The outer-shell hard plastic case slips over the back of the silicone case, and falls flush with it. There are some spots on the case that involve 'thinner' materials (the silicone covering the power button and charging port/3.5 mm headphone jack, and the plastic covering over the charging port/3.5 mm headphone jack are thinner here than on the rest of the case), so I could possibly see extreme wear and tear on these areas possibly causing them to wear over time, or maybe even break (as was the case with my Droid DNA OtterBox, where taking the case on and off repeatedly caused the thinner silicone over the charging port to break). However, the 'thinner' spots on this case look to be more thick than the 'thinner' spots on my DNA case, so I think you'll be good here. Nonetheless, this really isn't that big of a deal. There really isn't anything else to say. These cases are built to protect your device, and they do a damn good job at it.
Overall rating: 9.5/10. Reason: thin materials around some of the ports could wear out over time, and possible break due to taking the case on and off too often.
3) Phone availability.
With the OtterBox case, you will only have 2 ports available: the charging port and the 3.5 mm headphone jack. You will NOT have access to the Sim Card slot or the Micro SD card slot. They are both blocked by the case. There is a silicone flap attached to the inner-shell soft silicone case, so that you can cover the charging port and headphone jack to avoid any foreign objects from accidentally coming in contact with these ports, which is nice. The volume rockers are covered by the silicone casing, but can still (obviously) be pressed to change the volume. There are two small protruding pieces of silicone from the silicone case (corresponding to both the 'up' and 'down' volume rockers), so you could easily find the volume rockers in the dark. As for the sleep/wake button, there is no silicone covering it, only a space in the case so your finger can get i there and press it when you need to. You also have (not even sure if this is worth mentioning) cutouts on the back of the case for the duo camera and flash, as well as the microphone.
While I have not yet tested it (trying to get this out to you guys ASAP), I'm pretty sure it's safe to say that the IR blaster on the top of the device will NOT be available to you, i.e., it won't work. ***UPDATE***: the IR blaster works fine.
8.5/10 [Now revised to 9.5/10]. Reason: I don't really see how having the SIM card and SD card slot being blocked by the phone can be that big of a problem (unless you are constantly taking the D card out), but the IR blaster being blocked is a bit of a disappointment. I don't use it that much, but I'm sure there are those out there that do...
The only feature this case really holds is the silicone cover covering the charging port and headphone jack. But you have to remember, this is not the Dot View case that was built for functionality and added features. It's a case that's pretty much there to protect the device, and nothing more. And like I said earlier, it does a damn good job at it.
Overall rating: 10/10. Reason: no real features, but that's not what this case is for. It'll do what it was built to do...and that's protect the device.
5) Phone handling.
Coming from the Dot View case, this OtterBox is nice because the phone is right there in your face...no flap to open to get to the phone. There isn't that much thickness added, so the case feels nice in the hand. The only problem one could come across here is trying to get your thumb to reach the right places. You might have to do some fidgeting with the phone to get to that capacitive button you want to get it to. Other than that, you won't be fumbling around too much.
Overall rating: 9.5/10. Reason: reaching around for capacitive buttons, although the thickness of the case is for a reason, people!
Overall rating for this case: 9/10. Reason: no access to the SIM/SD card port, wear and tear may cause breakage, fidgeting around mar occur. Again, nothing too big. Just some small things compared to the main function of the case.
For the price, the added protection and rugged design of the case make buying this OtterBox justifiable.
I hope some of you get some use out of this.