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Best iPhone 3G and 3G S Case

Updated on June 7, 2014

Best iPhone 3G and 3GS Case

I’ve had an Apple iPhone 3G for about a year now. I was reluctant to give in to the whole iPhone hype for a long time but I qualified for the $200 deal and figured what the heck. The only reason I still own the iPhone (and haven’t destroyed it) is because I made the decision to protect it with an OtterBox Defender case.

I am extremely rough with phones due to my work environment and knew that I would need to find something that would protect my new iPhone 3G since I could not afford to replace it. I did a lot of research and finally settled on OtterBox. It turned out to be a great decision and has paid for itself many times over.

While working on top of a building in New York, I dropped my phone 1 ½ stories onto hard metal grating and it was completely unharmed. This is a big reason why I consider it to be the best iPhone 3G case.

Will an OtterBox Defender Case Fit the iPhone 3GS?

Yes. The actual physical shape and design of the iPhone 3G S is no different than the iPhone 3G. It will fit just fine.

OtterBox Defender iPhone 3G Review

Trick for Eliminating "Watermarking"


Screen function:

The screen response through the clear membrane is excellent. It actually makes the phone function much better when heavy moisture is present. While working, my hands often get very sweaty or wet. In the first few days of owning the phone I did not use a case. I was disappointed to find that the screen was very difficult to use if my hands were wet. There were multiple times when I couldn’t even answer a call. The clear membrane of the OtterBox Defender case eliminated that problem immediately!

The beveled edge which surrounds the screen area at first seemed to intrude on the outer limits of the keyboard function but once you get used to it it’s not a problem.

Some people complain of “watermarking” due to the membrane being in contact with the screen. It gives the effect of an oil slick but is still totally transparent. This has never bothered me much but one remedy is to lightly puff baby powder onto the iPhone screen before placing it in the case. The baby powder is applied so lightly that it is completely invisible but still solves the “watermarking” problem.



The included holster is useful but does seem to have some design flaws.  It adds some bulk and does not hold the phone in as well as I would like when using it with the screen facing outward.  It does, however, double as a stand for use when viewing videos or browsing web pages.  

Wet conditions:

Another great thing about this case is that it allows me to use my phone in light to moderate rain with no worries of moisture intrusion. It is not waterproof but it’s much better than using a naked iPhone in the rain.


OtterBox offers a lifetime warranty on their products. I tested this feature out very recently. After almost a year of extremely rough abuse the case finally did start to show some signs of wear and tear. Mind you though, it was still fully functional and kept my phone protected despite its condition.

Crack in OtterBox iPhone case
Crack in OtterBox iPhone case
Crack in OtterBox iPhone case
Crack in OtterBox iPhone case
Torn docking port flap
Torn docking port flap

To be specific, the inner shell developed some cracks and the earphone and docking port flaps began to tear away. I have included pictures of the actual condition of the case at this point.

I went online, found an email address for OtterBox and proceeded to explain to them that, while I was very happy with the performance of my case, it had indeed broken. I received a quick and friendly response asking for the specific case model and a shipping address. A few days later I received a brand new case, no questions asked.

If you are a contractor, construction worker, or otherwise hell on cell phones then the OtterBox Defender case is the way to go. This is the best iPhone 3G case for rough environments.

If you have any questions I would be happy to answer them in the comments section.


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    • profile image

      Jon 7 years ago

      I am also interested in eco-friendly cases that are made out of bamboo, hemp and so forth. I am starting to see many more companies offer these types of cases, but of course they tend to be a bit more expensive than the plastic cases.

    • ZWorkz profile image

      ZWorkz 8 years ago from Florida

      Yes we do know a lot of companies sell either plastic or silicone cases and "the world's first aluminum case" sounds very interesting and the product does look great. This is attractive to me because it solves the problem of the silicone gripping your pocket and turning it inside out. My only two concerns are shock absorption and antenna interference. I guarantee that this case does not offer the same protection as far as shock absorption but I am genuinely interested in whether or not radio interference is present due to the aluminum material. It was my understanding that the reason the 3G case was made of plastic was due to the addition of complex radio components such as wifi and bluetooth which might be hampered by a metal casing. If anybody has any info on this please feel free to chime in.

    • profile image

      Jennifer 8 years ago

      We all know every company sells either plastic or silicone case, but I've found the Unique Aluminum iPhone Case from Blinkcase. They claimed "the world's first aluminum case" and as I checked their website, It looks really amazing. For the price of $24.95 with mirror screen guard, I think it's worth of buying the case from them.