Otterbox Prefix Case

Discussion in 'iPhone Accessories' started by TaylorMatsu, Nov 16, 2012.

  1. TaylorMatsu macrumors member

    Nov 8, 2012
    Should I buy the Otterbox Prefix case? It just came out for the iPhone 5

    I currently have the Otterbox Commuter Case and was wondering if anyone had purchased the prefix and had a video review of it, or if they could just tell me their first impressions of the case.

  2. Spink10 Suspended


    Nov 3, 2011
  3. TaylorMatsu thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 8, 2012
    yea I had signed up for an email to let me know when it came out because I loved how it looked when I was browsing for cases in september but it wasnt available yet
  4. KeithLilja macrumors member

    Nov 8, 2012
    I personally think all the Otterbox cases are hideous eyesores with their brick-like form and fit and that giant submarine porthole on the back that gives the iPhone just enough air to breath underneath so it doesn't suffocate under all padding. The only reason they have that cutout is to maybe, just maybe, to give the chance for the phone to get out the tiniest yelp of, "Look at me, I'm still a sleek and beautiful iPhone under here. You just can't tell because I'm wrapped in more rubber and plastic than a monster truck tire."

    Although the Prefix is free of the marine inspired port hole, it's still hideously designed not to mention the massive logo they press into their cases being completely overkill. The fact is, once to you manage to pry that gruesome monster out of your pocket (if you even manage to do so), people already know that its an Otterbox. Its bad enough to look at it from afar, you don't have to get up in our faces and knock us out with it too.

    Its the classic question of which do you prefer: Form or Function? Yes, all the Otterbox cases will protect your beloved iPhone from nothing short of the direct hit from a sand missile, but you sacrifice everything physically great about the iPhone that we all brag about. I just personally thing that there are MUCH better alternatives out there that will protect your phone all the same and look much classier and be much better designed. The only reason you should have an Otterbox is to put a video online of yourself dropping you phone off a roof, so you can say, "Look! Its not broken!" ...But even if it was, can't fix ugly.
  5. Eckscaliber macrumors 6502a


    May 30, 2012
    The Prefix is a lot better than the Commuter, which was a big let down for me.
  6. TaylorMatsu thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 8, 2012
    Since you obviously dislike otterboxes, have any links to those "MUCH better alternatives out there that will protect your phone all the same and look much classier and be much better designed." ? lol
  7. KeithLilja macrumors member

    Nov 8, 2012
    You would be correct! lol I just think you should save some money on the Otterbox and maybe opt for a couple sheets of bubble wrap or maybe buy yourself a tackle box and add a see through window on top instead. Like I said, if you plan on throwing your iPhone at rocks for fun, by all means get an Otterbox. But if you don't plan on doing that and just need a case to protect your phone from normal and accidental drops of 2-3 feet maybe take a look at:

    - (Watch the drop test video in the link. This shows you don't need an innertube around your phone to protect it from a 5-6 foot fall directly on edge)



    Or you can just take better care of your phone in general and get something like a Speck CandyShell or Belkin Grip Candy/Grip Candy Sheer.

    .....or if you REALLY need to, spend the extra bit of money and get the Lifeproof. They show that you can get PLENTY of protection from a decently slim and decently looking case. Look at how ridiculous the Defender looks next to the Lifeproof.
  8. TaylorMatsu thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 8, 2012
    Thanks for the links, the workmate phone is my favorite out of the few. I didnt really dig the styles of the other ones. The otterbox Commuter case doesnt look all that bad imo as opposed to the Defender case which looks just plain silly.
  9. KeithLilja macrumors member

    Nov 8, 2012
    My main point in all this, is to maybe just get people out there to think about what they REALLY need in a case, WHY they are actually getting those cases, and what in turn they are GIVING UP, thats all. There are A LOT of cases out there and I think its worth it to research them all instead of just jumping on the bandwagon and getting an Otterbox because they are sold at your local Best Buy and the sales person tells you to get it because "if you drop your phone it will break, if you don't have one" or because you saw a video of people dropping them off roofs and other ridiculous unrealistic places. Just some food for thought.


    The Workmate looks very nice and seems like a very protective case in my opinion and says thats its tough and rugged without looking like a damn bulldozer transformer.

    And I do agree the Commuter is better for sure. And yes, the Prefix is better still than the Commuter. But then ask yourself, is there something better than the Prefix?
  10. KeithLilja macrumors member

    Nov 8, 2012
  11. rmp71701 macrumors member

    Nov 7, 2012
    Do you have the Prefix? If so, can you post about it?

    I too was disappointed in the Commuter iP5. Different materials used compared to 4s version, which I was content with and protected my phone well from drops. The new Commuter has a new plastic shell which feels lower quality and is quite slick - I foresee more accidental drops with this problem, especially when trying to quickly use the phone with one hand. Also, the lip that covers the glass is more prominent than in the 4s version, and it is quite uncomfortable on my ear. I wanted the new Commuter to work (I don't want the hassle of trying to find another quality protective case), but this is going back to Amazon.

    For (former) Commuter users, what have you moved on to? I'm seriously looking at Speck Candyshell Grip, based on so many apparent fans.
  12. KeithLilja macrumors member

    Nov 8, 2012
    YEAH BUDDY! CandyShells are the beez knees
  13. rapaleeman macrumors 6502

    Sep 15, 2010
    @rmp71701 I ordered a Prefix this morning. Not sure when it is going to get here thanks to the holiday.

    I currently have a Commuter and Candyshell Grip for my iPhone 5 that I use now. I have a box of about 10 cases I got as samples/for review and out of those these were the two I liked the most. With that the Commuter doesn't quite fit right but is actually more grippy than a standard Candyshell thanks to the silicone which is something I like. I also like the port covers.

    The Candyshell Grip has the grips which is the reason I have stuck to this over the past couple of weeks It is a little more grippy than the Commuter but it is still really slippery too thanks to the exposed plastic. I like it though and the cutouts are outstanding even though I miss the port covers. I'm assuming I find it a little hard to hold because the iPhone 5 is a little too thin for my taste. I prefer the thicker iPhone 4 personally though really like the extra power that the 5 provides.

    Anyway, according to a rep I talked to the Prefix is essentially the silicone from the new Commuter with a piece of plastic embedded to keep its shape. Basically it is the update to the Impact series. As long as it holds it shape which it should do thanks to the plastic, and fits well then the new silicone should be great. I really like the silicone on the new Commuter though hate the way the plastic sits on top. It doesn't quite fit together properly in my eyes and yes it is really slick.

    If I remember I'll try to post some impressions when the thing comes in but I refused to pay 10 dollars for 2 day shipping so who knows when it will arrive. None of my contacts have received Prefix cases yet so I went ahead and paid out of pocket as this case looks great to me. I liked the Impact series a lot but wished it was less of a lint magnet and was a tighter fit. This looks to fix the two issues I had so I am on board.

    @KeithLilja Why are you even in this thread if you hate Otterbox? Your explanation/poor justification for your random outburst was utterly confusing and totally out there. People buy Otterbox cases for protection first and looks second.

    If you don't like something or a particular product and have nothing to say about said product that is constructive or informative then don't post anything or even click on the topic. That is the smart/sane thing to do.

    End rant.
  14. northernbaldy macrumors 6502a


    Jan 13, 2010
    the north, UK
    Poor sir Ives must despair when he sees his creations wrapped in ugly plastic
  15. rmp71701 macrumors member

    Nov 7, 2012
  16. TaylorMatsu thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 8, 2012
    I think you're the first person on my topic to actually be getting this case! please post pics/a review when you receive it! it would be much appreciated
  17. rapaleeman macrumors 6502

    Sep 15, 2010
    I don't think there are port covers but I could not find a pick of the bottom at all. One of the Q&A questions on their site says that there is an opening on the bottom. I'd assume it is like the Impact and is a wide pen bottom though a couple of "support" beams would be nice. Basically I doubt there are port coverings.

    Magpul cases for the iPhone 4 that I owned were all outstanding. Simple, plain, and just functional. I got mine for review purposes but I think they are only like $10 bucks. They are essentially a Speck Pixelskin HD like case made of TPU. The only thing it lacked was a lot of shock absorbtion but for daily use it was fine. I used one for about a month and even dropped my phone in it. While your mileage may vary as a drop is kind of random, my phone was not damaged at all and the slight lip kept the ground off the screen.

    I'll try to remember to at least post some impressions when it arrives. I got the confirmation late tonight so here's hoping it pops in the mailbox shortly.
  18. rmp71701 macrumors member

    Nov 7, 2012
    I have no experience with TPU cases. I was wondering how TPU compares to silicone on protection. I've seen mixed opinions on the Internet with regards to this, & I realize there are give & takes with each material. Seems silicone is more "cushy", thus offers better drop protection in the end. This is what is appealing about the Prefix, seemingly, IF Otterbox has successfully figured out how to keep the silicone wrapped on the phone without warping over time. We won't know this for several weeks/months, when reviews start coming in.

    Back to TPU, I'm tempted to try one of these type cases, or one that has a hybrid design with integrated silicone. What are the major DISadvantages of TPU, other than not as cushy as silicone?

    Also, Which TPU cases out there have the best proven drop protection?
  19. Droidrage729 macrumors 6502

    Sep 28, 2012
    I actually have a commuter case on my iPhone right now and ill give you my take. I chose the commuter because I didn't want the bulk of the defender although I didn't want defender protection in regards to what it covered on the phone. Anyway I got the commuter and I can't say I'm not satisfied but I am getting another case. Here's what I dislike about it the design is awesome BUT there's no reason they couldn't have covered the apple logo window port with a film as well at the camera. Sure on a flat surface it's all well and good but essentially I'm not confidant in the large gaping holes in the case In those areas. I ordered my lifeproof case Sunday which provides the level of protection I wanted without making the phone a brick like the defender does.
  20. rmp71701 macrumors member

    Nov 7, 2012

    Well, OB is trying to satisfy the group of consumers that for some insecure reason need their Apple logo to show on the back of the phone. Personally I couldn't care less if the Apple symbol can be seen or not. I didn't buy the phone to stare at the Apple logo.

    The logical design decision would have been to just have a solid back without the giant hole in the middle & only a hole for the camera. This is especially true now that we see how much easier the aluminum back can scratch on the iP5. Before i installed my Commuter, on the back of the phone I ended up just keeping the original plastic film that came on the iPhone's back when it was shipped - minus a section that I cut off so that the camera lens was not covered by any protective film. Thus my precious Apple logo is protected from scratches, etc. despite the large hole. This will all be a moot point soon anyway as I too am looking to replace my Commuter with a better designed yet protective case. I'm waiting till later this week to see if I can get a deal on a Candyshell Grip, in case any go on sale with Black Friday/Cyber Monday sales.
  21. rapaleeman macrumors 6502

    Sep 15, 2010
    So I got mine in last night and after less than a day of being on my phone I can say that this case is not great mainly because it doesn't fit.

    The case is essentially the commuter turned inside out. While this is fine in theory the support the plastic shell on the outside gives is basically gone in this iteration making for a product that just doesn't fit.

    The case is a silicone outer with an insert of plastic on the back and I believe some embedded in the sides but I couldn't quite tell. The phone does not touch the plastic as there are silicone bits that kind of support the phone in the case. The issue is that the phone doesn't quite fit in the case at all causing it to bow slightly out on all sides. The sides seem like they are supposed to rest on top of the screen but don't quite make it up over the edge. The silicone bumps that are on the inside keeping the phone from touching the plastic are a little too long causing the really tight fit. They need to be a shorter.

    Because of this the bottom was really saggy and the case had a really loose feeling to it. It just wasn't solid since the phone would not settle into the "compartment" area of the case if that makes sense.

    I will say I like the silicone. It is really thick and not a lint magnet at all. There is one cutout on the bottom and while it is big enough for pretty much everything in terms of adapters, the saggy lip (the place where the plastic would always snap on the older Candyshell cases) doesn't support the phone or integrity of the case at all.

    It does look good but I wish it would fit properly. As it stands the case is a waste of money and time. If the fit was better then this would be an average case to provide some shock absorption and honestly it is probably one I could get behind and use as I really like the Impact series.

    I'll try to get some pictures up tomorrow (I'll be taking them tonight when I get home and uploading them here sometime tomorrow if all goes as planned).
  22. ajm222 macrumors 6502a

    Sep 19, 2012
    strange. and a shame. sounds like otherwise it would be perfect. was hoping to get one. guess i will wait for either more reviews or improvement from otterbox. thanks for the review.
  23. rmp71701 macrumors member

    Nov 7, 2012
    Thanks @rapaleeman for the good description & review. I had wondered if Otterbox really would be able to get a good fit without the plastic shell (like the Commuter), but it sounds like the Prefix ends up falling short. I can just imagine over time, and with several trips in & out of a pocket, that the Prefix's lackluster fit is only going to get worse.
  24. jettrue macrumors regular


    Nov 1, 2007
  25. rapaleeman macrumors 6502

    Sep 15, 2010
    As promised here are a few pictures. None with the phone in it I'm afraid but you can see how poor of quality the case actually is. There are no smooth lines on the case at all. Now imagine all the "lips" surrounding the case being super flexible silicone and you can get the idea.

    It doesn't hold the phone securely and the edges protrude from the side when the phone is inserted.

    Hopefully my mini-review makes a little more sense.

    Attached Files:

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