Looking for the ultimate phone case that combines protection and style? Comparing Otterbox Symmetry vs Commuter cases can help you decide which one is right for you. In this in-depth guide, we‘ll outline everything you need to know to choose between these two popular Otterbox series.
Otterbox Symmetry vs Commuter: Which Should You Buy?
When you‘ve invested $1000+ on a new iPhone or Samsung, you want to keep it safe from life‘s daily drops and spills. At the same time, you don‘t want to sacrifice style by carrying around a bulky, ugly case.
Otterbox is known for making some of the toughest and most protective phone cases out there. The Symmetry and Commuter series are two of their best-selling case lines.
So should you go with the stylish Symmetry or the rugged Commuter? Here‘s a full comparison of the pros and cons of each to help you decide:
- Sleek, stylish design with colors and prints
- Single-layer protection
- Lower cost
- Heavy duty dual-layer protection
- More basic colors
- More expensive
To help you pick the right one for your needs, we‘ll take an in-depth look at how these two cases stack up across a range of key factors:
Protection: Can They Handle Drop Damage?
Protection is one of the most important factors for any phone case. After all, you want something that can handle the spills and drops that are part of everyday life.
Here‘s how the Otterbox Symmetry and Commuter compare when it comes to keeping your phone safe from harm:
When it comes to drops, the Commuter offers better defense with its dual-layer design:
- The inner slipcover absorbs shock
- The outer shell deflects impacts
Together, these two layers provide excellent drop protection. According to Otterbox‘s internal testing, the Commuter Series can survive drops of over 21 feet.
The Symmetry uses a single-layer construction. While not as rugged as the Commuter, it still provides decent drop defense:
- Made of durable synthetic rubber
- Raised edges protect screen and camera
- Built-in air pockets cushion against shock
Both cases meet or exceed military drop test standards, surviving 26+ drops from 4 feet. So both provide excellent protection that can handle most real-world situations. But the Commuter‘s dual-layer design gives it better drop protection overall.
When it comes to preventing scratches, the materials used in each case also matter:
The Commuter uses hard polycarbonate on its exterior shell for enhanced scratch resistance.
The Symmetry relies on soft silicone, which can be more prone to scuffing.
So again, the Commuter offers slightly better performance when it comes to keeping the case exterior free of marks and scuffs during everyday use.
Protection From Dust & Debris
Both cases use port covers to keep out dust, lint, and other particles:
The Commuter has a cover that seals the opening around the USB port.
The Symmetry leaves the lightning port uncovered but uses a mesh barrier to block debris.
Independent testing by reviewers has found the Commuter‘s sealed port cover provides better protection from debris infiltrating your phone‘s ports and openings.
The Winner? Commuter Offers Superior Protection
When it comes to hardcore protection, the Commuter comes out on top. Its dual-layer design handles drops better and its sealed port covers lock out more dust.
But the Symmetry still provides excellent protection from average drops. So unless you‘re prone to being especially rough on your phone, the Symmetry can likely handle your needs.
Design & Aesthetics: Express Your Style
Protection is crucial. But you probably also want a case that looks good with your own personal style, right?
Here‘s how the aesthetics and design of the Symmetry and Commuter compare:
Color & Print Options
The Symmetry offers far more colors and prints to choose from:
Wide range of colors like Fiesta Violet, Resilience Gray, Aqua Dash
Unique prints like floral patterns, artistic graphics, marble, and woodgrain
Shimmering iridescents and translucent finishes
The Commuter sticks to mostly basic colors like black, blue, pink, gray, and clear. There are no printed or graphic options.
So the Symmetry is the winner if you want a stylish case that expresses your personality.
Textures & Finishes
Beyond colors, the textures and finishes differ as well:
The Symmetry has soft-touch finishes that feel smooth in the hand
The Commuter‘s polycarbonate shell has a harder, more plastic-like feel
Again, this gives the symmetry an edge in aesthetics and tactile enjoyability.
Slim vs Bulky Design
With its single layer, the Symmetry maintains a slimmer, lower profile:
The Symmetry adds minimal bulk to your phone
The Commuter‘s dual layers make it thicker and chunkier
So those wanting a streamlined, lightweight feel will appreciate the Symmetry more. But the Commuter‘s bulkier design is the price you pay for enhanced protection.
The Winner? Symmetry for Style
The Symmetry clearly wins when it comes to aesthetics and design. With far more colors and prints to choose from, you can select a look that perfectly suits your personal taste.
Features: Convenience & Functionality
In addition to protection and looks, features like port covers and engineering details also impact convenience and functionality:
As discussed above, both cases use port covers to block debris, lint, and dust:
The Commuter has a sealed cover over the charge port
The Symmetry uses a mesh barrier
The Commuter‘s sealed cover provides superior protection against particles entering ports.
Both cases also have raised edges to protect screens and camera lenses:
The Commuter‘s edges measure 0.6mm
The Symmetry‘s edges measure 0.8mm
So both offer excellent raised edges to protect these vulnerable areas.
You can wirelessly charge your phone through both cases, though speed may vary:
The Commuter‘s extra thickness can slow wireless charging
The Symmetry allows faster wireless charging
So the Symmetry has a slight edge for wireless convenience.
The Commuter case has a unique feature – an antimicrobial additive called BioCote:
Silver ions inhibit bacteria growth on the case exterior
Reduces odor and stain-causing germs and molds
The Symmetry lacks any antimicrobial properties. This gives the Commuter an advantage for cleanliness.
The Winner? Overall Draw
For features, the Commuter wins for top-notch dust protection. But the Symmetry takes the lead for wireless charging speed. And both offer excellent raised edges.
So it‘s mostly a draw on features, depending on what‘s most useful for your needs.
Models: Phone Compatibility
Otterbox makes both the Symmetry and Commuter series for a wide range of popular phone models. But there are some differences in compatibility:
Symmetry Cases Available For:
- Samsung Galaxy
- Google Pixel
Commuter Cases Available For:
- Samsung Galaxy
- Google Pixel
- CAT phones
The Commuter is compatible with a few more brands, like Nokia, Blu, CAT and TCL.
But both cases support all the major players like Apple, Samsung, Google Pixel, LG, Motorola, and OnePlus. So unless you have a niche phone brand, you should be covered.
Pricing: Good Value for Your Money
When it comes to price, Otterbox Symmetry and Commuter offer similar value:
|Case||Typical Price Range|
At leading retailers like Amazon and Otterbox.com, you‘ll typically find:
Symmetry cases for around $44.95
Commuter cases for $49.95
So while the Commuter is slightly more expensive, the price difference is only about $5 in most cases. That‘s a small premium to pay for the extra protection.
Both cases represent excellent value for money that easily justifies their price over the lifespan of your phone. So don‘t let price be the deciding factor – go with the case that best matches your personal priorities.
The Verdict: Which Should You Buy?
So in the battle of Symmetry vs Commuter, which reigns supreme?
For maximum protection, go with the Commuter. Its dual-layer design withstands hardcore damage from big drops better than the Symmetry can.
But if you covet style and aesthetics, the Symmetry is the winner. With its range of colors, prints, and finishes, you can find a look you love.
Can‘t decide? Go with either model and rest assured your phone is in good hands. Otterbox is the #1 brand in protective cases for a reason.
At the end of the day, choosing the right case comes down to your personal priorities. Use this breakdown as a guide, weigh the pros and cons, and enjoy peace of mind knowing your phone is protected in style.