First off let me just say I was more than a little bit obsessive when searching for what I hoped would be the right case for my needs. I searched, researched, bookmarked, read and watched, and, (re-watched), numerous reviews of many cases.I had it narrowed down to three or four. The final decision became the Otter box Commuter Case. For me it came down to four factors.
#1 I wanted a case that I felt would protect my phone from drops to a hard service from a reasonable height. (Five foot or less). I actually did accidentally drop my phone from that distance onto a concrete floor a few days after getting the case. It landed flat on the backside with no damage to my phone or the case. The hard plastic shell feels very durable and the inner silicon layer added the extra absorbing protection.
#2 I wanted a case that was not too bulky like the defender series and other similar such cases. I was willing to give up the sleek look of the thin cases that I felt couldn't offer much protection. The Commuter is not thin but it doesn't look or feel like a brick either.
#3 I wanted a case that would be easy to slip in and out of my pocket without any pulling or grabbing against rubbery parts. The Commuter's hard outer shell is smooth and yes, a bit slick. It does indeed slide in and out of the front pockets of my jeans.
# 4 Price. I didn't want to spend anything above $35.00 and really wanted to spend less if possible. I found my case on Walmart site for $22.00 free delivery to store for pick up. This deal was for only the color black which was fine for me. I preferred black anyway.
I wish that they made this case like they are making them for the Iphone 5. The hard outer shell is more of a matte texture, ( less slick), but still smooth feeling in hand and probably slides in pockets easily. Here is why I say this. The reason I dropped my phone on the concrete was because the phone was too slick. I knew this before I bought it but I was hoping the little bit of rubber that is exposed would help reduce this in my hand. Not so much. However, this is the only negative I can think of about this case,( for me).
Another note that one should point out is that if you are one of those people who are switching out cases often, then keep in mind that while this case is not hard to put on and take off it could be a hassle if you liked swapping out cases all the time. It takes a little fiddling with to align the hard shell over the inner silicon, but really not a big deal and hardly worth mentioning.
PROS: Well made. Looks great. No camera flash issues. Fair price, Not too bulky. Smooth finish but not shiny so that it wont show scratches, (it has a fine grainy like surface which I like). The up and down volume buttons and on off switch are very tactile and responsive. Very nice lay on the table design. Comes with a good quality clear screen protector.
CONS: Smooth finish for the 4/4s phone is a bit too slippery but it's a trade off for the too rubbery ones that grab in pockets, collect lint and stretch out over time.
CONCLUSIONS: I'm a believer in the dual layered cases that add more protection. I really do love the look and feel of this case, even though I would have preferred the smooth matte finish. This case looks great without adding a ridiculous amount of bulkiness. While I have not dropped the phone face down or on the corners, I feel pretty confident that this case would protect the phone. The corners feel strong with the plastic partly wrapping the corners and yet has some "give" from the inner silicon layer. All and all a very nice case that meets the majority of what I personally was looking for in a case.