OtterBox Symmetry for iPhone 6 review: Solid protection… at a price

OtterBox Symmetry 5

Everybody knows OtterBox produces high-quality smartphone cases. Every year, it is among the first wave of companies to bring out a number of cases to fit the new iPhone(s) and 2014 is no different. One such case is OtterBox’s Symmetry series.

While not as rugged as its all-out protection Defender series, the Symmetry, available for iPhone 6 (and soon-to-be-available for iPhone 6 Plus), offers dependable protection for your device.

OtterBox Symmetry 7

Symmetry features a dual-material design — the back is made of rigid plastic making the case feel solid and protective while the interior is rubber-lined for shock absorption. This rubber extends out over the front edge of the iPhone with its raised beveled edges to help protect the touchscreen.

What’s great about the Symmetry is that, despite being dual-material, it is actually all one piece. There’s no need to wrap a rubber interior lining around your phone and then clip on a plastic exterior piece. Instead, it’s all-in-one which makes it much easier to install and remove the case. The rubber front edge, in particular, aids this as it allows your iPhone to slip in and be coaxed out without too much effort.

OtterBox Symmetry 4

Cutouts are where you’d expect them around the necessary ports and speakers with rubber covering the volume and sleep/wake buttons. Thankfully, the buttons remain clicky under this rubber and you don’t have to apply much more force than normal.

The rear plastic is particularly appealing — its textured finish and embossed OtterBox logo feeling very premium, indeed. The texture also adds some much needed grip to the iPhone 6!

OtterBox Symmetry 3

Unfortunately, it’s not all positive for the OtterBox Symmetry series.

Firstly, despite OtterBox describing the case as “slim,” “sleek” and “balancing protection and style,” I find that the case is rather bulky for the protection it provides. It adds a considerable amount of thickness, width and height to the iPhone not to mention a noticeable difference in weight. It’s a trade-off often made for protection, but in this case it makes me wonder why I’d go for the Symmetry and not just go all-out on the Defender if I’m adding considerable bulk anyway.

OtterBox Symmetry

Further, some of the rubber cutouts are bendy where they’ve been cut too thin — most noticeable around the headphone jack. Even when the case is on, you can still see this plastic area becoming a little warped. This might seem like a minor complaint, but it feels a little cheap, especially for a case in this price range.

And price is certainly a factor here. For the iPhone 6, a Symmetry case will set you back $39.95-$44.95. For the 6 Plus, you’re looking at $49.95-$54.95. There are various colors and styles available, but it is pricey. OtterBox comes with a label of quality, but I think the cost might be a little too steep in this case.

Check out more photos in the gallery below (click for larger):

The wrap up

The good
Decent protection offered by virtue of the dual-material design — rigid back plastic coupled with shock-absorbent rubber interior is a winning combination. One-piece design is more convenient than two-piece installations. Back material is nicely texture which feels and looks great. Available in a number of hues.

The bad
Added bulk to your iPhone seems a little too much, especially for a case advertised as slim — you’ll notice the added weight and size. Rubber feels cheap in places which is disappointing. OtterBox Symmetry is also expensive.

The verdict
If you need solid protection for your iPhone, but don’t need or want full-on water and dust-proofing, Otter Box Symmetry is definitely worth considering. However, the added protection comes at a price both financially and aesthetically — starting at $39.95 and going up to $54.95, it’s an expensive case and it also adds to the weight and size of your iPhone.

More details on the OtterBox Symmetry are available at OtterBox’s website. You can purchase the Symmetry for iPhone 6 for $39.95-$44.95 at the official web store or on Amazon. And the Symmetry for iPhone 6 Plus will be available for $49.95-$54.95 but is still “coming soon” at the time of writing.

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  • Imm

    Bought the otterbox defender too. Had a tear in the rubber at the headphone jack area (exact same spot of weakness identified in your review) Thankfully managed to exchange for a brand new one.

  • Gillian

    So I bought the otter box defender case for my new iPhone 6s. Over the summer my phone fell on the tile floor (note this has happened many times before) the screen completely shattered.

    I was in my bathroom back home and I dropped it and it hit the corner side of the phone (still using the case) and my phone screen broke yet again.

    I am very disappointed in this product. Now I’ve got to replace my phone :(