Review: OtterBox Commuter Case for Samsung GS3 (4G)

sam4-galaxy-s3-j1I write this review on Christmas Eve morning, I start thinking of all those new Samsung Galaxy S3’s that will be given out to the tech savvy, the new user, the teenager and even to granny I wonder if these people or even the people giving the device have thought about how they will protect their new device, most look on eBay or travel to cheap phone shops to get a Gel case or a clip on case but wonder why a week or so later their new beloved device has dints, scratches and marks all over it.

I worked for Vodafone’s Service Centre here in Perth and I can tell you I have seen loads of damaged devices over the 3 years I worked there, the best case I personal have used and recommended to people coming into the Service Centre is OtterBox, Why? well for me it was the look and dual protection and that there were two types depending on my situation – Commuter Case for great protection but without a lot of excess bulk or weight, Defender Case is the big bad boy of cases with added protection from 4 layers including a built in screen protector and the added bonus of a belt clip, another reason is that they Work! they are tough, reliable and ready to go.

For me it’s like when you have your first child and you take them home for the first time if you don’t use a baby capsule something will go wrong so we protect our new baby by using a baby capsule it’s common sense, just like our brand new devices if we don’t use a case then we are leading to a possible heart ache of losing that brand new Christmas present be it a cracked screen, massive cracks or dents, not a great way to spend your money or your day.

With the development of the GS3 and how the smooth corners combined with a thin contour show off a great mobile device, in my view OtterBox has kept Samsung’s vision and just extended it with a cocoon of protection and elegance.  

By adding the Commuter case to the GS3 I have effectively gained better grip, and for me just that bit of extra weight to make it feel just right in my large hands.


images & info courtesy of

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Samsung GALAXY S III 4G’s minimal and organic design is reflected in its smooth and nonlinear lines. Its human-centric nature provides a comfortable experience, while its comfortable grip, gentle curves and organic form helps deliver a natural feel.

Fast 4G Speed#

Enjoy a great performance and lightening fast speeds with the 4G network support# on the Telstra and Optus 4G network. On the Samsung GALAXY S III 4G and within selected coverage areas you can enjoy download speeds ranging from 30Mbps to 60Mbps.

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4.8 HD Super AMOLED

The 4.8 inches of high definition display has true colours, ultrafast response times and HD video playback. It is outrageously sharp and amazingly thin.


4G – LTE (1,800/2,600), 1.4GHz Processor, Quad Core, 4.8” Super HD Amoled – 720 x 1280 (HD), Battery 2,100mAh, Expandable memory with a MicroSD (up to 64GB),  Bluetooth 4.0.

# 4G is only available on certain networks and in selected coverage areas. If 4G is unavailable, the device will default to 3G. Data speed and coverage may vary depending on location, device configuration, and geographical features.


If you look at the way we use our mobile phones on a day-to-day bases, one of the main things  we do is take it in & out of our pockets or like my wife her handbag, with this daily routine we all have the chance be it 50/50 that we may drop or knock it. Unless you have house and contents insurance or have taken out Mobile insurance with your local carrier your pretty much on your own so why do many people  just don’t use cases? Are they that rich that they can afford to purchase another handset outright or add a Mobile Payment Plan to their accounts? I thinksam4-galaxy-s3-j1 not most just think that their phone is large enough as it is and don’t want to make it even larger, for example the GS3 has a 4.8” screen, for most this is a very large screen except those like me and my wife who tote around the Galaxy Note 2 and the Galaxy Note.

So in saying this wouldn’t it still make sense that you should protect this large device? With most new devices costing around the $800+ outright and to repair the screen anything from $250.00 and the cost of an OtterBox case from $35, for me it makes more sense to go for the protection, but then that’s just me…

Image courtsey of

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Power button on the right hand side of the case is fully enclosed. Volume button is on the left and still gives easy use. Charging port is covered, still allowing charging when required.
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Head phone jack is again covered like the Charging Port The Camera is protected with a hard plastic surround.

Images above  courtesy of, others taken by me via my Note 2.

I try and complete a few traveling tests with the case normally just going to work when I worked at the Service Centre then latter at the Retail Shop for Vodafone, Now that I am Telco Rep I use my car a lot and visit Shopping Centres (Malls for those that live in the USA) this gave me such a great testing ground for this case. I use both the GS3 4G and Note 2 and they are carried in my left pocket of my work pants.
I find getting in and out of my car with the GS3 and OtterBox is still easy and doesn’t feel uncomfortable. When I travel I take my GS3 and place it in the central dash cup holders and by using the Commuter Case it keeps it from moving around and protects it from scuffing. I have also tried the GS3 with the Commuter case in Samsung’s generic window holder  and it fits perfectly so no having to take it out of the case if I want to use Navigon.
Sometimes I take the train Perth CBD which is around a 30 min ride or going further when I visit Joondalup this is around 50-60 min ride. As like most commuter trains Perth are very busy in the mornings and at night. I found that with the Commuter Case on my GS3 4G it was comfortable to hold and gave me that confidence to use it.
I spend most of my day going in to Shopping Centres and visiting all the Telco stores, I have my GS3 4G and my Note 2 4G (currently with out a case, its awaiting some OtterBox love). I find that I can carry both in my pocket and it doesn’t feel uncomfortable, it actually made it easy to grip as I take it out of my pocket.
Even at home I still found the case came into its own, most of the time my GS3 is beside my bed and if I need it I just ask one of my kids to get it for me and I know that with the Commuter case on that it will give them easy grip and know that if they should drop it, it will be protected.
I update this review on Box Day, so those lucky people out there have now and truly received their new Galaxy S3 and looking for that Boxing Day Special why note visit your local carrier, JB Hi-Fi or even Harvey Norman and pickup an OtterBox case for that great new device… If you can’t be bothered going out it in the Perth heat (38oC today – 40/41 oC for the rest of the week) then let your fingers do the walking and visit, get that Commuter or even the defender case in that prized device the Samsung Galaxy S3 today.

About Jason McIsaac

Jason has been using mobile devices for the past 12 years starting with the WinMo iPaq 1700 series PDA them moving through to conversion devices like the PPC-6600/6700 and also an Axim X51v, Jason has been working in the Telco industry for the past 8 years including Mobile Service Centre and Retail. He is now a Channel Rep for Mobile Manufacture. His current devices are the Samsung Note 2, Samsung Galaxy S3 4G, Samsung Galaxy S3 3G, Samsung Galaxy Note, Samsung Note 10.1, he also has the Samsung Mini 2, HTC Legend, HTC Sensation, iPad 2 3G, iPad 1 3G, iPhone 3G 16GB & an iPod Touch 16GB (1st Gen) in the house. Jason also enjoys reviewing products & being involved with technology. See Jason's Articles [HERE]