Best Rugged Protective Case for iPhone 7

Defender Series Rugged Protective Case for iPhone 7
Defender Series Rugged Protective Case for iPhone 7

Awesome case from an awesome company! I’ve recently became a fan of Defender after getting fed up with bulkiness of Otterbox cases and how quickly they cases wear out and look terrible after just a month or so of use. I didn’t want to deal with plastic screen protectors any more either since they’re easily scratched so I decided I wanted a case that was slim (I got really tired of the bulkiness of the Defender), protective (for those normal, accidental drops), and allowed enough clearance to install a glass screen protector (to prevent most scratches).

After trying different cases the Defender Defender Series (hereby referred to as TAT) case is best one I’ve found for me. It doesn’t add a lot of bulk to the iPhone 7; there’s a little but honestly I don’t feel that it’s much considering the amount of protection you’re getting in return. This case is a good trade-off between sleekness and protection. It’s “grippy”, so I never feel like I’m going to drop it by accident. The edges of the TAT case aren’t sharp either making it very comfortable to hold. If you’re someone like me who “fidgets” a lot with their phone (i.e., idly holding it and moving it around when you’re bored) then this case would be perfect for you.

The corners of the TAT case are thicker than on your standard slim cases so, at least in my opinion, they offer better protection for those drops that end with a corner of your iPhone taking the majority of impact. I’ve seen from multiple YouTube videos where “phone corner” drops, besides maybe the “face down” drops, tend to damage smartphones the most. There’s enough lip on the case to allow a screen protector (I have a glass screen protector on my iPhone 7 that just covers the actual screen, I’m not sure how well an “edge to edge” one would work with this case since the case wraps around the edges of the phone a bit) to be installed and still be raised up enough so that the screen doesn’t touch a flat surface like a desk to (hopefully) avoid scratches when placing the phone face down. Overall the case is very well constructed and honestly shows no to very little wear over time. My case, though I’ve continually used it over 6 months and had never taken it off, looks the same as the day I first put it on. There’s no way I could say that about my Otterbox. I’ll admit I’m very nit-picky about that sort of thing.

Defender Series Rugged Protective Case for iPhone 7As far as cons go, there aren’t that many. If you’re someone who likes to swap out cases a lot I will say that the TAT case is a major pain to remove. For me at least, it’s a very difficult process to remove the backplate from the TPU sleeve. Maybe there’s a method I’m not aware of that would make the process easier. You might be able to remove the phone from the case with the backplate still attached, I haven’t tried that yet as I generally don’t swap out cases that often (which I never do now after getting this one). Another issue was that at the time I was researching new cases I thought that this case would be compatible with the Defender holster (yeah I know I’m that guy with the iPhone attached to his belt; I don’t care how uncool it is I hate having lint and possibly scratches all over my phone by shoving it in my pocket). Unfortunately, due to the size of the corner bumpers of the TAT case it isn’t compatible with the holster. So I went to Bass Pro and picked up an even less cool Nite-Ize velcro holster.

One other con I had actually was resolved by Defender (which is one reason I called them “awesome” a few paragraphs up). I just happened to notice that Defender redesigned this case sometime recently and made a few very cool adjustments. One thing they did was increase the size of the forward facing audio speaker cutouts so that the sound was clearer. The other “major” change was that the nubs (I’m going to call them that anyway) on the back of the TPU that hold the backplate in place are longer, so the phone when resting on its back actually rest of the nubs instead of the backplate, making the phone less likely to slip around on a flat surface.

My original TAT case was purchased after this redesign, so the audio speaker cutouts on mine were much smaller (and way more prone to audio muffling at higher pitch sounds) and the case rested on the backplate which is much slipper than the TPU nubs. These weren’t that big of a deal, but I contacted Defender anyway to see what they’d say. I figured they would tell me I’d have to purchase another case if I wanted the redesigned model. They contacted me back quickly and requested a photo of my case, which I replied back with as well as mentioning that I really liked the case, I just wanted to see if they could do something like give me a discount code or something so I could get the redesigned one. The replied promptly letting me know that they received the photo and since I had the previous model case they would send my a whole new case, free of charge! That was really awesome of them and very unexpected. So, needless to say I’m a big Defender fan now. I got the new case installed and it’s great. I’m not going to guarantee you’ll get the same level of support I did, I may have just gotten lucky, but it’s something I want to share about them and how they took care of me.

If you’re interested in seeing the differences, I’ve added some photos to this review. I’ll apologize ahead of time for the picture quality, the lighting at our home was really bad the night I took them.

I realize isn’t an Otterbox and I don’t expect that I can throw my phone out of a 3rd story window and it not suffer any damage using this case. But for day to day normal use this is a fantastic slim case. It’s very well constructed and holds up extremely well over time with little to no wear. I highly recommend the Defender Series case from Defender!

Click to check the current prices: Defender Series Rugged Protective Case for iPhone 7


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