If you’ve ever looked for a case for your smartphone, then you probably have heard of OtterBox. OtterBox has been around for a long time making some of the most rugged and protective cases out there. In fact, I believe they used to be the go-to name you’d search for if you wanted a case that could protect your phone from the harshest of activities and drops. These days, they still make highly protective cases, but they’re more stylish now and not as bulky anymore. This holds true still with their line of cases for the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G, two of which we had a chance to test out – the Symmetry and the Commuter.
SYMMETRY (Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G)
The OtterBox Symmetry is known for its ultra-slim profile. This is OtterBox’s slimmest case they make, but doesn’t compromise protection.It is however made a bit differently from OtterBox’s other more rugged cases, which helps contribute to its ultra-slim form factor. The Symmetry is a one piece hybrid case consisting of a hard polycarbonate shell fused with synthetic rubber around the border and edges. The case also features a silver-based antimicrobial additive that is fused into the case that helps inhibit microbial growth and defends the case exterior against many common bacteria.
What that means is that most of the shock protection comes at the corners and edges as the inside of the case doesn’t have a rubber lining. The only thing protecting the back is the hard shell which honestly should be enough to keep the rear glass from getting scratched up or chipped from occasional drops and bumps. The front glass does see some protection with the rubber surround, but only the top and bottom edges extend up past the glass which gives the glass some protection from placing your phone face down.
All the mic holes, speaker holes, and port holes are there to keep all the stock functions intact. I do like that the rear camera hole actually goes over the camera hump and doesn’t have any exposed camera hump edges showing. That’ll help keep dust and dirt out of there which is a small annoyance I have with other cases. I do also like how slim the case feels in your hand especially since the Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G is such a large phone. The case is however a little slippery on the back, but luckily the sides have the rubber part that helps provide some much-needed grip.
Overall, the OtterBox Symmetry is a slick looking ultra-slim case that lives up to the OtterBox name. Though not quite as protective as their rugged Defender series cases, the Symmetry is still plenty protective for its slim profile.
The OtterBox Symmetry case for the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G is available in five different colors – Black, Rock Candy Blue, Clear, Silver Flake, and Shell-Shocked Graphic. Each will set you back about $49.95.
COMMUTER (Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G)
The OtterBox Commuter case is one level up from the Symmetry. This is a slim case as well, but not quite as slim as the Symmetry. The Commuter is a two-piece case that offers a bit more protection than the Symmetry. The inner cover is made of synthetic rubber and helps absorb impacts while the outer hard polycarbonate shell helps deflect impacts. Additionally, this case also features a silver-based antimicrobial additive that inhibits microbial growth and protects against many common bacteria.
The Commuter case is what you would get if you still want a slim case, but want more of the protection OtterBox is known for. All the necessary holes are present here as well as covers for the buttons for more protection. This also features a protective cover for the USB-C port and helps keep dirt and dust out of the hole. The Commuter does offer a bit more screen protection as the rubber edges extend more past the screen which will protect the screen a bit when placed face down.
This case also has a rear camera cutout that sits above the camera hump which keeps dust and dirt from entering the case at the edges. The Commuter like the Symmetry can be a bit slippery because of the hard shell, but the extra exposed rubber bits helps solve this issue.
While the OtterBox Commuter is a good case too, the only slight negative I have with is are the covered buttons. These buttons here are a bit sharp because of the squared off edges and feel a lot harsher than some others. While they are very protective, they’re not as comfortable to use.
There is another OtterBox case, the Defender for the Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G, but we don’t have that one here to look at. Plus I mainly wanted slimmer style cases that could easily fit in my pocket and didn’t make an already big phone feel even more gigantic. Hence, if you want a slim protective case from OtterBox, the Symmetry and Commuter cases are your best choices here.
Both cases are also wireless charging compatible and both have DROP+ which just means it’s 3X tested to military standards (MIL-STD-810G 516.6). These two cases are also made with some recycled plastics to help the environment.
With that said, you can’t go wrong with either of these OtterBox cases for your Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G.
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