The Otterbox Defender case for the iPad Mini 4 is the latest in this company’s history of making super protective cases for smart devices. The usual protection of this case hasn’t changed from the previous model. The plastic body is snug and fits perfectly. The cutouts for the headphones, lightning cables, camera, microphones, and volume buttons are right where they should be. The rubber casing around it is snug and has very good grip. One would think that I would be 100% happy with this case right?
In my opinion this case has a very big design flaw. I’ve uploaded a picture to show you what I’m talking about. Just under the home button is a small piece of the case that gets loose because it is, unfortunately, just above the covering for the lightning port. Even minimal use will cause this part of the case to loosen up. How do I know? Because this is my second case. I called Otterbox for a replacement case (more on that later) because mine was getting very loose. Loose after six months I could sort of see, loose after two weeks is ridiculous.
Now, the reason I say this is a design flaw is because when I got my second/replacement case, guess what? Yep. The same thing. I charge my iPad Mini 4 once a day so it’s not like I’m deliberating snapping and unsnapping that flap. Under higher than normal use, and over time, I could possible see how this could happen. But not under normal use and certainly not on a brand new case. And if the case is already showing after a couple weeks, it will only get worse as time goes on.
I also fully recognize that most people won’t care about this, but there are some like me who will. I like having a snug protective case, not a loose (even a little bit) protective case. I would think that reinforcing that small part of the case or even make the grooves on the plastic a little deeper to grab the rubber casing better. Now please make no mistake, this is still a very protective case that has saved many of us from buying another iPad. I’ll continue to use it because it does it’s job, but for $70 a pop something like that shouldn’t be overlooked.
About my replacement case… The person who took the call at Otterbox was nice but didn’t have the first clue as to what he was doing. He told me that my credit card wasn’t good and was unable to run it. Otterbox offered to replace my case but I had to pay a $2.99 shipping charge, thus they needed my card. After two attempts he just said they would wave the charges. Good… sorta. The next morning I see on my online bank statement that there are two charges for $3.12 from Otterbox. Great. Once I got that straightened out, it took a total of fourteen days… FOURTEEN DAYS for my replacement case to go from Colorado to California. They used FedEx and the USPS to deliver my package and it was a failure. Priority Mail shipping with delivery confirmation would have been faster. Not sure if that was a one-time thing or S.O.P. for them.
So that’s my review and then some. I sincerely hope Otterbox takes a look at this to see if there is a problem or if I’m just being extremely picky. My guess is it’s probably a little of both.