Case for iPhone SE

(Diane D) #1

Since quite a few of you have been picking up SE’s, what are you using for cases? I thought I saw something in a thread last week but I can’t seem to find it again.

I’ve been a huge fan of the Otterbox Commuter case, but now that they make them in China they barely last a year. :frowning: Customer service is great, but it’s still a pain to have to go through the replacement process and frankly, their color selection has been bad since the rest of the 5 series phones were discontinued.

I’ve had a Lifeproof FRE on it since last June. I can’t move the volume switch at all and the screen cover is completely scratched up.

Both cases have saved my phone numerous times though.

I also like something bright (blue or green, NOT pink) so that I can find it if I drop it in the woods.

I was looking at some Zagg cases on Amazon. I think they were a good brand? I have found an FRE in a color I like but that case really bugs me! :-/


(Doug Miller) #2

I don’t have an SE, but I have also lost faith with Lifeproof cases. For a good protective case (that’s also waterproof), Catalyst is a good brand.

It does have a blue case (along with the dreaded pink.). Pretty good price right now, too.

Again, no personal experience with the SE/5/5s version, but I have used the 6s and X versions. The only issue may be if you plan to switch cases often - taking the phone out of the case frequently will break it down. If you need to do that, the Dog and Bone line of cases is great. But I do find their case less touch friendly - sometimes it misses touches, sometimes it does a 3D press when I think I’m doing a normal tap, sometimes it misses touch on the edges of the display. The SE version is kind of ugly, though.

(Diane D) #3

Thanks, I’ve never heard of them.

I really only change cases when it breaks! My Commuters have usually had the silicone break at the headphone port (and I’ve gotten the port wet in a snowstorm because of it). Then the hard shell breaks along the power port.The last one broke in an upper corner, probably when I dropped it. I do drop the phone on a regular basis so the case has to be protective.

I also forgot how annoying it’s been to rarely have my fingerprint work with the Lifeproof case!

I took the Lifeproof case off last weekend because I had third row concert tickets and didn’t want the camera covered with plastic. And remembered what a joy it was to pay with my finger print.


(Simon) #4

I actually don’t use a case at all. The SE is built like a tank.

Full disclosure, I’ve never bought a case for any iPhone I owned. I usually carry it in my front pant pocket all the time.

(Diane D) #5

Consider that womens clothing has smaller pockets, and some of us don’t use a purse. My phone looks fantastic! It wouldn’t if I didn’t use a case. :-/

I love the feel of it though!


(Tommy Weir) #6

I use the Incipio NCP case. Don’t know if it’s still available.

(GV) #7

Diane, I’ve been using Otterbox Defender cases since my first iPhone 3S. Then a 4S, 5S and a few months ago, a 6S.

I have also run into some problems with the silicone cases, mainly with the 5S which I used for around 5 years. For me it was stretching of at the bottom of the case. I tend to wear my iPhone on my waist, I listen to podcasts/music a lot while working on my property and the case is definitely put to the test. I wish it didn’t happen but otherwise I love the Defender because of all the maximum protection cases that I have looked at, it is the most functional, I like the colors (tending toward purple and magenta in recent years) and when I go to sell my well-used iPhones on CraigsList they come out of the case looking brand-new. (I think that periodically removing the iPhone and cleaning phone/case to get rid of the really tiny dust particles helps a lot.) When I was upgrading every two years I would always get top dollar and buyers were delighted to get an Otterbox Defender as part of the deal.

Since I kept the 5S for so long, I had to contact Otterbox twice for a replacement silicone case. Both times they replaced it for free, charging me only $5.95 for shipping. Last time they insisted on replacing both the interior and exterior cases. At the same time they also did the same thing for my wife. The two times I contacted them I was at least 1 year past the end of the 1-year warranty period. Over the years I’ve had the silicone case replaced at least 4 times and I have never been charged for the service.

A few months after the last replacement I became aware of the iPhone SE deals Apple was offering but I missed both. Turns out I am glad that happened because it caused me to look at what my cell carrier (Consumer Cellular) has to offer and it had the 32GB 6S for $200. We bought two even though our 5S iPhones were still going strong and we were happy with them. But the primary reason I am happy I didn’t get an SE is the extra .75" display size. I have always struggled when using the smaller screen for texting and it is better now. (An iPhone + is simply too large for my taste. I jump to my iPad Mini 2 when I want BIGGER.)

So I contacted Otterbox to order two new Defender cases. During the transaction the sales rep voluntarily increased a 25% discount to 35%, saving us around $50. FWIW, I have always appreciated how friendly and accommodating the Otterbox reps have been.

What I am getting to is this: I’m so satisfied with Otterbox quality and the service experience that I am willing to put-up with the exchange process and limited colors when it happens. (Only once that I can recall.) Otterbox has saved me a fair amount of money over the years, so the initial cost doesn’t seem nearly so high now. I have looked at other brands and I haven’t found a suitable replacement when it comes to protection and colors. And I doubt that I will find a comparable level of customer service, much less superior service.

Would you consider trying another Otterbox model? Perhaps there are more attractive colors available. Using older iPhone models does entail making a few compromises. . . I also want to have my color options and I spoke with the Otterbox rep about it. I may buy at least one more silicone case now Just In Case (no pun intended).

Regarding your comment about the cases being made in China and the perceived drop in quality: The iPhone 6S case seems to be better than the 5S. It fits perfectly flush, the port covers seem to be a bit more robust and I simply have the impression that the silicone case will not have the stretching issue nearly as often. . . maybe never. It feels like the case is One With The Phone. :grinning: Perhaps the difference in the iPhone designs has something to do with it.

I’m really sorry you are having this problem. I wish you the best of luck resolving your case dilemma. And sorry for my verbose reply. I brewed a double cappuccino before I sat down to type this. :flushed:

(Diane D) #8

Hi GV! I am always glad for a detailed reply :slight_smile:

I do think Otterbox customer service is top notch! They’ve almost always replaced both parts of the case for me too, for $5.95.

I never needed a replacement case for my 4s, which I had from Nov 2011 - May 2016

In comparison, I’ve had THREE replacements for the SE. I bought it in May 2016 and broke 2 cases that year, and another in May 2018. The only reason I’ve done so long now is because I’ve had the Lifeproof on it for almost a year.

For me it’s been both the silicone and the outer shells. Admittedly the Lifeproof is a royal pain with the head phone jack.

I could really tell the difference in how they felt with the China vs USA cases. But some of my silicone says Mexico so maybe that’s changed now.

So…… I have 2 Power Support protectors on order. I’ve been using those since my Touch! And I think I will call Otterbox to see what they have in stock and get my latest break warranted. And maybe a Defender!

Thanks for the nudge :wink:


(GV) #9

The Defender offers superb protection and it has a built-in screen protector as well. I think that it makes the iPhone easier to use and having the option to attach the iPhone to a belt, strap, etc. is very handy. Unlike other “maximum protection” options the case does not add too much size and weight in my opinion.

Power Support has excellent products. I have used its anti-glare film on portable Macs and iPads for years. The film is thicker than less expensive products and it lasts for many years. The Power Support film I installed on my wife’s then brand-new 2011 MacBook Pro is still going strong.

I compared the film to the display on my 2008 15" MacBook Pro and the screens looked identical. (I think that the 2008 MBP was the last really nice MBP matte display; ditto the keyboard.) The Power Support film does not alter the display color nor does it add visible artifacts. It ain’t cheap but I think that it is worth every penny!

(Diane D) #10

You will be happy to know that I talked to Otterbox the other day. They are sending me a warranty replacement for my latest Commuter, and I’ve also purchased a Defender. That is NOT waterproof despite the front cover, correct? Either way, it should be better than the commuter.

I’ve never bought a screen protector for my laptops, though I managed to nick the edge of my 2008 screen somehow. Is there one that doesn’t diminish the Retina display? I never even bought one for my iPad although I had planned on it.

Thanks for the nudge :slight_smile:


(GV) #11

Diane, the anti-glare films are intended for use on displays that have reflective glass such as the pre-Retina MacBook Pros after around 2008, when Apple stopped offering a matte display option.

The “anti-glare” film adds a “matte” look, so it will change the perceived clarity to some degree. If you like your Retina display as it is, the anti-glare film is not for you. . . However, Power Support has a clear protective film that is highly regarded. An email sent to PS customer support or an Internet search will probably turn up info about how much if any “diminishing” will occur to your Retina Mac. I suspect that you wouldn’t notice any difference.

I’m happy to hear about your latest experience with Otterbox customer support. . . They are among the very best in my experience. And you are correct, the Defender is not “waterproof” but I think that it does offer increased “water resistance” over an uncased iPhone. The clear screen protector used in the Defender does not change how the Retina screen looks or functions.

There are cases that claim to be “waterproof” but I’ve never seen the point, unless you are in the habit of using your iPhone in extreme environments and you are willing to put up with the impediments on usability such cases inflict on their owners. . .

(Charlie Meyerson) #12

I’m a fan of flip cases, which protect the screen regardless of the other crap in my pockets. As a radio reporter who often uses the phone as a recording device for standup interviews, I like top-hinged cases—which let me wedge an index finger between the phone and the flipped-back cover to point the phone’s mic at my subject. Sadly, I found only one such case for the SE. Pipetto made it, but does no longer. Don’t know what I’ll do when the (second) one I have now wears out. (Holler if you see any?)